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Kastania Cave | The Enchanting Secrets of a Subterranean Adventure in Parnonas Mountain

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Authors

George P. Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


Nestled at the foot of Mt. Parnonas' east mountainside, in the southern tip of Peloponnese, lies the remarkable Kastania Cave, also known as St. Andrew's Cave. Situated just a short distance from the towns of Neapoli and Monemvasia in Laconia, this cave is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its awe-inspiring rock formations and vibrant colors, Kastania Cave has earned the prestigious title of being the second-largest cave of its kind in Europe. Three thousand years were necessary for nature to build Kastania, which covers an expansive area of 1,500 m², with a visitable section of 500 m, offering visitors a mesmerizing journey through unique natural wonders.

Kastania Cave | Shiny Greece

Kastania Cave Touring

As you embark on your exploration of Kastania Cave, a spiral corridor leads you to the First Chamber, adorned with an array of stalagmites and columns in various captivating shapes. To the left, the Red Chamber beckons, showcasing a downward path. On the right, a series of magnificent pillars stand tall, separating this chamber from the Water Chamber. Aptly named, the Water Chamber houses an impressive room with a small pond, which played a crucial role in the cave's discovery. To the right of the pond, towering stalagmites create a balcony-like structure, separating the Water Chamber from the intriguing "Apartments of the Bushes". Adjacent to the stalagmites, you'll encounter colossal pillars that resemble Giants. Continuing your journey, you enter the Chamber of Mushrooms, a vast room adorned with stalagmites shaped like enchanting mushrooms. Traverse through this mystical setting and descend the Royal Stairway, adorned with cactus-shaped stalagmites that form an exotic garden. Proceed straight ahead, and you'll find yourself in the awe-inspiring Chamber of Fir Trees, where gigantic stalagmites leave visitors in awe of their grandeur. Ascend another flight of stairs to reach the Chamber of Candles, where alabaster stalagmites take the shape of Paschal Candles, creating a unique sight to behold. Follow the winding course through these formations and descend the Stairway of the Water Lilies, leading you back to the Chamber of Fir Trees and eventually to the Chocolate Chamber. Named after a pillar resembling a bar of chocolate, the Chocolate Chamber captivates visitors with its rich colors and intricate formations. To the left of this pillar, a passage leads to the Alabaster Chamber, featuring snow-white and transparent decorations that contrast with the previous chamber. Just before concluding your visit, you'll reach a Large Balcony, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of all the chambers you've explored thus far. Above this balcony lies the Apartment of the Bushes, adding an extra touch of beauty to the cave's allure. Following the spiral corridor through the bushes, you can admire the chambers from a unique vantage point.


Nature's Imagination

Kastania Cave's extraordinary formations are crafted from calcium carbonate crystals infused with metal oxides from the subsoil, resulting in a mesmerizing palette of seven colors. While exploring the cave, be sure to observe the remarkable and rare discs, flat stalagmites, eccentric stalactites, and helictites that adorn its chambers. If you're fortunate, you may even come across one of the cave's fascinating inhabitants, the blind and deaf dolichopoda, a transparent spider species with long antennae.


Reaching Kastania Cave

To reach Kastania Cave, head towards Kato Kastania village, approximately 17 km east of Neapoli. The journey from Neapoli itself is a memorable experience, as you'll be greeted by picturesque landscapes, including green mountainsides facing Epidilion and Cape Kamila, charming villages with the tranquil sounds of nearby springs, Byzantine churches, medieval castles, ravines adorned with ancient watermills, archaeological sites, and the endless blue of the Myrtoo Sea.


Natural Artistry

A visit to Kastania Cave in Parnonas is an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature's remarkable artistry. Its diverse rock formations, vibrant colors, and captivating chambers make it a true wonderland waiting to be explored. From the First Chamber to the enchanting Apartment of the Bushes, each section of the cave offers a unique experience, immersing visitors in the beauty of this hidden gem. As you conclude your visit, take a moment to appreciate the astounding natural wonders you've witnessed and perhaps indulge in some local delicacies at the cozy café near the cave. Kastania Cave promises an adventure that will leave you in awe of the power and creativity of the natural world.


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