Coves del Drach – the Dragon Caves of Porto Cristo
Large car parks full of tourist buses in front of the entrances to the Coves del Drach – the Dragon Caves of Porto Cristo indicate that the cave system is an important tourist attraction on the east coast of Mallorca. Every hour, thousands of visitors pass through the cave passages and the dripstone cave with its exciting limestone formations. This should not deter visitors, however, because the accessible cave system with the largest underground lake in Europe and six other lakes stretches over a length of 1,700 m, lies up to 25 m below the earth’s surface in places and is a unique attraction. According to legend, the cave was once guarded by a dragon, hence the name, which was supposed to protect the treasures of the pirates and the Order of the Templars from robbers. The first investigations of the cave and records date back to 1339, when the governor of Mallorca had soldiers investigate the caves after the Templar Order was crushed.
In the 19th century, the caves were explored by the German explorer M.F. Will and the French explorer E.A. Martel. Martel discovered the 177 m long and up to 12 m deep lake, which is called “Llac Martel” after him. The tourist development began in 1922 by the Mallorcan Juan Servera Camps, who already installed stairs, paths and seats at that time. Today, the cave is fully illuminated and visitors can marvel at a somewhat kitschy play of colours on the large lake in an auditorium for 1,100 spectators with live music by a quartet with pieces by Caballero, Chopin and Offenbach. There is also a boat trip from Lake Martel to the exit. While there, you can admire the illuminated, mighty stalactites and stalagmites, which grow only about 1 cm in 100 years.
Coves del Drach | Carretera Cuevas s/n | 07680 Porto Cristo | Tel. +34 971 82 0753