History of Damlataş Cave in Turkey

Alanya’s natural attraction – Damlatas Cave

Alanya is interesting not only for beach holidays and all-inclusive hotels. There are many natural monuments of amazing beauty in the vicinity of the resort.

One of them is the Damlatas Cave, which is located right in the center of the city. Ticket to it costs as much as a bus ticket, but for that penny, the visitor gets an unforgettable experience, original photos to remember, coolness, and a free session of halotherapy.

Most natural caves are not the most pleasant place for a person. Among the narrow and dark passages, under the millions of tons of rocks, you feel most uncomfortable and depressed. You want to leave such a place as soon as possible and go under the open sky, to the sun and clean air. In Damlatash, the situation is completely different.

Damlatash is a wide, spacious and fantastic-looking limestone cave. Inside it, there are thousands of natural formations of amazing beauty: stalactites, stalagmites, stalagmites – illuminated by scattered artificial light. Lighting creates an atmosphere of mystery and some coziness.

To move the visitors halls are equipped with wooden bridges and planking, on which you can reach the most interesting places. From these structures are allowed to get off, which allows tourists to wander throughout the cave and examine close up any object of interest.

TIP! The cave maintains a unique microclimate that helps treat or relieve symptoms of lung diseases.

History

The cave was discovered by chance during the construction of the ferry landing in 1948. The stone that was needed for the construction was taken from the rocks near the old center of Alanya and the main city beach.

The stone was extracted with explosives due to the lack of mechanical equipment and to save time. One of these explosions unlocked the entrance to the cave.

Natural formations were discovered inside, which gave the cave its name: “damla” (drop) and “tas” (stone), literally – stone drops. This is how stalactites are called in Turkish. Although the name can be interpreted as “untreated precious stone”, which is also not far from the truth.

Where is it located?

The enormous popularity of the cave, is largely due to the fact that it is located in the center of the city, at the eastern end of Cleopatra Beach, the most visited bathing spot in Alanya.

Coordinates on the map: 36.542078, 31.988611

On the map

How to get there?

It does not take long to get to the cave, because it is located near the main beach of the city. Depending on the current location of the tourist, you can walk to it, or take a bus or cab.

A cab in Alanya costs 5 lira for the first 1 km, and 3 lira for each subsequent km.

Walking from Alanya Castle or Alanya Promenade

The cave is on the left side of Alanya Castle when seen from the sea. In order to get there you have to walk back to the seafront, northwards till you reach Damlatas Street and then westwards for about 1 km. It leads almost to the entrance of the dungeon.

On foot or by car from any part of the city

Through the southern part of the city runs Ataturk Blv, a wide two-lane highway. You will find it and follow the signs “Cleopatra Beach” or “ALANYA Waterpark”. The turn to the cave is located at ALANYA Waterpark.

You can get there by bus or by foot from the bus station

The Alanya Otogari bus station is located at the west entrance of Alanya. You will need to walk about 350 m westwards to Ataturk Boulevard and then another 1.5 km to the beach. The whole walk will take you 30 minutes.

From Otogar to Damlatas, there is a municipal bus 4 every half an hour. The fare is 6 liras. The travel time is about 10 minutes.

How to get to Alanya from Antalya?

The distance between two cities is 120 kilometers. You can get there by bus, for about 50 liras. Buses leave from the popular Antalya bus terminal every hour.

Visiting hours and entrance fees

  • The cave is open daily from 6:00 to 19:00 throughout the year. However, not everyone can get there in the morning, but only those undergoing treatment for lung diseases.
  • The entrance for tourists opens at 10:00. The entrance fee is 6 liras, which corresponds to the price of a trip by city bus. It is not possible to pay with a bank card so please have some cash ready.

INFO! You can buy a complex ticket to visit the Fortress, the Red Tower and Damlatas in Alanya for 12 LEAR. It is valid for 2 days.

What can you find in the area?

The cave is divided into two halls (floors) – Big and Small and the passages between them with a total volume of 2500 cubic meters. The journey through it begins with a 50-meter corridor that leads from the entrance to the large cylindrical hall. The height of the ceilings and the width of the walls in it reaches 15 meters. Most of the “stone drops” are located there, as well as benches for resting.

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From the Great Hall to the Small leads a low stone passageway, a dozen meters long. On its ceiling you can see the roots of trees growing on the surface. The second hall is a small cavity with less limestone formations. There is not much space in it, so no benches were installed.

In the halls you can find the following types of limestone formations:

  • stalactites – a sharp stone outgrowth on the ceiling that resembles an icicle;
  • stalagmite – a sharp outgrowth at the bottom of the cave, stretching upwards;
  • a stalagmite is an adjoined stalactite and stalagmite.

All of them were formed about 15,000 years ago and have different colors, shapes and sizes.

What do you need to know when planning a visit?

In the cave formed a unique microclimate:

  • constant temperature of +23C;
  • constant humidity level of 98%;
  • atmospheric pressure of 760 mm;
  • The presence in the composition of the air, radioactive gas radon and large amounts of carbon dioxide.

This composition of the atmosphere contributes to the treatment of lung and respiratory tract diseases. It has shown particular efficacy in the treatment of asthma. It is enough to breathe in the local air for 20 minutes to begin to show therapeutic effect. The full effect unfolds in 4 hours. There are benches set up just for the patients. If you want you can even sleep on them.

You can buy a course of treatment at the entrance to the cave and at local tour operators. But in order to be there, within 4 hours, first need to undergo a medical examination by a local doctor. He will determine whether the patient has no contraindications to it. A doctor’s referral will be given before buying the course. Ask for the price and duration on site.

IMPORTANT: Visiting the cave is not recommended for people with heart disease. It is also forbidden to make noise, litter, smoke and touch the limestone formations with your hands.

Is it better to go alone or with a tour?

Exciting tours for vacationers and travelers in 609 cities around the world: Tripster.ru – service of unusual excursions from local residents and guides who can tell interesting and fascinating stories about the most interesting things in their cities.

As for visiting the cave, the babbling of the guide, and even in English, does not dispose to the thoughtful study of the cave and solitude among its natural beauties. In addition, the tour costs much more than the usual entrance (about 200 lire).

To find the cave and get to it, is not difficult, so if you are in Alanya, it is best to visit it alone.

Trip from Antalya and other cities on the Antalya Riviera, it is also recommended to organize yourself if the bus tickets to Alanya and back will cost no more than 200 pounds.

Tourist Reviews

This is far from the most beautiful and mysterious underground in Turkey and in Alanya . About one of the largest underground cities in Turkey Kaymakli we told in detail here, about the ancient cave settlement Derinkuyu all the information here.

Damlatas Cave is well equipped for the convenience of visitors, located almost in the center of the city, and being there has a positive effect on health and gives coolness. In addition, the entrance ticket costs mere pennies. Due to these factors no one yet left the cave unsatisfied.

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Caves in Alanya

Alanya is one of the most popular resorts of the Antalya region. Here you have sandy beaches, and caressing turquoise sea, and a developed tourist infrastructure. That’s what attracted me from the beginning.

But sooner or later bored even a beach holiday, and then I want a real adventure, an exploration of the city and its surroundings. A hike or a trip to the caves in Alanya is just what you need on a sultry Mediterranean day. The salt caves are good for your health, and they are also just so beautiful!

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of caves. In their narrow corridors, you feel like a real pioneer, but at the same time, you really want to get out of the tons of stones, take a breath of fresh air and see the light. But in the caves of Alanya I did not feel such discomfort, I did not even think about the fact that it’s time to go. There are so many incredible stalactites and stalagmites that you can linger at each one for a long time! All in all, the two most beautiful caves in Alanya, Dim and Damlatas, are well equipped, profitably lit, full of natural treasures and quite spacious.

Just in case, let me remind you that a stalactite is an outgrowth on the ceiling of a cave that hangs down. Stalagmite is an outgrowth on the bottom, which stretches upwards and is also formed by water drops. And the stalagmite is a compound of stalactite and stalagmite, which resembles a column. All these bizarre forms you can see in the caves of Alanya.

In general, equipped for tourists caves in Turkey – a rarity. So I tell you about the best ones in the area, which are very convenient to visit.

Damlatas Cave

To begin with, Damlatas is the central landmark of Alanya. It is located in the “heart” of the city, near the famous sandy beach “Cleopatra”. Maybe due to this location, the cave is visited by everyone who has ever been to Alanya and its most beautiful beach. But I am sure that even if Damlatas was somewhere on the outskirts of the city, tourists would still flock to it. Its “treasures” are worth it.

By the way, the cave was discovered only in 1948. And this despite the fact that she is only 100 meters from the city beach. A pier was built not far from it, and the stones were taken from the quarry right above the cave. One of the explosions for the extraction of raw materials and opened to everyone the entrance to the grotto with thousands of years of stalactites and stalagmites.

The name sounds very oriental as it consists of two Turkish words, “damla” and “taş”. The first one is translated as “drop”, and the second one as “stone”. All formations of the cave and appeared due to the drops, undermining the stone for thousands of years. It is possible to translate the word “damlatash” not by two words, but by one. Then it stands for “untreated jewel” or simply “stalactite”. In general, the name perfectly reflects the essence.

How to get there

I already told you that the cave is in the center of Alanya and also on the beach, so it is easy to find.

If you walk somewhere near the city’s fortress (on the map below it is the area to the right of the cave, Damlataş Street) just walk in the direction of Cleopatra Beach. When looking at the fortress from the sea, Damlataş will be on its left side.

If you start from the city bus station (Alanya Otogar), you can walk to Damlataş. The walk will take you half an hour. The best way is to walk perpendicular to the sea and then walk along Ataturk Boulevard to the cave along the beach.

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You can get there by bus. From the bus station to Damlataş (Güzelyalı street, Damlataş bus stop) and further, to the fortress, there is bus #4. The bus goes quite often, the schedule can be clarified at the bus stop. The fare is a little less than one dollar. The way to the cave will take 10 minutes.

You can also take a cab right at the bus station in Alanya. Look for the yellow fiats. Usually the cars are parked at special sites for cabs. The cars are equipped with a meter. To the cave will take about 5-7 dollars.

At the entrance you will be met by a sign. Behind it is a wide path to Dalmatas, and on your right you will see the beach “Cleopatra”. In Turkish the attraction is called Damlataş Mağarası.

A few facts and figures about Damlataş

For those who are better at perceiving quantitative figures, I will report a few facts:

  • The total volume of the cave is 2500 m³.
  • The stalactites and stalagmites of Damlatas is about 10,000 to 15,000 years old.
  • The length of the cave is 45 meters.
  • The main hall is 14 m wide and 15 m high.
  • The air temperature is +22,3 ° C all year round.
  • The humidity of the air is 98%.
  • The pressure is 760 mm Hg.

You can fully appreciate the beauty of Damlatash only on a personal visit. But here is another thing you should definitely know about it: its climatic conditions are considered to be therapeutic. Stable temperature, high humidity, a large amount of carbon dioxide in the air (10 times higher than normal) and low radioactivity create the best conditions for the treatment of respiratory diseases. For example, there was an experiment involving people with asthma. According to its results, half of the participants were completely cured, and the rest received a significant relief of symptoms of the disease.

The cave is now open from 10:00 a.m., and asthma patients are treated in Damlatash from 6:00 a.m. until then. The course of treatment lasts about three weeks, with four hours in the cave every day. In order to get the healing effect, it is necessary to spend at least 20 minutes inside. If you need a full course, you should first get a certificate from a doctor in Alanya, who will confirm that you have no contraindications for such treatment.

Four hours every day is certainly a lot, but the main hall is equipped with comfortable benches, on which you can also take a nap if you want.

Rules of visiting Damlatash cave

The cave is open to tourists from 10:00 to 19:00. The cost of visiting – 6 Turkish liras (about two dollars). Please note that you can’t pay by VISA card, only cash. If you took a special museum card, it is not valid here.

There is a sign at the entrance warning that visiting the cave is not recommended for people with heart problems. It is clear that touching the stalactites and stalagmites, smoking, littering and talking loudly are not allowed.

What’s inside

When you buy your ticket, head to the entrance (giriş). You will walk through a narrow 50 meter corridor and go down a nice staircase to the main hall. This is where the benches are located. The dome of the hall is covered with stalactites of incredible beauty. It even reminded me of the vaults of a Gothic cathedral.

From the main hall there is a low passageway to another part of the cave. You have to sit down and crawl forward a bit. There you can see the roots of the trees that grow outside the cave.

I think you will spend a healing 20 minutes in Dalmatache looking at and photographing the bizarre formations. Tourists probably do not spend more than half an hour in the cave, because it is compact and small. One last thing: there can be a lot of holidaymakers in Dalmatache during the season, so for a more secluded atmosphere go to the cave farther away – Dim.

Dim Cave

Dim Cave and its surroundings is a wonderful place to take a break from the city and enjoy the coolness of a mountain river valley. On the way to the cave you will pass a large number of restaurants on the river Dim Chai. This is where the locals go in the heat of summer to have a leisurely lunch and a swim in the refreshing water.

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Tourists love it too because the road to Alanya’s most famous cave lies here.

How to get there

Dim is located in a beautiful and comfortable place above the river gorge and it’s surrounded by a pine forest. There is a good asphalt road leading to the site. There is a cafe and parking lot at the top, everything is well equipped and convenient for tourists.

So, how to get to this wonderful cave? The map shows that it is less than 15 km to Alanya, but unfortunately, public transport to the place does not go, and it is difficult or expensive to arrange a trip on your own.

The easiest way to get to Dima by private transport or by renting a car (in Alanya such service costs only $ 25 a day).

Also easy, but not quite budget – order a cab from Alanya and back. Such a trip will cost about $50-60.

You can take a tour by bus, which includes a visit to the Dim Cave. But I do not like this option at all, because for each attraction is given a little time, and enjoy the beauty in the crowd will not succeed.

The most budget, but also the most difficult route – partly by city bus and partly on foot. You get to Akdeniz University by bus number 101 (fare is about $ 1) and then walk uphill for 4 km. The navigator won’t hurt, but you can hardly get lost – there are signs everywhere and you can ask the locals. The road is very picturesque – mountains, precipices, greenery of forests. But it will be hard to go up in the heat.

What is interesting about the Dim Cave

Dim or Turkish Dim Mağarası is a horizontal cave on the slope of Jeba Reis. It is located 12 kilometers from Alanya. Getting to it is not easy, but still Dim is one of the main attractions of the city. Its halls and passages between them are beautiful.

The cave was opened quite recently, in 1986, and only since 1998 everyone can visit it. And this despite the fact that some scientists say that the stalactites and stalagmites of Dima are a million years old! It is hard to believe, but only until you go down under the arches of the fabulous cave.

The full length is 360 meters, and such dimensions of the cave are the second largest in Turkey. Visitors descend a few dozen meters and can first turn to the small Dima Hall (50 meters) and then enjoy a stroll through the long 310-meter section. The temperature here is constant at about +18 degrees with a humidity of 90%. More than once I have heard stories that people come out of this cave rested and full of energy. And the locals say that Dima has its own energy, which gives harmony. So to check on yourself a miraculous atmosphere is definitely worthwhile.

Visiting the Dim Cave

Choose the most convenient way and go, for vivid impressions. They, by the way, will not keep you waiting. The parking lot offers a view of the river valley below.

And from the restaurant and the observation deck above, the panorama is even more breathtaking.

After the stairs leading to the top, you will pass the restrooms, souvenir rows and find yourself in front of the ticket office and the entrance to the cave. The cost to visit is $5 or 15 Turkish Liras or. The cave is open to tourists from 9:00 to 19:00. The last group or person is let in no later than 6:30 pm.

Present your tickets at the entrance and off you go, to the wonderful “treasures”, just keep your head down. The first descent will be down a narrow short passageway.

After about ten meters you will see a fork in the road. I strongly advise you to turn right immediately and go to the hall of 50 meters, because after visiting the left side of the cave nothing can surprise you anymore.

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From this hall you will return to the fork and walk all 360 meters of the Dim Cave. For the convenience of tourists everywhere there is electricity and favorably illuminated natural compositions of stalactites. I really like the bridges that you walk among all this beauty.

This part of the cave is divided into different rooms, but the route runs in a continuous line. Somewhere there are signs that tell you what you might see in the next bizarre formation. For example, two owls.

Or a woman in a little blue lake, which is how this beautiful path ends under the vaults of the cave.

No matter what you see or don’t see in Dima, just enjoy the incredible frozen plasticity of the stone. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before!

I suggest not rushing back to the hot coast after finishing your walk in the cave.

Take another walk around the observation deck.

Other Caves in Alanya

I have told you about the two most popular, well-equipped and beautiful caves in the region, but there are several more worthy of attention. They are located along the peninsula on which the fortress of Alanya stands. You can see it well on the map. The caves are only accessible from the water, so you must hire a boat or at least a small boat to visit them.

Sightseeing boat tours are often offered on the Alanya Promenade. There you can find out the prices and do not forget to bargain.

Cave of Pirates or Maiden’s Cave

The first cave on your way is the Pirate’s Cave, located on the southeast side of the Cilarda-Burnu Peninsula. Small boats can swim into the cave itself, but you can also reach it from the ship by swimming. Inside you will see a grotto 8 meters high. You can climb out of the water onto the rocks.

Why is the name of the cave? They say that long ago this place was beloved by pirates. The spacious hall served as a temporary berth for their boats. Here they also hid their looted treasures and kidnapped girls (hence the second name). There is another version – the Pirate Cave communicated with the fortress on the top of the peninsula, and the pirates used the tunnel to ferry their wealth to the city. Allegedly the tunnel later collapsed and is now impossible to find.

Cave of Lovers

In Turkish it is called Asiklar, which translates to “lovers”. There are legends that lovers used to hide here who wanted to hide from everyone. Parents used to look for their runaway young men here… I don’t think lovers hid en masse in the cave, which is very difficult to sneak any supplies of water or food into, but such stories sound beautiful.

To get into the Lovers’ Cave, you have to take a boat, and then climb up several meters more. There you will see a 50-meter tunnel that you have to walk through to the exit of the cave. You are supposed to find a hired boat or motorboat waiting for you at the exit. And here’s the surprise – you have to jump from a 6-meter ledge into the sea. Lovers must jump holding hands. According to the belief, if you don’t unhook your hands before landing in the water, you’ll be together for years to come. Like this.

Phosphorus Cave

To the west of the Alanya Peninsula, Phosphorus Cave awaits you. When you go inside the cave by boat, you will see an unusual natural phenomenon – the glow of light on its walls. This is because light passes through the water.

Some claim that the rocks contain a lot of phosphorus. Be that as it may, it looks very beautiful.

Summary

As you have understood, visiting the caves is an essential part of vacationing and walking in Alanya. I highly recommend a trip to Dim, a walk to Damlatas and a boat ride into one of the caves on the peninsula. Even if you, like me, weren’t thrilled with walking through the underground corridors before, you’ll love these. Tested!

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