The "Cave of the Lakes" close to Kalavryta town.

Shutterstock / Heracles Kritikos

Cave of the Lakes

Top choice in Peloponnese

The remarkable Cave of the Lakes lies 16.5km south of Kalavryta near the village of Kastria. A 500m boardwalk snakes its way through the cave, through the vast entrance chamber (home to five species of bats) past spectacular cauliflower-like rock formations, and over the deep, crystal-clear subterranean pools – the 13 stone basins formed by mineral deposits over the millennia. The most impressive formations are in the final chamber, where delicate, ribboning curtains cascade down the wall.

The cave features in Greek mythology and is mentioned in the writings of the ancient traveller Pausanias, but its whereabouts remained unknown in modern times until 1964 when locals investigated, having noticed water pouring from the roof of a smaller cave. They discovered a large bat-filled cavern at the start of a 2km-long cave carved out by a subterranean river.

Access is by guided half-hour tour (in Greek) only. Foreign visitors are provided with a booklet in English; the sight at each designated stop along the boardwalk corresponds to the letter in the booklet.

A taxi from Kalavryta costs around €45 return (the taxi will wait for you for about one hour). There's a good taverna right next to the cave entrance.

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