Okljucna village and Kraljicina spilja cave

I have been reading about Kraljicina spilja cave (Queen’s cave translated to English) for a while now but never had the time to visit. It is the largest cave of Vis island and it is located on a fairly inaccessible part of the western coast close to Okljucna village. Yesterday we had some extra time and decided to visit the cave.
First, we drove to abandoned Okljucna village.

Okljucna today…

Okljucna today is just a shadow of once a lovely village that even had a full school of students. No one lives there year round any more. Just a few restored houses are now left and many more are abandoned.
The church at Okljucna

To reach the Queen’s Cave, one has to drive from Vis all the way to a sign that tells a story of the cave and the research conducted. It involves some dirt road driving but in general, it is an easy drive.
Then, it is enough to follow the signs along the path. For about 50 minutes.
Abandoned house along the route.
Abandoned house along the route.

Being end of August, we enjoyed picking and eating blackberries and figs but also saw rare service tree filled with fruits (still sour)
Service tree
Service tree

The path is quite scenic but very narrow. it is difficult to get lost, though, as it is the only path you can follow. At times, it goes bellow the pine trees providing much needed shade. make sure you bring plenty of water as you will need it!
Following the path
Following the path

Nearing the cave, the views became stunning. Open seas and steep, rugged western coast of Vis.
The western coast of Vis
The western coast of Vis

The final part of the trail is fairly difficult and ropes have been positioned and tied to the trees to ease the approach. The cave is right above the sea, some 70 meters, although, due to many trees, it does not look that way!
The entrance to Queen's cave
The entrance to Queen’s cave

The cave is not too big and one needs ropes to get to more distant halls. Without any equipment, one can easily get through the first two sections. Some carved steps can also be found to ease getting from one part to another.
The cave is filled with ornaments and it is quite lovely. Nothing spectacular but still pretty. Lots of bats, too!
Inside the cave
Inside the cave

Beautiful part of the cave
Beautiful part of the cave

The cave has also suffered some devastation although some of the major destruction seems to have been done by an earthquake. The archaeologists have doe some excavations as the cave was inhabited in the past. Not permanently according to the evidence found but probably only as a stop when traveling.
Some half hour is enough to enjoy the cave (without ropes) and to enjoy the cool temperatures before heading back.
One exiting we heard and briefly saw, very rare Eleanora’s falcon! That makes these cliffs a top position for any serious birdwatcher!
The road back was nothing easier… Another 50 minutes in the scorching sun and looking for rare pine tree shades. We were happy to be back to Oključna.
Opuntia ficus-indica
Opuntia ficus-indica

Just one of many great places to visit while on Vis!

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