Caving

Caving In Greece
Aghios Antonios

An interesting cave as it also doubles-up as a church. It lies in the village of Patsos, north-west of Spili and was used during Minoan through Roman times as a place of worship. Minoan finds from this cave are displayed in both the Herakleion museum and in Oxford’s Ashmolean.

Agia Sofia Cave (Saint Sophia)

Once a sacred spot of Minoan worship the cave of Agia Sofia is now famous for its mammoth stalactites and stalagmites. A steep climb up the stone staircase and into the mouth of the cave visitors will first see a small chapel where they may light a candle or offer a prayer. Once inside it is fairly easy to make one’s way around (although the back of the cave is too slippery and dark to explore). Some of the stalagmites and stalactites are up to five or six meters in length with unique, almost otherworldly formations.

Blue Zina Cave, Petropigi

Located 30 km west of Xanthi. There are three main climbing sectors of this cave. 1. Old sector, 2. Blue Zina Cave, 3. The Temple. There are also 40 plus routes to choose from which are 30-60 meters long and 2 trails to access the cave.

Cave of Anemotripa

This large and fascinating cave was only discovered about fifty years earlier when 2 local men were asked to investigate what seemed to be air flowing out of a hole in the ground on the outskirts of Pramanta village. (Anemotripa means “wind hole” in Greek.) What they discovered was an extensive cave system including underground rivers and lakes, waterfalls, and impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Today the cave has been divided into three sections. The upper section is the oldest but due to its ceiling having partially collapsed; it remains closed to the public. The other two sections offer intriguing paths that snake their way through the wonders of the cave. A snack bar offers concessions at the entrance to the cave where tickets are sold. The cave lies just outside the village of Pramanta in the south east corner of the prefecture.

Cave of Hermes

The Cave of Hermes near the winter sport centre Ziria is supposed to be where Hermes hid the golden cows stolen from Apollo, his brother. Head to the cave of Mercury on the west bank of Flabouritsa, full of chambers and multi-coloured stalactites. You will need the required equipment to explore it fully.

Cave of Lakes, Kastria

This is a huge cave by any standards and the largest in the area, lying some 17 kilometers south of Kalavrita and barely 2 kilometers from Kleitoria. With an stunningly enchanting entrance and three different levels the cave looks almost otherworldly, complete with haunting galleries and hanging formations.

Cave of Lihada

Near the eponymous village of Lihada lies this cave with a large entrance. Artefacts found in the cave have confirmed it was inhabited as far back as the Prehistoric era.

Cave of Lovers

Near the beach of Tigani on the coast of Tyros-Sapounakeika, there’s the Cave of Lovers which can only be by a beautiful boat ride. It is also rich in colours with many stalagmites and stalactites.

Cave of the Holy Fathers

Located approximately 6 km northwest of Paleochora near a small village called Azogires, the Cave of the Holy Fathers is an impressive cave system with a moving spiritual history. Over 20 meters high and more than 100 meters long the cave is accessed by ascending through its mouth which is approximately 10 by 5 meters. Once inside there are steel ladders leading you down into the cave which houses a number of wondrous dripstone formations. The Cave of the Holy Fathers has still not been fully investigated and it is relatively difficult terrain – a flashlight and sturdy hiking shoes are an absolute necessity. Any questions can be directed to the friendly locals at the nearby Alfa Cafe and Information Center.

Didyma caves

The caves at Didyma, so called in Greek, aren’t caves at all! They’re dolines, or big depressions in the ground with very interesting features. The small doline or ‘small cave’ can be reached from the Didyma bypass road where there’s a small parking area. There is a steep stairway dug into the ground that will take you into the doline.

Gourgouthakas Cave

Also known to many Greeks as the ‘deepest cave’ Gourgouthakas is located in an area of the White Mountains (Ta Lefka Ori) known as Atzinolakos. Sitting at an altitude of 1500 meters it is 1208 meters in depth and 900 meters in length making it one of the deepest caves in the entire world. Initially discovered in the early nineties, Greek speleologists were the first to investigate the cave; a couple short years later a team of climbers triumphantly conquered it. The area around Gourgouthakas Cave is extremely beautiful and worth exploring on its own. Only those who are the most qualified and experienced climbers should consider this expedition.

Kamares Cave

This is one for those who like their caves at a high elevation. Situated 1,700 metres above sea level, Kamares, also known as Kamaraiko, is accessable by a trail leading north, and upwards from the village of Kamares. Beware, it’s quite a hike to the cave from the village, and be of more interest to those with a penchant for archaeology than speleology, as this was an important site in Minoan times, with votive offerings having been found here.

Katsiouna and Haravla Caves

If you love hiking and spelunking, these twin caves near Messohora Village are perfect for you. Located at an altitude of 800 meters, you’ll enjoy searching for them and then exploring their beautiful chambers.

Kefalas Cave (Northwest Kalymnos, in Pothia)

After a short hike to the cave’s location after a boat ride, you’ll be rewarded with the chance to admire one of the most beautiful caves in Kalymnos, dripping with stalactites. Legend has it that the nuns of Saint Catherine Monastery discovered it but kept it a secret because of a rumored treasure stored there by pirates. Archaeological evidence found here suggests it was a site of worship for Olympiou Dios.

Kidonia Cave (near Stournareika Village)

Experienced spelunkers will find this stunning cave at an altitude of 1340 m along the mountain ridge. It’s unexplored but its beauty is still well-known – ask the locals for tips and advice before venturing in to admire the cave chamber dripping with stalactites and stalagmites.

Kokkini Spilia Cave (near Alonia, Nea Pefki Village)

When you visit this beautiful mountain village, ask the locals for directions to Kokkini Spilia. Translated as Red Cave, Kokkini Spilia’s name is suggestive of the cave chamber’s main feature, which is the beautiful red color of the rock.
When you’re done exploring, stop by the nearby gushing springs of Frahos and Vrisoula at an altitude of 1200 meters and then continue your hike in the area.

Koutouki Cave

The most well-known cave on Hymettus is Koutouki cave in Peania which hosts guided tours. Sadly, too much lighting and human presence has degraded the natural characteristics of the cave.

Matala Caves

Located on the south coast, and were most likely used as dwelling places from neolithic times, before being converted into burial chambers during the Roman and early Byzantine era. Nowadays they are better known for the annual festival, with latter day hippies descending upon its beach, in the footsteps as such luminaries as Joni Mitchell (whose song ‘Carey’ was written in deference to Matala), Bob Dylan (allegedly) and Joan Baez, who all came here in the 1960s.

Neraidospilios Cave

It is found some 25 km from Herakleion, not far from the village of Myrtia. Situated by a river, with highly mythological associations, for the ancients, who believed this to be the dwelling place of nymphs and fairies.

Perama Cave

One of the most impressive caves in Europe and the second largest in Greece is the Cave of Peramatos located 4 kilometres from the city of Ioannina. It was accidentally discovered by locals who were searching for a hiding place from the Nazis in 1940. Speleologists later made a detailed exploration into the cave and discovered some of the most spectacular examples of stalactites and stalagmites throughout Greece.

Pit of Sykia, Vari, Mount Hymettus

On the southeast side of Hymettus near the area of Vari, this open precipice impresses you with its mouth and runs 20 meters deep. Speleologists practice climbing up and down over here.

Sarmanitsa Cave (near Pirra Village)

If you’re an adventurous spelunker, this cave is perfect for you. It’s unexplored and a bit of a mystery, so as long as you take all possible precautions, it could provide a wonderful opportunity for experienced spelunkers.

Sfendoni

The cave at Sfendoni – reached via Zoniana – is 3,000 square metres, and has a path of 270 metres. There is a charge to enter, as visitors are no allowed to enter alone for reasons of safety.

Skala Paleohoriou Cave (Amarantos village)

This wonderful cave is located beside a quaint mountain village. As you hike through the region, look for the watermill of St. Minas and this beautiful cave.

Tsiata Magia Cave, Polithea Village

If you’re an experienced spelunker and you’re feeling adventurous, this is the cave for you. Close to a mountain village, this cave is rarely explored and is undeveloped. Ask the locals for directions and tips, and as always keep safety in mind as unexplored caves can be dangerous.

Cave of Lakes, Kastria

This is a huge cave by any standards and the largest in the area, lying some 17 kilometers south of Kalavrita and barely 2 kilometers from Kleitoria. With an stunningly enchanting entrance and three different levels the cave looks almost otherworldly, complete with haunting galleries and hanging formations.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Didyma caves

The caves at Didyma, so called in Greek, aren’t caves at all! They’re dolines, or big depressions in the ground with very interesting features. The small doline or ‘small cave’ can be reached from the Didyma bypass road where there’s a small parking area. There is a steep stairway dug into the ground that will take you into the doline.

Cave of Lovers

Near the beach of Tigani on the coast of Tyros-Sapounakeika, there’s the Cave of Lovers which can only be by a beautiful boat ride. It is also rich in colours with many stalagmites and stalactites.

Koutouki Cave

The most well-known cave on Hymettus is Koutouki cave in Peania which hosts guided tours. Sadly, too much lighting and human presence has degraded the natural characteristics of the cave.

Pit of Sykia, Vari, Mount Hymettus

On the southeast side of Hymettus near the area of Vari, this open precipice impresses you with its mouth and runs 20 meters deep. Speleologists practice climbing up and down over here.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Aghios Antonios

An interesting cave as it also doubles-up as a church. It lies in the village of Patsos, north-west of Spili and was used during Minoan through Roman times as a place of worship. Minoan finds from this cave are displayed in both the Herakleion museum and in Oxford’s Ashmolean.

Kamares Cave

This is one for those who like their caves at a high elevation. Situated 1,700 metres above sea level, Kamares, also known as Kamaraiko, is accessable by a trail leading north, and upwards from the village of Kamares. Beware, it’s quite a hike to the cave from the village, and be of more interest to those with a penchant for archaeology than speleology, as this was an important site in Minoan times, with votive offerings having been found here.

Matala Caves

Located on the south coast, and were most likely used as dwelling places from neolithic times, before being converted into burial chambers during the Roman and early Byzantine era. Nowadays they are better known for the annual festival, with latter day hippies descending upon its beach, in the footsteps as such luminaries as Joni Mitchell (whose song ‘Carey’ was written in deference to Matala), Bob Dylan (allegedly) and Joan Baez, who all came here in the 1960s.

Neraidospilios Cave

It is found some 25 km from Herakleion, not far from the village of Myrtia. Situated by a river, with highly mythological associations, for the ancients, who believed this to be the dwelling place of nymphs and fairies.

Sfendoni

The cave at Sfendoni – reached via Zoniana – is 3,000 square metres, and has a path of 270 metres. There is a charge to enter, as visitors are no allowed to enter alone for reasons of safety.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Kefalas Cave (Northwest Kalymnos, in Pothia)

After a short hike to the cave’s location after a boat ride, you’ll be rewarded with the chance to admire one of the most beautiful caves in Kalymnos, dripping with stalactites. Legend has it that the nuns of Saint Catherine Monastery discovered it but kept it a secret because of a rumored treasure stored there by pirates. Archaeological evidence found here suggests it was a site of worship for Olympiou Dios.

Cave of Anemotripa

This large and fascinating cave was only discovered about fifty years earlier when 2 local men were asked to investigate what seemed to be air flowing out of a hole in the ground on the outskirts of Pramanta village. (Anemotripa means “wind hole” in Greek.) What they discovered was an extensive cave system including underground rivers and lakes, waterfalls, and impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Today the cave has been divided into three sections. The upper section is the oldest but due to its ceiling having partially collapsed; it remains closed to the public. The other two sections offer intriguing paths that snake their way through the wonders of the cave. A snack bar offers concessions at the entrance to the cave where tickets are sold. The cave lies just outside the village of Pramanta in the south east corner of the prefecture.

Perama Cave

One of the most impressive caves in Europe and the second largest in Greece is the Cave of Peramatos located 4 kilometres from the city of Ioannina. It was accidentally discovered by locals who were searching for a hiding place from the Nazis in 1940. Speleologists later made a detailed exploration into the cave and discovered some of the most spectacular examples of stalactites and stalagmites throughout Greece.

Cave of Lihada

Near the eponymous village of Lihada lies this cave with a large entrance. Artefacts found in the cave have confirmed it was inhabited as far back as the Prehistoric era.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Agia Sofia Cave (Saint Sophia)

Once a sacred spot of Minoan worship the cave of Agia Sofia is now famous for its mammoth stalactites and stalagmites. A steep climb up the stone staircase and into the mouth of the cave visitors will first see a small chapel where they may light a candle or offer a prayer. Once inside it is fairly easy to make one’s way around (although the back of the cave is too slippery and dark to explore). Some of the stalagmites and stalactites are up to five or six meters in length with unique, almost otherworldly formations.

Cave of the Holy Fathers

Located approximately 6 km northwest of Paleochora near a small village called Azogires, the Cave of the Holy Fathers is an impressive cave system with a moving spiritual history. Over 20 meters high and more than 100 meters long the cave is accessed by ascending through its mouth which is approximately 10 by 5 meters. Once inside there are steel ladders leading you down into the cave which houses a number of wondrous dripstone formations. The Cave of the Holy Fathers has still not been fully investigated and it is relatively difficult terrain – a flashlight and sturdy hiking shoes are an absolute necessity. Any questions can be directed to the friendly locals at the nearby Alfa Cafe and Information Center.

Gourgouthakas Cave

Also known to many Greeks as the ‘deepest cave’ Gourgouthakas is located in an area of the White Mountains (Ta Lefka Ori) known as Atzinolakos. Sitting at an altitude of 1500 meters it is 1208 meters in depth and 900 meters in length making it one of the deepest caves in the entire world. Initially discovered in the early nineties, Greek speleologists were the first to investigate the cave; a couple short years later a team of climbers triumphantly conquered it. The area around Gourgouthakas Cave is extremely beautiful and worth exploring on its own. Only those who are the most qualified and experienced climbers should consider this expedition.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Cave of Hermes

The Cave of Hermes near the winter sport centre Ziria is supposed to be where Hermes hid the golden cows stolen from Apollo, his brother. Head to the cave of Mercury on the west bank of Flabouritsa, full of chambers and multi-coloured stalactites. You will need the required equipment to explore it fully.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Blue Zina Cave, Petropigi

Located 30 km west of Xanthi. There are three main climbing sectors of this cave. 1. Old sector, 2. Blue Zina Cave, 3. The Temple. There are also 40 plus routes to choose from which are 30-60 meters long and 2 trails to access the cave.

No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
No Caving Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Destinations.
Katsiouna and Haravla Caves

If you love hiking and spelunking, these twin caves near Messohora Village are perfect for you. Located at an altitude of 800 meters, you’ll enjoy searching for them and then exploring their beautiful chambers.

Kidonia Cave (near Stournareika Village)

Experienced spelunkers will find this stunning cave at an altitude of 1340 m along the mountain ridge. It’s unexplored but its beauty is still well-known – ask the locals for tips and advice before venturing in to admire the cave chamber dripping with stalactites and stalagmites.

Kokkini Spilia Cave (near Alonia, Nea Pefki Village)

When you visit this beautiful mountain village, ask the locals for directions to Kokkini Spilia. Translated as Red Cave, Kokkini Spilia’s name is suggestive of the cave chamber’s main feature, which is the beautiful red color of the rock.
When you’re done exploring, stop by the nearby gushing springs of Frahos and Vrisoula at an altitude of 1200 meters and then continue your hike in the area.

Sarmanitsa Cave (near Pirra Village)

If you’re an adventurous spelunker, this cave is perfect for you. It’s unexplored and a bit of a mystery, so as long as you take all possible precautions, it could provide a wonderful opportunity for experienced spelunkers.

Skala Paleohoriou Cave (Amarantos village)

This wonderful cave is located beside a quaint mountain village. As you hike through the region, look for the watermill of St. Minas and this beautiful cave.

Tsiata Magia Cave, Polithea Village

If you’re an experienced spelunker and you’re feeling adventurous, this is the cave for you. Close to a mountain village, this cave is rarely explored and is undeveloped. Ask the locals for directions and tips, and as always keep safety in mind as unexplored caves can be dangerous.