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The legend of the Incirli caves

Here in North Cyprus you will stumble across many interesting and historic places relatively untouched and unexplored by many people. One of our favourites is only around 20 mins from our resorts. Hidden amongst the mountains close to the village of Cinarli this beautiful find is said to have been discovered when local villagers caring for a herd of goats noticed they had disappeared and probably stolen. While searching for the missing goats, goat hoof tracks led the villagers to the cave entrance, hidden behind a Fig tree. The caves name means Fig in Turkish. At the time the cave was discovered figs were said to have healing powers. A fruit packed with minerals, antioxidants and fibre they could indeed have appeared that way to locals. Legend has it that the villagers never did find the goats or the thieves hiding inside, and to this day the mystery remains as to the exit they used. It is said to be in the village of Altinova some way through the mountain, but as yet it has never been found. Perhaps you will be able to work out how the Goats and thieves left the caves once you are inside?! The cave is deep in stalactites and stalagmites created over thousands of years from Gypsum rock, also known as Selenite. Formed primarily from Calcium and a water source. The presence of this Gypsum led to the soil above the mountains being richly fertilised, for the cultivation of north Cyprus traditional plants such as olives. Gypsum was in fact one of the first fertilizers used in the USA. Despite the name the rock has no Selenium in it, the name in fact derives from the ancient Greek word for Moon. The caves are open from 9am-3.30pm every day except Weds and Saturday. Look for the brown tourist signs ‘Incilari Magave’ pointing left from the road towards Gecitkale and Famagusta. A map can be collected from our Crystal Bay Marina Office or found on our Facebook page photo albums.

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