The Incredible Blue Caves of Greece
Discover the natural wonder that is Greece’s caves, which turn blue when the light hits the water
Greece has a plethora of natural wonders, and the country’s famous blue caves are no exception. These are the best places where sun, sea and earth combine to create a wondrous spectacle – which is also very photogenic.
Melissani Lake Cave - Kefalonia
The legend behind this huge cave says that it was named after a heartbroken nymph, Melissani, who took her own life when spurned by the god Pan. It lies 2 km outside Sami, and regularly features on lists of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world.
To reach the lake, visitors descend through an underground passage; it is after this that the fun really begins. A boat ride takes you to the center of the cave, which was originally composed of two chambers. The roof collapsed thousands of years ago following an earthquake, creating a natural window through which sunlight floods in and paints the waters with an array of blue tones.
It’s a miraculous sight – made even more magical by the tranquility of gliding across the lake in the little oar-powered boats. No sounds of engines to disturb your peace here; it’s just you and the splash of oars against water.
The cave itself was discovered in 1951 and its stunning stalactites have been estimated to date back to over 20,000 years. At the center of the lake a little island emerges, where evidence of worship of the god Pan was uncovered in previous decades.
What sets this (lake) cave apart from sea caves is that it benefits from a contrast: there is the crystal blue water below, and lush greenery growing at its summit, which is a breathtaking, visual delight. Visit between 11 am – 1pm for the full effect of the light playing on water.
Papanikolis Cave - Lefkada
Lefkada is famous for its turquoise waters and its white sandy beaches, which get their color thanks to the island’s abundance in limestone. These limestone rocks in turn have given way to many caves dotting the island’s shores.
The little island of Meganisi, located just 12 nautical miles to the east of Lefkada, is home to Papanikolis cave. This beautiful cave takes its name from a submarine that was hidden there during World War II. The cave provided shelter to boats of all sizes during bad weather, as well as to locals hiding from pirates and other marauders. Today, it’s simply a beautiful place to visit.
Its sheer size is impressive. It is the second largest sea cave in Greece, and it measures 120 meters in length and 60 meters in width. Inside, you’ll be treated to the dazzling sight of sunlight dancing and bouncing off the crystal clear waters, which cast their mesmerizing blues all over the cave walls and stalactites.
For those unable to resist plunging into the waters: you’ll be rewarded for braving the cold by a rest on the little sandy beach at the far end of the cave.
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