If you have ever wondered whether there was a place where you could climb rocks and observe the world from high up, and then descend into the underground world and experience its beautiful depths, look no further. You will find it in Croatia, in the Velika Paklenica canyon. It is already common knowledge that the canyon is a true Mecca for climbers – thousands of relentless adventurers are drawn to it each year – but a little-known fact is that it is also a true El Dorado for bats and their secret world.
Manita peć is located at the heart of the Paklenica National Park, and it is the only cave in the Park that has been adapted and opened to the public, to visitors looking to experience its subterranean spaces. The first visits to the cave began in 1937, after the creation of the pathway, and its spacious and beautiful halls have attracted many visitors since. The entrance is located 570 metres above sea level, and the climb from the Velika Paklenica car park to the cave takes about an hour and a half. As a typical karst cave, Manita peć is rich in cave formations or dripstones that differ in shape and origin. The most common types of dripstones are stalactites, stalagmites, stalagnates and solution pans, some of which are named after interesting shapes they form. If you look closely, you’ll be able to discern a helmet, the organ, or a witch.
The Manita peć cave is also characterised by a rich underground fauna specifically adapted to living in dark and quiet conditions. Your hosts in this cave will be bats, who are completely harmless and very sensitive. The cave is home to numerous cave animals that are more difficult to see, which are adapted to the subterranean environment and normally cannot survive above ground. They are characterised by a lack of pigments and organs of vision, but they do have other well-developed senses.
If you decide to visit Manita peć, you can find information on tour times and ways to reach the cave on the Paklenica National Park website. Once you are in the cave, a 30-minute educational hike in the company of a guide awaits you, where you will get to know a whole world that thrives beneath our feet. The cave temperature is around 9°C all year round, so we recommend taking suitable clothes with you in the warmer seasons.
Discover the secrets of the underground world of Manita peć!
Paklenica National Park Public Institution
Dr. Franje Tuđmana 14a
HR - 23244 Starigrad-Paklenica
Phone: +385 23 369 155, +385 23 369 202