Çal Cave luring visitors despite pandemic
TRABZON –Demirören News Agency
Located in Düzköy district, at an altitude of 1,050 meters above sea level, the Çal Cave has been contributing to local tourism for about 14 years.
There are streams, waterfalls and ponds in the cave, which has a two-kilometer stainless steel walking route. It is believed that the Çal Cave, where stalactites and stalagmites reach a depth of 1.5 meters in some spots, is especially beneficial for people suffering from asthma and shortness of breath.
Known as the hidden paradise underground, the cave is visited all seasons. The historical castle on the cave has become one of the places frequented by foreign tourists in recent years. In the first 11 months of the year, 182,511 local and foreign tourists visited the cave, which was open within the scope of the pandemic measures this season. Last year, more than 150,000 local and foreign tourists, mostly from Gulf countries, came to the cave.
Cave operator Nedim Demir said that in line with the COVID-19 measures, there were limited visits.
“The number of visitors gradually increased every year in the cave. There were 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 visitors in 2007 and 2008. The visitor boom in the cave was caused by the arrival of tourists from the Middle East. The number of visitors changes between 150,000 and 200,000 per year. It decreased slightly when no tourists from the Middle East came due to the pandemic.”
The cave is divided into two sides 200 meters after its entrance. It has a 150-meter walking route on its left side and a 400-meter route on the right side. A fault line on the ceiling of the cave can be clearly seen by visitors, but other parts of the cave have not been explored so far. The cave is estimated to have been formed over 8 million years.
The water level carried by the underground river inside the cave changes seasonally. While the depth of the water in the cave increases up to 50 centimeters in rainy seasons, this level decreases to 25-30 centimeters in the summer.