In the village Kastria of Achaia
60km from Tripoli
) and 9 Km from
, lies the famous
“Cave of the Lakes”.
It is a rare creation of Nature. Apart from its labyrinth of corridors,
its mysterious galleries and its strange stalactite formations, the “Cave
of the Lakes” has something exclusively unique that does not exist in other
well known caves. Inside the cave there is a string of cascading lakes forming
three different levels that establish its uniqueness in the world.
The cave is an old subterranean river whose explored length is 1980
meters. In winter when the snow melts, the cave is transformed into a subterranean
river with natural waterfalls. In the summer months, part of the cave dries up
revealing a lace-work of stone-basins and dams of up to 4 m. in height. The rest
of the cave retains water permanently throughout the year in 13 picturesque lakes.
The developed part of the cave is currently 500 meters long. It includes
artistic lighting. The visitor enters the cave through an artificial tunnel which
leads directly to the second floor. The dimensions of this part of the cavern
create awe, rapture, admiration. The passage from lake to lake is possible by
small man-made bridges.
At the cave’s lower floor, human and animal fossils
were found, among which that of a hippopotamus. This part of the cave is intended
to become a biological cave laboratory of international standing.
THE CAVE’S LEGEND
The legend says that the daughters of Proitos, king of Tirynth, Lyssippi,
Ifinoy and Ifianassa, bragged that they were more beautiful than the Goddess Hera
and scorned the worship of the God Dionysus. Zeus’s mate didn’t forgive
their vanity and took their sanity, causing them to believe that they were heifers
running wild on the mountains and meadows of Peloponnisos
infecting the women of Argolida
with the craze of infanticide. Someday they arrived at the cave of Aroanios
were they were found by Melambodas who cured them. He then led them to the village
EXPLORATION - DEVELOPMENT OF THE CAVE
In 1965, the residents of the valley of Kastria reached for
the first time the second floor, using wooden ladders from a 9 meter ramp. The
cave was explored by the E.O.S. (Hellenic Alpine Club) with the help of Prof.
I. Melendis and mapped by the E.S.S. (Hellenic Speleological Society) under the
supervision of Mrs. Anna Petrochilou. The development of the cave began in 1981
Tourism Organization) and continued from the former community of Kastria. Today
the municipality of
is responsible for the cave’s operation and is resided at Kleitoria