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Kamares Cave

Kamares Cave

The path starts at the the village Kamares, directly opposite of the Kafenion of Zacharia. The way up to the KAMARES CAVE is well maintained and leads us along stone shelters used by local shepherds and high region forests while the view becomes more and more impressive. It will take you about 3,5- 4 hours, even though the path is just 10km long!

Once we reach the cave we can see the entire MESSARA PLAIN, the SOUTH COAST OF HERAKLION PREFECTURE and the VORIZIA GORGE from an altitude of 1780 meters!

for here you can follow the path up to the NIDA PLATEAU, with the famous IDAION ANDRON CAVE, where according to the Greek Mythology, the GOD ZEUS grew up.

The discovery of the first Kamares vases by Cretan shepherds in the early 1890s caused great excitement, and several famous archaeologists of the day, including Sir Arthur Evans, made attempts to reach the cave.  

The cave is large, with an entrance 18 to 20 m high and 42 m wide, creating a black gash in the mountainside just below the eastern of the twin peaks of Mount Ida, easily visible from the palace of Phaistos. The ascent is steep and difficult, taking about 3-4 hours from Kamares. 

The Kamarea Cave is one of four major Minoan sacred caves in central Crete

The cave interior is uncomfortably cold and humid even in the height of summer.  Its outer chamber is an enormous vaulted space about 100 m long, plunging 40 m into the mountain. A narrow passage leads into a second, much smaller chamber that slopes down 10 more metres and is entirely devoid of daylight.

The large amount of deposited ceramics and other relatively simplistic materials suggests it functioned as a sacred cave, despite the small numbers of votive gifts of precious and semi-precious materials and human and animal figurines so common in other Minoan sacred sites.  The various pottery styles found suggest that Minoans visited the cave during all periods of the Bronze Age and the sheer number of vases demonstrates that these were more than casual visits.