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Melissani cave

MELISSANTHI CAVE is located not far from Karavomilo. It is a lacustrine cave of unique beauty and fully developed cave, which is 3.5 km long, 40m wide and 36m high. Melissanthi cave constitutes a unique geological phenomenon. It was created by a mechanical and chemical process called karstikopoiisi (dissolution of rocks) during which water enters the calcareous rocks, erodes them and creates hollows.

The underground Melissanthi lake was discovered in 1951 by speleontologist Giannis Petrochilos. A big part of its roof has fallen down revealing an amazing sight. During antiquity the lake was a place of worship dedicated to Pan and Nymph Melissanthi. Myths mention that Melissanthi committed suicide and fell in the lake because Pan was not responding to her love for him.

The lake includes also an islet on which archeologist S. Marinatos discovered Pan's sanctuary. The findings are at present in the Archeological Museum of Argostoli. These findings include a clay figure of Pan, a clay disc depicting dancing nymphs, a clay plate depicting the procession of nymphs and a small plate with a woman figure relief.
Visitors reach the lake by an underground tunnel and have the opportunity to explore it with a boat and a guide. Therefore, they can admire this unique natural work of sculpture created by the stalactites and the crystal blue-green color of the waters.

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