From Santa’s Grotto to the Caves of the Natural World
Lights are popping up through town, and here and there, long lines of children, humming with excitement, are queuing up to visit Santa’s Grotto. But what about the real-world grottos? These hidden away places offer examples of the world’s most incredible natural architecture. They are underground palaces that any mythical creature would be excited to live in!
1. The Reed Flute Cave, or “The Palace of Natural Arts” is a landmark in Guangxi, China. The natural limestone cave is lit by multi coloured lighting to produce a psychedelic experience. You will feel as though you have fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole into a world of surrealist shapes and patterns.
2. The Marble Caves are one of the world’s most isolated natural treasures. Their iridescent walls are reflected by the sparkling waters of Carrera Lake in Patagonia. Follow them through and you will find a twisting labyrinth of caverns, tunnels, and pillars.
3. Along the Algarve coast in Portugal are a series of beautiful natural sculptures hewn by the waves. Above beds of sand and sea soar arcs of golden rock, through which the sun pours. These caves are best seen by boat.
4. The giant crystal cave is a site that needs to be seen to really be believed. Connected to the Naica Mine and 300 meters below Mexico, it contains giant selenite crystals which stand like spears from the walls and floor. This cave is difficult to reach and dangerous to explore so it still remains a mystery
5. With a name like Vatnajokull, you may already be expecting great things from this glacier in Iceland and indeed it doesn’t disappoint. It is Europe’s largest glacier and covers more than 8% of the country. It is also the perfect place to witness the ice caves. They are ever changing as they reform each year in the winter when the glacial rivers retract and the water freezes.