Caving in Crete



Atziganospilios Cave
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Cave Atziganospilos is located within walking distance from the village Adrianos (10 minutes), at position Notiko Chlabouti in area Koukistres. It is about 25km from Agios Nikolaos and belongs to the periphery of village Zenia, which we meet on our way to Lasithi Plateau from Neapolis. The cave has three entrances, one of which is very steep. After the 4m x 4m central entrance, follows an elongated chamber of dimensions 30m x 8m at the end of which, through two narrow passageways, we reach the second large hall of the cave covering an area of 24m x 16m. To the south of this room, which has cave decoration, lies a 17m deep sinkhole while the northern part of the room, much lower and less decorated, also leads to a 13m deep well.

Both of these sinkholes lead to the third chamber of the cave, the floor of which is covered with stones and boulders that have fallen from the roof. To the south of this level opens the last hall with dimensions 16m x 8m. The floor of this room is covered with a large amount of decomposed guano (bat excrement). The cave has quite rich decoration, but it has been damaged and vandalized. Human bones and potsherds were found in one of the small chambers. It seems that in ancient times the cave served human or burial needs, especially during the Dark Age when the Late Minoan settlement of Kastellos was founded.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Horizontal Cave
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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