Красная Пещера

Krasnaja pestera - Kizil-Koba - Red Cave - Kiikin-Kobasy

Useful Information

Kizil-Koba - Red Cave, Krim, Russia. Public Domain.
Cave River, Kizil-Koba - Red Cave, Krim, Russia. Public Domain.
Location: Perevalne, Chatyr Dagh Plateau, Crimea.
From Simferopol M18 to the southeast, 20 km four lane highway to Perevalne. Turn left at huge gas station, 2.5 km road to Сказочная долина (Fairytale Valley). Signposted.
(44.870130, 34.343470)
Open: All year daily 9-19.
Fee: Adults RUR 600, Children (7-14) RUR 300, Children (0-6) free, Heroes free.
Cave Trekking: Per Person RUR 6000.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=27 km, VR=275 m, T=10 °C, A=600 m asl. Twater=8.8-10.1 °C
Guided tours: L=1000 m, D=60 min, Min=2, Max=25.
Cave Trekking: D=4-5 h, Min=2, Max=5.
V=50,000/a [2000]
Photography: allowed without tripod
Accessibility: no
Address: LLC "Kizil-Koba", st. Trubachenko, 21, 95048 Simferopol, Tel: +7-978-800-79-28. E-mail:
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.


mining of black refractory clay for the manufacture of smoking pipes reported by the famous Crimean ethnographer V. Kh. Kondaraki.
~1800 cave used as a show cave.
1803 first description of the cave by P.I.Sumarokov in his travel book Leisure of the Crimean Judge, or the Second Journey to Taurida.
24-JUN-1825 the Russian diplomat and writer A.S. Griboyedov visits the Red Cave with candles and torches.
1828 mentioned by Pyotr Ivanovich Köppen, a Russian scientist of German origin.
1843 scientific description published by the Swiss naturalist and archaeologist F. Dubois de Montpere.
1960 cache of the 12th or 13th century was discovered.
07-AUG-1963 declared a geological natural monument.
1879 archaeological survey by Konstantin Sergeevich Merezhkovsky, Russian botanist, zoologist, philosopher, and writer.
1900 underground fauna studied by Ya. K. Lebedinsky.
1905-1907 Prince Dolgorukov, owner of the surrounding land, ordered to extract natural tuffstone.
1914 archaeological excavation by S I Zabnin, a local historian from Simferopol.
1921 archaeological excavations by archaeologists G.A. Bonch-Osmolovsky, N.L. Ernst, and local historian S.I. Zabnin.
1958 Integrated Karst Expedition of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR and the Ministry of Geology of the Ukrainian SSR under the leadership of geologist and karst scientist Boris Nikolaevich Ivanov.
1971 explored by cavers of Sevastopol and surveyed to 13.1 km.
1990 development of 200 m of cave passage with concrete trails and electric light.
1992 LLC "Kizil-Koba" founded.
1997 Golubina Cave and Red Cave connected.
1990s tourist route extended to the first siphon and a length of 500 m.
2004 пещеры Грифон (Gryphon Caves) and Университетская (University caves) added to the system.


Cave entrance in the 19th century, Kizil-Koba - Red Cave, Krim, Russia. Public Domain.
Konstantin Sergeevich Merezhkovsky, Krim, Russia. Public Domain.

Красные пещеры (Krasnaja pestera) is also known under the name Кизил-Коба (Kyzil Koba, Kizil-Koba, Red Cave). It was named after the reddish-brown shaded limestone in which it formed. It is located below the Chatyr Dagh Plateau, on the road between Simferopol and Alushta. Part of the system is developed as a show cave, another part is a river cave, which is used for cave trekking tours.

The parking lot is located below the cave at the Сказочная долина (Fairytale Valley). This is a quite weird sight with campground, VIKING cinema and entertainment complex. There are wood carvings showing the Statue of Liberty and Disney characters, and a wooden fort. From here a single lane gravel road ascends along the valley to the cave. The road is a comfortable walk of about 1.5 km uphill to the cave entrance and ticket office. Visitors can wait in a gazebo until the tour starts.

Kizil-Koba is the longest cave of the Crimean peninsula with a total length more than 27 km. The cave system is the result of the connection of several formerly separate caves. The river cave is the spring or resurgence of the Su-Uchkhan River. Actually there are numerous springs from different parts of the cave system which unite and form the river. The limestone rich spring water of the spring precipitated tufa and formed a 30 m high platform around the spring. It is also the reason for the existence of the Vodopad Su-Uchkhan (Su-Uchkhan Waterfall), which can be freely visited on a short trail. The cave system has numerous levels, the level of the river cave is the lowest called Level 1, but there are six level in total.

The tourist tour is on level 2 of the cave system, right above the active river cave. The entrance is 17 m above the tufa platform. The first chamber shows a reconstruction of a Bronze Age sanctuary from the 7th century BC. The following descent to the lower level is a dry siphon or sump, which is flooded periodically during high yield. At this time temporary bridges are used to allow the visit nevertheless. The first passage is named Griboyedov Gallery, after A.S. Griboyedov, an outstanding Russian writer and diplomat. The next passage is called Gorlo-Shamansky passage and was discovered in 1957. The cave was blocked by a plug of sediments, mostly clay, which was excavated by the cavers. The chambers Индийский (Indian) and Академический (Academic) follow. Some chambers are 80 m long and 30 m high. The passage makes a sharp turn to the right and the (Argentinean hall) is reached. It ends with a partly waterfilled siphon, at which the tourist trail ends. This is the underground river Su-Uchkhan, which never dries up, even in the driest years. It is also the begin of the cave trekking tours, which start with swimming through the siphon in the underground river. The tourist tour returns to the entrance the way it came in.

The cave trekking tours are organized by a group named LLC "Kizil-Koba". It was actually founded for this purpose, but it seems the members are Crimean speleologists and climbers. However, the participants are equipped with professional caving gear of good quality, and the tours are guided quite competent. The cave is a river cave and so much of the tour is made by wading in 10 °C cold water, sometime up to your neck. That's the reason why visitors are equipped with a special wetsuit.

The surroundings of the cave entrance were inhabited during the Paleolithic era 70 thousand years ago. Human remains including flint tools were excavated at the Dolgorukovskaya Yayla. In the valley of the Su-Uchkhan River below the cave a Bronze Age a slab burial ground was discovered. There was a cattle-breeding and agricultural cult sanctuary dated to the 7th and 6th century in the first chamber of the cave. On the tufa deposits around the spring semi-dugouts from priest dwellings and pits for storing grain used during religious rituals were found. The Red Cave served as a tribal sanctuary where sacrifices of domestic and wild animals were made. The bones of sacrificial animals, ceramics, and flint tools were found in the first chamber of Kharanlykh-Koba and in levels 3, 4 and 5 of the cave system.

The Kizil-Koba culture is an archaeological culture of the end of the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (9th to 3rd century BC) in the Crimea. The cave Kizil-Koba is the locus typicus (type locale) of the Kizil-Koba culture. During the Middle Paleolithic (9000-7000 BP) local Tauri tribes are considered the first Eastern European settlement. This culture is very similar to the Koban culture from the Caucasus. Kizil-Kobinskaya is a purely Crimean culture, remains were found at Chatyr-Dag, Uch-Bash, Cherkes-Kermen, Inkermanskoe, and Skela. The culture was first described by the archaeologists G.A. Bonch-Osmolovsky and N.L. Ernst after their excavations in 1921.

Much younger is the Scythian manor, which existed here during the 3rd and 4th century. A cave was used as a natural wine cellar, fragments of amphorae with traces of wine were found.