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Ochtinska Aragonite Cave

Ochtinska Aragonite Cave represents a unique natural phenomenon drawing attention by the richness and variety of aragonite fill, as well as an interesting evolution and development of cave spaces. It is the only one of its kind in Europe and stands out by aragonite fills of various forms.
National nature monument, World Heritage Caves, Slovak Karst
Ochtinska Aragonite Cave
Ochtinska Aragonite Cave
World Natural Heritage
Slovakia, Košice region
City: Ochtiná
Skype: go2slovakia.eu

Ochtinska Aragonite Cave

It is formed in a lens of Palaeozoic Devonian crystalline limestones situated amidst non-karst rocks – phyllites. The entrance adit opens to cave spaces at 642 m above the sea level. Wedge upwards narrowing passages and halls were formed by corrosive activities of rainfall waters, which percolated along the distinct tectonic faults. Different shape have mainly horizontal passages and halls, which are located between tectonic faults. These originated mostly by corrosive activity of slowly flowing water in consequence of mixing waters of various temperatures and chemical composition, which is obvious by plentiful irregular niches and ceiling cupolas. Along the previous water table level, which later declined and stagnated for a long time, corrosive planated ceilings were formed (they cut out the lower parts of ceiling cupolas) and side corrosion notches on rocky walls.

Lenght: 585m     Depth: 30m

Three generations of aragonite were determined in the cave. It is formed from water solutions with high content of Mg-, Fe- a Mn-ions under conditions of stabile microclimate. The oldest are milky translucent kidney-shaped formation and their corroded relics (dated age of 121- 138 thousand years) with partially recrystalized aragonite, in places metamorphosed to calcite. The second generation of aragonite prevails and occurs mostly in the form of several cm long needles and spiral helictites (dated age of 14 thousand years).

These form cluster or dentritic formations (including so called cave flower or anthodite), which are most attractive for visitors. Aragonite of the second generation is still growing, by which it maintains the white colour and clean appearance. The youngest, contemporary generation of aragonite forms tiny fans with diameter of 2–4 mm (sometimes even more), sporadically creating miniature helictites with length not overlapping 40 mm.

Ochtinska Aragonite Cave

Air temperature in the cave is between 7.2 and 7.8 ºC, relative humidity between 92 and 97 %. Stabilizing of the cave microclimate is caused by ochres that contain 47-56 volume percent of water and they are able to absorb and release water vapour.

Cave tour

The artificial tunnel into the cave is 144 m long and overcomes the vertical distance of 19 metres with 104 steps. The total length of the cave is 300 m, air temperature reaches 7,2º to 7,8ºC. Cave visit lasts 30 minutes.

The ceiling is decorated by exceptional forms of eccentric aragonite. There are not many show caves in the world with such a specific decoration.

Ochtinska Aragonite Cave

Acces to cave

The cave is located in the Slovenske Rudohorie Mts. to the west of Roznava. You can reach the cave by a turn from the state road between Stitnik and Jelsava on the Hradok Hill (2 km). The parking is 300 m in front of the cave. Visitors walk from there to the cave entrance building.

Car access to cave
- From Poprad direction Roznava through Vernar, Dobsina and Stitnik – 80 km,
- From Roznava through Stitnik direction Jelsava – 25 km,
- From Jelsava direction Stitnik, Roznava – 10 km.

Ochtinska Aragonite Cave


Slovak Ore Mountains

The Slovak Ore Mountains have very varied relief. It consists of a set of mountain ranges, highlands, basins and flat surfaces. The highest part form the hills Stolica (1,476 m), Fabova hola (1,439 m), Kľak (1,409 m). The majority of the territory is covered by mixed forests. There are many plant species as well as animals like mamals and birds. It is a home of the wild cat, fox and marten.

Slovak Karst

The Slovak Karst, located on the Slovak and Hungarian border, is surrounded by the South Slovakian, Rožňava and Košice Basins and Volovské Hills. It is the largest karst territory of Slovakia. The area of 36,100 ha is included in the national park with protection zone of 34,900 ha. The Slovak Karst consists of 7 plateaux: Koniarska Plateau, Plešivská Plateau, Silická Plateau, Horný vrch, Zádielska Plateau, Jasovská Plateau and Dolný vrch. Jelšavský karst is adjacent on the western edge.

Revúcka Highland

The Revúcka Highland is not too high but quite large mountain range, with the main crest in direction from south-west to north-east. The highland is surrounded by the Stolické Hills in the west, Juhoslovenská Basin in the south, Slovak Paradise and Muránska Plateau in the north and Slovak Karst and Volovské Hills in the east.
The most of this highland is covered by dense forests, with prevailing deciduous trees, mainly beeches and oaks. A part of the highland is built of limestone rocks, which form a rich karst territory. Thanks to that, there are many caves in this area - Domica, Jasovska and Gombasecka caves.

Useful information

  • Caves are closed on Mondays and January 1. and December 24.-26., regular admission is realized at minimum of 4 persons.
  • The admissions can be realized according to the situation on decision of cave manager also between the times of regular ones.
  • Extra admission can be enabled by the cave manager on request of visitors also between the times of regular admissions. The fluency of operation cannot be disturbed and an extra fee must be paid.


Adults: 6,00 € Seniors: 5,00
Children [6-15]: 3,00 €  Students: 5,00 €

Source: www.ssj.sk

Ochtinska Aragonite Cave

Ochtiná - Rožňava
LAT: 48.6647220 = 48° 39' 52.9992"
LON: 20.3091670 = 20° 18' 33.0012"


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