Kefalonia is an island in the West of Greece in the Ionian Sea, and it is one of the biggest islands in Greece. Its population is about 36000 inhabitants. The three largest towns on the islands are Argostoli, Lixouri, and Sami.
You can arrive at Kefalonia by ship or by plane. There are ships to Kefalonia departing from the ports of Killini, Patra, and Astakos. There are also daily itineraries that connect Kefalonia with the rest of the Ionian islands. There is a small airport on the island that receives international and domestic flights.
Kefalonia is known for its beaches, the natural reserve of Ainos, the variety of vineyards, the archaeological sites, the many –smaller or bigger –churches and monasteries, the fun outdoor activities.
The island combines many different elements and landscapes, from forests and mountains to beaches with emerald waters and picturesque towns and villages.
The natural and cultural wealth leaves a lasting impression on the visitors who arrive there every year. The first traces of human activity on the island began in the Stone age, and its old history is profound throughout its region.
Kefalonia is also known for its caves and caverns. Melissani, Agalaki, Zervaki, and Drogarati are a few of the many caves of Kefalonia. Some of them are open to the public, and there are organized tours for visitors.
This article will present all the details needed for a visit to the caves of Melissani and Drogarati. Once on the island, you must not miss the opportunity to visit these two imposing caverns.
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2 Impressive Caves to Visit in Kefalonia
The lake cave of Melissani is one of the landmarks of Kefalonia, and it is at a 2km distance from the beautiful town of Sami.
The cave is 20 meters underground with stalactites that date about 2000 years. It is a dreamy spectacle, with imposing rocks and clear blue waters. The water in the cave is a mixture of seawater and freshwater, and it is about 20-60 meters deep. Geologists have discovered that underground tunnels connect the cave with the springs of the island.
The story of this cave starts in the ancient years. The first references to it are in the Odyssey, where Homer refers to it as a shelter of souls (psyche). Archaeologists have discovered a sanctuary of God Pan and the nymph Melissanthi in the bottom of the lake.
There is evidence that the cave was a place dedicated to the cult of Pan during the Hellenistic years and late antiquity. In the archaeological museum of Argostoli, there is an exhibition of the finding from Melissani.
The cave has two main chambers and a small island in the middle. In one of the chambers, the roof collapsed some year ago. From this opening, the sunlight comes in, and the sun rays give a mysterious and playful light to the cave.
The cave of Melissani is open from May to October, from 09.00-17.00. You might have to wait in a queue for your tickets, especially during the high touristic season, because the cave is popular and many people visit it.
Tickets for adults cost 6 euros, and for kids and elders, the price is 4 euros. You will enter the cave in a small boat with a capacity of 15 people.
There is a guided tour, where you will learn the history of Melissani cave. The boatmen are very kind and always up to take a nice picture of you and your friends.
The best time to visit the cave is from 12.00 to 14.00. At these hours the sunlight comes straight into the cave from the roof and the water becomes impressively bright and clear
You might also be interested in my other Kefalonia guides:
Things to do in Kefalonia
The best beaches in Kefalonia
Where to stay in Kefalonia
A Guide to Assos, Kefalonia
Picturesque Villages and Towns in Kefalonia
A Guide to Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia
One of the caves in Kefalonia that is worth visiting is the Drogarati cave. It is one of the most popular natural attractions of the island. It is 3 km distance from Sami. It is 120 meters high and 95 meters deep and has a standard temperature of 18 ο C.
Inside the cave are stalagmites, stalactites, and small cavities with water that form a unique geological miracle. Visitors admit that they were very impressed by the inside of the cave, which might not be that big, but it is awe-inspiring.
The cave is recommended for people having asthma. It is indicated that the atmosphere inside is perfect for Speleotherapy. If case you are not familiar with the term, speleotherapy is a respiratory therapy involving breathing inside a cave –it is believed to be quite effective.
The main chamber of the cave has fantastic acoustics, and for this reason, concerts take place inside. When you visit Kefalonia, ask if there is any concert there during your stay. Listening to a concert in Drogarati is, for sure, a memorable thing.
Drogarati cave is open to visitors daily from 9.00- 17.00. Tickets for adults cost 4 euros and for children 3. Usually, there is no big queue at the ticket halls, so you do not have to wait long. There is no guided tour inside the cave, so it would be nice to read a few things about it before going there.
Due to the low temperature and the moisture, it is recommended to have a jacket with you. You enter the cave by descending a staircase with many steps. The ground inside the cave is quite moist and slippery, so we highly recommend you wear proper shoes.
Info about Visiting the Caves of Kefalonia
Both caves are not accessible with wheelchairs or baby strollers.
There are no bus itineraries going to the caves, you can hire a taxi, or rent a car to drive there. Melissani is 2km away from Sami and Drogarati 3km.
There is a parking space outside both caves.
Due to the sensitive nature of stalagmites and stalactites, the use of a flash when you take pictures is not allowed.
Tours in Melissani and Drogarati are organized by the municipality of Sami. There is a line which you can call if you have questions about your visit, or in case you want to book a group visit. The number is +30 2674022997.
The caves are open to the public every day from May to October. Due to covid restrictions changes to the schedule of the site might apply. For this reason, it is advised to call for more information before your visit.