Caving in Crete



Katofygi Caves
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Close to village St. George at province Sitia (also known as Tourtouli ) there are the two caves Small and Large Katofygi (with the maximum length of internal routes being 100m). To reach the place you have to walk for 1465m from the main road and ascend 210m altitude (about 45').

The Large Katofygi is located NW of St. George, at position Rousso Haraki - Tsouloufa. It is formed in Jurassic limestone at an altitude of 523m.

The entrance has a width of only 50-60c and is not easily identifiable as it is located within a small sinkhole, 3.2m wide, covered by vegetation. In fact the cave has a small size, but because of the compartmentation by the decor it gives the sense of large surface. The total length of the route is about 100m. The first room has dimensions of 24m, length and width of 12m and is divided in half by a large array of columns. At the end of the hall, through a narrow passage, we meet the second hall which is much larger (42m in length and 11m in width) with four chambers around it.

The cave is richly decorated and has water ponds, especially in winter. The cave hosts many bats and therefore the muddy grounds are very slippery in winter.

Mikro (Small) Katofygi

A short distance from the Large Katofygi, at position Mantiliou Plai (425m altitude ) we meet Small Katofygi which is of foremost archaeological and anthropological significance. The initial small room is followed by a downward tunnel, 40 meters long with several water ponds, spectacular pillars and richly decorated walls. At the end of the gallery there is a small gulch 6-7m deep that leads to a small room.

In this cave human and mammals bones were found, as well as many shells of undefined era .

Both caves are not easily identified as the entrances are relatively small.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Horizontal Cave
  • Length (m): 100

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