Amazing Almeria – Sorbas Caves

Guided tours of the Sorbas caves for all levels Credit: Sorbas Caves

The Sorbas caves are Spain’s largest underground complex, boasting over a thousand caves and surface sinkholes.

The sinkholes, formed by land subsidence due to rainwater dissolving the gypsum soil, create small oases of palm trees and willows. This process, known as karst, slowly sculpts the landscape.

The caves stretch for many kilometres, with over a thousand interconnected cavities, solitary bodies of water, stalactites and stalagmites and are also home to unique geological geodes.

Almeria was once submerged under the mediterranean

Around three million years ago, much of Almería was submerged under the Mediterranean, as the sea retreated, it left behind vast deposits of gypsum, setting the stage for the formation of the Sorbas caves.

The Agua cave is the largest, spanning about 8 km, while the Corvadura cave is the deepest, reaching 120 meters. The Tesoro and Yeso caves are notable for their geological richness and endemic plant species.

Globally recognised

As part of the Paraje Natural Karst in Yesos de Sorbas, the caves are globally recognised for their exceptional preservation and unique karst phenomena and organisations like the International Union of Geological Sciences and UNESCO are considering listing the Sorbas Caves as globally significant geo-sites.

For visitors, there are various routes available, catering to different levels of experience and interest. These include basic routes suitable for all ages, intermediate routes for those with some caving experience, technical routes for experienced adventurers, and educational routes exploring the geological wonders both inside and outside the caves.

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Written by

Julian Phillips

Born in the UK, has lived in 9 countries, before finally coming to Spain in 2015. Currently living in Almeria and working out of the EWN office in Mojacar.