Corycian Cave, Arachova

4.7
#3 of 14 in Nature in Central Greece
The Corycian Cave is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in Greece. In the mythology of the area, it is named after the nymph Corycia; however, its name etymologically derives from korykos, "knapsack". A modern name for the cave in some references is Sarantavli, meaning "forty rooms". This cave was sacred to the Corycian Nymphs and the Muses, and a place of worship for Pan.Strabo, in his Geography, writes: The whole of Parnassos is esteemed as sacred, since it has caves and other places that are held in honor and deemed holy. Of these the best known and most beautiful is Korykion, a cave of the Nymphai bearing the same name as that in Kilikia. (9.3.1) An excavation by French archaeologists in 1969 produced a plethora of objects of antiquity including a rare Neolithic male figurine, Mycenean shards, bone flutes, iron and bronze rings, miniature bronze statues, 50,000 terracotta figurines from the classical period and 24,000 astragaloi, or "knucklebones" (used for astragalomancy, or "prophecy by knucklebones").Traditionally the cave has been a place of refuge for the surrounding population during foreign invasions e.g. from the Persians (Herodotus, 8.36) in the 5th century BC, the Turks during the Greek War of Independence, and from the Germans in 1943.
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Corycian Cave Reviews
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  • As for the cave she even. Little effort (35 min ascent) to reach the entrance of the cave which is rewarded by views of Mount Parnassus and mountain residences.
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  • The most impressive cave of Parnassos unfolds its secrets. Pan’s Cave or Corycian Cave, at an altitude of 1.360 m. at the south west part of Parnassos, within a beautiful forest with firs and a great ...  more »
  • We went to the cave and found it extremely interesting, especially that people still use it today. The accoustics were cool and we could imagine how music would sound in it. A very serene and calming ...  more »
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  • This cave is on the marked E4 European long distance trail and is about a 1,5 hours walk from Dhelfi, Delphi or Delfi, now known as Apóllonos. It can also be reached by car as a tarmac road goes near the entrance. The best approach on foot is by track and foot path from the chapel of Paliopanagia: Pan's Cave is steeped in legends. In ancient times is was a place of worship to the god Pan. The name Corycian is from the nymph corycia. In poetry the Muses are sometimes called Corycides or the Corycian Nymphs. It is said that during the winter months the governing gods at Delphi celebrated Orgiastic rite at the cave with the local women acting as nymphs. The cavern itself is enormous, about 60 m long, 26 m wide and 12 m high, so a powerful torch is necessary to explore this gloomy and forbidding place. Just inside the entrance they are some ancient inscriptions and further in there is a rock with a circular hollow. Is this the sacrificial altar of the gods? Large stalagmites at the end of this chamber, separate it from the second chamber. Hidden by large stalagmites is a way through into a third smaller chamber and the end of the cave. It is described as another highly evocative spot for lovers of classical ghosts and it is from here that Menader got the idea as a setting for one of his plays.
  • Fun hike from Athens. Definitely recommend it.
  • Huge cave with 9 chambers. If you'd like to see more than 2 you need to bring head lights, helmet, rubber boats and sturdy clothing. The first and main chamber is big. Could fit a couple of hundred people easily.
  • Amazing place. Be sure to sing like an old shaman.
  • Interesting site, a large cave and several rooms with stalagmites and stalactites. Not easy to achieve because the road that starts from the village of Kalivia is not paved and can reach the cave takes about four kilometers. The advice is to park your car along the road and then walk for the last two kilometres.
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