Caves of Arta
Located in the north-east of Mallorca, close to Arta, is where the Caves of Arta are situated. Strange stalactites and stalagmites that resemble Heaven and Hell can be found everywhere in the caves of Arta. The caves are credited for inspiring Jules Verne to write his book "Journey to the Centre of the Earth."
It is difficult to understand how French geologist Edouard Martel must have felt when he entered the caves for the first time in 1876, since they are now a popular tourist destination with lighting and music. Still the caves are dark, enigmatic, and menacing, however the lcoation of these caves have been known for a long time, including during the Christian conquest. The King of Spain at the time, Jaume I discovered 2000 Arabs hidden in this location. Also using the Caves of Arta were monks, pirates, and smugglers.
But at the request of Archduke Ludwig Salvator, Martel was the one who first explored and documented these grottoes.
The guided tours (guided visit lasts for 35-40 minutes and are available in Spanish, French, English and German), include special effects and go through the different chambers, with grotesque titles like Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. After going down the stairs into the chamber of "Hell", there is a show of lights and sounds. You can see stalactites hang like daggers defying gravity, from the lofty arched roof. One of the rooms is the similar in size as the nave of Palma Cathedral, and the stalagmite known as the Queen of Pillars, which is 22 meters tall, almost resembles a Gothic column. It is rising at a pace of 1 cm every 100 years, which indicates that it will be attached to the ceiling in another 5000 years or so.
At the end of the tour you'll walk up stairs exiting the caves with a spectacular view of the sea, ideal for pictures with the frame of the cavern exit area.
There are two parking lots, depending on the time of year. One parking area is exactly in front of the caves, which offers limited parking, and another is roughly 150 meters from the caves. You'll find a large "parking sign". During the summer months it can get very busy here, however, considering this cave is open all year round, during the off season, you'll find plenty of parking space.
For opening times, consult the official website.
The Caves of Arta are one of the most visited on the island. You can also read more about the other top caves to visit in Mallorca in our blog post found here. Alternative caves to visit are the Caves of Drach and the Caves of Hams, both situated near Porto Cristo, not to far from this location.