From the Flintstones to hardy adventurers, people have been suckers for a great cave for centuries. But if you’re planning to get back in touch with your inner Stone Age soul, where are the best places to go?
The Eisriesenwelt, Austria
Whilst caverns made of rock are all well and good, sometimes you want something a little more spectacular. That’s what ice is for, and this complex near Salzburg is home to the world’s largest ice cave.
Over the years, the flow of air has ensured that walls, stalagmites and stalactites have formed, and some of the frozen formations are up to 20 metres thick.
The result is something that looks like a science-fiction film set, and a walk through the surreal crystalline world is fascinating, if a little on the cold side.
The Eisriesenwelt is open from the end of April to the end of October, and you’ve got a choice of getting there on foot or by cable car.
Grotte Aux Fées, Switzerland
Translated from French, this means Cave Of Fairies, and the magical little pixies apparently live here. During the tour of the grotto, you’ll come across a supposed fairy well, which is said to grant a wish to anyone who puts their left hand in it.
Nonsensical stories aside though, this cave near at St Maurice has one truly astounding feature, and that comes at the end of the trip. Pouring down from an overhead glacier is a 77m waterfall, the largest underground cascade in the world, coming complete with a guaranteed “wow” factor.
Postojna Cave, Slovenia
In proof positive that vandalism has its uses, the Postojna Cave has utilised careless graffiti artists to get itself into the record books. Incredibly, it has been a tourist attraction since 1213, which is the earliest date identifiable from visitors’ etchings on the walls. This makes it the world’s first show cave.
Whilst an unfortunate amount has been destroyed by candles, torches and thoughtless scribbling, a huge system still remains, and due to lashings and lashings of calcium carbonate, there are some incredible features. These include a giant ‘diamond’ column.
The highly popular tours are available year-round, and are well worth going on, as they are crammed with good information. Visit this site https://deepinmummymatters.com/