At the beginning of the last century, a shepherd named Kostas Stivaktas noticed something strange. While sitting in his fields in the village of Kato Kastania in southeastern Greece, he watched bees entering a crack in the rocks and come back out. Upon leaving, they seemed to be refreshed.
Curious about this remarkable transformation, Stivaktas broke open the small fissure. Much to his amazement, he encountered a beautifully unique and rare cave, full of stalactites and stalagmites in unbelievable combinations of colors and shapes. Since then, both he and his descendants frequently used to go into the cave holding dried bush lit like a torch so they could see and get water from a small well inside. In 1958 the cave became better known and was assigned protection by the community of Kato Kastania. Today, the cave is open for tours through a number of its singular chambers.
The cave, which is located at the foot of Mt. Parnonas, is rich in unique stone formations that are estimated to be some 3,000,000 years old. Rare formations such as disks and level stalagmites have formed along the walls and ceilings. In addition to the impressive rock formations, eagle-eyed visitors to the cave might catch a glimpse of the space’s resident rare creature, the “dolichopodo,” a locust-like insect that is both blind and deaf.
Know Before You Go
From December 23, 2019 until May 31, 2020 the cave is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There are tours every hour starting at 10:30 a.m., each lasts 30-40 minutes. The last tour of the day starts at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are 7€ for adults, 3€ for children, students and handicapped people, and 5€ for organized groups.