The Skotino Cave (Greek: σπήλαιο Σκοτεινού) is one of the largest caves in Crete.
The cave lies high on a hill northwest of the village of Skotino, a few kilometers inland south of Gouves. It is also known as Agia Paraskevi Cave from the church dedicated to Saint Paraskevi built on top of it. The cave is 160 meters deep and 36 meters wide. The first archaeological examination on the site were carried out by Arthur Evans, the well-known British archaeologist who unearthed and partially restored Knossos in the early 20th century. A more comprehensive exploration was carried out by French and Greek archaeologists in the 1960s. They found a considerable number of bronze and ceramic votive offerings, the oldest of them dating from the earliest Minoan periods, suggesting the cave was an important sacred shrine dedicated to a female fertility deity, presumably Britomartis. The cave was still used in Classical Greek and Roman eras, when the fertility goddess Artemis or her Roman equivalent Diana replaced the Minoan deity.
Michael Lippert | Jul 5, 2017
As good as it gets for a popular cave. It's open 24/7 and only suitable for properly equipped tourists. Firm shoes, headlamps and clothes that may get dirty are a must. To make it to the very bottom of the cave is not without danger, the stones are very slippery. The stalactites are very old, the cave must have been dry for centuries. New ones are barely visible. It's certainly a memorable adventure to climb all the way down. Oh yes, the many and big cave spiders are amazing. They run and jump extremely quickly all over the place.
Andre Bogdanowski | Aug 27, 2017
We hiked to the cave from Gouves in about 2 hours, while we enjoyed the beautiful cretan landscape. The cave itself was really impressive and a good spot to cool down and gather some energy for the way back
Kostas Rodolakis | Aug 13, 2017
Great cave! You can smell and see the mold, it's quite chilly in the summer and you can see a lot of pigeons, bats and wasps. There is quite a lot of green outside too.
Angélique Chi | Aug 27, 2017
To get there by foot from the beach takes 2h30. The route is magnificent and the cave very pretty though dangerous to get in. There are two small churches too, but there was nothing interesting about them.
J Rooijers | Aug 10, 2017
Nice cave, stunning view, but a long drive to get there and a lot of wasps...
Aleksey Gonchar | May 4, 2018
Get in when nobody was there. Just amazing!
Roger Offermans | May 1, 2018
Very beautiful. Worth a visit.
Tommy Andersen | Apr 25, 2018
Awesome. Especially since there's no other people there, so it isn't crowded
Mihai Bojonca | May 17, 2018
Take lights if you plan to visit. Impressive but no infrastructure ready for tourists. Some lighting and railing or stairs would be welcome.
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