Caves in Crete



Chonos Cave at Kali Sykia
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Just outside the village Kali Sykia of the province Agios Vasilios, Rethymno Prefecture, on the road that leads to the eerie plateau with the chapel of St. Andrew we meet the cave Chonos, at the homonym area. The entrance is completely hidden by bushes and barely fits a crawling person. Chonos is a word that is found in almost every plateau of Crete and in the Cretan dialect it means sinkhole, the point where the ground gets water inside. Thus, we have several caves named honos, forming sinkholes, and were created by the erosion of water into the limestone grounds.

Chonos cave near Kali Sykia has a length of 150 meters, is an underground river which gathers the waters of the area, while in some parts it reserves water even in summer. Unlike other sinkholes of Crete it is remarkably smooth and this enables easy access. The cave actually consists of a single runway without separate rooms with beautiful stalactite formations in various forms and with several colors.

After the narrow entrance, the cave gets sufficiently wider but in some places it gets narrow again, to fit a man. Inside the cave you will also meet many of the inhabitants of this dark environment such as crickets and bats. Chonos was previously used for storing and ripening of cheeses by the residents of Kali Sykia and human bones have been found.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Horizontal Cave
  • Length (m): 150
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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