Magnificent Caves Around The World in Americas and Europe

by Jackie
Caves Around The World in Europe: Benagil Sea Cave in Algarve, Portugal

Interested in seeing something new and different for your travels? Consider exploring caves on your next adventure! Caves are naturally forming (or could be man made) over thousands of years. It’s quite a sight to see the stalactites, stalagmites, crystals, cave paintings, and even waterfalls in the caves.  

We asked 57 travel bloggers (or cave adventurers!) to share their favorite and most magnificent caves around the world, and this first part contains caves from Americas and Europe that you need to see. Check out the second part which focuses caves in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Click on the countries below to learn more about the caves.


Caves In North America

1. Mammoth Cave – Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, United States of America

Contributed by Roxanna from Gypsy With A Day Job

When it comes to caves around the world, there is no doubt the Mammoth Cave in the central United States is special. After all, it’s the longest known cave system in the entire world, with over 412 miles (663 km) of explored passages! It’s a complex karst topography that forms this labyrinth of passages, winding deep under the surface, as well as sinkholes and waterfalls.

Mammoth Cave sometimes surprises visitors, who expect the features of wet cave systems when they enter. But Mammoth includes both wet and dry sections, so not every section will include the stalagmites and stalactites. However, every known cavern formation is found somewhere within the cave. You cannot miss the Frozen Niagara!

Mammoth Cave is one of only three cave based National Parks in the United States, so the cave is well maintained. Rangers provide guided tours, and there are many educational programs offered. Mammoth Cave is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an International Protected Biosphere. That is a whole lot of special!

Located in the center of western Kentucky, it’s off US Interstate 65, about halfway between Louisville and Nashville. Take the exit at Cave City, and head west to the park.

Caves Around The World in North America: Mammoth Cave in Tennessee, U.S.A

Mammoth Cave. Photo credit: Gypsy With A Day Job

Read More: Explore North America & South America Waterfalls

2. Lehman Cave – Great Basin National Park, Nevada, United States of America

Contributed by Megan from Red Around The World

Lehman Cave in Great Basin National Park in the middle of nowhere Nevada is an awesome experience with a quirky history. Lehman Cave is one of the must-do activities in the park. There are two tours available that you can get tickets for the day of at the visitor center (subject to availability.) If you’re worried about missing it, book ahead. The Lodge Room Tour is 60 minutes, while the 90-minute option is the Grand Palace Tour, including everything in the Lodge Room Tour. I recommend the 90-minute tour if possible.

On the tour, we learned some fun cave history. Part of the movie, “Wizard of Mars,” was filmed here and meetings also used to be held here. I would say the best thing we learned though, was that Mr. Absalom Lehman, the person who found it gave tours of the cave. But it wasn’t your average tour with a guide. It was more of an “I’ll take your money. Here is a candle. Hopefully, I’ll see you outside and enjoy,” kind of tour.  

Not only was it a DIY tour, visitors often broke off formations as souvenirs and inscribed their names on the walls. While we weren’t allowed to do that (for good reason), I loved the 60 minute tour and would definitely do the longer one as well. It’s right at the Lehman Cave Visitor Center in Great Basin National Park, outside the sleepy town of Baker, Nevada.

Caves Around The World in North America: Lehman Cave in Great Basin National Park, Nevada, U.S.A

Lehman Cave. Photo credit: Red Around The World

3. Secret Caverns – Howes Cave, New York, United States of America

Contributed by Kevin from Wandering Wagars

Secret Caverns is a surreal and exciting underground world with a surprise hidden at the end. This natural treasure, hidden among the rolling farmland of Howes Cave, New York, is a must-see for visitors to the upstate area. Visitors are greeted by quirky, hand drawn paintings that show off the fun-loving nature of the Secret Caverns owners. And once your tour starts, it’s clear that this 1-hour tour will be something special.

Secret Caverns was discovered by a falling cow in 1928. While that seem a bit quirky on its own, it’s the story of the caves exploration as told by the tour guide that makes Secret Caverns worth the 45-minute drive from Albany, New York.

But the true treasure of Secret Caverns is the 100 feet (30.5 meters) waterfall located at the end of the cave. The waterfall sneaks up on you, but when it appears suddenly as you round a corner, the view will take your breath away.

Caves Around The World in North America: Secret Caverns Waterfall in Howes Cave, New York, U.S.A

Secret Caverns. Photo credit: Wandering Wagars

4. Lost Sea Adventure – Sweetwater, Tennessee, United States of America

Contributed by Lee and Stacey from One Trip At A Time

The Lost Sea Adventure is on the western side of the Great Smoky Mountains at Sweetwater, about 7 miles from I-75 exit 60. A large sign clearly marks the turnoff from Highway 68.

Your tour starts within Sweetwater Village which is a collection of shops and attractions, including a Gem Mine, Ice Cream Parlour, and a 1/3 mile (.5 kilometer) nature trail to explore while waiting for your tour.

Once your tour is ready, your guide will take you on a ¾ mile (1.2 kilometers) walk through the caverns, pointing out interesting features, and history of the caves. You’ll see common features found in caves such as stalactites, stalagmites, crystals, etc.

The end of the tour is the best part because you get to take a boat ride underground! The guide warns you it’s the equivalent of descending a 13 story building to get there. At the bottom you see a milky turquoise lake lit from within and pontoon style boats which take you for a ride across the lake. Taking a boat ride 140 feet (42.7 meters) underground is a surreal and memorable experience and recommended to add a unique aspect to a cave tour.

Caves Around The World in North America: Lost Sea Adventure in Sweetwater, Tennessee, U.S.A

Lost Sea Adventure. Photo credit: One Trip At A Time

5. Natural Bridge Caverns – San Antonio, Texas

Contributed by Donna from Empty Nestopia

Have you been to a living cave? Living caves have insulated doors installed at the entrances to maintain the temperature and humidity within the cave system. Natural Bridge Caverns located north of San Antonio, Texas is a living cave system. Natural Bridge Caverns have towering ceilings covered in stalactites, bacon ribbons, stalagmites stretching to the ceiling, and massive pillars like other caves. What makes a living cave different from other cave systems is that the farther you walk into the cave the warmer it gets inside. There is no air current passing through the caves pulling out the air moisture and cooling the overall temperature. Being a lover of spelunking, this shift in temperature was an interesting experience. I had initially donned layers to ward off the expected chill. I ended up carrying my coat.  

Caves Around The World in North America: Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio, Texas

Natural Bridge Caverns. Photo credit: Empty Nestopia

6. Grutas de Cacahuamilpa – Taxco, Mexico

Contributed by Patrick from German Backpacker

Outside of the town of Taxco in state of Guerrero in Mexico, you’ll find the huge and impressive Grutas de Cacahuamilpa – the cave system is one of the largest in the world! You can visit Taxco and the Grutas as a day trip from Mexico City, which is what I did, or spend the night in town. After arriving in Taxco, you can reach the caves either by bus or by taxi. Once there, your entrance ticket will include a guide and you’ll explore the caves together in a group. We walked for around one hour further and further into the cave and it seemed like there is no end to it. You’ll walk through the different salons and lights will show you all the incredible rock formations. The tour will take you two hours in total. Afterwards, make sure to save some time to explore Taxco as well, which is a very nice town offering great views of the surroundings.

Caves Around The World in North America: Grutas de Cacahuamilpa in Taxco, Mexico

Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. Photo credit: German Backpacker

7. Cenote Caracol Caves – Tulum, Mexico

Contributed by Nate from TravelLemming

A few miles away from the beautiful beaches of Tulum lie some of the most unique cave complexes in the world. The Cenote Caracol Caves are unique because they include both a magical cave complex that you can wander through. There is a boardwalk constructed through the best part of the caves, making them easy to explore. Also, there is an underground “cenote” in which you can swim through the massive underground river network that submerges large parts of this complex.

To get to the cave, you’ll need to hire a taxi from Tulum and pay the 500 peso ($24 USD) entrance fee. Be sure to bring a swimsuit and town so you can swim in the cenote! If you’re adventurous and experienced at diving, you can even go diving inside the cenote.

The best part of visiting the Caracol caves and cenote is that they are an underrated attraction near Tulum. You won’t have to compete with hordes of tourists like you might at the more popular cenotes around Tulum!

Caves Around The World in North America: Caracol Caves in Tulum, Mexico

Caracol Caves. Photo credit: TravelLemming

8. Carwash Cenote – Tulum, Mexico

Contributed by Crystal from Castaway With Crystal

The more underground cave systems I visited in Mexico, the more I wanted to see! The Yucatan is famous for them; the whole peninsula is full of them. One underground cave has a special place in my heart. Cenote Carwash is named after local taxi drivers used the waters from there to wash their cars. It was a particularly good place for them because each new day, all their soap and cleaning products had disappeared from the water! This “phenomenon” sparked one of the first cenote cave explorations in the area to find out where the suds went.

Nowadays, no one cleans their cars here. Instead, it’s a beautiful cenote to swim or scuba dive. Its initial appearance is that of a large pond, complete with lily pads, turtles and even a resident caiman. For diving, it’s even better! Adorned with colorful rock decorations, stalactites, and giant fallen trees at the entrance of the cave give this cenote and eerie and other-worldly vibe!

Caves Around The World in North America: Carwash Cenote in Tulum, Mexico

Carwash Cenote. Photo credit: Castaway With Crystal

9. La Cueva del Indio – Viñales, Cuba

Contributed by Gábor from Surfing the Planet

One of the main highlights in your trip to Cuba is Viñales, a fantastic national park situated in the Eastern end of this Caribbean Island. In this area apart from the interesting mountain formations, you’ll have the chance to visit a series of interesting caves. The most famous of them is La Cueva del Indio with more than 300 meters (984 feet) of longitude. Aboriginal people inhabited the cave and their cave drawings are still conserved on the walls.

Located on the San Vicente River, this natural wonder is a UNESCO World Heritage site and discovered by Juan Díaz, a local peasant in 1920. Inside the cave you can also contemplate wonderful stalagmite formations. In the cave utilities used by the aboriginal people were also find, and the cave also served as a funeral place. The cave contains a subterranean river and you can realize a boat trip to admire its beauty. Viñales is located about 160 km (99.4 miles) from Havana, and accessible by bus in approximately 3 hours.

Caves Around The World in North America: La Cueva del Indio Cave in Vinales, Cuba

La Cueva del Indio Cave. Photo credit: Surfing The Planet


Caves in Central America

10. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave – San Ignacio, Belize

Contributed by Allison from Eternal Arrival

The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, called the ATM cave for short, is one of the world’s most famous caves. In fact, National Geographic even named it the most sacred cave in the world due to its significance to Mayan communities who lived in this part of Belize hundreds of years ago. Located in the jungle of Belize’s interior, ATM cave is several kilometers deep and filled with turquoise blue water that quickly turns pitch black as the cave gets darker and deeper. Using headlamps, you must swim, float, and squeeze past rocks in order to traverse the cave.

You must climb a large rock that brings you to an enormous underground atrium, where you can find the remnants of broken pottery. The pottery appears broken on purpose, and anthropologists believe this was to free the “spirit” inside the pottery. Things take a darker turn when you find the remains of more than 10 human sacrifices, some of them children, preserved in the cave. They are thought to be sacrificed as the Mayan civilization was ending from persistent drought. You can only visit the cave on an official ATM cave tour and photos are not allowed after a man dropped his camera on a skull, leaving a giant hole in it. Even without being able to take photos, it’s a remarkable experience and well worth the hefty cost of a tour.

Caves Around The World in Central America: Table Rock Jungle Lodge in San Ignacio, Belize

Pretty flowers at the Table Rock Jungle Lodge. Photo credit: Eternal Arrival

11. Semuc Champey Caves – Lanquin, Guatemala

Contributed by Harriet from Hats Off World

If you’re an adrenaline-junkie, the tour of the Semuc Champey Caves in Guatemala will be right up your street. Imagine walking into pitch black caves holding your own personal candle, shining light ahead as you wade through the mysterious waters. Combine this with cliff jumping and cave slides into pools, it’s not for the faint hearted, but is a lot of fun.

After exploring the caves, the tour includes a giant swing into the river, tubing, bridge-jumping, lunch, a hike up to the spectacular viewpoint overlooking the natural pools, and then a dip in the pools.

The whole day costs around $25 but is worth it; it’s action-packed, good to have a guide, and a great place to meet other travellers.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to allow enough time to get here. Semuc Champey is in the middle of nowhere, close to the small village, Lanquin. As the tour starts early, I would suggest arriving in Lanquin the night before. Take a collectivo bus to Lanquin. Two popular hostels are Zephyr Lodge, a party hostel with an infinity pool in the jungle, and El Retiro, a little more chilled.

Caves Around The World in Central America: Semuc Champey in Lanquin, Guatemala

Semuc Champey. Photo credit: Hats Off World


Caves in South America

12. Cuevas de las Manos – Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

Contributed by Owen from My Turn To Travel

The enigmatic Cuevas de las Manos (Caves of the Hands) in Argentina is one of the finest exhibit of ancient rock. It’s the largest and most dramatic display of hand prints in the world.

Believed to be painted more than 9000 years ago, the paintings include not only hand prints, but also depictions of guanacos (a relative of the llamas), rheas, puma prints, hunting scenes and some images thought to be evil spirits.

The painting method, the scale of the rock art, the mystery and history of the tribes have resulted in UNESCO declaring the site a Heritage Site in 1999. What makes this site stand out from the others in this list is that even though it’s called, “Caves of the Hands,” the area is not technically a cave. Rather it’s a series of rock overhangs at the base of a cliff-face.

This area is remote and out of the way. In fact, I was the only person on the guided tour when I visited in off-season. The best way to get there is to drive or hire a driver from Los Antiguos or Perito Moreno town in Argentina.

Caves Around The World in South America: Cuevas de las Manos in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

Cuevas de las Manos. Photo credit: My Turn To Travel

13. Marble Caves – Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile

Contributed by Taylor from Travel Outlandish

From the photos, Chile’s Marble Caves (Capilla de Mármol) look too colorful to believe. But get up close, and you’ll find that – Photoshopped or not – the Marble Caves are actually that vivid. What makes them so pretty? The calcium carbonate has been shaped by the currents of the lake for more than 6,000 years; as the glacial lake is a shade of brilliant blue rarely seen in nature, it’s something otherworldly when the marble catches the water’s reflection. To experience the Marble Caves for yourself, you can hire a boat or kayak from Rio Tranquilo. Go early morning when the water is super blue and the current is low enough for you to navigate them from the inside!

Caves Around The World in South America: Marble Caves Chile Puerto Rio Tranquilo

Marble Caves. Photo credit: Travel Outlandish

14. Lava Tunnels – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Contributed by Thea from Zen Travellers

The Galapagos Islands are a place like no other and even their caves are special, in that they’re not even actually caves per se. The archipelago is one giant volcano with both active and dormant sections. Ancient lava flows created cave-like features in the landscape when the lava cooled as it flowed across the land. While this happened, the outer part of the flow cooled and made a crust while the hot magma inside carried on scorching whatever was in its path. As time passed, the flows eventually eroded into the lava tunnels found throughout the Galapagos Islands.

There are various sites throughout the Island where lava tunnels can be seen, including a small one outside of the town of Puerto Ayora. I recommend the Bellavista lava tunnels that is reachable by bicycle or taxi ride and only cost $3.50 USD to enter. The tunnels carry on underground for 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) underground and are lit inside so it’s not the end of the world if you forget your flashlight. Keep your eyes peeled for owls as they hang out in the tunnels. The tunnels also finish at a nice little café where you can enjoy a cold beverage at the end of your tunnel adventure.

Caves Around The World in South America: Lava Tunnels in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Lava Tunnels. Photo credit: Zen Travellers


Caves in Europe

15. Magura Cave – Rabisha, Bulgaria

Contributed by Michael Gerber from MSC Gerber

The Magura Cave doesn’t seem too exciting at first because it’s not touristy at all. I found out about it by accident, and was happy about that. Located in Bulgaria, the Magura Cave is 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) from Belogradchik, which is a famous place for travelers (and also worth a visit). Once you’re inside the cave you’ll get rewarded with the impressive size of it and some of the oldest paintings ever made by humans.

The entrance is only allowed with a guy who didn’t speak any English. You receive an information guide which is copied from Wikipedia but contains many interesting information.

To me the Magura Cave was one of the biggest and positive surprises during my Bulgaria trip. It’s a special place to visit and even more if you’re interested in history.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Magura Cave in Rabisha, Bulgaria

Magura Cave. Photo credit: MSCGerber

Read More: Explore Waterfalls in Europe

16. Saeva Dupka – Lovech, Bulgaria

Contributed by Stephanie from Sofia Adventures

Before moving to Sofia, I had no idea how many caves in Bulgaria are worth exploring! My favorite so far is Saeva Dupka, known as the “Underground Pearl of Bulgaria.” The cave is stunning and packed with massive stalagmites and stalactites. Inside you feel like you’re exploring a natural cathedral, since the decorative ceilings go up to over thirty meters (98 feet) in some places.

While at the cave, we took a tour. However, the tour was entirely in Bulgarian, so we didn’t learn much about the cave until later when we came home to research what we’d seen.

To get there, the easiest way is to rent a car in Sofia and take a day trip out. You can also visit Prohodna Cave, Troyan Monastery, and other interesting sites in the area, since you’ll have your own transportation. The roads in this part of the country are easy to get around on.

Caves Around the World in Europe: Saeva Dupka in Bulgaria

Saeva Dupka. Photo credit: Sofia Adventures

17. The Blue Cave – Biševo Island, Croatia

Contributed by Eric and Lisa from Penguin and Pia

If you’re looking to explore a cave carved out by the ocean, then look no further than to Croatia! The famous Blue Cave draws visitors from far and wide. It’s located on Biševo Island, which is one of the Croatian islands outside of Split, and only accessible by boat from the mainland or from a closer island, like Hvar or Vis.

Once on Biševo, you’ll have to buy a ticket to visit the cave with a local guide. They have special flat boats that are able to enter the small cave entrance.

Inside the cave, you’re treated to the most spectacular hue of blue you’ll ever see. The light reflecting from outside, off the sandy bottom, and into the cave is what gives the cave its signature color. The waves become calmer and the temperature drops to a cooler level – that is if you’ve been outside in the Croatian sunshine all day!

Caves Around The World in Europe: Blue Cave in Bisevo Island, Croatia

Blue Cave. Photo credit: Penguin And Pia

18. Les Grottes de Maxange Cave – Dordogne, France

Contributed by Tracey from Pack the PJs

Les Grottes de Maxange, located in the beautiful Le Buisson-de-Cadouin, in the Dordogne region of France, is a not-to-be-missed attraction. It’s a recent discovery whilst quarrying back in 2000 and opened to the public in 2003. The area needs more exploration, so the cave tour is quite short. Don’t let this put you off! The 40-45 minutes tour is in French, though numbered English-language information is available to read. All I can say is ‘wow’ to what you see during the tour. Eccentric stalactites covers the ‘roof’ of the cave, which look more like coral as the fingers head in every imaginable direction. The stalactites are made of calcite, but you can also see large areas of aragonite crystals. Along with calcite, aragonite is also calcium carbonate, but the structure is very different.

The tour is fascinating. You get to see bear claw marks in the walls and hear the story of the discovery of the cave. Outside there is a pretty manicured garden with a small children’s play area. The coffee shop, which serves lovely coffee and cake, has outdoor seating. A shop sells nice gift items made from stones and minerals. This is definitely the best cave we have ever visited.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Les Grottes de Maxange Cave in Dordogne, France

Les Grottes de Maxange Cave. Photo credit: Pack The PJs

19. Grottes de Thouzon – Provence, France

Contributed by Nadine from Le Long Weekend

The Grottes de Thouzon, located not far from Avignon in the beautiful Provence region of France, makes an excellent day trip from the historic city. As with most underground caves, the Thouzon grottos aren’t much to look at from the outside. The simple door fixed to the mountain wall gives a clue that something lies within. Once inside, you’re transformed into an underground world of knobby stalagmites, pencil-thin stalactites, wafer-like draperies, shimmering underground lakes, and mystical cave pearls.

The guides who escort you through the caves make the experience what it is, with an informative narrative and amusing anecdotes! Near the end there is a light and sound show to show off one of the most impressive caves with its hundreds of stalactites that hang over an ancient pile of bat ‘deposits.’ Trust me, it’s more fascinating than it sounds! Luckily the aforementioned bats managed to escape the cave before it closed over permanently. Well, all but one – a baby bat fossil is still in the walls of this intriguing grotto today.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Grottes de Thouzon in Provence, France

Grottes de Thouzon. Photo credit: Le Long Weekend

20. Roman Burial Caves – Matala, Crete, Greece

Contributed by Erin and Ryan from Down Bubble

Matala, is a tiny beach town on the south coast of the Greek island of Crete. It takes around 3 hours from the more popular resort side of the island to drive there. Aside from a great beach and alfresco restaurants, the main attraction is the Roman Burial Caves. The Romans in the 1st and 2nd Century AD used the caves as tombs. They are a warren of small rooms cut into the impressive sandstone cliff which overshadows the main beach. You pay €3 ($3.50 USD) to enter the site. You’re allowed to climb the cliff using ropes to get to the highest levels and go in and out of the caves as you please.

These caves also have a more recent history evident in some painting left on the cave walls. In the 1960s and 1970s hippies came to Matala and took up residence in the caves, including Joni Mitchell who wrote a song about her time here. The hippie vibe remains in Matala even today and makes this tiny beach town a delight to stay in.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Roman Burial Caves in Matala, Crete, Greece

Roman Burial Caves. Photo credit: Down Bubble

21. Molnar Janos Cave Diving – Budapest, Hungary

Contributed by Halef from The Round The World Guys

Hungarian Parliament. Ruin Bars. Geothermal Baths. Everyone knows these things about Budapest. They are the go to things to do there. If you want to get off the beaten path and have at least an Advanced Open Water Scuba certification, you can get a view of Budapest that almost no one gets to see. While tourists relax in the hot baths above, you’ll experience what it’s like below them in Molnar Janos Cave.

Protected since 1992, Molnar Janos is a destination for divers who want to experience a true cave dive without having to go through the many advanced certifications you need to do it on your own. You need a special certification to dive in a cave, but MJ Cave Budapest offers an introduction to Cave Diving class that will allow you to dive supervised with very experienced divers.

The caves are pitch black, of course, but with proper lighting, you’ll see see-through fossils, interesting rock formations, and a species of blind shrimp that you’ll only find there. At times, you’ll even hear the subway rattling above!

Molnar Janos is a true adventure experience in Budapest that you won’t soon forget. If you are a scuba diver with at least Advanced Open Water, it’s something that you have to try. Seeing Budapest from above is incredible. Seeing it from beneath the surface is a unique experience.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Molnar Janos Cave in Budapest, Hungary

Molnar Janos Cave diving experience. Photo credit: Round The World Guys

22. Vatnajökull Glacier Ice Cave – Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Contributed by Kris from Nomad By Trade

Iceland is home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Winter visitors can venture deep inside to explore one of its ice caves. The bright blue glacial ice is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. With sunlight from above tricking through the rippled blue ice, you’ll feel like you’re walking along the bottom of the ocean. Streaks of black volcanic ash from eruptions hundreds of years ago add to the mesmerizing swirls in the walls and ceilings of the ice cave.

Vatnajökull is located along Iceland’s Ring Road in the southeastern part of the country. We visited with a tour that departed from the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. The road into Vatnajökull National Park is rough. I recommend taking a tour unless you have an appropriate vehicle and experience driving on Iceland’s backroads. The ice caves are only accessible during the winter as they flood during the warmer summer months. Plan your visit accordingly if you’re as enthralled by the incredible blue ice as I was.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave in Iceland

Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave. Photo credit: Nomad By Trade

23. Grotta del Bue Marino – Sardinia, Italy

Contributed by Kalena from Lost and Abroad

First discovered by locals in the 1950s, the caverns of Grotta del Bue Marino on Sardinia’s east shore has two access points. Either in the south by sea or in the north with a 40-minute hike from Cala Fuili beach. The cave’s name is from the nearly extinct Mediterranean Monk Seals (bue marino) who used to call the caverns home. The vast karst system is the largest in Italy reaching 45 miles (70 km) inland. Since most of it is underwater, speleo-divers have yet to explore the entire system.

The simplest way to visit is by booking a boat tour in the nearby town of Cala Gonone. The tour also showcases the surrounding beaches, incredible sea cliffs, and crystal clear coves iconic of the area. Once inside the cave, the hour-long guided tour allows visitors to view about half a mile (1 km) of the system on a metal boardwalk. The tour highlights include freshwater springs, colorful limestone formations, large mirror-like pools that reflect the stalactites above, and 4,800 year old petroglyphs from the pre-Nuragic period. 

Caves Around The World in Europe: Grotta del Bue Marino Cave in Sardinia, Italy

Grotta del Bue Marino Cave. Photo credit: Lost And Abroad

24. Grotta di Nettuno – Sardinia, Italy

Contributed by Chantal from Alleen Op Reis

My holidays on the beautiful island of Sardinia in the south of Italy started in Alghero. A city with a charming old town on the west coast of the island. From Alghero it’s a 30 minutes drive to Capo Caccia. This cape is 180 meters (590.6 feet) high and the last part of the drive is pretty spectacular. Park the car and walk until the end, you’ll see a staircase going down.

To reach the Grotta di Nettuno, you have to descend the 654 steps which are cut into the steep cliffs. The descent is not that hard, because the staircase provides you with beautiful views over the sea and has plenty opportunities for pictures. If you aren’t able to walk the stairs, there is also boat that goes to the cave which is located at sea level. The entrance to the cave is €13 / $15 USD (cash only!) and you’ll need to join a tour that goes every hour. The cave itself is also pretty spectacular and full of ancient stalactites and stalagmites. It’s estimated to be 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long. Unfortunately visitors can only access the first few hundred meters.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Grotta di Nettuno in Sardinia, Italy

Grotta di Nettuno. Photo credit: Alleen Op Reis

25. Jeita Grotto – Beirut, Lebanon

Contributed by Clemens from Travellers Archive

Traveling to Lebanon is one highlight in itself. Up until today, this beautiful country has not yet become a well-known travel destination, even though it’s home to several stunning sights. The Jeita Grotto is one of those. The cave is 18 kilometers (11.1 miles) from Beirut and accessible either by a rental car or a taxi. It’s situated in the Nahr al-Kalb valley.

The Jeita Grotto is a system of two separate karstic limestone caves that has an overall length of 9 kilometers (5.6 miles). It’s an amazing place to visit either as day trip from Beirut or as a stop on the way towards the North of the country. This cave was chosen as official finalist as one of the seven new wonders of nature. When visiting, you’ll be taken to the entrance of the cave by train before you individually explore the upper and the lower cave on your own. If the weather conditions are fine, you can also use the cable car.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Jeita Grotto in Lebanon

Jeita Grotto. Photo credit: Travellers Archive

26. Zonneberg Caves – Maastricht, Netherlands

Contributed by Karen from Wanderlustingk

The Zonneberg Caves in Maastricht, Netherlands are not real caves, yet they’re fascinating to visit.  These “caves” were created starting in Roman times after people excavated the stone for use in the city’s buildings. The caves are said to reach Belgium and the Resistance used the caves to smuggle out Dutch Jews. During World War II, the city of Maastricht lived inside the caves to be safe from bombings and the Nightwatch, the famous painting, was even stored inside this sprawling complex of caves that go for miles. You’ll need to take a tour with a knowledgeable guide to go inside, but the tour is interesting enough that both adults and kids will love it. You can drive take a boat from the city center. It’s also possible to walk.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Zonneberg Caves in Maastricht, Netherlands

Maastricht In The Caves. Photo credit: Kevin Gessner via Flickr

27. Bengali Sea Cave – Algarve, Portugal

Contributed by Claire from ZigZag On Earth

The Benagil Sea Cave, located in the Algarve region, South of Portugal, is one of the most famous in the world because of its combination of size, color, and access. Once you enter it, the huge cave has a beautiful round shape with rings of colors creating a dome-like natural cathedral. With 2 entrances at sea level and one natural skylight opening, the tones keep changing with the sun and the clouds. It’s like watching a live painting. And it even has a beach inside!

One of the best activities in the area is to join a boat tour either from Portimao, Albufeira, or Benagil to admire the whole magnificent coastline with its cliffs, rock formations and many sea caves. Opt for a small boat so that it can get inside and prefer mid-tide for best timing.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Benagil Sea Cave in Algarve, Portugal

Benagil Sea Cave. Photo credit: ZigZag On Earth

28. Postojna Cave – Postojna, Slovenia

Contributed by Kami from Kami And The Rest Of The World

One of the highlights of Slovenia and one of the most stunning places you’ll ever see is Postojna Cave. This tiny country has over 11 thousands caves in total. Postojna is always the most famous, most frequently visited, and gets all the hype for a reason. With over 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of underground passages, this is the second biggest cave in the world. Even if you get to see only a small percentage of it, you’re in for a treat. In the first part of the journey, the small electric train takes you some 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) inside the cave. Afterwards you walk the corridors for an hour. Your jaw will drop throughout this breathtaking place!

Postojna Cave is located around 1 hour driving from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The ticket isn’t the cheapest – €25 ($29 USD) for the cave only or €35 ($40 USD) if you combine it with the nearby Predjama Castle (definitely do that!) – but it’s worth the price. Keep in mind that it’s rather chilly inside, around 8 – 10℃ (46.4 – 50 ℉) so wear warm clothes!

Caves Around The World in Europe: Postojna Cave in Postojna, Slovenia

Postojna Cave. Photo credit: Kami And The Rest Of The World

29. Cuevas del Drach – Majorca, Spain

Contributed by Abby from The Winged Fork

The Cuevas of Drach, or Dragon Caves, are a major attraction in Majorca, Spain. Located near Porto Cristo on the East Coast of Mallorca, they are a network of four huge caves and an underground lake. The caves extend about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) in length. We could have spent a lot longer in them, had it not been for the friendly guards turning off the lights in each section and shooing us forward. The stalactite and stalagmite formations are awesome, especially the ones that look like Adam and Eve reaching out for each other.

At the end of the 45 minute walk through the cave, there is a short musical show on boats on Lake Martel. After which we received the options to cross the lake on boat or to walk by the lake. Even though it was a short 1 minute ride, we chose the boat. Who wouldn’t?

Caves Around The World in Europe: Cuevas del Drach in Majorca, Spain

Cuevas del Drach. Photo credit: TheWingedFork

30. Cova d’en Xoroi – Menorca, Spain

Contributed by Nienke from The Travel Tester

When the organizers of my trip told me we were about to have “drinks in a cave,” I decided to put on another layer. To be honest, it sounded chilly, dreadful, and I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as we drove up to the Cova d’en Xoroi bar on the island of Menorca in Spain, I realized it would be a different experience than I anticipated. As soon as you step through the entrance, you’re greeted by an incredible view over the ocean. You then walk along the cliff side over a path leading you to several wooden platforms with lounge chairs and different bars. It’s like stepping onto another planet!

Inside the rock walls, there are more bars, a dance floor and large seating area. I can recommend ordering the local favorite drink called, “Pomada,” a refreshing mix of gin with lemon juice. Get here early, because it’s a popular spot for people to watch the stunning sunset and soak up the magical surroundings. The opening times are Monday to Sunday from 3pm to 9pm.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Cova d'en Xoroi Bar Cave in Menorca, Spain

Cova d’en Xoroi Bar. Photo credit: The Travel Tester

31. St. Beatus Caves – Interlaken, Switzerland

Contributed by Arzo from Arzo Travels

One of the most beautiful places in Switzerland is the region of Interlaken. If you’re looking for a very unique place to visit then head to St. Beatus Caves. What is amazing about the caves is the fact that it’s even fun to visit even if you don’t go inside.

Let’s start with the cave itself. St. Beatus Caves should be on every Switzerland itinerary. Whether you visit by car or bus, it’s quite accessible. Once you get out of the car or bus, you need to hike five minutes and you’re there. Tickets are approximately €15 ($17.70 USD) and comes with a guided one-hour tour. During the tour, you’ll learn about the myth of the cave. It says that a mythological creature took shelter here in the 6th century. You’ll also see the stalactites and stalagmites formed by nature over millions of years ago.

After the tour, enjoy a drink at the restaurant in front of the caves. The views from there are amazing (hello Lake Thun) and make sure to stroll the area. Visiting St. Beatus Caves is not only about the caves but the stunning scenery which come for free.

Caves Around The World in Europe: St. Beatus Caves in Interlaken, Switzerland

St. Beatus Caves. Photo credit: Arzo Travels

32. Cheddar Gorge Caves – Somerset, United Kingdom

Contributed by Emily from Kids And Compass

Cheddar Gorge is England’s deepest gorge. You’ll find it in the Mendip Hills, in Somerset, south west England. Porous limestone form the Mendips and a network of caves are inside the gorge’s walls. Today you’re able to explore parts of these caves and the area makes for an interesting visit.

When Cheddar Gorge was first explored in modern times it became obvious that humans lived in one of the biggest caves for thousands of years. The caves stay at a constant temperature of around 8℃ (46.4℉) and provided protection from the elements and predators. “Cheddar Man,” the oldest complete human fossil ever found in the UK, was unearthed at Cheddar Gorge, along with many artifacts which helped scientists build up a picture of prehistoric life in the area going back 10,000 years.

In more recent times the caves at Cheddar are used to mature its famous cheese. On your cave tour through Gough’s cave you can see and smell the cheddar in its barrels. You’ll also see amazing stalactites and stalagmites, mineral deposits that appear to be running like candle wax, and learn how humans have used the cave over centuries.

Cheddar Gorge makes for an educational and fun day out, and reachable by car from the nearby cities of Bristol, Bath, or Wells.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Cheddar Gorge Cave in Somerset, United Kingdom

Cheddar Gorge Cave. Photo credit: Kids And Compass

33. Zip World Slate Caverns – Wales, United Kingdom

Contributed by Justine from Wanderer Of The World

One of the most unique caves I’ve ever come across during my travels is Zip World Slate Caverns, near Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales. When inside this underground cave, you have the opportunity to trampoline for an hour with a company called Zip World Bounce Below. How amazing is that?!

There are six trampolines in total, which are each connected by slides, climbing frames, and tunnels. But one word of caution – you’ve got to like heights as the highest trampoline is the same height as two double-decker buses!

I had great fun here as a birthday gift from my other half. It was such a unique, fun (and tiring) experience and something I’d recommend as a bucket list item. As a tip, check out Groupon vouchers as these caves often have discounted entry deals.

Caves Around The World in Europe: Zip World Slate Caverns in Wales, United Kingdom

Zip World Slate Caverns. Photo credit: Wanderer Of The World


We hope you enjoyed visiting the magnificent caves around the world in Americas and Europe! It’s amazing to see the uniqueness of each cave. Stay tuned for the second part of our caves around the world in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Which caves in Americas and Europe do you want to visit on your next traveling adventures? Let us know in the comments below!

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 Interested in caves? Let's see "Caves Around The World In Americas and Europe." Read what is unique about each cave and how to get there. The caves are in North America (U.S., Mexico, Cuba), Central America (Belize, Guatemala), South America (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador), and Europe. #Caves #CavesAroundTheWorld #ExploreCaves #BucketList #TravelIdeas #AmazingCavesExplore caves around the world in Americas and Europe! We're headed to caves in North America (U.S., Mexico, Cuba), Central America (Belize, Guatemala), South America (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador), and Europe. Learn about what makes each cave unique and how to get there. #Caves #CavesAroundTheWorld #ExploreCaves #BucketList #TravelIdeas #AmazingCaves

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