Northwest of Safranbolu, Karabük province.
Leave Karabük-Safranbolu highway for Bulak, 4km, then 3km single lane gravel road.
Safranbolu 3km to Bağlar locality (Değirmenbaşı), 6km paved road.
APR to SEP Mon-Fri 7-23.
OCT to MAR Mon-Fri 8-20.
Adults TRL 6, Students TRL 4.
Guide TRL 150.
Asthma patients: free for two weeks.
|Classification:||Karst cave Jurassic-Cretaceous limestones|
|Dimension:||L=6,500m, T=15°C, A=710m asl (show cave entrance).|
|Guided tours:||self guided, L=500m.|
Mücahit Coşkun (2013):
The Geomorphology of Karabük-Safranbolu Basin, NW of Turkey,
Conference: BIODIVERSITY and CULTURAL HERITAGE, June 2013.
|Address:||Bulak Mencilis Mağarası, Mencilis Mağara Sk., 78000 Başköy Köyü Merkez/Karabük Merkez/Karabük, Tel: +90-536-439-84-87.|
|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.
Mencilis Mağarası (Mencilis Cave) is also called Bulak Mencilis Mağarası. It's simple to explain the Bulak part, that's the name ot the town to which this area belongs. Nevertheless the road to the remote valley starts in the northwestern corner of Safranbolu city. The paved road follows the valley and ends at the entrance to a gorge and a ticket office.
A hundred meters before you reach the gorge there is a huge karst spring at the right side of the road. This is actually the lowest level of the Mencilis Mağarası which is accessible for 30m and ends at a siphon or sump. The cave has three levels, the lowest is water filled, or an active river cave. It is the source of a small river, which is later swallowed again by a sink.
The visit starts at the ticket office. From here a stone staircase with 150 steps leads up to the cave entrance, which is located in an overhanging cliff face with a spectacular natural bridge. Through the wooden door you reach the middle, fossil level of the cave. 400m are developed with trails and light, and when you reach the end you have to turn around and walk back the same path. Immediately after the entrance the ceiling is quite low and bigger visitors must stoop for the first 20m. But the the passage opens and is between 20m and 25m high. The cave has nice speleothems, mostly stalactites and stalagmites. And the light system is very good with white light, not the typical yellow or coloured light.
Quite exceptional is that the private operator does not tell stories about the asthma curing properties of the cave. If you have a respiratory disease and feel better in the cave you can stay in the cave as long as you want for two weeks for free. That's quite unique and we have never heard this anywhere else, even if there are special rates for speleotherapy stays, its never free. However, there seems to be no separated speleotherapy station and you should bring a folding chair or beach lounger and warm blankets. And probably something to read.
The third level of the the cave, the uppermost level, is located 200m northeast of the show caves entrance.