Ayvaini Cave, Bursa, TurkeyA guest post by Matt Conley

Ayvaini Cave is one of Bursa’s lesser known natural jewels. Located about 2 kilometers south of Uluabat Lake not far from the town of Mustafakemapaşa, the cave was discovered in 1970 by three Spaniards and officially opened to the public in 2008. It is the sixth longest cave in Turkey with a length of nearly 5 kilometers.

Ayvaini Cave has two entrances. The most easily accessible entrance is on the outskirts of Ayvaköy village. There, a short but steep unmaintained trail leads up to the mouth of the cave. A 400-meter-long lake sits just inside the cave mouth. If you aren’t wanting to pass completely through the cave, this entrance is the safest and most accessible for exploring.

Ayvaini Cave, Bursa, TurkeyThe other cave entrance is located 5.5 kilometers away between two neighboring villages named Doğanalan and Kazanpınar. This opening starts with a 17-meter vertical descent into the cave. Typically, those seeking to completely pass through the cave will enter at the Doğanalan entrance (sometimes with rappelling equipment) and will exit the cave at Ayvaköy.  

Other than the Doğanalan entrance, the cave is mostly horizontal and accessible for exploration. The cave shelters nearly 60 underground lagoons and includes beautiful features such as stalagmites, stalactites, and travertine formations.

Click here for a map of the Ayvaini Cave area.

Matt Conley is a photography enthusiast and avid outdoorsman. He’s spent quite a bit of time in Bursa and has had many opportunities to get off the beaten path. In a three-part series, Matt shares some of his experiences exploring Bursa’s great outdoors. Text and photos © Matt Conley. Published here with permission.

Uluabat Lake, Bursa, Turkey