Caves in the Ternopil province
Caves are the natural wonders and the pride of Ternopil Region. Today 100 caves in the region are inscribed in the cadastral register, including Optymistychna Cave which is the longest gypsum cave in the world and the fourth longest cave with the length of 232km of surveyed passageways.
The labyrinths of eternal darkness, silence and tranquility are created by nature. When a person goes below the ground, he/she gets a unique experience of beauty of the underground kingdom and can fulfill his/her dream of exploring the unknown and new world.
Optymistychna (meaning Optimistic) Cave is a gypsum giant in Ukraine and the largest gypsum cave in the world. It is number one cave on the continent and the fourth longest cave in the world with 232km of passageways. A large variety of cave formations, its uniqueness and beauty fascinate fans of speleological tourism from many countries.
Verteba Cave Museum has a length of 8 km. It is considered unique for the number and value of the artifacts that belong to different eras. Owing to the scientific value of archaeological finds, Verteba was called the Upper Dniester Pompeii. There were discovered the samples of the ancient Trypillian Culture (5500 and 2750 BC): pottery, tools made of bone and horn, objects made of bone and stone and human figurines. The unique combination of cave and museum elucidates the history of ancient culture and shows us the dark and mysterious underground world.
Mlynky (Mills) Cave
Active cave explorers find Mlynky Cave to be very beautiful. There they will have to crawl, to go through cracks and squeeze into crevices. Forty kilometers of passages provide routes of varying difficulty: calm ones or causing a good adrenaline rush. During your walk through the cave you will see cave crystals, stalactites and other underground beauty.
Kryshtaleva (Crystal) Cave
Kryshtaleva Cave has a length of 23km. The illuminated tour route for visitors has a length of 3 kilometers. It takes an hour and a half for the journey to the wonder world. The route is quite convenient, safe and easy for passing. There is no need for special equipment and clothing. Going 40 meters below the ground, you will see the strange shapes created by the water of the non-existent Sarmatian Sea. The special feature of the cave is that there is highly ionized air and water, and complete absence of disease-causing organisms.
Ozerna (Lake) Cave
The name of the cave originates from the numerous underground lakes located inside it. The lakes cover approximately one-third of its area. The surveyed passages have 127 km. Experts prove that the mazes of Ozerna Cave can join the side passages of Optymistychna Cave (the largest gypsum cave in the world) as the distance between them is just 600 m. Water levels in the lakes fluctuate. The cycle length is 22 years: the water level rises within 11 years and drops within the next 11 years. The amplitude of water-level fluctuations is more than two meters. During the maximum water level rise the special equipment is required. During the Second World War, 1942-1943, the cave sheltered 38 Jews from the German SS units. In 1946 the UPA divisions (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) took shelter in the cave as well.