Caves in Crete

Kamares

Heraklion

Kamares Cave
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The cave of Kamares, also called Kamaraiko, is located at the southern foot of Psiloritis. In particular, it is situated on the slopes of Mount Soros, at an altitude of 1700m and northeast of the homonym village of Kamares. It is not important in terms of speleology, but the Minoan findings made the cave a very important archaeological site.

From Kamares, starts the path that leads to the cave, after a steep ascent lasting 3.5 hours. The same path leads to the plateau of Nida. As you walk the well-labeled path, you will meet small oak forests and several springs, while the view to the plain of Messara is magnificent. Apart from this route, Kamares cave can be accessed by getting the path from the plateau of Nida.

The cave was found in 1890 by a local and investigated by Italian archaeologists. It was explored again in 1913 by the British School of Archeology. Pottery dating back in 2000 BC was found, used, possibly by the residents of Phaestus, for worshiping a Minoan goddess. The vases are of excellent art, with very thin walls (“eggshell”), colorful decor and stunning designs. The style of the decorative vases, which have been found in the palaces of Knossos and Phaestus, has been named “Kamares”, due to the cave. Today, they are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. The findings from the cave remind of the cave findings of Eileithyia cave, close to Heraklion, where the goddess Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth and midwifery, was worshiped. Thus, archaeologists believe that the cave has been a sacred cave devoted to Eileithyia.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: With archaeological importance
  • Accessibility: Walking
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