The depths of nature!
The Greek land is scattered with caves exceeding 8500 in number. Major geological processes have endowed the bowels of the Greek earth with true monuments to nature, filled with charm and mystery. Some of the caves are renowned all over the world for their significant anthropological findings, such as Petralona cave in Chalidiki and Franchthi cave in the Peloponnese.
Human history has been linked to these mystical caves. Many of them were refuges for primeval man; others were important places of worship. The power of nature, manifesting itself in the silence, unseen by human eyes, has captivated all cultures. Great chthonic deities were regarded as the protectors of caves in Greece, like the mythical “Pories”, beings with great intelligence and bodily features both human and serpent-like.
Greek caves, like Melissani on Kefalonia, those at Alistrati and Prosotsani in Macedonia, the Perama cave in Ioannina, Epirus, the famous cave of Paiania in Attica, the caves of Limnes and Diros in the Peloponnese, Diktaion Antron (Diktaean Cave) in Crete, fascinate visitors with their inner, complex decoration. Stalactites and stalagmites of incredible beauty, an ‘architectural’ structure that forms halls similar to those in royal palaces, underground waters, crystal-clear and mystical, create unparalleled underground landscapes.
Many caves have been linked to religious tradition, like Mega Spilaion in the Peloponnese and of course, the famous Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos. There are also many small caves that were always considered sacred places, which have been converted into Orthodox churches, like Agios Konstantinos in the Peloponnese at Pellini .
Apart from being one of the special sights to see when travelling around this country, a visit to a Greek cave is a deeply mystical experience.