The Skotino cave is one of the largest and more impressive caves among the many caves found 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.
Archeologists 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.
The best part about this is that not a lot of tourists know about it! There are mostly local people who light candles and place holy icons on the rocks near the entrance.
So when we arrived there, there was no one there, except a large number of pigeons who are nesting inside the cave.
There is no entry fee and no guide, no signs, nothing. So you're on your own.
There is nice and recently made path that leads down, to the cave, though.
The cave is very deep and the stones are slippery. So watch out and try wearing sneakers instead of flip flops.
Don't go exploring too far, because there's a steep drop when you get to the darker part of the cave.
The cave has many many years ago been completely under water - when you look at the stones, it's very obvious.
If you like caves and want to visit a really nice one, make sure to visit this one. It's beautiful and free!
(P.s. you might want to bring a torch lamp with you, but it's not necessary).
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