The Dragon’s Cave in Kastoria
The cave is located on the north side of the city at the 2nd km of the lakeside road Sougaridis and just before the Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa. The entrance is about 20 meters from the shores of the lake and 14 meters from the road.
The existence of the cave does not seem to have been known until recent years.
Amateur explorers from Kastoria, people with environmental sensitivities in the 1940s, at the time when the lakeside road was opened by General Sougaridis, were the first to discover and describe the incomparably beautiful cave and put his first idea to the test. At this time, the myth around the “Dragon” of the cave is recorded, hence its name.
The visitors can admire through the 300 meters route an impressive wealth of stalactites and stalagmites. Inside there are large land and lake sections with impressive dripping decoration as it includes 7 underground lakes, 10 rooms and 5 corridors – tunnels. The largest room of the cave has dimensions of 45×17 meters with its central part elevated and its sides ending in lakes. The large lake of the cave which is the deepest is located west. The temperature inside the Cave is constant in all seasons at 16-18 ⁰C, while the humidity reaches 90%.
Paleontological remains have been found inside the Dragon Cave, mainly the bones of a cave bear (Ursus Speleaus). This species lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Its name is due to the fact that its fossil remains are found almost exclusively in caves, where it apparently lived for a longer period of time, unlike the brown bear which used the caves only during hibernation.
Kastoria owes a lot to its fellow citizens Nikos Pistiko, Costa Frasia, Anastasios Basakyros, Th. Morfidis and many others and later, in 1954 to the Swedish explorer Linberg, who toured the cave and informed the local community about its incomparable beauty. From that date important milestones till the opening of the cave to the public were:
- 1963 – 1966 Efforts to map, collect data and train young speleologists
- 1966 -1969 Escalation and completion of research, mapping and elaboration of a preliminary study of the tourist development of the cave.
- 1998 Approval by the Ministry of Culture of the preliminary study of tourist development
- 2007 Start of construction work
- 13.12.2009 Opening to the public
Opening hours: April-October 10:00-18:00, November-March 09:00-17:00
Opening days: Tuesday-Sunday
Estimated tour duration: 25-30 minutes
Tour: Option of headphones in different languages
Website: Dragon’s Cave
Telephone: +30 24670 22292