The biggest caves of the South Caucasus: Bear & Magil

2 minutes to read

Today I want to tell you about two more caves in Armenia. One of them is the Bear cave, and the other one is the Magel (Magil). These two caves are for those who like extreme. They are among the biggest caves in the South Caucasus. For both of them, it’s highly recommended to have guides not to get lost and to be on a safe side. However, it’s possible to make it also without guides, though you have to be very careful at each step.

Bear cave (Arjeri qarandzav)

Bears’ cave (Arjeri qarandzav) is located in the province of Vayots Dzor, some 3 km of distance from the village called Arpi. You'll need some time to walk there. It's one of the most dangerous caves in the territory of Armenia. The entrance is prohibited, however if you are really into exploring this kind of places, you can contact relevant bodies to get permission. Of course, you have to be also physically prepared for this, keeping in mind that it’s far from being just fun. The Bears’ cave is the longest and the deepest one in Armenia, and it is considered to be the biggest in the South Caucasus.

Bear cave (Arjeri karandzav)
Bear cave (Arjeri karandzav)
Arpi, Armenia
©Unknown
©Unknown

To have a better idea of the cave, imagine that it’s like a five-floor underground building built by nature. The total depth is around 3 km. There are stalactites and stalagmites in the cave. By making this trip to the end of the cave you will arrive in a unique place, and you'll understand that it was worth to pass through all those difficulties (it can take you up to 9-10 hours).

Magil cave

In the Province of Vayots Dzor, not far from the village of Areni, and about 3 km to the southeast, is located one of the nicest caves of Armenia called Magil (also known as Magel). It’s the third biggest cave in the territory of South Caucasus. The depth of the cave is around 1700 meters. It’s a common thing that in caves like this, you can also notice many bats. This cave is very simple. There are no stalactites but only grey walls and a walk in the darkness that seems to be endless. From time to time, you can notice “pieces” of sunshine that smile through huge rocks.

Magil (Magel) cave
Magil (Magel) cave
Areni 3604, Armenia
©Unknown
©Unknown

The path to the separate halls of the cave passes through narrow tunnels, so sometimes you have to choose among 3-4 tunnels to continue your way. In order not to be confused, just follow the string attached to the walls of the tunnel, and it will lead you towards the right direction. Better not to try your luck and to pick other routes, as the consequences can be not that pleasant. Also, if you notice that the entrance to any tunnel is blocked, meaning any sign or any stones is lying upon each other, it is better to avoid taking that direction.

After exploring, Bears' cave and Magil cave, the biggest ones of the South Caucasus do not also forget to visit the nicest cave of Armenia - the Mozrov cave.


The author

Lusine Vardanyan

Lusine Vardanyan

I’m Lusine, from Armenia. I like to travel and explore new places. I'm interested in art, culture, music and sports. On itinari I’ll show you Armenia the way I see it.

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