Potepecka Cave

Potpecka Cave

If you’re into underground exploration then the Potpecka Cave is exactly what you’re after. To explore this cave, you will make your way through the largest entrance of any cave in Serbia. Carved into a 70m high limestone wall, the horseshoe-shaped entrance is 50 m tall, 12 m wide at the base, and 22 m wide closer to the ceiling. Once you enter, you will make your way through a cave that is thought to have been home to Neolithic settlements.

Located in Western Serbia, the Potpecka Cave is situated 14 km away from Uzica and the same distance away from Pozega, hidden on the northern slopes of the Dreznicka Gradina mountain in. Specifically, it is located in the village of Potpece, just 2 km from the Belgrade-Uzice Highway. Here your nearby adventure options include the Stopica Cave as well Veliki Rzav, one of Serbia’s cleanest rivers. The former is located about 40 minutes south of Potpece while the latter is located half an hour to the east.

The Potpecka Cave was formed by subterranean rivers descending into Dreznik Valley. It is divided in two levels, being the older Upper Cave and the younger Lower Cave. Inside you will find a rich display of natural ornaments that are particularly rare for a karst cave. Up to 3m long stalactites hang from the ceiling, while stalagmites resembling snakes, camels, eagles, owls and fish can be found along the cave floor. The Potpec Cave was first explored by Jovan Cvijic in 1913. Dr Radenko Lazarevic was next to explore the cave in 1957 and he was followed by some cavers from Valjevo who explored the cave for almost a decade between 1972 and 1981. The cave was finally open to the public in 1984, with about 555m of exploration space made available to visitors. Though, the whole cave system is believed to be between 6 and 8 kilometres long.

Your path through the cave follows a grand total of 700 steps. Continuing from the entrance, “Siljate Stene”, you will arrive in a large chamber called Tavan, featuring a large Byzantine-style cupola. From there you continue through to Glavni Hodnik (or Main Corridor) to arrive at Prolaz Nade (or Pathway of Hope), where over 2 km of unexplored passages have been discovered over the last decade. Next comes Niska Dvorana. Here animal remains dating back to the Ice Age have been discovered. Then comes Minerski Prolaz, which leads to Galerija Mladih Istrazivaca (or the Young Explorer’s Gallery). Thereafter is Cvijiceva Dvorana (or Cvijic’s Hall), named after the famous Yugoslav Speleologist, Jovan Cvijic. Finally, you will then pass through Prolaz Slepih Miseva, a tunnel leading to the Dreznic Canal. At this point you will reach the end of the cave. Make your way back until just before Tavan. Here you will descend 150 stairs toward the cave entrance to make your way out.

Tips & Essentials:

    • The cave is open for organised tours from April 1 to October 31.
    • Operating hours are as follows:

During April – 12pm to 4pm from Monday to Friday; 10am to 6pm on weekends

From May – 10am to 6pm everyday.

    • Bring warm clothing for when you’re inside the cave.
    • Call the Uzice Tourist Organisation on +381 31 500 555 for more information on visiting.
    • Tours can also be organised during winter provided there has been no or little snow fall.

How to get to the Potpecka Cave:

If you’re going to the Potpec Cave from Belgrade take the Belgrade-Podgorica highway (E-763) and exit at the Zlakusa Train Station which you should see on your left. It is located between Uzice and Gorjani. From there just follow the road. It will take you right to the cave.

Image source: Shutterstock

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