In travel guides for Alanya, you will invariably find Damlatas cave among the must-see places. It so happened that the most popular and famous places eventually lose their charm and uniqueness in the eyes of numerous visitors. Photos, videos on the web, reviews and articles about amazing places that have become public domain seem to dispel all secrets, revealing and parading what only a select few or no living soul could see before.
The secret of the Damlatas cave was revealed in 1948 during the work on the extraction of stone for the construction of the port pier. After another blasting of rocks, the workers discovered a small tunnel leading into a spacious cylindrical well. The interior of the cave clearly indicated that it was many thousands of years old. Numerous stalactites and stalagmites that adorn the relief of the underground space are attributed by experts from 10 to 15 thousand years. After the discovery of a natural relic, it was immediately taken under the protection of the state and made the first museum of this kind in Turkey. Later, the healing properties of the air that was in the cave were discovered, and to this day, sessions of therapy for asthmatics are held here.
By its nature, Damlatas cave is a salt cave, like another equally famous Dim cave, which is located 10 km from the city center. The air temperature inside remains unchanged all year round, and fluctuates around 22.3 degrees Celsius. At the same time, the humidity is 98%, which is felt immediately upon entry. The composition of the air has an extremely beneficial effect on the process of recovery from pulmonary diseases, including asthma. The recommended visit time is 30 minutes. During this time, you can fully immerse yourself in the healing atmosphere of this magical place by wandering along the quaint walls. For the convenience of visitors, comfortable wooden benches are installed around the perimeter, on which you can sit down and admire the views that have been formed by nature for thousands of years.
If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of falling water drops – this is the music that created the stunning decoration inside the cave. If you close your eyes and imagine that it has never been silent for so many centuries, you can imagine yourself as a drop, because in the time scale of the formation of the patterns of the underworld, our path is similar to the path of a drop flying from the ceiling of a cave, leaving a unique musical track upon impact on the surface.
Getting to the Damlatas cave will not be difficult. It is located in the very center of the city, at the foot of the peninsula, on the seashore, at the very beginning of Cleopatra’s beach. Not far from the entrance to the cave is the city funicular station, which takes tourists and residents of Alanya to the top of the mountain peninsula to the ancient fortress and the old city. From Ataturk Square to Damlatas Cave can be reached on foot in 15 minutes, or by public transport or taxi.
No noise, no smoking, and no food or drinks are allowed in the cave. Stalactites and stalagmites are also not allowed to be touched. The entire interior space is equipped with electric lighting; a convenient staircase with reliable handrails is equipped for access to the bottom of the cave. If you are an elderly person or have heart problems, then you need to be careful when visiting the cave. Having gone downstairs, it is better to sit on a bench to allow the body to get used to the microclimate. If you feel dizzy, wait another minute, this is an adaptation process. However, if the discomfort intensifies and nausea appears, it is better to come to the surface, since the trace elements in the air of the cave are indeed potent. You can try to enter after a while, and perhaps the second time the adaptation will be easier. Many people, especially smokers, begin to cough in the cave as a result of the onset of cleansing of the lungs.
We wonder what other secrets the peninsula of ancient Alanya keeps, because mountain landscapes always carry a lot of surprises. Considering that the city was founded long before our era, and ancient people especially revered secret places, it may turn out that Damlatas cave is far from the only cavity in this mountain range. Who knows, maybe under the ancient fortress, the construction of which began in ancient times, hides an even more ancient cave city, the existence of which neither the Greeks, nor the Romans, nor the Seljuks knew.