The caves of Drach have been known by Phoenicians, Romans, Berber pirates and smugglers. Now, they are one of the most visited places in Mallorca. You have to visit the Caves of Drach, which are named after a legend, according to which a dragon kept its access. As some walls and ceramic fragments attest, they were frequented since prehistoric times. Today they serve as a visitor attraction thanks to the beauty of its rooms and lakes.
How to get to the Caves of Drach
The Caves of Drach are located in Porto Cristo, Manacor, and are actually four intercommunicated cavities (the French, Luis Salvador, Blanca, and Negra) that reach a depth of 25 meters and 2.5 kilometers in length.
Probably the best option to get to the caves of Drach is through an organized excursion. According to click-mallorca.com, the excursion to the Caves of Drach is almost an obligation for any traveler visiting the Balearic Islands, as it is a natural wonder full of centuries of history.
On the excursion you have hotel pick up on the air-conditioned bus and they already have the entrances prepurchased, so you skip the line, which is quite convenient in the Summer months.
You can also get to the caves of Drach by local public bus from Palma and the main cities in Mallorca. It is advisable to check the timetable as sometimes there are limited buses.
If you have rented a car, it is possible to drive directly to the caves of Drach. There is a free car park for the visitors, and once you get to Manacor or Porto Cristo, there are many signs indicating the directions to the caves.
The sea has carved them and with them the largest underground lake in Europe, where visitors delight in the spectacle of light and sound.
Appointed by Jules Verne
It is one of the largest cavities on the island, with a total of 1,700 meters of travel. Until the end of the 19th century, they were not fully explored. His fanciful forms are striking, which attracted the attention of Jules Verne, who mentioned them in his novel Clovis Dardentor (1895).
They are also mentioned by the archduke Luis Salvador on his encyclopedia “Die Balearen”.
The caves were bought in 1929 by the family Servera I Camps for about 600€. Now, this might sound like not much, but at that time it was a considerable sum of money. Immediately, they started to do some works inside the caves of Drach to prepare them for the touristic visits that started in 1935. The family still owns and runs the Caves of Drach, so it is a private business that has nothing to see with the government.
Recently in 2019, they have been awarded as one of the top 20 best caves to be visited in Europe. They remain open all year round, and they have visited every hour from 10 to 17, though during the winter months (November to March) the timetables are reduced as it is low season.
The peak period is during the Summer months, especially August and July when some timetables get fully booked.
The spectacular nature of its ponds
The main feature of Coves del Drac is its six lakes, full of stalactites and stalagmites. The most extensive is Lake Martel (115 meters long and 30 meters wide), one of the largest in the world, which has an auditorium with a capacity of more than five hundred spectators in which concerts and shows are sometimes held. In fact, the lake is what makes these caves so special and unique, compared to other caves in the world.
This pond, where a blind and tiny crustacean endemic to these caves was discovered, has a lighting system created by Carlos Buigas and serves to simulate dawn in the depths of the earth. In it, a show of light and sound is performed that highlights the dreamlike shape of the rocks.
Concert in the Caves of Drach
The area that is visited is approximately one kilometer in length and highlights: the cave of Luis Salvador, the viewpoint of the Cyclops, the great Hall, the Vampires’ well and the Luis Armand room. The itinerary finishes at the lake Martel and visitors have a seat at the amphitheater. Once everybody is seated the highlight of the visit starts with a light show and a music concert.
The music concert takes about 10 minutes, and some musicians play live music on a boat. They play pieces from Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven. The music is amazing thanks to the acoustics in the caves, and it is one of the reasons that makes this visit so spectacular and unique.
This music concert was performed for the very first time in 1935, and since then in every visit, it has been played.
One of the best ways to get to know all the spectacularness that Drach Caves encompass is through an organized excursion. With a boat trip on Lake Martel included in the price. Throughout 4 hours the traveler enjoys a unique experience that begins with the arrival by coach from Palma to Porto Cristo. And the climax puts it a live concert of classical music inside the cavities.
If the traveler wants to continue their journey through Mallorcan lands, it will be advisable to visit a place with a history of interest: The Charterhouse of Valldemossa, the love nest that two illustrious guests, the composer Frederic Chopin and the writer George Sand, maintained 20 kilometers from Palma.