A loved child has many names: Kastria Cave, Cave Lakes, Troupisio, and, of course, Σπήλαιο των Λιμνών. I'm in Peloponnese, few hours west of Athens. And in the village of Kastria, in the municipal region of Klitoria.
The Kastria Cave is 1980-meter long cave running in three levels, an ancient underground river. It was officially discovered only in 1964, and is currently a tourist cave with regularly scheduled tours. But signs of human use in the lowest level of the cave, near the original entrance date back to the Neolithic Age. It is believed though that the early humans did not reach the upper levels of the cave, as they would have required rope ascension techniques. More information about the cave can be found from the English (shorter) wikipedia article and the Greek wikipedia article.
What's remarkable in the cave is that it still continues to have some water, and the cave forms so called cave pools or rimstone dams. According the cave owners, this cave may have the highest such dams in any known cave-in the world, up to 6 meters high. That's definitely very large. A remarkable sight!
There's more water in the winter than in the summer, though now this year (2023) it has been a dry autumn so water levels were low.
And the cave is an exceptionally good shape, there's a metal walking path through 500 meters inside the cave, but otherwise the cave seems unbroken, untouched, and only moderately lit. Very nice! And particularly important for the large number of bats that live in the cave.
The part of the cave that you'll walk through has primarily large halls of the second level of the cave, up to 36 meters high.
The cave is indeed open for tourists. Due to the concern of disturbing the ecology of the cave, tours are limited in duration to 30 minutes, which feels slightly fast, but if it helps the bats I'm ok with it :-)
What's more disturbing though, and in my opinion unfounded, is that photography is strictly prohibited. Not following my usual behavior, I actually stuck to the rules this time. However, I have gotten some pictures from outside the cave, where we can see the original entrance right by the road.
The tour costs 9 euros per person, and they run I think until 16:30 every day. Here's the website for the cave tours. Much recommended, you have to see it for yourselves!
The original entrance is shown at the top photo, as well as in the two below photos. Note that I did not enter the entrance, just took photos from outside the gate:
Here are some photos of newspaper clippings with basic maps of the cave. Copyright the original magazines of course. Note that these clippings were not inside the cave, they were in the entrance building:
And a nice sunset on the way back:
This article has also appeared at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko, except as otherwise indicated above for the newspaper clippings and photos of postcards. All rights reserved.