Petralona Cave


Some 50km southeast of Thessaloniki on the main road is the stalagmite-rich Petralona Cave. Discovered by Petralona village locals in 1959, it became famous when a prehistoric man’s skull (dubbed Arhanthropos; in Greek, the ‘first’ or ‘original man’) was found; scientists have dated it as 700,000 years old, making Arhanthropos Europe’s oldest known man.

Fossils of extinct species, including lions, panthers, bears, rhinoceroses, elephants, bison, deer, numerous birds and bats, have also been found here. The most intriguing objects discovered, the so-called Petralonas Hoard, are kept at Thessaloniki’s Archaeological Museum. The ticket price includes a cave tour and visit to the adjacent anthropological museum. Photos aren’t allowed, and the cave closes one hour before sunset.

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