Cuevas del Drach and Dels Hams, fascinating caves in Mallorca

In the town of Porto Cristo you will find the Cuevas del Drach and the Cuevas dels Hams. They are two of the most attractive underground systems in the Balearic Islands.

The coasts of Mallorca are covered with a multitude of geological formations resulting from the erosive effect of water and wind. Both cave complexes are the most famous.

Cuevas dels Hams

Cueva del Hams

Cueva dels Hams formations. | Wikimedia

The Hams Caves were discovered in 1905 by Pedro Caldentey. They are more than 500 metres long and can be visited. They get their name from the spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites they contain.

Their shapes sometimes resemble harpoons or fishhooks (which is what hams means in Mallorcan dialect). Inside the Hams caves is a large underground lake popularly known as “the sea of Venice”.

Cuevas del Drach

The Drach Caves are the most famous and most visited caves on the island. The Drach caves are four interconnected caves (Los franceses, Luis Salvador, Blanca and Negra). Together they form a 2,400-metre-long visitable space. It is elongated in shape.

Like the Hams caves, the Caves of Drach also have an underground lake that is connected to the sea. As a result, the sea brings salt water to the caves at high tides.

Cuevas del Drach and their underground lake. | Shutterstock

The underground lake of the Drach Caves is 117 metres long and 30 metres wide. It is one of the largest in Europe. This lake was named Lake Martel in honour of its discoverer.

It is a cool place to visit during the summer. A constant temperature of 17 degrees Celsius is maintained throughout the year. The name “Caves of Drach” comes from an ancient legend. It places a dragon as the guardian of the entrance to the caves. In 1988 the Cuevas del Drach were declared an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Spanish Government.

Hiking and access

Both the Hams caves and the Drach caves are equipped for guided visits. Both areas are illuminated. They have an interpretative programme in which audiovisual media play a major role. In the case of the Drach Caves, you can even enjoy a small classical music concert played live over the waters of the lake.

The access to the caves of Drach and Hams is perfectly indicated from Porto Cristo. It is a town just a few kilometres away from other towns such as Manacor.

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