The most impressive caves in Mallorca
Mallorca is known not only for its beautiful beaches and coves but also for its huge caves, considered among the most beautiful in the world. This is favoured by the geological basis of the island, which consists mainly of soft limestone rocks, easily eroded by water flows. In total, there are over 4 thousand caves, many of which have not been explored so far. If you count only large stalactite caves that are accessible without special equipment – there are now more than 200 of them in Mallorca, some of them even have underground lakes where you can swim in boats.
Ancient people often used caves for housing; archaeologists often find a well-preserved cultural layer there. In the Middle Ages, such caves served as a refuge for local residents from pirate attacks – and for pirates, in turn, a coastal base and a place to store loot. The most significant and interesting caves of Mallorca are equipped for tourist access: these are the caves of Arta, the caves of Hams, the Drach, and the Caves of Campanet.
Cuevas de Arta
In the northeast of Mallorca, next to the beach of Canyamel are located the caves of Arta. They are the largest on the island and the easiest to visit. The giant entrance portal of the cave complex opens towards the sea and is practically invisible from land – there is a legend that there used to be a coastal base of pirates. Different halls of the cave have their own names, among them Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. In the center of the “paradise” hall, there is a unique 22-meter (this is the height of a 7-story building!) stalagmite “Queen of Paradise”. The light and sound showed during the tour enhance the impression of the bizarre natural forms of stalagmites and stalactites. At any time of the year, the caves maintain a constant temperature of +18°C, which is very pleasant on hot days. The impression of the view of the expanse of the Mediterranean Sea from the depths of the dungeon is difficult to convey in a photograph. It must be seen live. https://cuevasdearta.com/
Cuevas del Hams and Cuevas del Drach
In the municipality of Porto Cristo on the southeast coast of Mallorca, two of the most beautiful cave complexes are located right next to each other: the Hams Caves (Cuevas del Hams) https://cuevasdelshams.com/?lang=en and the Dragon Caves (Cuevas del Drach) http://www.cuevasdeldrach.com/ These are some of the most famous attractions on the island and the main tourist mecca of the southeast coast.
The Hams complex begins with the Round Cave, a huge open space with a magnificent botanical garden, home to many species of birds. The natural temperature here is lower than outside, which creates a special microclimate for the growth of unique flora. Millions of years ago, this cave was a closed underground cave, but at some point its ceiling collapsed and it turned into an open hall.
From the Round Hall, an excursion to the underworld begins. It tells about the history of Mallorca, its first inhabitants, and the formation and discovery of the Ams caves.
Over millions and millions of years, natural processes have formed massive stalactites and stalagmites in the caves. Many of them have a tree structure and look especially beautiful in the rays of complex light installations that illuminate the caves. Hams Cave is unique for its formations resembling fishhooks (Hams) in shape – hence its name.
Both cave complexes include an underground lake with crystal clear water. Visiting the caves is like traveling through millions of years of geological history. Stone formations grow very slowly and increase in size by 1-2 cm within 30 years.
The Hams Caves Tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and takes you through an 800-meter series of underground chambers past impressive rock formations. The stalactites here have taken on a characteristic copper-brown and rusty-red color due to the high content of copper and iron in the area’s waters. The tour is accompanied by light effects, as well as music. Musicians sail through the underground lake in a small boat, performing classical works by famous composers.
The Dragon Caves (Cuevas del Drach) is a longer system. It has a length of 1700 meters and has six underground lakes.
Among them is Lago Martel, the largest underground lake in Europe, 177 x 40 meters and almost 10 meters deep. Located at a level of 39 meters below the surface of the earth.
This network of caves is stunning in its beauty, but there is one thing. The employees of this complex do not conduct excursions, but simply lead groups of tourists through underground halls. You do not have the opportunity to stay to see certain places (time is strictly limited), it is forbidden to take pictures (you can only buy ready-made postcards with photos in the souvenir shop), etc. In contrast, tours of the Hams complex are accompanied by detailed stories and video projections, you can linger to admire the natural wonders and can take photos. Please note that the caves are very busy during the season, so arrive early if you want to avoid a long wait.
Cuevas de Campanet
Unlike other previous caves, the Campanet complex is located on the other side of the island, in the foothills of the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains. This is the south of the natural area of Puig de Sant Miquel, a few kilometers from the municipality of Campanet near the main motorway of Palma-Alcudia. The local caves have an area of about 3200 square meters and a maximum depth of about 50 meters.
Tours last about 40 minutes and pass through the underground halls, which are given romantic names – such as Sala Romántica (Romantic Hall), Sala del Lago (Lake Hall), Castillo Encantado (Enchanted Castle), Sala de la Palmera (Hall of Palms), Cascada Sonora (Musical Waterfall), etc. http://www.covesdecampanet.com/
We will keep informing you about the beauty of Mallorca in our next blog articles. Keep tuned and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
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