Rethymno - Caves

There are more than 850 enlisted caves in the prefecture of Rethymno and the number constantly increases. This happens due to limestone that makes up the mountains of Psiloritis and which gets easily eroded by water.

Some caves cannot be entered; some are in use since the ancient times, but all of them can be described by their natural beauty, with their dark passages and great depths showing us the alteration of the ground during thousands of years and creating ancient myths, which survive even today, drawing particular archaeological, historical or even folklore interest.

Many of the caves were used as cult centers from early Neolithic times to the Roman era or served as shelters for the Cretan revolutionaries during their struggle against the Turks. Such shelter was the Melidoni cave. Some caves have been used for ripening and storage of the products, such was the Chonos cave. Others have turned into temples with most of them being dedicated to Agios Antonios. The most important temple of this kind is the cave of Agios Antonios, where in antiquity the Kranaios Hermes was worshiped.

In spite of the large number, only few of the caves are considered suitable for visiting since many of them are off-limits to the public due to high risks or because the excavations have not been completed yet. The Mougkri cave and Sfentoni cave are the most important caves of Rethymno region that are open to public. The Ideon Andron is of great archaeological importance, where, according to mythology, Zeus was raised and the cave became important religious center.

Discover more about the caves of Rethymno prefecture…

  • Honos

    The Honos cave in Rethymno prefecture is located northwest of the village Kali Sikia at an altitude of 550 meters, 30 km approximately southwest of Rethymno

  • Tafkos of Mavri

    The Tafkos of Mavri in Rethymno prefecture is a cavern-chasm that is located above the Vistagi village, at the southwestern foothills of Psiloritis ,

  • Tafkos of Petradolakia

    Tafkos of Petradolakia in Rethymno prefecture lies south of Anogia, at the site of Petradolakia and is the second deepest cave in the area of Psiloritis.

  • Sfentoni cave

    Sfentoni cave in Rethymno prefecture is located 1 km to the northeast of Zoniana , at site Myronos, on the southern slopes of Chalepa

  • Simonelli Cave

    The Simonelli Cave of Rethymno prefecture is located at the site called Atsipopoulo, a seaside rocky area west of the city of Rethymno

  • Paul Faure Cave

    The Paul Faure cave of Rethymno prefecture is located at an altitude of 700 meters northeast of the village Nithavris in the Kalikas region.

  • Mougkri cave

    The Mougkri cave in Rethymno prefecture is the longest cave of Mount Kouloukonas, on Koufoto hill near the village Sises.

  • Marathokefala cave

    The Marathokefala cave in Rethymno prefecture is located near the village of Kinigiana , 29 km southeast of Rethymno .

  • Geraniou Cave

    The Geraniou cave of the Rethymno prefecture is one of the most beautiful caves on Crete, located in the Kamari region, 6 km west of Rethymno

  • Cave of Agios Antonios

    The cave of Agios Antonios is located north of the Patsos village in the verdant Patsou gorge and it was a religious center of Kranaios Hermes.

  • Ideon Andron

    Ideon Andron is a cave in Rethymno prefecture on the eastern slope of Mount Psiloritis at an altitude of 1.530 meters, 74 km far from the city of Rethymno.

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