The caves of Kythera are remarkable and constitute one of the major attractions of alternative tourism on the island, offering an enjoyable experience and a break from the usual holiday routine.
There are three caves in Kythera, the most important being the Cave of Agia Sofia in Milopotamos. It is 100m long and was first explored in 1955, mapped much later though. It is located on the west part of the island, just outside the village of Milopotamos, connected via paved road through the Castle of Kato Chora.
The cave sits in an impressive location with spectacular views, on bold cliffs at a height of 50m above sea level. Access is easy for the prospective visitor while during the summer there are guided tours throughout the day, focusing on the history of the cave’s exploration, its cultural features, the types of rocks and formations and the natural environment.
One of the cave’s major elements, located in the entrance, is the church of Agia Sofia where one can see the screen with the 18th century icons. Moving to the cave’s interior, chambers with pillars, stalactites and stalagmites appear successively, constructing a colorful decor with predominant shades of red, white and black. If you are lucky, you’ll get the chance to see the endemic species of arthropod Kithironiscus paragamiani, not found anywhere else in the world up to this day.
Due to low temperatures (about 16 °C in July) and high humidity (73%), it is suggested that visitors bring along a cardigan in order to avoid an unwanted cold in the middle of summer vacation.
The other two caves of Kythera are the Cave of Agia Sofia of Kalamos, located south (on the road from Kapsali to Kalamos, turn towards Spilies village) and Cave Chousti, located in Diakofti, on the east part of the island.
The Cave of Agia Sofia of Kalamos is a small one and contains the church of Agia Sofia. The route to the cave is rather beautiful, as it is located in a green glen with plenty of water, especially during winter.
Finally, Cave Chousti (which formerly functioned as a sanctuary) is of important historical significance, as recent excavation brought to light findings dating from 3800 BC, along with some others of the classical Roman era and beyond. The entrance is carved into the stone with successive steps leading all the way down to the cave.