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Crete TOURnet: Home Путеводитель Crete Geography Caves of Crete

Caves of Crete

The Eilithia Cave area near Amnisos
The Eilithia Cave area near Amnisos
There are more than 2000 caves on the island. Many of these were used in ancient times, some possibly as far back as 3000 B.C. The Spileo Eilithias (Eithilia Cave) was a cult centre devoted to the goddess of childbirth, Eilithia. Relics found here date back to Neolithic times. The Spileo Dikteon Andron (Dikteon Andron Cave) on the Lassithi Plateau, is the legendary birthplace of Zeus. According to legend, Zeus stayed in the Spileo Ideon Andron (Ideon Andron Cave) on Psiloritis during his youth. Another cave, Spileo Melidoniou (Melidoni Cave) was the site of a tragic episode in the struggle for Cretan independence: In 1824, 300 villagers took refuge from Turkish troops in this cave. When they refused to come out, the Turkish troops barricaded the opening with combustible materials and set fire to them. None of the villagers survived. The Spileo Sendoni (Sendoni Cave) near ancient Axos, is one of the most beautiful in Crete. The Spileo Agiou Ioanni (Agios Ioannis Cave) is the place where the saint lived and died.

Photos of Caves of Crete:


Stalactites and stalagmites in the Sendoni Cave, Zoniana
Stalactites and stalagmites in the Sendoni Cave, Zoniana
The Ideon Andron Cave at the base of Psiloritis
The Ideon Andron Cave at the base of Psiloritis
The Eilithia Cave area near Amnisos
The Eilithia Cave area near Amnisos