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Arta Caves

The Arta Caves are among the Mallorca’s most spectacular attractions. Located in the in the northeast of the island, they are a fascinating network of underground caverns, whose forests of stalactites and stalagmites conjure up mysterious images of heaven and hell. An early admirer was Jules Verne and the caves are said to have inspired his epic novel, Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Long before they were a tourist attraction, they offered refuge to humans. King Jaume I of Aragon found 2,000 Moors hiding here along with their cattle during the Christian conquest in the 13th century and they were later used by hermits, pirates and smugglers. However the caves were nor thoroughly explored and mapped until 1876. The tour comes with special effects and the various chambers have been given Dantesque names: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The descent into Hell is swiftly followed by a son et lumière display. Stiletto-like Stalactites point down from the roof, somehow defying gravity. One of the chambers is as large as the nave of Palma cathedral and the Queen of Pillars, a stalagmite 22m tall, could almost be a Gothic column. It is growing upwards at the rate of 2cm every 100 years, which means that in another 5,000 years or so it will be joined to the ceiling. You emerge from the caves to a view of the sea, framed by the cavern entrance. The Arta Caves are among the Mallorca’s most spectacular attractions. Located in the in the northeast of the island, they are a fascinating network of underground caverns, whose forests of stalactites and stalagmites conjure up mysterious images of heaven and hell. Duration: About 40 minutes inside the caves. Start/opening time: 10am all year around. End/closing time: May to October 6pm and November to April 5pm. Languages: Spanish, English and German. Others: Footwear with good grip is advisable.