On the territory of Russia there are many mountainous regions with karst cavities where caves have formed. Some of the Caves in Russia are open to tourists. In this review on the Geomerid online travel guide you can read about the most famous and visited Caves of Russia:

1. Kungur Ice Cave (Perm)
2. Kapova Cave (Bashkiria)
3. Marble Cave (Crimea)
4. Mammoth Cave (Crimea)
5. Vorontsovskaya Cave (Sochi)

Kungur Ice Cave (Perm)

Kungur Ice Cave is the most famous cave in Russia, here you can see beautiful ice stalactites and stalagmites. The entrance of the cave is located to the north-east of the ancient Ural town Kungur. Spring is the best time to visit Kungur Ice Cave. Ice formations are then of maximum size. The ice formations are melting in summer and autumn.

The total length of the cave is 5700 meters. However, only 1500 meters of the cave are adapted for tourists (lighting and paths). Kungur Ice Cave has 48 grottoes, about 60 lakes and 146 «organ pipes». The highest «pipe» (22 meters) is in Ether grotto. Temperature is about 0°С in most grottoes. 

Diamond and Polar grottoes are the most beautiful grottoes of Kungur Ice Cave. They are near the entrance of the cave. The biggest ice formations such as stalactites and stalagmites are just in these grottoes. There are some ice formations in the other grottoes of the cave but they are not as impressive.

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Kapova Cave (Bashkiria)

Kapova Cave in the Shulgan-Tash Nature Reserve is a unique monument of the Upper Paleolithic era. Kapova Cave is often called by the name of the reserve: "Shulgan-Tash Cave". It is a karst cave in Sarykuskan Mountain on the banks of the Belaya River. 

The length of the Kapova Cave reaches 3 kilometers. The real sensation in archaeology was the discovery that zoologist Alexander Ryumin made in 1959. In one of the halls of the cave, he found drawings of mammoths and other prehistoric animals that were painted on the walls of the cave with red ochre. In total, 195 drawings made by ancient people were found in the Kapova Cave. 

Radiocarbon analysis has shown that the rock carvings made by ancient people belong to the Upper Paleolithic era. This period began 40 thousand years ago, and ended 10 thousand years ago At that time there was the last Ice Age (25-17 thousand years ago). The oldest drawings in the Kapova Cave were made about 18 thousand years ago. The last drawings were made about 14 thousand years ago. 

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Marble Cave (Crimea)

Marble Cave in the Crimean Mountains is the largest and most visited cave in Crimea. It is located in the middle of the road between Alushta and Simferopol: 45 km from Alushta and 35 km from Simferopol. Next to the Marble Cave (1.2 km) is the Mammoth Cave. Usually tourists visit these caves during one excursion. 

The marble cave was discovered during the exploration of Chatyr-Dag Mountain in 1987. It was called "marble", since a marble quarry is located nearby. The cave is located at a depth of 63 meters, and its length reaches 2 kilometers. The excursion route, open to the public, is 800 meters. 

Analysis of the sinter formations on the walls, stalagmites and stalactites in the Marble Cave indicate they were formed about 1.5 million years ago. The microclimate in the cave is completely preserved, allowing stalactites, stalagmites and rare crystals to grow. Many stalagmites are similar in shape to fairy-tale heroes, so the excursion route through the Marble Cave was called the Fairy Tale Gallery. Some stalagmites have their own names: Host, Minaret, Castle, Dragon, King-Bell, etc. 

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Mammoth Cave (Crimea)

Mammoth Cave is located in the lower plateau of Chatyr-Dag Mountain, not far from the Marble Cave. The distance between them is 1.2 km. Usually tourists visit these two caves during one excursion. The second name of the Mammoth Cave: Emine-Bair-Khosar.  

Translated from the Turkic language, Emine-Bair-Khosar means "Funnel at Emine Hill". This cave has a vertical exit in the form of a giant well (about 20 m in diameter), which is visible on the surface of the Chatyr-Dagh mountain plateau. For several millennia, animals have been falling into the cave through this well, but they could not get out. As a result, they died here. Because of this, a large number of different skeletons were found in the cave. Among them there are skeletons of mammoths and other prehistoric animals that once inhabited these territories. Thanks to these findings, the cave was named Mammoth Cave.  

Despite there is air access to the cave, calcite deposits have also formed on the walls, as well as stalactites and stalagmites. They are not as diverse as in the Marble Cave, however, in some places on the walls of the Mammoth Cave, calcium deposits are huge. 

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Vorontsovskaya Cave (Sochi)

A path to the Vorontsovskaya cave goes through a relic forest, so this walk will be a pleasant one. At the entrance of the cave you can see the idols of pagan gods, and at the spring on the eminence near the cave – the figure of the Mother Earth. At the bottom you can see the hole of the Vorontsovskaya cave.

When you enter the cave, you get in the Prometheus Grotto. It reaches the length of 120 meters and has a rather steep downward incline. At the bottom of the grotto you can already see some small stalactites, although the most beautiful ones are in the other halls having no outlet to the outside.

As any other cave, the Vorontsovskaya cave has exceptionally pure air, as there are almost no bacteria there. At the bottom the visitors can see the two most beautiful halls: musical (it was called so because of a platform looking like a concert stage) and mystic (on the ceiling of this hall there are stalactites resembling an eagle, the devil and some other mystic figures). There is also the Pantheon Grotto with a giant stalagmite of several million years. Near the entrance of the Vorontsovskaya cave, in one of its halls, you can see huge bones of pre-historic bears. 

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