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The most amazing caves of Ukraine: you definitely didn't know about them

Albina PanchenkoNews
The most interesting caves in our country

In recent years, speleotourism has been attracting more and more outdoor enthusiasts. Extreme sports enthusiasts explore the longest and deepest caves in the world on their own or with groups, making their way through narrow crevices and underwater passages to see what is hidden from ordinary people.

Fortunately, Ukraine has a lot to offer fans of this activity.

Ozerna

In the village of Strilkivtsi in the Ternopil region, there is a small karst cave. It was first noticed in 1943 when locals were seeking shelter from the war. The discovery was a real lifesaver and saved many lives at that time.

After the end of hostilities, the underground passages began to be explored, although not as rapidly as desired. Today, only about 40% of the cave has been explored. Tourists are allowed to walk 130 kilometers, beyond which further exploration is prohibited. However, few people dare to cover even this distance.

Ozerna features various geomorphological formations such as organ pipes, gypsum figures, galleries, and crystallization forms. Thermal springs can also be found here. It's worth noting that the temperature in the cave does not exceed 12 degrees Celsius, so visitors should dress warmly and comfortably.

The most amazing caves of Ukraine: you definitely didn't know about them

Crystal

In the village of Kryvche, Ternopil region, there is an entrance to another fascinating cave. It is regularly open to tourists, but access inside is only permitted as part of a guided tour.

The underground labyrinth earned its name due to the walls, which are richly adorned with gypsum crystals. The temperature inside typically does not exceed +12 degrees Celsius, but it does not drop any lower either.

Interestingly, there is a stalagmite resembling a Christmas tree here, which remains present all year round. It is replaced every few years. Due to the high humidity, it dries very slowly.

The most amazing caves of Ukraine: you definitely didn't know about them

Atlantis

This is the only three-level cave in Podillia. It is located in the village of Zavallia, Khmelnytskyi region. Almost 80% of its beauty is crystallized, featuring spacious galleries, winding cavities, and narrow passages.

Just a few years ago, anyone could visit here. Today, access is only possible as part of a guided tour. The reason being that people nearly destroyed all the crystals due to their ignorance. Most tourists broke off "icicles" as souvenirs. No one could have imagined that such actions would harm Atlantis. The ice formations grow very slowly, with just one centimeter of layer forming every 5 millennia. That's why it's strictly forbidden to touch the walls now.

The most amazing caves of Ukraine: you definitely didn't know about them

Optimistic

This is the most famous cave in Ukraine. Most of us know about it from geography lessons because it is the largest gypsum cave in the world, spanning over 240 kilometers in length.

Optimistic is divided into ten districts, each with its own unique characteristics. Some areas are gray and unremarkable, while others are fascinating in their appearance, featuring lakes, crystals of unusual shapes, and galleries.

In certain areas, the cave passages are very dangerous, so access is permitted only with a professional guide. The entrance to the labyrinth is located in the village of Korolivka, Ternopil region.

The most amazing caves of Ukraine: you definitely didn't know about them

Uhrynska

This cave was discovered thanks to the curiosity of a local teacher. During the gypsum extraction process, workers accidentally punched a small hole. Instead of enlarging it, they informed the locals about it. One of the villagers decided to explore the discovery further. He created the entrance himself, which is still used by tourists today.

The cave comprises several very small halls and stretches for about 2 kilometers. Inside, visitors can observe gypsum crystals located in the western and northern sections.

While it's possible to visit Uhrynska independently, it's recommended that beginners book a guided tour due to the cave's complexity and potential hazards.

The most amazing caves of Ukraine: you definitely didn't know about them

Cinderella

This is the third longest man-made cave in the world. Most of it is located in Ukraine, in the village of Podvirne, Chernivtsi region. However, the entrance is located in neighboring Moldova, near the village of Criova.

Inside, Cinderella is completely covered with colorful clay. Interestingly, this natural material serves as a guide for explorers. Speleologists have crafted various figures from it to help travelers navigate through the cave.

The cave features several deep lakes, two wells, numerous passages, and galleries. The mineral bersenite has even been discovered here. Typically, it is found only at the bottom of ocean trenches. However, there are no crystals or secondary formations here; it's all about the water. The cave was flooded for a long time.

If you enjoy active leisure and extreme types of recreation, then this destination should be on your checklist. However, make sure to explore it only under the supervision of professionals.

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