Caving has recently started to be a novel way to explore Turkey. The number of both local and foreign visitors is steadily increasing.
There are numerous caves and cave dwellings in Turkey making it absolutely impossible to talk about all of them. Here’s some information about the most popular caves in the country.
Located in the Konya district of Seydisehir, Tinaztepe Cave is the longest cave in Turkey and the third longest in the world. The cave is 22 km/13.7 miles long. Best time to visit is in Turkey when the water level decreases and the gallery can be explored by foot.
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Located 30 km/12.4 miles outside Bursa’s Inegol district, Oylat Cave comprises two connected floors. The cave is famous for its colorful stalactites and stalagmites. The cave’s length is only 650 meters/2132.5 ft. A lot of bats have their home in the cave. Taking photos is forbidden in order not to scare the bats.
Cave of the Seven Sleepers
A short walk from the archaeological site of Ephesus takes the visitor to the caves. According to the legend, seven Christian boys fled here trying to avoid the persecutions of Emperor Decius. The Roman guards trying to catch them sealed up the caves with the boys inside. They felt asleep only to be awaken by an earthquake in the 5th century when Christianity was a state religion. The cave became a destination for pilgrims. Today the actual cave site has been fenced off but access is provided via a hole in the fence.
Cave Dwellings of Cappadocia
Cappadocia, an area in center Turkey, is home to several dwellings built in the volcanic layer of tufa which settled after an eruption 30 million years ago. It was very easy to build in that rock and the dwellings ensured cooler temperatures during summer and a good hideout during war time.