EXCURSION TO THE CAVE OF ALISTRATI
in one of the most significant monuments in Greece of natural origin!
The cave of Alistrati is considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful not only in Greece, but throughout Europe, although the world learned about it only recently. It was discovered accidentally in 1959 by hunters on wild pigeons, noticing that birds regularly fly out of and return to the dungeon. In 1975, the Greek speleological society began an organized study of the cave, and only in 1998 it was open for visitors.
After almost 20 years of studying the cave geologists and archaeologists discovered that the cave is really very ancient and its age is more than 2 million years. There were found 44 species of living organisms - 13 vertebrates and 31 invertebrates. The most famous species are the endemic "Alistratia beroni" - very small insects which found only here, and the inflow of food is provided by bats.
The cave is famous for almost any form of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, drapery, curtains and basins, as well as cave corals and rare aragonite crystals. This is a rare formation and has extraordinary dimensions and beauty in the cave of Alistrati. Very impressive are the multicolored stalagmites from which the red colors emanating from the floor of the cave resemble the Flame, and the snow-white stalactites on the red background descend from the ceiling by 15 meters. In addition to stalagmites and stalactites, you can also see heliktites, similar to corals.
The studied territory of the cave today reaches 25.000 m2, and its length is up to 3 km and the ceiling height is more than 35 m. The temperature of the air in the cave is 17 degrees year-round. The entrance to the cave goes through an artificial tunnel. The path follows the main passage, which is quite large along the entire length. After 10 meters down the corridor, stalactites and stalagmites appear, "growing" from the floor, walls and ceiling. There are also a number of secondary passes and manholes, but they are closed, not only for the public, but also for speleologists, to protect the fragile cave fauna.