Near the town of Blansko to the north of Brno, Czech Republic you will find one of Central Europe's most important geological formations, the Moravian Karst. Covering an area of up to 100 km², this large protected nature reserve is home to over 1100 caves and gorges. Today, five of these cave systems are currently open for the public to explore, which are the Blacarka, Kateřinská, Sloupsko-šošůvské jeskyné, Výpustek and the popular Punkva Cave.
Being an extension of the largest caving system in the Czech Republic, Punkva Cave was discovered in 1909 by Professor Karel Absolon and his team of explorers.
This cave has become extremely popular among tourists. During a 60 minute guided tour, a path will take you through its decorated corridors of towering stalagmites and stalactites cathedrals, down to the bottom of the world famous Macocha Abyss. A large 138-meter deep abyss and Central Europe's deepest of its kind was formed when the ceiling of a cave collapsed.
After visiting the abyss, you will continue on by motor boat through the deep waters of the subterranean Punkva River.
Note: book tickets up to a week/2 weeks in advance during the summer months. It gets busy. We were lucky enough to call the day before and reserve a ticket, this was in May.
You can reserve a ticket by calling the Skalní Mlýn Tourist Information Centre and pay upon pick up. Cost per ticket is 180 CZK (7.70$) and additional 40 CZK (1.70$) to take photos.
Phone: (+420) 516 410 024 / 516 413 575
Our Tour Inside Punkva Cave
Located in the Pustý žleb Canyon, 2 km from Skalní mlýn Tourist Information Centre, you will find the entrance to the Punkva Cave. We arrived at 2 pm with our tickets already in hand, all excited for our cave exploration. Following our guide, we entered the cave with our group and were suddenly hit by the cool air of 8° C.
During the tour, we were going to be stopping at eight different sections. We knew this because we were given a leaflet in our preferred language, explaining all we needed to know about the Punkva Cave, as the tour is in Czech only.
Our first stop was through the entrance to a dome with a 4-meter long stalactite called the Guard. The dome itself is called the Front Dome and was the first section of the cave discovered in 1909. Inside this area, we could see a really rich collection of almost all known speleothems.
Moving on through the Punkva Cave, the dome transforms into a cave gallery dropping towards the siphon. Here we came across a small lake called the Mirror Lake.
Under illumination, the lake reflects the roof of the cave in a perfect mirror image. There are also different formations of speleothem in the shape of a castle on a mountain, an umbrella and owls. To be honest, we couldn't make heads or tales of the shapes, by the looks of others, either could they. Even so, they were still pretty cool.
Continuing on, making our way up the stairs, we passed by the Reichenbach Dome, Black Dome and onto the Angel. A magnificent speleothem decoration represented by two powerful features, the Angel and the Curtain.
This was definitely an impressive speleothem feature to come across, before moving on to the famous Macocha Abyss.
As we entered the bottom of the Macocha Abyss, we were surrounded by lush green vegetation covering the towering abyss walls.
Some of this vegetation is made up of protected flora normally found in high mountain regions. At the bottom of the abyss, there is a small lake called Lower Lake through which the Punkva River leaves.
Coming to the Upper Landing Stage in the Punkva Cave, we boarded an electrical powered flat bottom boat. Navigating our way through the 440-meter long subterranean waters, we stopped at the Masaryk's Dome, before finally exiting at the entrance of Punkva Cave.
Note: Bring a warm jumper/jacket with you, it gets quite chilly inside the cave. Especially when you go from +25°C to 8°C.
Getting To And From Punkva Cave
Getting from Brno to Punkva Caves wasn't as easy as we thought. Considering this is a popular tourist attraction, there are only a few buses leaving from Blansko to Skalní mlýn. Well, at least this is the case on weekdays, weekends are more frequent.
Knowing that we were going to miss the last morning bus from Blansko station, we found out an alternative route. But first, let's talk you through, how to get from Brno to Punkva Cave with the normal route. On this route you will be going from Brno - Blansko - Skalní mlýn - Punkva Cave.
Note: To get to Skalní mlýn, purchase a zone 5 ticket for 84 CZK / 3.60 $ return.
Getting To Punkva Cave
From Brno's main train station, take the train S2 to Blansko in the direction to Letovice or Brézová. Trains leave almost every 30 minutes, taking up to 25 - 43 minutes.
When you exit Blansko train station, you will see the bus station over the bridge to your left. Take bus number 226 to Skalní mlýn Tourist Information Centre. From Skalní mlýn you can either walk 2 km or take a small eco road train to Punkva Cave.
226 Bus Times From Blansko - Skalní mlýn
Mon - Friday: 07:39, 09:01, 10:01, 11:01, 15:01, 17:01
Sat - Sunday: 07:39, 08:49, 09:39, 10:49, 11:21, 13:39, 14:39, 14:49, 15:56, 16:39, 16:49, 17:39
If you end up missing bus 226 like we did, you can always catch bus number 232 to Vilémovice, Macocha. The only difference here is, you will have to walk 4 km to Punkva Cave.
When you get off the bus, cross over the road and a turn left. Following this road for 2 km will take you to a tourist information centre at the upper viewpoint of the abyss.
From here you can walk a further 2 km on the blue trail, or take a cable car all the way down to Punkva Cave entrance. Taking this trail will lead you to an amazing view looking down into Macocha Abyss from the upper landing bridge.
232 Bus Time From Blansko - Vilémovice Macocha
Mon - Friday: 07:28, 08:57, 10:57, 12:57,13:57, 14:28, 14:57, 15:26, 15:57
Sat - Sunday: 07:57, 09:57, 11:57, 13:57, 14:57, 15:57
Getting Back To Brno
Best way to get back to Brno is by taking the bus 226 from Skalní mlýn to Blansko. From there, catch the train leaving every 15- 20 minutes to Brno.
226 Bus Time From Skalní mlýn - Blansko
Mon - Friday: 08:12, 09:12, 10:12, 11:12, 15:12, 17:12
Sat - Sunday: 08:12, 09:12, 10:32, 11:12, 12:12, 14:12, 15:12, 16:12, 17:12, 18:12
Note: These times are from May 2017 and are valid until the end of December 2017. If you feel you need to recheck the times, we recommend doing so at the Brno Train Station the day before.
If you find yourself in Brno for a few days, then we definitely recommend a day trip to Punkva Cave. We were very impressed with the tour and got to learn a lot about its long history.
Have you ever been to Punkva Caves before or would you be interested in visiting these caves? We would love to hear what you think in the comments below.