Cerovačke špilje - Cerovačke pećine

The Caves of Cerovack - Gornja Cerovacka - Donja Cerovacka

Useful Information

Location: Grab 70a, 23440 Gračac.
1 km southeast of Gračac towards Knin at the railroad. At the road Plitvice to Zadar, at the northern foot of the Velebit mountains. Signposted from the main road.
(44.2747192, 15.8828198)
Open: All year daily 9-16.
Donja Cerovacke Cave: 10, 11:30, 13, 14:30.
Gornja Cerovacke Cave: 11:30, 13, 14:30.
Fee: One Cave: Adults EUR 7.90, Children (7-14) EUR 5.30, Children (0-6) free, Students (-25) EUR 6.60, Seniors (65+) EUR 6.60, Disabled EUR 6.60.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 6.60, Children (6-16) EUR 3.90, Students (-25) EUR 5.30, Seniors (65+) EUR 5.30, Disabled EUR 5.30.
Both Cave: Adults EUR 11.90, Children (7-14) EUR 8.60, Children (0-6) free, Students (-25) EUR 9.90, Seniors (65+) EUR 9.90, Disabled EUR 9.90.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 9.90, Children (6-16) EUR 7.20, Students (-25) EUR 8.60, Seniors (65+) EUR 8.60, Disabled EUR 8.60.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=8,093 m, VR=202 m, T=7 °C.
Donja Cerovacke Cave: L=1,295 m.
Gornja Cerovacke Cave: L=2,682 m.
Guided tours: Both Caves: D=2.5 h.
Donja Cerovacke Cave: D=50 min, L=700 m.
Gornja Cerovacke Cave: D=50 min, L=700 m.
Photography: allowed without flash, video allowed
Bibliography: Dr Mirko Malez (1965): Cerovacke Pecine / die Höhlen von Cerovac / The Cervac Caves / Les Grottes de Cerovac, Published as Izdanja Speleoloskog drustva Hrvatske, No 1. SB. 41 pp, 21 full page B&W photos, 2 large folding maps in the rear.
This is a nicely produced guide book to some famous caves near Gracac in Croatia. In three languages.
Address: Cerovačke špilje, Grab 70a, 23440, Gračac, Tel: +385-99-8144724 E-mail:
Javna ustanova "Park prirode Velebit",Kaniža Gospićka 4b, 53000 Gospić, Tel: +385-53-560-450. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1912-1920 a railway through the Lika region was constructed.
1913 lower cave discovered during the construction of the railroad by engineer Nikola Turkalj.
1961 declared a natural monument.
1970s cave exploration with SRT started.
2004 closed due to problems with the current management.
2006 reopened under new management.
04-APR-2018 beginning of major renovation funded by the EU.
14-JUN-2021 caves reopened to the public.


The plural of Cerovačke špilje (Caves of Cerovack) is justified, as there are three different caves. They are different levels, which were first thought be different caves, but they are connected with several shafts. The caves are easy to visit and famous for their speleothems. They are often mentioned to be the most beautiful caves of Croatia. Donja, Srednja, and Gornja Cerovačka špilja are Upper, Middle, and Lower Cerovack Cave. Only the Donja Cerovacka and Gornja Cerovacka are open to the public.

The huge entrance hall of the Donja Cerovacka (Upper Cerovacke Cave) was a shelter for prehistoric man. In the cave sediments, many remains of this people were found. In other parts of the cave the bones of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) were found. Most of them were found in the Bear Pit 237 m from the entrance and below a layer of flowstone about 400 m from the entrance.

The upper cave is known for a very long time, Gornja Cerovacka (Lower Cerovacke Cave) was discovered during the construction of the nearby railroad. But 3,300-year-old shards of pottery from the Iapodes, a proto-Illyrian tribe, were found on the first 100 m, which proofs that it was known at this time.

800 m from the entrance the passage divides into two branches, with the left one soon reaching Bear Hall, another place with remains of cave bears. The right branch is much bigger and is called the main passage. It was formed as it drained the rain water that fell on the Gračac plain and drained it through the Velebit Mountains towards the Zrmanja River and the sea.

Both caves are famous for their palaeontological remains, including not only cave bears, but also cave lions, fossil brown bears, wild horses, red deer, chamois, and several other animals. There was also discovered a human bone, a right tibia.

Cerovac Caves were closed in 2018 for visits for the implementation of the project "Center of Excellence Cerovac Caves - Sustainable Management of Natural Heritage and Karst Underground". The project was massively funded by the European Fund for Regional Development. The total cost of the project was HRK 68,453,850. Reopening was planned for January 2022, but due to Corona lockdown, the caves were finally reopened in June 2022. The access road, parking lot and entrance buildings were completely rebuilt, also the trails in the cave, and the electric light was replaced by a modern LED system. It seems the update of the website content was not included in the project.