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Uluslararası Hasta Destek Birimi Tercümanlık ve Çağrı Merkezi

Cave Tourism

Compared to other countries in the world, Our country “ cave paradise country, there are about 40,000 caves. The karstification (carstic areas)  which is an important geologic-geomorphologic quality for cave formation is present in western and central Taurus Mountains (Muğla, Antalya, Isparta, Burdur, Konya, Karaman, İçel ve Adana) in our country. Turkey’s longest ( Pınarözü Cave in the west of Beyşehir Lake, 16 km) and the deepest caves (Çukurpınar Sinkhole in the nort of Anamur, 1880m) are in this mountain zone.

In our country cave explorations started in 1964 by Cave Research Society. Then first university club Boğaziçi University Cave Research Club was founded in 1973. Kars and investigation board founded within the scope of Mineral Research and Exploration Institute geological survey department realizes today a large portion of cave researches.

Until today the number of caves that all domestic and foreign cavers groups certified and investigated, is about 800.

For the diversity of tourism, caves in our country constitute an important potential. 40% of our country is formed of rocks suitable for karstification which is important for the cave formation.

 Considering the area covered by rocks suitable for melting and the ratio of number of caves determined, it’s more than 20.000 caves are present in Turkey.. 1500 units of these caves are examined by Mineral Research and Exploration Institute and other clubs, groups and institutions about caving.

The longest cave of Turkey more than 15 km is Pınargözü cave in Isparta, the deepest with 429 km is Peynirlikönü cave. In Turkey over 30 caves are opened to tourism, except for these caves, there are so many caves which can be visited oriented to special interest groups by ensuring the proper equipment accompanied by a guide. 13 caves have been presented to tourism service by our Ministry.

Desired criterias by our Ministry for opening a cave to tourism

Proximity of cave to residential centers which are important for tourism and contribute to tourism

·         The morphological and other formation specialties that the cave has, carrying different  and interesting elements ( having an attracted feature in its own privacy)

·         Besides the caves formed by natural factors, there are also artificial caves  that people dig or cared for the purposes such as shelter, refuge, place of worship and storage The caves with these specialties, having cultural and archaeological values

·         Ensuring easy and comfortable transportation to cave

·         Entrance and surroundings of cave should be convenient for making arrangements to serve  for the visitors (parking,cafeteria,etc) 


After determining the cave has these criterias

 Obtaining a study report by the General Directorate Mineral Research and Exploration Institute which states in terms of  the cave ecology and life safety whether there are drawbacks for tourism purposes

·         If there’s not any drawbacks, being an appropriate structure for the expansion of trip paths   inside of the cave and arrangements to be made within this scope being appropriate to the capacity and situation which will offer standards for the safe navigations of visitors

·         After determining the cave has this, ensuring an environment in which the implementation of architecture and electrification can be achieved and proving these processes will not disrupt the nature of cave.

·         According to the prepared projects, approval must be obtained from the related management (if it’s within the boundaries of tourism center from Culture and Tourism Ministry, if within the boundaries of Municipality Adjacent Areas from the Municipality, if outside the boundaries of Municipality Adjacent Areas from the Provincial Directorate of Environment and Urbanism)

·         Following the completion of the project implementation, property right can be rented to the private sector under the seal of secrecy  by related governorship to be operated.

·          In terms of cave ecology if the opening of the cave is objectionable  for the visit, it’s allowed to enter the cave only for scientific researches.

Our ministry has authority only on the use of the cultural and natural values which take part in “Tourism Attractions” and “Culture and Tourism Protection and Development Regions” . Except for these tourism areas our Ministry continues to function as a leader. However, for the caves which have registration decision about, it’s required to obtain permission from our Ministry of Cultural Heritage and General Directorate of Museums. In our country, there is no legal regulation about the caves, yet. For this reason, any institution has no  direct authority about this case. Also caves are not in the authority of any person but owned by the state.

Diversification of tourism by our Ministry, not only in coastal areas, but attracts also to our inland regions and target the development take part among our studies. Cave tourism project which is started in order to save our natural and cultural values for tourism in the balance of protection-use, is also among our projects,

Being aware that these our natural values whose formations continue millions of years, cannot be compensated again and soon, and should be protected firstly, in order to avoid damage of ecological balance while opening to tourism by being projected, arrangements should be done properly according to the project inside and outside of cave.

Detailed information about the caves in Turkey

General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration Institute, Department of Geological Surveys 06800, Ankara 

Tel: +90 (312) 201 14 90 ( 44 Hat) Fax: + 90 (312) 285 42 71

MTA(Maden Tetkik ve Arama Genel Müdürlüğü), Jeoloji Etüdleri Daire Başkanlığı,

Caves Open to Tourism 


Buzluk Cave - Ağrı

·         Damlataş Cave - Antalya

·         Cennet Sinkhole – İçel

·         Dupnisa Mağarası - Kırklareli

·         Fosforlu Mağarası – Muğla