It is known that Macedonia abounds with a number of natural beauties. Among them is the complex of caves “Vrelo” located near Skopje in the canyon Matka. The only way to get to this location is by organizing a boat tour while enjoying the beauties of the lake and the Matka Canyon. The complex itself is composed of an cave called “Vrelo”, which abounds with stalactites and pillars created by the nature, and with this lavish look is a real attraction for visitors and tourists whose interest is growing every day. But here is the underwater cave called “Podvrelo” which has not yet been fully explored and is a great challenge for speleologists and divers from around the world. No less important are the small and big lake with its so-called “Russian beach”, which was named by Russian pilots who used the beach to enjoy lakes in the past while they were part of the Macedonian aviation. It should also be noted that the caves along with the Ohrid Lake were nominated for the new 7 wonders of nature.


Interesting about the underwater cave is that its depth can`t yet be determined. Until 2008, the cave was 71st in the world with a depth of 100m, but research carried out in 2009 found that the cave has more unexplored corridors, canals, galleries and much greater depths of 192m, which is ranked at 14th place in the world in depth of underwater caves. However, these data are not enough to stop surveys. In 2010, the Italian diver Luigi Casati managed to descend to a depth of 212 meters which was an unexpected and incredible feat as well as a new record in the depths of the cave. It was a challenge for a large number of divers to sweep in hiding in the depths, but perhaps the biggest for the Polish diver, KrzystofStarnawski, who in 2016, breakingCasati`s record, dived to a depth of 230 meters that said the depth continued, but we will find out in the next research. This is exactly what happened this year in August when Starnawski supported by more speleologists after more than 5 hours of diving managed to descend to a depth of 240 meters simultaneously breaking his own record, but also with the conclusion that this is not the final depth, it is likely that the same is more than 300 meters. With these data, the cave definitely takes the first place for the deepest cave in the Balkans, but according to previous research it is also considered one of the deepest caves in Europe. It remains to be hoped that the next researches will confirm the expectations that it is the deepest cave on the planet, and also for a new world wonder of nature.

Milan Gjapic

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