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Moravian Karst - Czech Republic

Punkva Caves

East of Prague, near the city of Brno is the Moravian Karst region. This limestone plateau is riddled with caves and gorges, the most popular being along the Punkva river.

Set deep in thick woodland, the caves are reached by tourist train from the car park. Near the cave entrance is a cable car that takes you up to the top of a huge collapsed cave. The sinkhole is 140m deep with a small river flowing through the bottom and the viewing platform overlaps the edge of the massive chasm.

The cave trip begins with a walking tour through some of the galleries with lots of lovely stalactite and stalagmite formations. Some of these are really spindly and elegant and there are some nice mirrored pools along the length of the walk. The walking route exits into the bottom of the sinkhole which looks even larger from below, with towering cliff walls and huge trees above.

The second part of the cave tour is done by boat and is really amazing. You travel down narrow passages filled by the Punkva river. Most of the route is very shallow with the floor visible although there are several deep sinkholes, one 18m deep with water bubbling up from an underground stream. In places the water seems to disappear under the cave walls hinting at further depths or hidden caves beyond reach. All the caves in this section are filled with impressive rock formations and textured walls, many reflected in the calm waters.

There are many more caves within the Moravian Karst, but the Punkva caves are particularly special. The trip through on the boat is really amazing and unlike any of the other caves in the region.

 

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