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Altınbeşik Cave

Formation: 1994 (Cave was discovered in 1966 by Geologist Temuçin Aygen.*)
Area: 1,156 hectares

Situation: It is located 5 km southeast of Ürünlü Village which is 7 km from Antalya/İbradı, on the western slope of the deep and steep Manavgat Valley.

Transportation: By following the way Antalya-İbradı-Ürünlü Village, you can reach Altınbeşik Cave from Ürünlü Village.

Resource Values: Altınbeşik Cave has an underground lake which is the largest of Turkey and the third largest of Europe. Altınbeşik Cave, which is a horizontal and partly active cave system, was named from the Altınbeşik Hill located at the top. This region of the Taurus has a very complex structure both geologically and geomorphologically. The violent folds that formed the middle of the Tertiary period are followed by violent vertical elevations at the end of this period. Geological overthrusts, large fractures and deep excavated valleys are the result of this dynamic geological history.

Altınbeşik Cave was formed on the fractures in the upper cretaceous limestones. The cave developed at three successive levels. The lowest and the middle levels are active in rainy seasons; the highest level is continuously dried.

Altınbeşik Cave serves as a main underground brook where the underground waters of Eynif Polje in the north and a number of smaller ones in the vicinity are collected and evacuated. There are a lot of still ponds in the cave during the fall season. From sand and gravel deposits in the cave and stream hollows on the rocks, it is understood that the presence of the underground stream flows with strong current from the middle and lower levels in spring months.

At the top level of Altınbeşik Cave which completely lost its activity, there are rock blocks on the base and also dickite and stalactite formations. The base of the middle level has the characteristics of stream beds. Here, the rock blocks occupy large areas; sand and gravel deposits and travertine can be seen locally. The first 200 m from the entrance of the cave forms the lower level of the cave and it is constantly under water.

At the end of the lower level there is a steep outlet of 40 m. This outlet and adjacent walls are covered with thick white travertines. This is the most beautiful part of the cave.

In addition, the rich flora around Altınbeşik Cave and the wild beauty of karst topography constitute the landscape values of the national park.


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