Landscape and Environment

Bolomor Cave (Tavernes de la Valldigna) is located in the southern slope of a wide valley known as ‘La Valldigna’, oriented from west to east with little altitude and between the  ‘Sierra de les Creus’ and the range Mondúver. The Valldigna is the geological limit between the ranges Ibérico and Bético, stretching until the Mediterranean Sea, throughout the shore plain.

Location and territory today of Bolomor Cave. Reconstruction of the territory towards the end of the Middle Pleistocene


Reconstruction of the shore area with systems of lagoons and the maximum marine regression towards the end of the Middle Pleistocene, 150.000 years ago.

Reconstrucción paleoambiental de La Valldigna al inicio del Pleistoceno superior hace 120.000 años. Dibujo C. Puche

Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction of the Valldigna at the start of the Upper Pleistocene 120.000 years ago. Picture C. Puche

Its morphological evolution during the Quaternary was determined by the oscillations of the sea level and the sedimentary deposition, aspects which have allowed us to reconstruct the successive landscapes and the variations in the coast line. The actual morphology corresponds to low coasts originated from swamp areas and small lagoons.

Vista aérea de la unión entre La Valldigna y la llanura litoral.

Air view of the junction between the Valldigna and the coastal plain

Geomorfología del entorno a partir de V. Rosselló (1968)

Geomorphology of the environment according to V. Rosselló (1968)

The territory related to Bolomor Cave by its proximity and physiographic characteristics can be individualized in four types of principal landscapes:
-The Valldigna or valley connected with the coastal plain formed by a morphological unit. In its paleoenvironmental and general evolutionary process, it can be considered in the past as a “space of principally open vegetation”.
-The surrounding mountain ranges with an abrupt and contrasted character with respect to the plain were “woody and leafy spaces of hillside occupied in its time principally by oak trees”.
-The Vaca River or Xeraco with its affluent Badell, short fluvial courses which generate “humid spaces with small woods-gallery adapted to this habitat”.
-The coastal plain is occupied by lagoon systems near the sea. They are “flooded spaces with dunes and lakes of sweet water from underground spring waters”. They are the less degraded of all and the ones of most rapid transformation.

La Valldigna actualmente frente a la Cova del Bolomor

The Valldigna, today in front of Bolomor Cave

La Valldigna con una pequeña area lacustre, años 1960-70

The Valldigna with a small lake area, years 1960-70

El río Vaca próximo a su desembocadura 

The Vaca river near to its mouth

Paisaje de marjal  poco alterado y representativo de otros tiempos

Marsh landscape which is little altered and representative of other times

The site is situated in the Range of the Mondúver, in its most northern part. This mount, with its 841 m of altitude forms a crest oriented NW-SE with the ‘Alt de la Font Nova’ (742 m) and the ‘Penyalba’ (76 m). Towards the south it descends with a strong slope towards the ‘La Dorva’ and ‘Foia de Barx’ depressions. Towards the north, the range is losing height with soft hills and karstic plains till the Valldigna. Towards the NE the descent is more steep and connected with the plain of the coastal plain of Xeraco at 7 km from the coast.

El Monduver con La Valldigna al fondo.

The Mondúver with the Valldigna at the background

Territorio bajo el que se sitúa Bolomor.

Territory under which lies Bolomor

The nearest environment to Bolomor Cave is very linked to the gorge of the same name. Although this name corresponds more to a karstic canyon than to a fluvial course. The landscape shows, in first instance, a wide rocky vertical cliff which forms part of the southern wing of the tectonic depression of La Valldigna, in front of the major calcareous cliffs of the hills of ‘Les Agulles’ and ‘Corbera’ which limit towards the North. From its mouth, as a balcony over the valley, a wide northern area can be viewed until the town of Cullera. The cave can be seen perpendicularly to the valley, with a plain bed, nearly to sea level and crossed by the Vaca River. This territory is formed by a prolonged elevation towards the south which starts in the Cullera Hill and closes the marsh frame, frequently flooded. At the same time, at the west there is a geological and mountainous dual relief (‘Ibérico’ at NW and ‘Bético’ towards the SW) with altitudes between 800-600 m. In the ‘Betic’ relief, densely karstified, there are gorges and canyons of steep slopes, as the one of Bolomor, which in its exit to the valley pours its waters the ‘Fonteta del Bolomor’, upwelling which generates a small channel to the Valldigna and the Vaca river. This is the principal water karst input of the environment of Bolomor which discharges the underground flows between the limestones of this sector of the Mondúver.

Entrada al Barranc del Bolomor en la partida l'Ombria Boca de la cueva en el farallón rocoso. Vista meridional

Entrance to the Bolomor Gorge

Entrada al Barranc del Bolomor en la partida l'Ombria Boca de la cueva en el farallón rocoso. Vista meridional

Entrance to the Bolomor Gorge

Diferentes vistas de la boca de la Cova del Bolomor.

View of the mouth of Bolomor Caver

Diferentes vistas de la Cueva Bolomor

View of the mouth of Bolomor Caver

Diferentes vistas de la boca de la Cova del Bolomor.

View of the mouth of Bolomor Caver

Diferentes vistas de la boca de la Cova del Bolomor.

View of the mouth of Bolomor Caver

The current climate of the zone is the Mediterranean and the annual precipitation usually is situated on top of the 700 mm. In these values plays an important paper the local orography: the hills stand in front of the eastern winds favoring the rain, especially in autumn, and, less, in Spring. The average annual temperatures are located above the 16ºC and around 10ºC on colder months. The site is located in the first mountains over a rainy coastal plain.

La surgencia Fonteta del Bolomor.

The spring ‘Fonteta del Bolomor’

El rio Vaca desbordado a su paso por Tavernes.

The Vaca river flooded at its way through Tavernes


The vegetation of the area is typically Mediterranean, adapted to the summer drought, evergreen, of small and coriaceous leafs. The climatic oak trees have disappeared, as a result of a long historical process of degradation (fires, grazing, agricultural practices, erosion, etc). Today there is a predominance of cultivation fields and brushy vegetation with rosemary, thyme, rockrose, etc. The Bolomor gorge, because of its topography and orientation, is a magnificent example of refuge for vegetation in which grows honeysuckle, between others, as well as endemic plants such as Anthirrinum valentinus or “Conillet blanc”, representatives of the ancient Mediterranean forest.

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Different vegetal species of the area of the Mondúver and the La Valldigna