Cuevas de Sorbas

Caves of Sorbas - Karst en Yesos Sorbas cuevas - Gypsum Karst Caves Sorbas


Useful Information

Location: At Sorbas, between Tabernas and Los Gallardos, province of Almeria.
(37.092063, -2.107315)
Open: All year daily 10-20.
Booking online is required.
[2021]
Fee: Basic Route: Adults EUR 15, Children (3-11) EUR 10.50.
Groups (21+): Adults EUR 13.50, Children (3-11) EUR 9.45, Students EUR 12.10.
Groups (41+): Adults EUR 12.75, Children (3-11) EUR 8.95, Students EUR 11.
Training Route: Groups (21+): Students EUR 10.50.
Groups (41+): Students EUR 8.
Groups (61+): Students EUR 7.50.
Combined Route: Adults EUR 30, Children (3-11) EUR 20.
Groups (21+): Adults EUR 27, Children (3-11) EUR 18.
Technical Route: Adults EUR 50.
Groups (21+): Adults EUR 45.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: none, headlamps provided.
Dimension:  
Guided tours: Basic Route: D=2 h, minimum age 3 years.
Training Route: D=4 h, minimum age 3 years.
Combined Route: D=4 h, minimum age 3 years.
Technical Route: D=5 h, minimum age 12 years.
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Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Cuevas de Sorbas, Natur-Sport Sorbas S.L., Paraje Barranco del Infierno, 04270 Sorbas (Almería), Tel: +34-950-364-704. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1989 Karst en Yesos de Sorbas declared a protected Natural Area.

Description

Definitely a wild cave, one of the few with an own webpage, a parking lot, a ticket office, and a restaurant. Cuevas de Sorbas is actually a collective name for all caves in the gypsum karst area near the village Sorbas. And it's the name of the company which offers the cave trekking tours into different caves. All those caves are gypsum caves and thus quite different from karst caves. Most of the passages are rather spacious, dry and rather clean. The visitors are equipped with lamps and helmets, and old clothes are a good idea too. But, except for the most difficult technical tour, it is not necessary to wear a caving overall. The emphasis of the tours is on the didactic side and not on the getting-dirty side.

There are four different tours, of increasing technical difficulty. The shortest tour is called Basic Tour and includes only walking. It suits the average tourist, but definitely requires more physical fitness than a show cave. The Training Tour includes some climbing and stooping and is intended for school groups and as a training for the more difficult tours. The Combined Tour combines two caves with different character. And finally the technical tour includes narrow passages, crawling, and an eight meter abseil.

The area around Sorbas is a gypsum karst area, where soluble gypsum on the surface is weathered by the rain water. This process is rather fast and thus gypsum karst is in general very fragile and developing very fast, at least compared to other geologic processes. However, this area of Spain is very dry and thus the development is exceptionally slow due to the lack of water. The area is dubbed one of the best preserved Gypsum Karst topographies in the world. In total some 50 kilometers of cave passages are known.

The Cueva de Covadura (Covadura System) in the northern part is 4 km long and 120 m deep, which makes it one of the deepest gypsum caves in Spain. Unique are the so-called hollow stalagmites, which can be seen in the Gallery of the Forest. There is also the Cueva del Agua (Water Cave), which is 8 km long and the longest cave in the area, the Cueva del Yeso (Gypsum Cave), and the Cueva del Tesoro (Treasure Cave). The gypsum was formed during the Miocene, about 6 Million years ago, when the area was a huge basin which was flooded by sea water. The gypsum was formed by evaporation and precipitation. The uplift and the karstification is much younger, the karst area has a size of about 14 km² at the surface and is 10 km long and 4 km wide. Some 1,000 caves are known in the area.