Explore the Majestic Melissani Lake and the Stunning Drogarati caves in Kefalonia
The largest Greek island in the Ionian, Kefalonia is surrounded by water on all sides. This topography has blessed it with stunning sun-kissed beaches that are enjoyed by travellers from all over the world throughout the year. It has also given it miraculous caves steeped in mystery with a rich and fascinating history. Read on as we explore these unique features waiting to be investigated.
Here are some of the Caves to Explore in Kefalonia
Melissani Lake Cave
The mystery of Katavorthres and the cave of Melissani baffled scientists for years, earning the area the reputation of being one of Kefalonia’s most visited sights. Seawater would disappear inexplicably into cracks near the shoreline. Using special dye, experts finally discovered that the water was crossing the entire southern part of Kefalonia underground, travelling through permeable limestone and found its way to the mystical cave.
Majestic Melissani Lake in Kefalonia: A Sight to Behold
Without a roof and with a blue lake within, the cave receives sun rays creating a magical atmosphere. This renowned sight in Kefalonia’s reputation grew further when it was found to be a sacred site dedicated to the Greek god Pan. This is also the cave of a sad love story.
Why is Melissani is known as the cave of the Nymphs?
The unrequited love story of Melissani lake
If you’re looking for an unforgettable sight to behold while on vacation in Kefalonia, look no further than Melissani Lake. This natural wonder is a must-see for all visitors to the island. Melissani is located in a cave system just inland from Sami and takes its name from the nymph Melissanthi, who was said to have bathed in its crystal-clear waters.
According to Greek mythology, Melissani was a nymph who fell in love with Pan, the god of the wild. When her affections were not reciprocated, she drowned herself in the lake that now bears her name. Melissani is therefore also known as the Cave of the Nymphs.
Boat Trip and Swimming in Melissani Lake
The Boat trip (gondola) in the lake is a must, see the amazing clours of the water as the sunlight hits the water from the open cave roof, it is hauntingly beautiful. Ensure you take your camera/video as you definitely want to capture this incredible place.
It is not advisable to swim in the lake as giant eels are present in the lake.
Best time to visit
The visual effect of morning and evening rays has a special quality. One feels as if boats are floating in the sun’s light.
The Melissani cave, Greece is a unique geological phenomenon and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kefalonia. It is well worth a visit!
Directions to Melissani Cave from Amari Villa
History of Drograti Cave
If Melissani Lake is one of the most beautiful sites on the island of Kefalonia, then the Drogarati Caves must be one of the most unique. This natural wonder is a network of caves and chambers that have been carved out by centuries of erosion. The result is a stunning sight that is well worth a visit.
Close to Melissani is another Kefalonian cave of significance, Drograrti also known as Drongarati. Revealed after an earthquake more than 300 years ago, this 60-metre-deep cave is estimated to be around 100,000,000 years old. Stalactites still hang from the ceiling and make magnificent shapes, even though it has been severely damaged by earthquakes. Due to its impressive acoustics, it often plays host to spectacular cultural events held on the island. A concert here is a must, while you are visiting Kefalonia.
The Drogarati caves are located in the northwest of Kefalonia, near the village of Sami. They are a stunning cave system with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The caves were first discovered in 1951, and have since become a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the caves on foot and they provide a unique glimpse into the natural world of Kefalonia.
Although it has suffered extreme damage because of earthquakes, stalactites still hang from the ceiling and form amazing shapes. As water droplets fall on these shapes and solidify, they give them another shape, long but gradually over the centuries.
The natural beauty of the formations
Nature created countless stalactites and stalagmites. Their different colours are the result of the minerals in the bedrock over which they grow. When rainwater filters through the bedrock, it falls to the ground below and creates stalactites growing downward from the roof, leaving layers of lime deposits. The process also leaves a layer of deposits at the cave’s bottom that create stalagmites.
Do not touch the stalactites as their growth process might be disrupted. By touching them, skin oil can remain on them preventing future calcification and can change their colours
Speleologists found an extension of the cave which is not approachable. But it is believed that there is a connection to several other caves in the area.
The amazing acoustics of Drogarati Caves
Entering Drogarati cave and seeing the elaborate natural platform, called the “royal balcony”, overlooking the main chamber. The acoustics here are fantastic, don’t be shy–just sing anything and feel like an opera singer.
The last event took place in 2014 when the cruise ship MS Deutschland with the Bavarian Philharmonic Orchestra on board docked at Argostoli port. They held an unforgettable concert in the Drogarati
Tours available at the Drogarati Caves
There are several different tours available at the Drogarati Caves, and each one offers a different perspective on the cave system. The most popular tour is the Standard Tour, which takes visitors through the main chambers of the cave. The Standard Tour is a great way to see the caves in all their glory, and it’s also relatively easy to do. The Classic Tour is a more challenging option, and it takes visitors through some of the less accessible parts of the cave. This tour is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s definitely worth doing if you’re up for a challenge.
The Royal Balcony is a natural platform of stalactites and the only space that shines light in this stunning cave. From there, the visitor can see small lights emanating toward them, creating an extremely colourful view. The entrance leads to two other chambers, the Chamber of Exaltation, with great acoustics; and an elongated corridor that goes up to it from a coloured area known as ‘Chamber B’, which can accommodate 500 people.
How to Get to Melissani Lake and Drogarati Caves
Both the Melessani Lake and Drogarati Caves are located near Sami.
To get there you can take a bus, drive, or a private tour. It is best to have your own transportation or a private tour because the buses don’t run very often. The drive takes about half an hour from Sami, and the road is in good condition.
Visit both on a day trip. Tour guides will be happy to show you around both.
Directions to Drograti Caves from Amari Villa
Visit Kefalonia and stay at this Luxury vacation Rental Villa
If you are looking for a luxury villa in Kefalonia to act as your base for exploring, we can help. Book a stay at Amari Villa today and get ready for your Kefalonia vacation adventure.
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