Emailhas already subscribed to our news letter!has successfully subscribed to our news letter!An error occurred! Please try again later.Your Message has been delivered!Stop SalesNot operatingBookedUnavailableCan CheckoutAvailable for arrivalUnavailable for booking


Ideon Antro Cave - Melidoni Cave - Gerani Cave

Ideon Antro

Ideon Antro stands west of Rethimno at an altitude of 1.538 m. The cave is known from mythology where Rea hid her son Zeus from his father Kronos who tried to kill his descendant. According to another version, this is Zeus’s birthplace. Here Nymphs Adrastia and Idi fed the young god with wild honey and milk from goat Amalthia. Kourites demons helped rescue and bring up Zeus. They used to hit their shields to cover Zeus's cry. The cave consists of three chambers. In its sanctuary, worshipers carried initiation right through pagan ceremonies. During the first excavation in 1885, archeologists found shields of the 7th and 8th centuries which were used in ceremonies dedicated to Zeus. They also discovered weapons, statuettes and votives which are now protected in show cases at the Archeological Museum of Heraklion.

Melidoni Cave

Melidoni Cave (alternatively referred to as Gerospelios or Gerondospelios), is situated 4 km to the NW. Aside from the speleological interest it presents (it contains stalagmites, stalactites and columns), the cave was reportedly a place of worship of the mythical bronze figure of Talos (crafted by Hephaestus), who was revered as the indefatigable warden of laws in Minoan times. Later, in the Roman era, the cave was given over to the worship of god Hermes. In recent times, its name became associated with one of the most horrific events recorded in the history of Crete. In 1824, hundreds of Cretans from the surrounding villages died tragically inside Gerondospelios where they had sought shelter since 1822 in an attempt to escape the troops of Hassan Pasha. The latter's successor, Hussein Pasha, discovered their hide-out and tried to talk them into surrendering in peace, but to no avail. After they denied doing so, he blocked the entrance of the cave and set it on fire. 340 women and children and 30 armed men died in the cave from suffocation.

Gerani Cave

The Cave in Gerani, 6 km from Rethimno, was discovered in 1969 during construction of the national road. Speleological and palaeontological findings such as stone and bone tools, as well as bones of deer, elephants and other animals were found there.