A blue grotto or cave is a natural phenomenon wherein the sea water reflects off natural light on to the surrounding area resulting in a spectacular blue hue – for both the water and the walls of the cave. The effect that you can view up close is fantastic and absolutely transfixing. The Blue Grotto at Capri is usually considered the most famous of them all; however it is not the only such cave. There are many other beautiful blue grottoes in the world, and incidentally quite a few of them are located in the coastal regions of Italy and Greece.
Travelerati presents you a list of the 11 Most Breathtaking Blue Grottoes and Sea Caves that emanate a magical effect.
1. Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy
Also known as the Grotta Azzurra, this cavern formation which gives off a neon blue sheen is located in Capri, Italy and has been the most well known destination for blue grotto seekers. History has it that Roman Emperor Tiberius also used this grotto space. Therefore, along with the natural play of light in the cavern, you can also see artefacts from the Roman era.
Where to stay in Capri
2. Blue Grotto in Biševo, Croatia
If you want to experience a magnificent play of sunlight reflecting off the sea surface, on to the white walls of the cave, then you should visit the Blue Grotto between 11 am and 12 noon.
Exploring this beautiful cave is a magical experience indeed.
Where to stay in Biševo
3. Blue Cave in Kastellorizo, Greece
The entrance to the Blue Cave in Kastellorizo measures only one meter above the sea surface. You can visit this grotto in small boats built specially for this excursion, but only when the sea is calm. Once in the cave, the wonder of sun rays refracted from the sea surface onto the walls will surely dazzle you. To get the perfect experience, you must go when the angle of the sun is low, which means during early morning or late evening.
Where to stay in Kastellorizo
4. Blue Grotto Malta
The grotto here is a formation of six caverns, each of which reflects a different hue of blue from its walls. The sun reflecting off the sea surface plays on the walls of the grotto, showing not just the blue hue but in some caverns even the shadow of flora and fauna that exists under the sea surface.
The best time to visit is till 1 pm, and the grotto can be reached from the town of Zurrieq in Malta. This place is also a favoured spot for film shooting; therefore you can visualize scenes from movies like Troy coming to life in this grotto.
Where to stay in Zurrieq
Discover why you should ABSOLUTELY Visit Malta
5. Blue Caves in Paxos, Greece
A formation of many interrelated caves over the sea makes up the Blues Caves in Paxos. The country of Greece is associated with many mythological tales of gods and goddesses, with Poseidon being one of them. The region of Paxos itself has its origin related to this Greek god. It is believed that he struck the tip of Corfu with his trident, and thereby separated the landmass which forms Paxos. The western side of Paxos has numerous cave formations which reflect the natural light from the sea surface off their walls. The area is easily accessible through the many large boats that ply frequently.
Where to stay in Paxos
6. Blue Caves in Zakynthos Island, Greece
Also known as Volimes, after a nearby village of the same name, the Blue Caves of Zakynthos will leave you mesmerized with its sheer size and unique blue hue.
Such power does the natural ambience of blue holds, that it seems as if even the visitors are bathed in blue. Incidentally, you can also choose to go diving in these caves.
Where to stay in Zakynthos
7. Sea Caves of Cape Palinuro, Italy
Also known as the Palinuro Grotta Azzurra, the Sea Caves of Palinuro are different from the other grottoes of the world due to their varied features. You will find not just a “Blue Cave” here, but various other caverns that have all been named according to the characteristics they exude. The Blood cave is named after its intense red colour, a stalactite formation gives the Monk Cave its name, while the Silver Cave with limestone formation gets its color related name. There is also a Sulphur Cave which is quite impregnable due the chemical content in the cave.
Where to stay in Palinuro
8. Grotta del Bue Marino in Sardinia, Italy
Located in Sardinia’s Dorgali region, the play of light that you can witness within the walls of this grotto is nothing short of a mesmerising experience. The cave walls have Neolithic polygraph sculpted on them, which adds pre-historic value to the place. The grotto gets its name from a rare type of monk seal that used to inhabit this area, and now can be seen only around the Sardinian coast. The Grotta del Bue marino is easily accessible from the town of Cala Gonone in Dorgali.
Where to stay in Cala Gonone
9. Poço Encantado in Bahia, Brazil
Wikimedia/Sebastião luiz miotto
Located along the eastern border of the Chapada Diamantia National Park in Brazil, Poço Encantado translates to “Enchanted Well” – for it is just that. This nature’s mystery is an underground lake that you can view in the midst of the Bahian jungle.
Sunlight plays on the crystal clear water to give out a magical blue effect during the months of April to September.
So clear is the water that the sun rays reach the absolute bottom of the lake, allowing you to see the trees and flora that have grown at the bed.
Where to stay in Chapada Diamantina National Park
10. Cyprus Lake Grotto in Ontario, Canada
The grotto on the lake, which is the central point of attraction in Bruce Peninsula National Park, has excitement and entertainment in store for you. The lake water is crystal clear, and the sun rays exude an enchanting play of color. However, apart from marvelling at its beauty if you are a keen diver, then you can take your equipment along to explore the bed of the lake.
The sides of the cliff, that form the outer boundary of the cave, is perfect for rock climbers, therefore if you are one then you can give vent to your desire here. All of these opportunities make the place an alluring attraction for adventure enthusiasts.
Where to stay in Bruce Peninsula National Park
11. Marble Caves in Patagonia, Chile
This natural phenomenon does not fall under the directory category of the blue caves or grottoes mentioned in this list; however we simply had to add the Marble Caves of Patagonia due to their stupendous beauty. Located along the border of Chile and Argentina, in Lake General Carrera, this chain of caves formed due to the erosion caused by water on the cliff’s surface. The play of color that occurs on this natural swirly surface varies with the time of the day and angle of the sun. You will be transfixed with its magnificence. The Marble Caves are accessible from the town of Chile Chico.