Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Melissani Caves, Kefalonia.

One of the places I was determined to visit before we even left England for  Kefalonia, was the Melissani Caves. An underground lake with dazzling blue waters highlighted by the sun shining through the skylight overhead, the Melissani Caves were supposedly home to Nymphs in Greek Mythology. 

The underground lake never used to have the skylight, but like everywhere else on Kefalonia, it was effected by the huge earthquake in 1953. The ceiling of the cave collapsed into the lake below, and now half of the lake beneath the skylight is just 5ft deep from the rubble, while the rest of the lake is around 35ft deep.

The best time to get to the lake around 11:30am, just before the rush, and in time to see the waters turn a beautiful shade of turquoise as the sun shines straight through the skylight overhead. It's 7 euros per adult, which is quite pricey considering it's only a half hour experience. However it's well worth it, and the history is fascinating! If you go, make sure to ask how the water gets to the lake.

To get to the caves you go down a long tunnel to get to the underground lake, and once you're at the end of the tunnel, you see the lake in all it's glory, boats bobbing along the surface helping visitors to get a deeper insight into the cave itself, which you can only get into by boat. The boat men are really friendly, happy to take your photo and answer any questions you have.

My brother and I on the boat

In the shallow section of the lake you can see all of the stones and rubble from the earthquake below the water.

As the boat took us round a corner and into the cave itself, everything became dark and eerie, and all I could think of was the film 'The Cave' with all those weird creatures that caused humans to become monsters. I had to remind myself that it was just a film, and got back to taking it all in. Above us were stalactites pointing down, water dripping off them and onto us, cooling our hot backs.

On our way back out to the open-lake area, I just had to capture this shot, the rays of sun shining onto the lake with the boat sitting in the turquoise. Just breathtaking. I felt as though we were in another world.

After visiting Melissani Cave we headed into Sami, which is a town about 2km from the cave. Sami was the town used in the filming of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a film set in Kephalonia during WW2 that was based on a novel of the same name written by Louis de Bernieres. The film stars Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz, and they covered the entire town in facades to make it look like the capital, Argostoli.

There wasn't really much to do in Sami, it's just a little harbour town with some fishing boats and yachts. I was a little disappointed by it and found that Fiskardo was much prettier as a harbour town and there was much more to do and see there. I'll publish a post about Fiskardo in a couple of days as it was completely gorgeous!

The photo above shows the juxtaposition of old vs new. Old fishing boat with the big modern black superyacht in the background. Sorry, I'm getting all weird with my photos lol!

On our way back to our villa we stopped off at a monastery set high in the mountains. I don't usually take photographs inside churches and monasteries, but scroll down and take a look at the breathtakingly beautiful artwork inside....

Everywhere we went on the sides of the roads were these religious monuments? We still have no idea what they are or why they're on the sides of the roads, if anyone knows, we'd love to know!

Pop back tomorrow for a food review of our favourite cafe in Kefalonia! Then Friday I'll be posting about the Sea Turtles :) 



  1. The religious monuments are for memorials for someone who died there. In most, there is a candle burning at all times to keep their memory 'alive,' usually alongside some religious pictures, pictures of the victims etc. The family will visit daily to clean, maintain it, and keep the candle going.

    Kefalonia is a beautiful island, I love it! I've been twice! :)

    Heres my little post from my visit last year if you're interested!

  2. Also, is that the monastery where you can go in the underground bit? Freaked me out so much...

    1. Thanks so much for the info!! We thought they were memorials but weren't sure.

      It really is stunning, and so unspoilt! Had a look at your post - gorgeous photos!

      Yes, although I didn't do the underground thing as I get really claustrophobic and that gap to get down was reeeeallly small lol!

      C x

  3. That first photo is breathtaking xo


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