|Location:||Pico Island, outside of Criação Velha, Madalena. The cave is about 2.4 km off the coast road either at Monte de Cima or Criação Velha towards east.|
|Light:||visitors provided with helmet and headlamp.|
|Dimension:||L=5,150 m, H=15 m, VR=200 m.|
|Guided tours:||L=450 m, D=45 min.|
Os Montanheiros, Núcleo da Ilha do Pico, Apartado 33, Ec Lajes do Pico, 9931-909 Lajes do Pico, Cell: +351-913-459081.
Os Montanheiros, Rua da Rocha 8, 9700-169 Angra do Heroísmo, Tel: +351-295-212992, Cell: +351-961-362215, Fax: +351-295-216465. 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.
|1990||discovered by Albino Garcia from Os Montanheiros.|
|1994||explored by C. Thomas.|
|18-MAR-2004||declared a Monumento Natural Regional in DLR N.° 6/2004/A.|
|2005||opened to the public.|
Gruta das Torres (Cave of the Towers) is the longest cave on the Azores, and is listed on the Worlds Longest Lava Tubes list on position 17 . The cave is equipped with a rough path and steps made of pahoehoe lava slabs. There is no light and will never be in order to preserve the natural state of the cave and protect the troglobionts living in the cave. All visitors to Torres Cave receive helmets with headlamps. Warm clothes and sturdy walking shoes are much recommended. The cave is visited in groups of 12.
At the entrance an unconventional Visitors Center welcomes the visitors. Shape, material, and color suggest lava and fit in with the environment around the mouth of the cave. An similar wall protects the cave entrance from intruders while still leaving it open to the sky.
This cave is formed in pahoehoe lava which flowed from the Cabeço Bravo area, at Criaçãp Velha. It is the longest cave in the Azores with a length of 5,150 m. It consists of a single tunnel which is over 15 m high in places. There are also smaller side passages where crawling is necessary. The cave displays many geological formations including boulder piles, lateral benches, flow marks and ropy lavas together with the usual lava stalactites and stalagmites.
Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.