Cave Tourism: a New Attraction

With its 346 registered and almost 500 estimated caves, Macedonia has a growing potential for new types of adventure tourism – cave visits and cave exploration, speleo-alpinism, etc. The most entrepreneurial travel agencies and speleological societies are already testing the spirit of enthusiasts by organizing speleological courses and pilot tours around the country’s most popular caves. The courses offered by the Peoni Speleological Society include speleoalpinism, rock climbing with a rope and basic alpinism. Caving tours have so far focused on the caves in the vicinity of Skopje (Jasika and Ubava), Mavrovo national park (Alilica) and Makedonski Brod caves (Gorna Slatinska, Pesna and Puralo). The majority of the caves are located in the central and western parts of Macedonia, where the geological structure is mainly lime. There is an estimate that the lime and caves area covers up to ten percent of the territory of Macedonia. Macedonian caves offer a variety of experiences – from the underwater Vrelo, which is believed to be amongst the deepest in Europe to the Pesna cave that was recently praised in the global media. Many of the caves have a variety of water features ranging from underground rivers and small lakes, to waterfalls and fountain like reservoirs. Some are rich in geological forms like stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, drapery, and corals. Gothic lovers might be attracted by the variety of scary cave fauna: crabs, spiders, bats and dangerous insects. The Indiana Jones fans can chase fossil remains dating back to Pleistocene and the fauna like cave bears or saber tooth tigers. Read more…