LEGENDARY "CAVE OF THE LAKES"
AT KASTRIA IN ACHAIA
In the village Kastria of Achaia,
60km from Tripoli (tunnel at Artemision) and 9 Km from Kleitoria, lies
the famous "Cave of the Lakes".
It is a rare creation of Nature.
Apart from its labyrinth of corridors, its mysterious galleries and
its strange stalactite formations, the "Cave of the Lakes"
has something exclusively unique that does not exist in other well known
caves. Inside the cave there is a string of cascading lakes forming
three different levels that establish its uniqueness in the world.
The cave is an old subterranean
river whose explored length is 1980 meters. In winter when the snow
melts, the cave is transformed into a subterranean river with natural
waterfalls. In the summer months, part of the cave dries up revealing
a lace-work of stone-basins and dams of up to 4 m. in height. The rest
of the cave retains water permanently throughout the year in 13 picturesque
The developed part of the cave is currently 500 meters long. It includes
artistic lighting. The visitor enters the cave through an artificial
tunnel which leads directly to the second floor. The dimensions of this
part of the cavern create awe, rapture, admiration. The passage from
lake to lake is possible by small man-made bridges.
At the cave's lower floor, human and animal fossils were found, among
which that of a hippopotamus. This part of the cave is intended to become
a biological cave laboratory of international standing.
THE CAVE'S LEGEND
The legend says that the daughters of Proitos, king of Tirynth, Lyssippi,
Ifinoy and Ifianassa, bragged that they were more beautiful than the
Goddess Hera and scorned the worship of the God Dionysus. Zeus's mate
didn't forgive their vanity and took their sanity, causing them to believe
that they were heifers running wild on the mountains and meadows of
Peloponnisos, infecting the women of Argolida with the craze of infanticide.
Someday they arrived at the cave of Aroanios were they were found by
Melambodas who cured them. He then led them to the village Loussoi.
EXPLORATION - DEVELOPMENT
OF THE CAVE
In 1965, the residents of the valley of Kastria reached for the first
time the second floor, using wooden ladders from a 9 meter ramp. The
cave was explored by the E.O.S. (Hellenic Alpine Club) with the help
of Prof. I. Melendis and mapped by the E.S.S. (Hellenic Speleological
Society) under the supervision of Mrs. Anna Petrochilou. The development
of the cave began in 1981 by E.O.T. (Hellenic Tourism Organization)
and continued from the former community of Kastria. Today the municipality
of Kalavryta is responsible for the cave's operation.