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Exploring Canyon Matka and the secrets of Vrelo Cave in Macedonia

The place that wakes your curiosity and rises your adrenaline levels

Photo © Делфина / source: wikimedia cc

Macedonia – One of the places in Macedonia that offer you comfort and peace is the canyon Matka that lies on the river Treska, located 17 kilometers from Skopje and is easily accessible for tourist visits. The beauty of this canyon lies in the heart of a rich greenery and it is also complemented by the stunning colors of the artificial lake Matka. The canyon is rich in endemic species of animals and plants, including a number of daily and nocturnal butterflies (119 species of daily butterflies and 140 nocturnal butterflies).

Despite these riches that nature has given us in this place, what is most worth visiting are the caves. Although the speleological park at Matka has three caves (Vrelo, Ubava and Krshtana), Vrelo is the one that attracts all the attention.

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Photo © Geoff / source: wikimedia cc

This cave is unique in its own way; there are colorful and unusual forms carved in the calcite – most of them correctly rounded and whitish. It has been said that these decorations’ gentle, wavy structure and color resemble female breasts. Other stalactites have the shades of red, orange and grey.

The cave Vrelo is reached by a road that is organized, illuminated by spotlights and marked. The cave can be reached by a road that is organized, illuminated by spotlights and marked. The first cave entrance leads to a place called “The concert hall” which sometimes serves for concert events. On the left side of the concert hall, “the written stones” can be found. These stones have a whole system of signs on their surface and scientists are still exploring and studying their meaning.

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Photo © Paweł ‘pbm’ Szubert / source: wikimedia cc

The middle of the cave is decorated by an enormous stalactite named as “The cone” and because of this, this area of Vrelo is known as “The Hall of the Cone.” From this point, you can go to the highest place in the cave from where you can see the small lake which has the form of the number 8 and it’s hidden behind a rock. The second lake is bigger and it offers a magical view of the whole place (length; 30, width; 10 m and depth; 15 m – most of the time). The Big Lake has its own “beach” known as “The Russian Beach” which was named so because of the Russian pilots who were employed in the Macedonian aviation and were among the first ones who bathed in the lake.

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Photo © Paweł ‘pbm’ Szubert / source: wikimedia cc

The inside of Vrelo can be reached through water, too. The last few years, the best speleo – divers are being guests in Macedonia in order to investigate the secret of what lies under the blazing of this gorgeous cave. When already mentioning the word “blazing,” here’s an information about the name of the cave; “Vrelo” comes from “blazing,” because of the babbling of the lake water located beneath the cave.

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Photo © Jenny Poole / source: wikimedia cc

Few years ago, speleologists discovered a depth of 212 meters; a depth which currently makes Vrelo the deepest underwater cave in the Balkans and the second deepest in Europe. Taking into consideration the fact that this depth isn’t the final one, Vrelo cave is considered one of the deepest underwater caves not only in Europe but also worldwide.

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Underwater entrance in Vrelo / source: geocaching.com

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