The cave of Kastania is one of the prettiest in Greece and among the richest in diversity in Europe. A visit to the cave is a good reason on its own to visit Vatika, south of Monemvasia. This is a legendary cave, with stalactites hanging in clusters off the roof like dripping wax, forming innumerable different shapes that defy the imagination, and in such a vast array of colours that it boggles the senses. Kastania Cave is over 3 million years old, yet has managed to remain almost untouched by human activity. The chambers that are open to the public are 1,500 square metres in total and the path that leads through them is just 300 metres long and easy to walk. The only permanent resident in this cave (and it is unlikely that you will encounter it) is the spider-like dolichopod cricket.

Once you are back out in the sunshine, take a dip at the beach of Panaghia below the cave and then head back uphill for a stroll around the hamlets of Ano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Kastania, which were built by sailors in a truly magnificent landscape. Kato Kastania boasts a restored oil mill that is worth some attention. It was built in 1840 by Konstandis Kapetanakis (also known as Tsalavoutas), a hero of the Greek War of Independence.

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