Mallorca Stories and Tips

Caves of Drach

The beach at Porto Cristo Photo, Mallorca, Spain

The Caves of Drach are just south of Porto Cristo on the eastern side of the island. It took us just under 1.5 hours to get here from our base on the north of the island. The drive, through the middle of Majorca was really enjoyable - different scenery to what we had previously experienced. It was very lush, green and fertile with many crops growing and lots of olive trees.

The caves have lots of parking which is free. Entrance to the caves is 10.5 Euros for adults, under 7's are free. It is constantly 22 degrees in the caves so you do not need a coat. You need sensible shoes, though it is not really difficult terrain inside. You are not allowed to take photographs.

Thousands of visitors flock here to journey through more than a mile of caverns. The caves have been known about for around 3,000 years. In 1339 the Govenor of Majorca sent men into the caves. Pirates were also supposed to have kept treasure here, however nobody ventured more than about 200 yards from the entrance.

In 1878 a group of Catalans went into the caves and told of the wondrous lights they saw. However, it was only in 1890 when a Frenchman called Edouard Alfred Martel made the first serious study. He found a lake of crystal clear water whose temperature stays at a constant 20 degrees centigrade.

A Majorcan called Joan Servera bought the caves in the 1930's and had them illuminated with coloured lights in 1935. They are much the same today.

You make your own way through the caves, thus taking everything in at your own pace. They have admissions about every hour - when we arrived about 200 people were queuing up in front of us. When they let us enter, we thought it was going to be a nightmare, crowded, hot and unpleasant. However the crowd thinned out inside, suprisingly quickly and you could then start to enjoy the experience.

The caves are eerily beautiful. The lights are very atmospheric and the stalagtites and stalagmites are so impressive. Some are as thin as pins, others are like tree trunks - I had never seen anything like it.

The caves have 12 main areas and other impressive chambers - the Black Cave, the White Cave and the Luis Salvator Cave. Luis Salvator was the Archduke of Austria who encouraged Martel to explore the caves.

The walk through takes about half an hour, then you arrive at a large auditorium by the Lago de Martel - one of the world's largest underground lakes. After everyone is seated, the lights go out and it is pitch black. Suddenly you hear music, and 3 fishing boats strung with fairy lights sail past on the lake. They have classical musicians on board who play a short concert. It is very simple, but so beautiful.

Afterwards you can either walk the short distance to the exit, or do as we did and ride there in a fishing boat.

After our morning at the caves, we spent the rest of the day in nearby Porto Cristo. It is a lovely little town with a nice sandy beach, some quaint bars and restauants and is a pleasant place to spend a lazy afternoon.

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