Phraya Nakhon Cave, Sam Roi Yod, Thailand

internal worlds

Photos : Getty images

The longest caves aren’t necessarily the most beautiful. We tell you how far into the mountain you have to go to see the best bits
Lascaux Cave Chamber, France

20 metre

The Lascaux Caves, France  

After just 20m it’s possible to see the famous Stone Age bulls on the wall… If you can find your way in, that is. The cave has been closed to the public since the 1963.

 

30 metre

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand  

Just 30m into this grotto, you’ll start to see evidence of Arachnocampa luminosa – or glowworms as they’re more commonly known. 

120 metre

Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico (USA)  

One of the longest cave systems in the world at 222km, it’s stunningly beautiful. Think 6m gypsum chandeliers and cave pearls. 

Gouffre Berger, France

500 metre

Gouffre Berger, France 

A climber’s paradise. After 500m of transverse descent, you come to the eerie stalactite formation known as the Salle des Treize.

1 km

Eisriesenwelt, Austria  

Known as Elsa’s Ice Palace, only the first kilometre of this pure ice cave is accessible. Beyond that, it’s Elsa only. 

1,9 km 

Gasteiner Heilstollen, Austria  

Dug in 1943 by Polish slave labourers who, to the Nazis’ chagrin, not only refused to die but actually got stronger. All as a result of the mountain’s (slightly controversial) radioactive healing powers.

hang Son Doong, Vietnam

6 km 

Grotte Hang Son Doong, Vietnam  

Jungle gym: 6km into this vast cave you’re confronted with a wall 60m high, which has only just been conquered by mountaineers.

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