If you’re into caving, more than 50 caves are waiting for you to explore them in İzmir.
These registered and recorded caves are concentrated in Ödemiş, Urla, Buca, Torbalı, Foça, Selçuk, Aliağa, Dikili, Karaburun, Kemalpaşa, Tire and Bornova districts. Especially Kemalpaşa, Torbalı, and Buca stand out in terms of the number of caves.
Beşpınar, Dereçalı, Yelköprü, and Dümbelek caves are important because of the formations in them, while Sütini, and Uyuzdere caves are important both for archeological reasons and their formations.
The 10 caves in Foça are the most important habitats of the Mediterranean Monk Seals.
If you’d like to know more about the caves that are in the city center and around the city, please visit the related pages.
Turkish Speleological Federation
The caves in İzmir are yet to be opened for tourism. So, the trained local and foreign groups who want to explore these caves need to contact the Turkish Speleological Federation.
President Bülent Genç: +90 532 453 28 02
Vice-President Attila Ülgen: +90 535 379 23 99
Cave Rescue Coordination Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Things you should know about caving
Caving (or speleology) is a sports branch and the scientific study concerned with the research and examination of caves. Speleology is the only nature sport that has sports and science intertwined. Sports branches such as walking, camping, and rope climbing as well as areas of expertise such as measuring and mapping and also science branches like geology, hidrogeology, and biology are all in the scope of speleology.
Speleology is not practiced individually. It should be performed within a compatible and experienced team who can get along, who knows each other well and who has a high sense of responsibility.
The caves should be entered only after completing necessary trainings and using compatible equipment for it is dangerous as much as it is enjoyable. The caves should be protected during visits since they are immovable cultural assets. Considering that a stalactite grows 2 cm in 100 years, in order to protect caves, one of the most important beauties of the nature, the following preventions should be effective:
- Unauthorized excavations in caves for treasure hunting etc. should be prevented,
- Prevention of any writings or markings on the walls in the caves that are or are not open to tourism,
- Avoiding to leave any waste to prevent the distortion of the biological environment and the natural beauty,
- Reporting the caves which has destruction to the Speleology Federation,
- The caves which haven’t been researched should be reported to the nearest research group and get registered.
The caves you can discover in the city center of İzmir are as follows:
- Sakarkaya Cave
Located on the Sakarkaya Hill in the village of Aşağışakran, the cave is 50 meters deep. There are a few bats in the cave, which has visually beautiful formations.
- Homeros (Kemikli) Cave
Located in Çamiçi village, within the Homer Valley Recreation Area established by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, the cave, according to legend, also hosted Homer for a period and Homer wrote some of his works here.
There are very few bats living in the 51-meter-long cave, and animals such as foxes use it as shelter from time to time.
- Gökdere Cave
The cave, which is named after Gökdere village, is 7 meters deep, 14 meters high and 43 meters long.
- İnilmez Lair
Located in the village of Kırıklar, Sivri Dağ, the cave is 69 meters deep and 98 meters long. The cave, which has visually beautiful formations, is today inhabited by bats and many polypods.
- İnilmez Lair 2
The cave, which is located in Sivri Dağ in the village of Kırıklar, is 35 meters long. Colorless spiders with thin and long legs can be seen in the cave.
- Karain Cave
Located in Sivri Dag, Kırıklar which is famous for its caves, Karain is 20 meters high and 25 meters long. The cave is home to many bats and pigeons.
- Baykuşlu (Owl) Cave
This cave, which takes its name from the owls it hosts, is located in Sivri Dağ in Kırıklar village. There are also many bats in the cave which is 20 meters deep.
- Dereçalı Cave
Another cave in the village of Kırıklar, Dereçalı is 16 meters deep and 52 meters long. It is possible to see bats in this cave which contains many stalactites.
- Sütunlu (Columned) Cave
Also in the village of Kırıklar, Sütunlu is 25 meters deep and 20 meters long. Inside, a large 15-meter-high column gives the cave its name.
- İnkaya Cave
One of the most famous caves in İzmir, İnkaya is located in Kocadağ, Yelki village. The cave, which is 34 meters deep and 188 meters long, was found in 1993 during archaeological studies. It was used as a cult during the Romans.
The deepest point of the cave, which is generally horizontal, partly vertical, is -30 meters. It is understood that the cave was used for settlement for a period.
- Beşpınar Cave
The cave, which is named after Beşpınar village, is 58 meters deep and 105 meters long. There are many bats and little mice in the cave which has beautiful formations.
- Çambel Cave
The cave, which you can visit in the Çambel village, is 46 meters deep and 91 meters long.
- Dereköy Cave
The cave, which is named after Dereköy village, is 10 meters deep and 37 meters long.
- Cıvgın Well
Also located in Dereköy, Cıvgın is a cave with a depth of 60 meters.
- Fetrek 1 (Küçükpınar) Cave
Located in the village of Vişneli, the cave is 7.5 meters deep and 44 meters long. The cave has galleries connected to the underground creek and has a horizontal and active main gallery as well as an inclined side gallery.
- Fetrek 2 Cave
Located in the village of Vişneli, the cave is 26 meters deep and 74 meters long.
- Başpınar Cave
Başpınar, also located in the village of Vişneli, is 8 meters deep and 50 meters long.
Around the City
The caves you can discover in the surrounding districts of İzmir are:
- Germiyan Cave
Developed in a fault trough at the Germiyan Village (Old Mazı Village area), the cave is about 25 meters deep. The cave which is about 1m wide ends with a collapsed area which is 6 meters in diameter and 3 meters in height. No formations are observed in the cave.
- Yelköprü Mağarası
The cave located in the Tufanuçuran Waterfall area in the Nebiler Village is 12 meters deep and 70 meters long. The cave, where many bats live, is a natural bridge over the creek passing through and has beautiful formations.
- Fok (Seal) Caves
The islands in front of Foça have been declared a special environmental protection zone because they are the habitat of the Mediterranean Monk Seals, one of the 12 rare mammals in the world. There are 9 caves recorded to have Mediterranean monk seals on these islands as breeding and living areas. In 1994, these caves were explored and mapped during the 'Mediterranean Monk Seal Conservation in Turkey Foca Pilot Project' conducted by the Cave Research Association (MAD) and the World Wildlife Foundation.
Of these caves, Fok 1 (8 meters in length) is on İncir Island; Fok 2 (15 meters in length), Fok 3 (7.5 meters in length), Fok 4 (30 meters in length) and Fok 5 (5.5 meters in length) are on Orak Island.
- Dipsizkuyu Cave
Located at Civa Madeni, the cave is 85 meters deep and has almost no formations.
- Peynirini Cave
Peynirini, which is also located in Civa Madeni, is 108 meters deep and 229 meters long. There are many bats in this cave which has large galleries.
- Hades Cave
Located near Yaylaköy, the cave is 8 meters deep, 23 meters high and 52 meters long. There are a few bats in the cave, which has beautiful formations and a large gallery.
- Aşağıovacık Sinkhole
The cave is located in Aşağıovacık village of Balıklıova village and it is 41 meters deep.
- Tezini Cave
The cave located at the Balıklıova Village Aşağıovacık region is 96 meters deep and 169 meters long. The first entrance of the cave, which starts with a 7 m diameter and continues to widen, is 50 meters deep. The number of bats living in the cave is low.
- Alcin Cave
The first room of the cave which is located at the Akçaşehir Village in Tire is covered with rocks by the villagers to be able to use as an animal pen. Altough there are archeological ruins in the second room of the cave there have been no excavations.
- Değirmen Cave
The cave located at the Akçaşehir Village is 5 meters long.
- Kapıkaya Cave
Located at the Akyurt Village, the cave is 20 meters long and is in front of a steep cliff.
- İncirlin Cave
This cave in Başköy is 25 meters long. Once used as an animal shelter, the cave is now used by the hedgehogs.
- Sulu Cave
The cave in Başköy is 10 meters long. Situated on a cliff called the Gelin Rock is called Sulu (Watery) Cave because of the accumulated water in the bowl-like structure during the winter. There are many fleas in the cave.
- Sütini Cave
The cave located on the Şirince village road is 32 meters deep and 212,5 meters long. It was detected during the archeological researches that the graffiti on the walls represented proper nouns and that the cave was used by the Byzantines in the 14th century.
- Kuşini Cave
The cave located at the Çevaşir Hill is 21,5 meters deep and has travertines.
- Damlataş Cave
Located at the Kurudağ region, the cave is 22 meters deep and 48 meters long.
- Korudağ 1 Cave
Located at Zeytinköy, the cave is 13 meters deep and 61 meters long.
- Korudağ 2 Cave
Aslo located at Zeytinköy, Korudağ 2 cave is 8 meters deep and 18 meters long. There are not many bats living in the cave which has a few nice formations.
- Bayrakçı 1 Cave
The cave, which is named after Bayrakçıtepe, is 5 meters deep and 17 meters long.
- Bayrakçı 2 Cave
This cave, which is also located in Bayrakçıtepe, is 13 meters deep and 30 meters long.
- Kurudağ Cave
The cave located at the Kurudağ region is a horizontal and dry one. The deepest point of the cave which is 42 meters long is -22 meters. The excavations revealed that the cave was used as a shelter in old times. The cave is also considered touristic since it has natural and archeological values.
- Dümbelek Cave
The cave located in the Yazbaşı Village is 16 meters deep and 164 meters long. Many bats live in the cave of which the last room has very admirable and neat formations.
- Maden Cave
This cave at the Yazıbaşı Village is 86 meters long.
- Onyx Mineral Cave
The cave at the Yazıbaşı Village is 30 meters deep.
- Uyuzdere Cave
Uyuzdere Cave, located in the village of Özbey, near the ancient city of Metropolis, was excavated in 1990. It was used as a settlement during the Roman period.
- İncirli Cave
This cave, again in the village of Özbey, is 16 meters deep and 270 meters long. A lot of bats live in the cave, named after the fig tree at the entrance.
- Güvercinli (Pigeon) Cave
Güvercinli, another cave in the village of Özbey, is 58 meters deep and 134 meters long. The cave is named after a large number of pigeons living in the 50 meter deep entrance, one of the two entrances.
- Beşikçi Cave
The cave located in the village of Kuşçuburun is 15 meters deep. Located on the edge of a wide plain, there is a small lake at the end of the cave.
- Sarı Kristal (Yellow Crystal) Cave
Located in the village of Dağkızılca, the cave is 45 meters deep and 80 meters long.
- Yağcılar Bottom
The cave, which is named after Yağcılar village, is 35 meters deep and 57 meters long.
- Yağcılar 1 Cave
This cave, which is also located in Yağcılar village, is 21.5 m deep.
- Yağcılar 2 Cave
This cave near Yağcılar 1 is 12 meters deep.
- Cılga Cave
Located in the Cılga Village, the cave is 40 meters long. During the archeological researches in 1993, it was found that the cave was a religious center that belonged to Goddess Hekate in 6th century B.C. and that it was very important in Anatolia in religious terms.
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