The Crimea is wonderful in its diversity. The clear azure of the warm sea and sunlight washing the majestic mountains, splendid palaces and ancient cities, Yalta’s embankment and Massandra’s wine cellars… Have you already been here, seen it? Even if so, the Crimea can still surprise you – its underground kingdoms conceal numerous secrets, which will gladly be revealed to curious travelers.
The Crimean mountains are some of the oldest in the world. Breaks in the earth’s crust, water and natural cataclysms have formed marvelous underground limestone vaults here – perhaps, nowhere else can you find such fantastic stalactite and stalagmite beauty! At the dawn of times the depths of the local caves and grottos sheltered primitive men – even now scientists keep discovering traces of their presence here. Today every curious tourist can have a look at this “lost world”, which has existed for millions of years – here you can still see mysterious underground rivers flowing into a chain of glowing tiny lakes, stone trees, blooming stone flowers and winding unexplored labyrinths…
The Crimea has over 800 caves, 50 of which are acknowledged natural monuments. The finest among them are hidden in Chatyr Dag – the main mountain chain of the peninsula. Emine Bair Khosar, Tysiachegolovaia (Thousand Heads), Krasnaia (Red), Kholodnaia (Cold) and numerous other local caves deserve to be seen at least once in a lifetime. The most unique among them is Mramornaya (Marble) cave, which was discovered in 1987. This amazing Chatyr Dag cave a few kilometers from Alushta is one of the world’s five most beautiful underground tunnels. Wandering under its vaults one cannot believe that all these fabulous figures, carved pillars and intricate crystals were made by water and time alone, without any human participation. Being here, you once again realize how ingenious great Mother Nature is, for it’s she who gracefully draped the walls of the caves with limestone, covered their floors with carpets of stone flowers, moulded mysterious stalagmitic dragons, prehistoric animals and fairytale heroes.
Exploration of the Mramornaya’s labyrinths is a real journey into the cryptic and unknown world – that is why the Crimea always attracts fans of non-standard tourism from all over the world. Those who want more than a regular tour can go for the extreme: with flashlights, dressed in special clothes and guided by experienced speleologists, you will spend hours circling in the intricate labyrinths admiring the fantastic features of the underground kingdom. And the most adventurous certainly must see the Krasnyie (Red) caves of Kizil Kob hole, the treasures of which are well protected by a powerful underground river. Diving with aqualungs into siphons – the so-called cavities, filled up with water – enables daring explorers of the Crimean undergrounds to reach even more striking and distant vaults 30-40 meters high, which have preserved their original appearance. So, if you look for unforgettable adventures, it’s the very time to set off for the Crimea – the astonishing caves of the legendary peninsula are waiting for you!
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