Cüceler Mağarası

Dwarf Cave

Useful Information

Location: South of Sapadere. From coastal hwy D400 turn off on Demirtas Yolu 15 km, turn right to Sapadere, first left to Tırılar. 180 m walk on elevated trail to the cave entrance.
(36.490048, 32.276473)
Fee: Adults TRL 10.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=20 °C.
Guided tours: L=310 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cüceler Mağarası, Tırılar, 07400 Alanya/Antalya.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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2012 developed as a show cave in 2 months.
09-MAY-2012 opened to the public.


Cüceler Mağarası (Dwarf Cave) is a rather young show cave. Located at the town Sapadere it is often visited together with the Sapadere Kanyonu. Day trips are offered from the hotels at the coast south of Alanya. The cave was originally named Gökkuşağı Mağarası (Rainbow Cave) because of the colorful speleothems. It was renamed after a legend.

During the 20th century a family named Terziler lived in Tirılar Village. One of the boys was a dwarf. But the neighbors were mean and even violent against him and he fled his home into the cave. A shepherd discovered him in the cave and informed his family. They came to the cave to collect him, and since that day the cave was named Cüceler Mağarası (Dwarf Cave).
However, there are numerous versions of the legend which are completely different, so we guess most guides make them up as they go, There is also a version where it was a family of dwarfs, which lived 200 years earlier, one where he fled because his brother beat him. Another version tells he was beaten by the villagers and his brother went to the cave daily to bring him food. On one occasion the brother was followed by a shepherd who then discovered the boy at the end of the cave eating the food.

This legend is not exactly funny, actually it just tells us that a poor boy with the disorder dwarfism was mobbed. There is another legend which is much older.

During the Ottoman period tax was levied on small cattle, sheep and goats, named Ağnam Vergisi. Farmers who did not want to pay the tax hid their animals in the cave from the tax inspectors.

The first 150 m of the cave were developed very well in 2012. The light system is much better than usual for Turkish cave, it has a neutral white colour instead of being yellow. Nevertheless they could not resist adding some coloured lamps. The cave entrance is rather difficult to reach, so the development included an elevated trail with steel frame and wooden planks, which leads through the tree tops to the cave entrance. There are plans to extend the developed section to 250 m, but so far there is no date scheduled. The cave was developed by Osman Yılmaz who already operated Sapadere Canyon. He invested TRL 250,000 and the works took two months. He planned to extend the show cave by 100 m in the following year, but as far as we could determine the following year is not reached by now. As far as we understand the we will do this next year, the this cave heals asthma, and the this is the longest cave of the world, are unholy trinity of Turkish show cave storytelling. And by the way, Cüceler Mağarası apparently heals asthma.