Caves, Majorca Island
I've been in many caves, all with the same type of beauty - the stalactites, stalagmites and water ponds. Some details make them all different but the Cuevas del Drach have something special: in the bottom of it, you sit in a large room and gently, softly in the dark, a small boat comes sliding in a silent rowing, while a few musicians perform delicate chamber music.
The acoustic conditions, the unusual ambiance, and the tranquility of the experience is something to remember. I've been there twice, and will not be surprised if it happens a third time.
Another VTer wrote me suggesting that I should add:
"(...) it is very important to enter Porto Cristo, and then to follow only the signs marked clearly "CUEVAS DEL DRACH", because there are another caves nearby, and it is easy to be misleaded"
I did it, with pleasure. Thanks Maiorica
Cuevas del Drach (Caves of the Dragon) is one of the popular tourist spots on east coast of Mallorca, next to Porto Cristo a small fishing town 67km away from Palma.
The entrance fee is 12euros and at the ticket office you can see when is the next time slot available for you. We waited for the next guided tour to start for about 20’ and then a guide took us down to the caves. Have in mind that there several steps.
The guide that walks slowly into the caves for about 800 meters and explains some things on several stops so we could check the fascinating formations of stalactites and stalagmites (they go together) that are spread through out different bigger or smaller caves.
Geologic Edward Alfred Martel explored the caves in 1896 officially but there were people that tried or just get lost inside the caves from 1878.
At the end of the tour we reached a much bigger cave that houses the largest underground lake in the world (Lago de Martel)! People stand on the constructed benches of the amphitheatre and then the lights go down…
The guide explains again some things about the cave and then you listen to some classical music while three gondolas(!) are coming from the shadows while they are litted! After a while you realize that the music is coming from people on the gondolas that play in front of you while they float for 15’. The show is touristic of course but if the people around are quite you will love it, soft lighting makes the experience even more atmospheric. They say that the play the same classical music the last 50 years.
After the small show you can take a small ride with the boat on lake Martel or just walk outside through the last cave as we did because the queue was too long.
The whole tour took us about 50’.
Although some years before you could take pictures inside (without flash) now it’s strictly forbidden.
The caves are open daily 10.45-12.00 and 14.00-15.30 (Nov-Mar);
10.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00 (Apr-Oct)
Easily reachable by bus and boat, these caves are really worth a visit! Incredibly stunning, with a Mozart concert on a lake inside the caves at the end of 1 hour excursion. You should try to get in first and be closer to the tour guide, because normally they let 300-400 people at a time in summer! Although don't stresas if you don't end up hearing the guide, they really just give minimum info. Excursions are family friendly, lots of kids were there during our visit.
There are limestone caves dotted all over Majorca, although the best known ones are the "Cuevas del Drach" which are situated just outside the pleasant little marina town of Porto Cristo.
The caves appear to be on every bus trip tour of the Island , so if you visit in the afternoon then be prepared to part of a milling throb of people.
The caves themselves are spectacular with thousands of stagaltites and stalagmites to see in the various caves.
Towards the end of the walk you enter a much larger cavern with a large lake in front of it. Maybe a thousand people are seated ready for the performance to begin. We were expecting a sound and light show to really 'show-off' the main cave perhaps the Ride of the Valkyries or the 1812 overture played at full pelt. Instead three little rowing boats with lights around their plimsol lines eeriely came out of the shadows with their oarsman dressed in black hooded capes.
The middle boat also contained a cloaked man playing haunting tunes on his Yamaha electric organ.
It put me very much in mind of the Greek legand of the underworld where Charon rows you across the river Styx on your journey from this world to the next.
The crowd seems quite ecstatic, although I`m not sure if they were just easily pleased or taking the mick out of it all !
After the performance you can continue the walk through the last cave or take a very short boat trip. If the place is full you will be waiting a long time for your personal ride across the river Styx.
After your tour of the caves it ends with a floodlit,floating violin concert on Lake Martel,Europes largest underground lake,named after the French geologist Edouard Martel who first explored these caves in the late 19th century.
Mallorca's most famous caves are the Cuevas del Drach (Dragon's caves).
If you are intrested in stalactite caves it is worth to make an excursion there, but don't expect too much. After exploring the cave you'll reach a subterranean lake, where the guides invite you to see a performance containing lighting effects and classical music. The performance is about 20 minutes, after that you'll leave the cave in a boat, if you wish.
Remark, that it is much colder in the cave than outside, so take at least a warm jumper.
These caves, close to Porto Christo are amazing.
They are large and beautifully lit and our guide was well informed and helpful. There is an auditorium inside next to a small lake and illuminated boats with musicians in them sailed in, playing a lovely piece of classical music. Definalely a must see, and lovely and cool inside on a very hot day
The Caves of Drach are the most famous tourist attraction on the island of Mallorca. The caves are also home to Lago Martel (Lake Martel), one of the largest subterranean lakes in the world. The former French lawyer and famous speleologist Édouard-Alfred Martel (1859-1938) entered the Caves of Drach for the first time in 1896. Here, he discovered a natural niche in the rock known as La ventana (the window), which allowed him a spectacular view of Lago Martel (Lake Martel), and the new part of the cave beyond, which is known as Cueva de los Franceses (Cave of the French). You can take a boat ride on the lake and see the beautiful limestone formations, including stalagmites and stalactites. As part of the journey underground, you are accompanied by the sound of musicians performing classical music every hour on a boat.
OPENING TIMES: Daily 1045-1200 and 1400-1530 (Nov-Mar); 10001200 and 1400-1700 (Apr-Oct). Closed 1 Jan and 25 Dec
Arriving at the Caves Of Drach you wonder where thay could be situated as all around is pine trees and the sea. A visit consists of one of the wonders that nature has to offer, you escape from the world above into a time and place that has no time or space, it is truly another eternity. There are various names for parts of the cave like Diana's Baths and Jacobs Stairs.
A visit lasts about 1 hour and consists of 700 meters, 150 can be taken by boat on the lake Martel.
The caves are illuminated by soft lighting, this was the idea of the late Carlos Buigas.
It took 15 months to finish it and the power is a staggering 100.000 watts! This is a fact that 630 meters of the submarine cable that crosses the lake came from a special lot in the New York-Liverpool undersea cable, and was bought in London in pesetas at 125 a meter.
The cave consists of Millions of stalactites and stalacmites and as the ceiling is not very high it gives a better view of the thousands tightly packed stalactites, you walk past and as you touch them they give a feeling like wax, this being so many hands have touched them smoothing the edges, the trip takes you down into the Amphitheatre where you are seated along wooden pews and the lights are taken out.
You sit and wait wondering whats going to happen when appear are 3 gondolas lit with tiny lights. The rest you just have to sit and watch in absolute amazement.
These limestone caves on the edge of Porto Cristo have become one of the top tourist sights. There are almost 2 km of huge chambers and spectacular formations inside well worth a visit.
Go to the east coast to discover all the small bays and caves! I have also lived in Alcudia, i have got one word for the beach there: BORING. You have got to see the east coast.
These are some of the most spectacular views in the world of an cave like this one.
As anyone who has ever been here will surley agree.