Lake cave of Tapolca
Visitors can get into a unique underground world in Tapolca, if they visit the lake cave situated in the centre of this small town. Fortunately, this popular site of the Balaton Uplands National Park, due to the decline of mining as a sector of industry, can now be toured on a boat. However, there were times in the second half of the 20thcentury when you could only walk along the already explored sections of the cave on foot.
Let us see what this cave holds for us!
It was discovered while a well was being bored on this site at the beginning of the 20th century and ten years later it was opened to the public becoming Hungary’s first cave equipped with electric lighting and used for the purposes of tourism.
The lake cave’s rock mass that was formed 13.7 million years ago is made up of limestone and marl formed from the sediment of the former Sarmatian Sea.
The water supply of the lake is ensured from two sources, which explains also the formation of the various caverns. Firstly, cold carst water comes from the upper Triassic dolomite layer to the region of the Tapolca Basin. The same dolomite layer can be found a few hundred meters deeper as well, where, due to the post-volcanic activities of volcanoes (which are inactive today but still play a dominant role in shaping the landscape), the water found there is warmed up to nearly 40°C and seeps up through the cracks.
Originating from these two sources, this mixed water, of around 18-20 °C, has created the caverns. Today the water flows slowly from the Hospital cave, from the north, towards the springs of the Mill Lake situated in the town centre. The water welling up at a number of places feeds the Tapolca Brook. The Mill Lake came into existence through the damming up of the water of the brook at the end of the 19th century, and, as a result of the damming-up, the lake cave is now suitable for boating. The most well-known representative of the fauna of the lake cave is the minnow, a small fish species that people living in Tapolca call the shiner.
The Tapolca Lake Cave is Hungary’s second cave under official protection. Its status of a particularly protected, distinguished site is justified by its geological, genetic, morphological, hydrologic and biological heritage, as well as its extent.
1st March - 30th June: 9.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ticket office closes at 4 p.m.)
1st July - 31 August: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. (ticket office closes at 7 p.m.)
1st September - 31st October: 9.30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (ticket office closes at 4 p.m.)
1st November - 23th December: 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. (ticket office closes at 3.30 p.m.)
24th - 25th December: closed
26th December: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. (ticket office closes at 1 p.m.)
27th -30th December: 9 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. (ticket office closes at 3.30 p.m.)
31st December: closed
1st January 2020: closed
Directorate of the Balaton Uplands National Park – Tapolca Lake Cave
8300 Tapolca, Kisfaludy Sándor u. 3.
+36 87 412 579, +36 87 555 291
Bakony és Balaton Térségi Turisztikai Nonprofit Kft.
+36 20 219 32 60