The Greek mainland and many Greek islands are full of beautiful and extraordinary caves, some of which can be found underwater, hidden under the ground, below ground level, or dug inside mountains.
According to reports from the Geological Society of Greece, there are more than 8,500 caves scattered all over Greece, and most of them were actually discovered accidentally by local people.
Over the past century, major geological processes have explored the bowels of the Greek earth, uncovering majestic caves created by the best artist there is: nature.
Filled with charm and mystery, the caves invite us to explore them, but their importance is also significant for the study of geology and the better understanding of the earth.
Here are the most beautiful and mysterious Greek caves, recognized worldwide for their geological importance.
Drogarati Cave (Σπήλαιο της Δρογκαράτης)
Drogarati Cave is located on the island of Kefalonia and has been called by geologists a “miracle of nature”, which is estimated to be 150 million years old.
It was discovered only 300 years ago, when a strong earthquake on the island caused an opening in one side of the cave, revealing its entrance.
In the cave, visitors can admire translucent stalactites, a natural amphitheater with a 20-meter-high vaulted ceiling, as well as colorful rocks of various shapes and forms.
Limnon Cave (Σπήλαιο Λιμνών)
Limnon Cave is located near the village of Kastria in Achaia, in the Helmos mountain range, at an altitude of about 800 meters.
Two kilometers long, Limnnon Cave is full of mysterious archways, labyrinthine corridors and unique rock formations.
In addition, geologists have found in this cave something that does not exist in any other known cave: thirteen consecutive tiered lakes on three different levels in the mountain, which visitors can see thanks to the bridges and stairways that have been built there. interior of the cave.
Perama Cave (Σπήλαιο Περάματος)
Perama Cave is one of the most famous caves in Greece and was discovered by accident in 1940 by residents of the city of Ioannina.
The cave has a large limestone basement of 14,800 m2, consisting of many consecutive rooms and corridors decorated with more than 19 different species of stalactites, stalagmites and other speleological finds, all of which look like an open-air sculpture museum.
Additionally, in 1956, fossilized teeth and bones of a rare species of bear – the cave bear – were discovered for the very first time in the cave.
Petralona Cave (Σπήλαιο των Πετραλώνων)
Petralona Cave is considered by geologists to be one of the most impressive caves in Europe.
Findings that have been discovered inside reveal that the cave has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era.
Among the bones discovered, the skull of the “ancient man” stands out, which, according to the prevailing theory, is estimated to be 700,000 years old – making this man the oldest European.
Cave of Diros (Σπήλαιο Διρού)
Diros Cave is located on the west coast of the Laconia peninsula and is considered one of the most beautiful caves in the world and the most famous in Greece.
It is estimated that the actual “birth” of the cave took place hundreds of thousands of years ago, but the phenomenon that caused its creation is still unknown.
Its existence, however, has been known since 1900, but the cave was not fully explored until 1949, mainly due to its immense length, which exceeds 15 kilometers.
The first underwater exploration took place in 1970, and divers found that the depth of the cave reached up to 100 meters.
Today, visitors can tour the cave with boats and guides, gaining an impressive and unforgettable experience.
Cave of Orpheus (Σπήλαιο Ορφέα)
The Orpheus Cave is a place of unparalleled natural beauty, which was discovered in 1976 by Austrian scientists who explored the area.
Inside the cave, the slow but invincible power of water has sculpted 45,000-year-old stalagmites into amazing formations.
Geologists have said that the Cave of Orpheus is a “chest” that protects important secrets of human history.
Many finds have been found inside the cave that reveal that people lived there even 9,000 years ago.
It is also believed that the cave was once used as a place for seasonal settlement or for storage.
Fraghthi Cave (Σπήλαιο Φράγχθι)
Fraghthi Cave, located in the Peloponnese, is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Greece and one of the most important caves in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
It was probably first inhabited by Neanderthals around 40,000 BC, then by Homo Sapiens after 30,000 BC.
To date, several excavations have taken place in the cave, and there are indications that the cave was continuously inhabited for 250 centuries, but at some point it was demolished or destroyed by people or natural phenomena. .
Kapsia Cave (Σπήλαιο Κάψια)
Kapsia Cave is located in the prefecture of Arcadia, in the closed basin of the Mantine Plateau, and is considered by experts to be one of the 10 most remarkable caves in Greece.
It was first excavated by French archaeologist Gustave Fouzer in 1887, and although 6,500 m2 has been fully explored so far, the cave is thought to be much larger.
One of the most famous rooms in the cave is the “Hall of Wonders”, where visitors can enjoy the rarest colors of stone in all Greek caves, as well as incredible rock shapes and formations, many of which look like fossilized humans and animals. .
Melissani Lake Cave (Λιμνοσπήλαιο της Μελισσάνης)
The cave of Lake Melissani on the island of Kefalonia has been named by TripAdvisor fans as one of the 5 most impressive lakes in the world.
Oddly-shaped colorful stalactites adorn most of the cave, which is filled with water that, depending on the direction of the sunlight, changes to different shades of blue and green.
During the excavations of 1962, several oil scrolls, plaques and figures representing the god Pan were discovered.
Historians believe Melissani Cave got its name in ancient Greece because it was the exact spot where one of Pan’s wives, Melissanthi, drowned after being rejected by him.
Dragon’s Cave (Σπήλαιο του Δράκου)
The Dragon Cave in Kastoria took its name hundreds of years ago from local people who found it by accident, and it has since become one of the most visited caves in the country.
Inside there are large sections of land and lakes.
Specifically, the cave has 7 underground lakes, 10 separate rooms, 5 long corridors and tunnels, all “decorated” with haunting stalactites and stalagmites that make it look like a mythical beast once inhibited within the cave.
Cave of Antiparos (Σπήλαιο της Αντίπαρου)
The cave of Antiparos is considered one of the most beautiful and important caves in the world, with immense archaeological significance and finds dating back to the Stone Age.
The cave is located on the island of Antiparos, 85 meters underground, and houses the oldest stalactite in Europe, which is estimated to be 45 million years old.
Tourists can also see many inscriptions on the walls of the cave, dating from the Neolithic era.
Also, according to historians, some famous people who visited the cave were Alexander the Great and King Otto.
Kastania Cave (Σπήλαιο της Καστανιάς)
In Kastania Cave, visitors can descend into the bowels of the earth and face this 3 million year old creation of nature.
The cave has a plethora of stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colors, making it the second most varied cave in Europe, with the greatest variety of rocks.
All photos from Travel Style.
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