Stopića Cave, a true gem of nature, lies on the slopes of Mount Zlatibor - one of the most visited Serbian mountains - at an elevation of 711 metres above sea level.
The cave, created by thick layers of limestone deposited on its walls over the centuries, takes its name from the nearby hamlet of Stopići. Once you have ascended the stone steps leading to the imposing entrance, measuring more than 30 metres high, you will be greeted by maintained footpaths, steps and lighting which will allow you to thoroughly explore its five units – the Light Hall, the Dark Hall, the Large Hall with Pools, the Pool Canal and the River Canal.
A distinctive feature of Stopića Cave are its large tufa pools – recesses in stone separated by undulating stone walls which spread across the cave. These recesses periodically fill with water during the year. During periods of high humidity they overflow with water which then flows down the undulating crimson walls in tiny streams that merge into a waterfall that is almost 10 metres high!
This subterranean waterfall, aptly named “the Well of Life”, makes the entire cave feel alive. Its halls echo with the sound of water streams and water spraying the surrounding rock which keeps the inside of the cave cool – a truly unique sensation to enjoy.
“The Well of Life” flows into the Trnavski stream at the exit of the cave which continues through the nearby woods.
Apart from its large subterranean waterfall, the cave features a myriad of deep tufa pools, which form large stone terraces of unusual shapes. Most of the pools only fill with water on occasion however some stay permanently filled – making them proper subterranean lakes.
A favourite cave figure in Stopića Cave is the scree cone known as the “Dog Graveyard”, illuminated by sunlit holes in the cave ceiling.
Unlike most caves, where temperature remains virtually the same year-round, in Stopića Cave the climate changes under the influence of external temperatures, so the inside of the cave matches the weather outside – it is warm in the summer and cold in the winter.
With its enchanting subterranean waterfalls and lakes and its unique atmosphere, Stopića Cave is a must-see for all those who travel to the nearby Zlatibor mountain, the Ethno Village of Sirogojno or Mokra gora mountain.
Info: Stopića Cave