Last updated on August 30th, 2023
What a unique and interesting place Kaklik cave is. Some travelers call it “little underground Pamukkale” as the interior design resembles the famous travertine terraces. Being in close proximity to Pamukkale and Denizli, this destination remains less popular among tourists, and maybe this is the reason why a visit here is also much cheaper and quieter.
We stopped by Kaklik cave on our road trip from Pamukkale to Antalya. And it turned out to be a nice surprise.
I was really hesitant about our possible visit since I don’t like caves and suffer from speluncaphobia together with claustrophobia (the worst combination for a traveler). But then I pulled myself together and made a plan to go. And why wouldn’t I? Kaklik cave is one of the best caves to visit in Turkey that offers an unusual underworld.
NOTE: Do you need to rent a car? My guide to where to hire a car in Turkey & companies to AVOID will answer all your questions and walk you through the process. If you will be renting it in Antalya, see my post about driving and car hire tips for the Antalya region.
A Quick Introduction to Kaklik Cave
Kaklik cave was formed just recently, at the beginning of the 21st century, by the collapse of the ceiling of the underground cavity created by a large underground warm stream.
It is composed of Mesozoic limestones, Eocene marl, clay, sandstone and conglomerates, sand, and travertine with alluvium that are part of quartz. There is a mass of travertine in the cave, which has the feature of a sinkhole. Its formation occurred as a result of the flow of water from the springs on the ground into the cave.
With the open and wide circular ceiling letting in direct sunlight, dense moss and small diameter vines have grown on the walls due to continuous water dripping. When you visit in bright weather, you can see the green hues created by ivy and algae.
The entrance area of the cave is 13 meters wide and 190 meters long. Its deepest point is 14 meters. Due to its structure and formation similar to Pamukkale, it is also known as the Little Pamukkale of the Underground or the ‘Pamukkale Cave’ with its ladder-shaped pools and travertines, formed in a similar way by the waters inside.
The difference between Pamukkale travertines and Kaklik cave travertines is the location and size. Kaklik cave travertines are situated in the middle of the field and not on the mountain. And they are much, much smaller.
The first thing you feel when going down into the cave is the strong smell of hydrogen sulfide. Although in a few minutes you get used to it and don’t smell it anymore. Right near the entrance, there is a small lake in the underground and a powerful noisy stream of thermal water, which forms the local travertine baths. It looks very unusual.
What You Can Expect On Your Visit There
The entrance to the cave is a staircase where you need to walk with caution because in some places it is slippery. The cave itself is circular and you will walk in a loop and leave it almost at the same place where you entered.
Tourists descend along wide wooden stairs into a wide opening where along the perimeter there are bridges and streams of turquoise and blue water from everywhere. This is not an optical effect. The water here is full of minerals that make it have such a beautiful color.
The plants that grow on the ceiling and walls have enough light that makes their way through the entrance portal. However this light is not enough to brighten the cave, so high-intensity LEDs that were set up along the walkway make viewing the formations much better.
The wooden walkaway, by the way, in some areas has a lot of water. Thus you may want to take your shoes off or have waterproof shoes. If you walk barefoot, watch out for nails in bridges.
Since the length of the cave is not long and you can see natural light from any direction, it doesn’t create an oppressive feeling which often haunts people in larger and deeper karst complexes. This is also a reason why those like me, who have claustrophobia, will feel at peace there.
Outside the cave, there is a thermal spring that gushes on the surface, filling a small pond with mineral water, where turtles and ducks inhabit. A swimming pool nearby with mineral water offers visitors to swim free of charge. And among the trees, there are kiosks with fast food.
Kaklik Cave Visiting Hours, Entrance Fees & How to Get There
The cave is open every day of the week. It is open to visitors between 08.00 in the morning and 22.00 in the evening. The entrance fee is only 5TL (around $0.60 when we visited in 2021) but prices increase each year.
The best way to visit is by car. There is no direct dolmush (shared taxi) or bus. So if you’d like to travel by public transportation you’d need to take a dolmush from Denizli to Kaklik and then go by taxi to Kaklik cave. The location of the cave is next to a number of plants. Since the area is rather industrial, no types of public transport go there.
In the hotel where we stayed in Pamukkale, a reception agent mentioned he could arrange a tour to the cave for us. But we had a car and planned to go on our own, so we didn’t ask about the price. But I guess it is possible to go on a tour and you can make arrangements at the hotel. Also, a visit to Kaklik cave is part of a larger tour that lasts 8 hours and includes Laodicea ancient city.
Highlights of Kaklik Cave
It is a very unique place that is not like anything else in the world. The mineral water has healing properties and helps with various skin conditions and lung diseases. If you are spending more time in the Denizli region, you can come to Kaklik cave (as well as Karahayit town) on a regular basis for mineral baths.
NOTE: Take off your jewelry before immersing hands or feet in the water. It is rich in sulfur, so your jewelry (especially silver) will be in for a big color change. I made a mistake and my silver bracelet and rings became purple-black.
More Helpful Resources For Turkey Travel
- For affordable flights to Turkey, I always compare prices on Kiwi.com with prices on Turkish Airlines and Pegasus (a low-cost Turkish airline).
- Use iVisa to find out if you need a tourist visa for Turkey and apply for an expedited visa online.
- Find a transfer from the airport in any city in Turkey on HolidayTaxis, the world’s leading airport transfer provider.
- For a car rental, I use the services of DiscoverCars and LocalRent, depending on the region.
- Find the best hotel deals on Trip.com and Hotels.com. Use Booking from outside the country or through VPN when in Turkey. Trip.com has a good variety of hostels in different regions.
- Order a copy of the latest version of the Lonely Planet Turkey Guidebook.
- For more posts about travel in Turkey refer to my Turkey Blog Page.
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