Almost half of turkey (40%) consists of bedrock suitable for the caustic dissolution which is an important asset in the formation process of caves. It is estimated that there are more than 20,000 caves in Turkey. Alanya is a town rich with cave formations because of its location on the skirt of the Taurus Mountains which have been formed from limestone. A vast majority of the caves in Alanya have similar limestone formations. Approximately 500 caves have been located in Alanya and its surrounding areas. Unfortunately not all of them are yet open to tourist visits. Dim cave and Damlata? cave (Dropstone cave) are probably the most well-known and both are very popular.
Cüceler cave which is located just above the elementary school on the way to Sapadere Village was opened to tourism in mid 2012. It lies 37km northeast of Alanya. Cüceler Cave was previously known only to the local villagers and has an interesting and entertaining history.
In the 1900’s i is believed that a dwarf who had been the subject of violence from his own family who lived in Tyrylar village (nearby to Sapadere Village) fled from his home and hid from his relatives in this cave. One day a Shepherd grazing his sheep caught sight of him and informed his family of what he had seen. The family came and found the dwarf and then took him into their house. Since this event the local people have named and referred to this cave as Cüceler...meaning 'dwarf’s cave'.
In the Ottoman period, local people who didn’t want to pay the taxes due on owning sheep and goats used the cave to hide their animals from any visiting tax collectors.
*Cüceler Cave is a natural caustic cave. It was formed by the carbonic acid (H2Co3), rich rain and snowy waters running through the faults and joints dissolving the limestone rocks. Tectonic is also effective in the formation and evolution of the cave.
Cüceler Cave has many different kinds of stalactites and stalagmites which are visible in crystallized limestone and have formed over 10’s of thousands of years. At present the dripstone formation is still continuing in various places.
One of the most interesting features of the cave is the incredibly colourful stalactites. An amazing array of colours, red, white, yellow, blue, green and more can be seen in the stalactites and tourists have been heard to call the cave 'Rainbow Cave'. According to research, the region is rich with the minerals that give these stalactites their colours.
It is said that the cave can also be beneficial for people suffering from asthma. The tourist suffering from health problems such as stress and depression often feels better in the cave's rural environment. The atmosphere in the cave remains constant. Its temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius and doesn’t change throughout the year. This cave already has a lot of interesting features but the studies are still being continued to uncover even more!
You can reach the cave via the 170 meter long walking-path made of wood and steel with ladders of 150 meters long and 6 of the caves galleries are available to visit at the present time. Compared with the Damlata? cave in central Alanya, this cave appears much larger. There are plans to open a further 100 meters and more galleries in the coming tourism season. The entrance fee is 6 Turkish liras (3 euro).
The Cüceler cave and its cafe with spectacular Taurus Mountain views and scented pine trees is an inviting place for the visitor looking for peace and relaxation. Don’t forget to indulge in a fresh Turkish tea at the cafe...