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Vjetrenica Cave: A fantastic adventure to the Lake

This year, the public company Vjetrenica is again organizing an underground adventure – Veliko Lake. This extremely interesting and visually different tour from the classic visit to the cave offers the hidden world of Vjetrenica, kept in complete darkness with rich decorations.

– After the rainy period during the spring, conditions have been met for organizing new tours to the Lake. It is 1,300 meters long, or 2,600 meters in both directions, and we will organize it upon announcement. You can follow the tour schedule and all the details related to this fantastic adventure on our website – says Davor Baković, Acting Director of Public Enterprise Vjetrenica, for Visit BiH Magazine.

Total darkness

The maximum number of people in one tour with a trained guide is ten, and Veliko Lake is crossed by boat in tours with a maximum of three people. Of course, all this applies if the water level is favorable for crossing the lake.

Vjetrenica, a protected landscape, is a tourist destination cave with a total length of 750 meters of a tourist trail that is secured by a fence and lit by LED lighting. This part is open to tourists, and it is only one fifth of the explored part of the cave. The rest, which is closed to visitors, can only be seen by speleologists with appropriate equipment.

– For all interested visitors who want to experience something completely new in Vjetrenica, we provide a guide, protective equipment, i.e. rubber boots and helmets. It is advisable to bring some old and warmer clothes and small lamps, preferably LED. I would like to mention that the excursion is intended for people over 18 years of age, without health problems and problems with claustrophobia – says Davor.

According to him, the basic condition for these tours is certainly the weather without heavy rains that fill the corridors of the cave, thus preventing access to the Lake. Vjetrenica is one of the most beautiful and important speleological objects in BiH and the Dinarides. The hydrologically rich system with constant and several periodic water flows with underground lakes, recognizable air flow in the summer period will certainly not leave anyone indifferent during the visit.

The internal air temperature is around 11 degrees, making it an excellent destination in the summer for refreshment. In 2021, Vjetrenica, which was a protected monument of nature, becomes a protected landscape of BiH, which is open to visitors along a 750-meter-long infrastructure-organized path.

What makes Vjetrenica particularly significant in the world is the underground biodiversity with more than 200 animal species that are adapted to life in complete darkness. The most interesting inhabitant of the cave is Proteus anguinus, or the olm, which visitors can see on the tourist part of the trail. It is an exceptional animal that can survive for several years without food and can live up to a hundred years.

Bike path

The Vjetrenica Cave is located in the town of Zavala, in the Ravno municipality, and due to its proximity to the Adriatic Sea and larger centers (Dubrovnik, Trebinje, Mostar), it additionally attracts a large number of tourists. Davor says that last year they had a record number of visits, and that this year there will be even more.

– The return of foreign guests is encouraging. Last year, the majority were domestic visitors, and now we have a large number of foreigners. In the first five months of this year, we have already recorded more than 6,000 visits, which is a fantastic result considering that the summer season has just started, and that’s when we have the most guests – he points out.

The Municipality of Ravno is aware of all the tourist potential of this area, so they work every day to improve the conditions for receiving guests from all over the world.

– It’s a lot of work. We are fixing the infrastructure that was not very representative, a new walkway was built, we are installing smart benches and Wi-Fi hotspots. This is especially important for cycling, which is extremely developed in this region, but also in all of Herzegovina. The Ćiro bicycle path, which stretches from Mostar to Dubrovnik and gathers numerous cyclists every day, largely passes through Ravno, and we want to provide them with the best conditions for riding – says Davor at the end of the conversation.