In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Diktaean Cave

The birthplace of Zeus

The Dictaean Cave is where Titaness Rhea hid her son, Zeus, to protect him from his father Cronus who had the nasty habit of eating his children. This is also the place where the love stricken Zeus led princess Europa in anticipation to their union. 

The cave is located near the village Psychro, in the rocky northern sides of Mount Dikti at an altitude of 1025m. The locals call it Psychro after the village's name and it is one of the top visited archeological sites of Crete .

 

 

Start your journey from Stalida, Hersonissos or Malia and take the meandering road up to the Lassithi plateau and the village of Psychro. Wild aromatic herbs perfume the mountain air and the panoramic view will take your breath away. Follow the stony path lined with oak trees that will lead you to the cave entrance. As you enter the cave you'll encounter wild rock doves and bats that nestle in the dark. Notice the significant drop of temperature that creates an uncanny atmosphere. Here starts your adventure: walk down the well-marked path inside the cave. It takes 250m to get to the central hall, where a unique gorgeous cave interior has been formed of stalactites and stalagmites over the millennia. You will be impressed by the big stalactite over the centre of the lake: this is "the cloak of Zeus". The remains of an altar, niches with votive offerings in the rocks and other archeological finds prove the importance of the cave as a place of worship in ancient times. Most of the ritual objects found here are now kept in the Archeological Museum of Heraklion.

If you are interested in spelunking you will find several other caves on the plateau that are worth exploring: Kronio Cave or Trapeza in Tzermiado Village, Peristera Cave in Avrakonte Village, Agios Charalampos Cave and the Selena Cave (aka Trypa tis Selenas).

 

 

Lasithi Plateau - A Rich Land

Greece's biggest tableland stretches for approximately 50sq. km., located at an 800 - 850 m elevation. Its fertile plain is surrounded by tall mountains on the NW side of Mt. Dikti. There are sixteen villages scattered in the area - Tzermiado is the biggest one lying 50 km W of Agios Nikolaos, the region's capital. The villages are connected by a beautiful round trip route that offers lovely views of the plateau's sights:

-The impressive windmills were used for irrigation purposes and water transport to the plains before machines were used to that end. 
-
The drainage works known as Linies built by the Venetians for water transport.
- The remains of a late Minoan settlement and the Neolithic tombs close to Tzermiado.
- Pinakiano Village and the 15th century Zoodochos Pigi Vidiani Monastery.
- The 16th century Panagia Kroustallenia Monastery near Agios Konstantinos Village.
- The Folk Art Museum and the Eleftherios Venizelos Museum in Agios Georgios Village.
- Lasinthos Eco Park (near Agios Georgios Village) where you can stay in traditional guest houses.

 

Activities:
-
Trekking
- Mountain Biking
- Off road jeep riding
- Canyoning
- Caving

explore Greece by region

Visitgreece.gr is the official tourism web site for Greece, run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more!

All content included on this site consists intellectual property of GNTO and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way. 
For information please contact: info@visitgreece.gr. All Rights Reserved. GNTO © 2018.