Cave of Pan

Cave of Pan

Cave of Pan is located at the left side of the wild gorge of Goura where Keladonas river flows and at the south-west foothills of Mount Parnitha which stands 30 km northwest from the city center.

The cave at altitude of 690 m consists of a large 70 m long and 15 m wide chamber and a smaller one 20 m long and 9 m wide. The two chambers communicate with the help of a 15 m long pretty narrow passage and the second smaller chamber which was explored in 1960's displays a wonderful basin decorated by stalactite material.

The cave was discovered in the 19th century and it was a place of worship dedicated to the god Pan and the Nymphs in antiquity. Pan half human, half goat is considered a patron of the mountains, forests, shepherds and flocks. The cave is also called "Lichnospilia" because of the 2,000 oil lamps that were found by an archaeological survey along with copper coins, medical tools, and small figurines of god Pan but also two human skeletons dated back to the 5th Century B.C.

The entrance is full of plane trees and hosts an engraving - inscription at the rock dedicated to god Pan. The rare nircipfagus (small aquatic animal) used to live in the spring and in the stalactite basins of the first chamber but now the dark interior is home to a large number of bats that hang from the ceiling and no other living creatures dwell in the cave. The ground is made of calcareous soil and can be slippery where inclines are formed.

The trail to Pan's Cave starts at the town of Fyli on the northwestern outskirts of Athens which can be reached by suburban railway with direction to Kiato. A bus will reach Agios Kyprianos location where the dirt road that leads to the trail starts.

The trail situated in the southern foothills of Mount Parnitha is well marked with blue signs along the way but there are some points where you need to be careful. Carved holes and metal rope attached to the rock that stands outside the cave assist the descent of about 10 m height. At the most steep points there are cable wires to hold on to.