In the northwest part of Istria, near Poreč and Vabriga, lays a magical underworld of Baredine cave.
While Istria is famous for its beautiful nature, stunning small towns scattered along the peninsula, olive groves and vineyards, and of course, wonderful beaches, it also has an underground attraction that is definitely worth a visit – Baredine cave, a magical underworld of tunnels, passages,halls, underground lakes and stalactites and stalagmites.
Baredine cave is located in the northwest part of Istria, just 6 kilometers away from Poreč and the coast, near the villages of Nova Vas and Vabriga. It is a geomorphologic monument of nature, and it is the first such location in Croatia to be opened for visits, starting in 1995. Such late date is no surprise as the first documented explorations were made by scientists from Trieste in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century. Further research was conducted in the seventies when the members of a speleology club from Poreč discovered a passage that led them to the underground lakes. Later on, the cave was proclaimed a monument of nature and was finally opened for tourists.
The interior of the cave is a result of thousands of years of geomorphological change created by water slowly dripping through the cracks on the surface. The limestone is ideal for water to create cavities in the rock and shapes that resemble statues. The cave is 132 meters deep, with constant air temperature of 14°C so it's an excellent way to escape the heat if you are staying in Istria during summer months, and it is also a pleasant temperature for visits during winter time. The lakes vary in depth, and the deepest one measures 30 meters from its bottom to the water surface.
A tour of the Baredine cave lasts around 40 minutes with a tour guide. It includes visiting five halls that are full of various shapes that resemble human-made statues. The most famous are ten meter long and wide so-called curtains and a statue that resembles Our Lady. But the curious shapes created by water are not the only attraction. In this dark, underground world there are animals as well – proteus, an endemic species lives in the cave. There are traces or previous human presence in form of pottery artifacts from prehistoric times which are displayed at the entrance to the cave. It is thought that our ancestors from the paleolitic era used to put them inside to collect water dripping from the ceiling during hot and dry days in the summer.
The cave is very popular both among the locals and tourist as many people that come to Istria on holiday make sure to pay a visit to this extraordinary place. If you are planning to spent your holiday in Istria, especially if your holiday home is in or near Poreč, Vabriga or Novigrad, include a trip to the cave in your schedule. Spending leisure time at a villa with pool or sunbathing on a beautiful beach is great but when you feel like being adventurous and want something a bit different than the usual fun in the sun, then visiting Baredine cave will certainly pay off.