The Awesome Caves of Greece
Greece’s geological imprint consists of mountains, mostly, and more precisely a staggering 80%. And that means you can be certain of several things; lots of mountain goats, neat skiing during the winter and absurdly awesome and ancient caves. Such anomalous territory makes, Greece somewhat of a cave heaven, or ‘caven’. There is something to be said for the experience that is entering the bowels of the earth in what was presumably someone’s home some 200,000 years ago. As you walk around, that chilling eeriness and humid air setting a wave of goosebumps across your spine, you know it’s special. Just like walking round a graveyard at midnight, or watching love Island, you know there’s a morbid fascination to it that seems almost primordial.
ideon Andron cave
And let’s face it, caves are the stuff of legend. Take the cave of ‘Ideon Andron’ in Crete for instance. It is where Zeus was said to have been born and raised, nestled at an altitude of almost 1,500 meters on Mt.. Psiloritis. Admittedly, Hesiod’s description of the exact location remains sketchy a best, and so some maintain that his actual birthplace is the cave of ‘Dikteon’. Which is in fact bigger and more impressive. We recommend you pay a visit to both if possible. It always pays to judge by yourself.
Theopetra cave’s claim to fame is far less arcane and certainly more tangible. In it, archaeologists have discovered the remains of tools from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic ages as well as Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts. It remains one of the longest chains of recorded cultural development in the wider area. Given that Theopetra is located in Thessaly, there is the added bonus of a romantic weekend getaway in the mythical floating mountains of Meteora. Right where you want to be.
In Samos’ Mt. Kerkis, the highest mountain top in the Aegean, Pythagoras once lived, allegedly, hiding from the island’s resident tyrant, Polycrates. The fact that a cave right next was also said to ve been used by him to teach mathematics and philosophy to his students only adds to the mysterious allure. Even though getting there is a real pain, it does finally reward you with some magnificent views and a couple of ol’ timey chapels dedicated to St. John and Panagia Sarantaskaliotissa. Wear hiking shoes.
For a distinctly different cave experience we got Melissani Cave in the island of Kefalonia, on the Ionian. To be fair this is a lake cave, and so the only thing you need is your bathing suit. Melissani cave is low key really cool. We’re talking sunken roof that radiates a tropical tinge of azure when the sun hits it, we’re talking a dang forest with trees and everything inside its B-shaped circumference. Absolutely gorgeous stuff, and the kicker is you don’t even need to sell it yourself much. It’s in one of the prettiest Greek islands. Kefalonia is a lush verdant canopy of green cliffs that jut down into the sea.
The Awesome Caves of Greece
Caves are where we came from. In this year of our Lord, 2021, the biblical ramifications of our civilizational attitudes may eventually catch up and take us there again one day. For now, let’s enjoy this summer and go see some stalactites.