Punkva Caves - These caves are of most popular caves in the Moravian Karst. The main entrance is about 2 km distant from Skalní mlýn (Rock Mill) – in Pustý žleb (Desert Valley) under the vertical cliff. This popularity is because of romantic water cruise on underground River Punkva and also possibility to be on the bottom of the Macocha Abyss. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world visit these caves.
Tour begins in large dome called Přední dóm (Front Dome). Its entrance is guarded by the biggest stalactite column called Strážce (Sentinel). Seal-pipe corridor leads into Hlinité síně (Clayey Domes) connected with Střední dóm (Central Dome) and also with Krystalová chodba (Crystal Corridor), which is not open to public. Beyond Stalagmitová chodba (Stalagmite Corridor) there is Zadní dóm (Rear Dome). From this point, all tourists could reach the bottom of Macocha Abyss and this is the end of journey called Suchá cesta (Dry Walk). Here you can fully enjoy the magnificence of huge gorge and see the Upper and Lower Lake fed by River Punkva.
The next stage is Mokrá cesta (Wet Walk) – underground cruise on the River Punkva. The Punkva`s Vodní dómy (Water Domes) are created by strong stream of flowing water for thousands of years. Water is under pressure looking for way out. Ceilings and walls are full of gutters, holes, made by vortex current. Visitors are now floating over První, Druhé and Třetí jezero (First, Second and Third Lake) to the most beautiful place of whole Moravian Karst – Pohádkový (Masarykův) dóm (Fabulous or Masaryk’s Dome). This dome with unforgettable cruise is supreme experience during enjoying local underground beauty. Huge stalagmites, stalactites and columns together with stalactite curtains and cascades in Brčková chodba (Straw Corridor) alternate with number of youngest formations like transparent straws, thick carrot-like formations with special nodulations not depend on gravitation called “helictit”.
History of exploration starts in 1723 by the first described visit of the bottom of Macocha Abyss. It was Lazar Schopper who was the first dated person in here. In 1909, it was Karel Absolon (1887-1960) and his team who got into new corridors from Pustý žleb to the bottom of Macocha Abbys via Dry Walk. It was on 31st January 1914. In 1930’s Vodní cesta (Water Walk) was discovered – cavers used this way to get from seepage of River Punkva through water domes to Macocha Abyss. First part called Suchá cesta (Dry Walk) was opened to public in 1910. In 1933, Mokrá Cesta (Dry Walk) was opened.