This is a strange story. About a magical place, about a cave which is one of the most beautiful that you can find on your travels in Greece …
The place is located in the south of the world known Monemvasia medieval town, in southeastern Peloponnesus. The landscape is full of mountains and hills strewn with olive groves, within which small villages (made by captains and sailors) are spread around. Myrtoon sea surrounds the coasts of this place.
Our story begins in the early decades of the 20th century. The farmer Costas Stivachtas from the village of Kato Kastania saw a strange thing, one day when he was working in his farm. We observed a bee to come and go in a hole in the ground. Later he saw more bees doing the same. The inquisitive peasant dug around the hole looking to find water and found… an impressive cave! He entered with a torch, he saw the beautiful spectacle, he admired that and then… he left. Because what someone can do with caves? They are useless to a farmer. Of course he found water in a trough, from where his family used to take water for years. They all went into the cave with a burning stick, took some water and that was all.
Time passed, the second world war ended and Greece in the ’50s began to heal the wounds.
In 1958 somehow some postcards from the National Tourism Organizatinon reached the village of Kato Kastania. In some of them there were pictures from the famous Dirou Cave, in Mani area. Then the old farmer saw them at the cafe and he just said: “I have one such cave in my farm. Mine actually is best… “. Then people came in the cave and admired the miracle of nature.
And so Kastania Cave was discovered and later, the period 1958-1960, it was thoroughly explored. And today it is a great gift that the land of Laconia region offers to the traveler. It is one of the most beautiful caves in Greece and the richest in stalagmite diversity in Europe! A visit here is in itself a reason to come to the unknown Kato Kastania village.
It’s a magical place! Myriads of stalactites hang from the ceiling like melted wax among huge columns, stone mantles, formations that bring on the imaginatio all painted with many colors, yellow, red, orange, brown, green … There are different sizes and types of stalactites with many colors and shades due to the mineral oxides in the subsoil. The rarest type is a circular, disc like, stalactite wedged in the rock, which people call it “monument.”
In the unexplored part of the cave flows an underground river that forms a waterfall and ends up probably at the sea. The most important thing in this Kastania Cave is that human activity never existed inside until its discovery by the farmer. It is virgin and untouched! The cave has an age of 3 million years. The temperature inside is stable at 17-18C. The visited area is about of 1500 sq.m. and the route that you will cover is just 300 meters The maximum height is 30 m. The sole occupant of the cave is the Dolichopodo, a kind of spider.
And strangely, as you will witness, the cave now has no bees …
Where am I?
The cave is located near the village of Kato Kastania, in Lakonia region, in the southeastern Peloponnesus. The best way to get there is by car from Monemvasia (via Elliniko and Foutia villages) or to drive from Neapolis city via Faraklo village.
The cave is open daily in summer from 10:00 to 18:00. For further information call 27340-23623.
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