The amazing caves of Greece are scattered throughout the country and many impress travelers with their beauty, history and tales.
Caves of Greece
The caves of Greece are quite special. There are more than 8,500 and many of them are based in some of the country’s most scenic destinations. Varying in size and location, they have inspired mythological beliefs and significant religious acts. The caves of Greece have even protected whole communities as fantastic shelters or served as historic hideaways.
Some are known for giving off a deeply mystical experience to its visitors and others are simply stunning. Here’s a rundown of some of the diverse caves of Greece you may want to visit during your travels.
Cave of Paiania in Attica
Covering 3,300 square meters, the Cave of Paiania is known for its incredibly beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. The interior has been compared to what a royal palace hall looks like. Visitors are most impressed by the clear water inside and the mystical feeling of the landscapes that have been formed.
Petralona Cave in Chalidiki
Incredible archaeological findings
The Petralona Cave, which is also known as the Cave of the Red Stones, was where a fossilized hominid skull was discovered. Some archaeologists consider that skull to be the oldest European hominid ever found, assessing it to be 800,000 years old. The interiors of the cave are impressive too, featuring complex stalactite and stalagmite formations. The on-site Anthropological Museum of Petralona displays a selection of the cave’s most interesting findings.
Alepotrypa Cave in the Peloponnese
A famous embrace
Discovered in 1958, Alepotrypa Cave is considered to be one of the most mystical caves of Greece. Due to its dramatic landscapes, it may have been the inspiration for the underworld of Greek mythology called Hades.
Researches do know it once housed prehistoric villages and a collapse killed everyone inside making it one of the largest Neolithic burial sites in Europe. In 2015, archaeologists discovered a couple buried together and locked in an embrace. The burial is dated back to 5,800 years ago.
Cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos
Inspiration for the Book of Revelation
This is one of the world’s holiest spots. John of Patmos was said to have seen visions here which inspired the Bible’s Book of Revelation. In 1999, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. The volcanic rock formation is considered very rare, making this cave even more special.
Blue Caves of Zakynthos
Nature’s beauty in the Ionian Sea
The northern coast of Zakynthos is home to Greece’s stunning Blue Caves, natural limestone formations worn away by the sea. They were discovered at the turn of the 19th century and today remains one of the top sights to explore via a boat tour. Travelers can take in the stunning blue waters and beautiful arches up close.
Melissani Cave on Kefalonia
A collapsed and peaceful wonder
This beautiful cave is a sea cave with its roof collapsed. It is named after a heartbroken nymph named Melissani from Greek mythology. Simple boat rides glide through the cave quietly with the help of man-powered oars. Travelers take in the peace and quiet as the sunlight floods in through the large hole above creating a tranquil scene over the water.
There are some of our favorite caves of Greece. Which one would you like to explore on your special trip to Greece?