The thought of caving makes me shiver with anticipation. Discovering such an incredible aspect of our planet would be a unique and rewarding experience.
At the same time, the tight spaces, gross bugs, constant darkness, narrow slick paths and deep gorges scare me at such an intimate level; they twist a primeval distress so powerful, my whole body grows weak and cold.
Caving in Brno – Moravian Karst
The four hundred caves accessible from the second-largest city of the Czech Republic are contained within the Moravian Karst. Only five of these caves are open to the public, on a regular basis.
Located in the northern part of the Moravian Karst, the hour-long tours of Balcarka Cave begin with Balcar’s Cliff, and then go through an artificial tunnel. The first stop is Wilson’s Rotunda, a room with a thirty-foot ceiling. Then on to Foch’s Hall and other locations with scenery like the one below.
Guided tours run Tuesday through Sunday. Prices are 100/80CZK (adults/+65). In Canadian money, this is C$5.52 and C$4.45.
In the heart of the Moravian Karst, Katerina’s Cave has the shortest tour, the easiest to access with public transportation and the less physically demanding. No free images were available, but this link has good ones.
Tour prices are 80 CZK for adults and 60 CZK for seniors (C$4.45 & C$3.35). The official site says they are 40 minutes long.
Punkva Caves are the most popular. A ‘romantic’ river cruise on the Punkva River and a visit to the bottom of the Macocha Abyss are attractive draws.
Tours cost 170/150CZK (adult/+65) for 60 mins., 150/130CZK for 75 mins. (shortened boat trip), and 100/80CZK for 55 mins. (without boat trip).
Centuries ago, Vypustek Cave was an underground complex: a secret command post, an atomic bomb shelter and a factory. The official tour is 75 mins. and costs 110/90CZK. Lots of other sites offer longer tours, as does Excursiopedia (amazing pictures on their site).
The photo above is from Grayline.com. Their tours are four hours long and cost US$114 for two people – including transportation from Brno.
These caves are an extensive system of corridors, domes and the 80 meter Nagel Chasm, the deepest underground gorge in the Czech Republic. Animal carcasses and part of a Neanderthal’s skull (120,000 years old) were unearthed here.
There are short 60 mins. tours (100/80CZK). The 70 mins. ones have a historical focus (120/80CZK). Longer tours are 100 mins. (130/90CZK). There is also the adventure trail: In the footsteps of Nagel, a 180 mins. tour for the physically fit. Cost is 500CZK (C$27).
Caving in Brno – Last Words
If travelling from Brno, buy train tickets in advance to reduce costs. Trains take twenty-five minutes to reach Blansko. From there, tourists board a bus, and then an ecological train and finally, a cableway to the caves. Some require hiking to the entrance. If visiting in July or August, buy tour tickets at least a week ahead of time.
Caving in Brno – In May
It will be a struggle to overcome the anxiety, but I plan to go Caving in Brno, mid-May. I’ll report first-hand and make my decision on its difficulties, after the adventure.
Reviews of the site from travellers: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g274714-i1153-k3799364-Moravian_Karst_and_Transportation_questions-Brno_South_Moravian_Region_Moravia.html
Cave administration: http://www.jeskynecr.cz/en/caves/sloup-sosuvka-caves/
Copyright 2013 - 2016. All rights reserved. Monique Martel.