Petralona Cave, Halkidiki Region

4.0
#1 of 6 in Nature in Halkidiki Region
The Petralona cave also Cave of the Red Stones, a Karst formation – is located at 300m above sea-level on the western foot of Mount Katsika, 1km east of the eponymous village, about 35km south-east of Thessaloniki city on the Chalkidiki peninsula, Greece. The site came to public attention when in 1960 a fossilized hominid skull was found. The cave had been discovered accidentally only a year earlier after erosion had left clefts in the rock. "Bejeweled" with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations and holding an abundance of fossils the cave soon attracted geologists and paleontologists. After decades of excavations the cave is open to the public and scientific work is documented and presented in an adjacent Archaeological Museum.The cave's most prominent fossil specimen, since known among paleoanthropologists as the "Petralona Skull", named Archanthropus europaeus petraloniensis by Aris Poulianos, former head of the Anthropological Association of Greece. He considers it the oldest European hominid ever found and assessed it to be 800.000 years old. Yet "there was the constant problem that the skull was an isolated find" as other scientists strongly disagree and the find has been a continuing cause of controversy since. The Anthropological Association's conclusions and results are in direct conflict with accepted speciation models of the genus Homo and the chronology of the Out of Africa theory.
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Petralona Cave Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
193 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Pećina je prelepa - nije prevelika ali je veoma lepa. Uređena je 1982 godine za posetioce. Do pećine se može doći kolima, nakon parkiranja na besplatnom parkingu, besplatan je autobuski prevod na svak...  more »
  • First outing with his son on the Sea 3.5 years rest on the tour. Were not sure how to interpret, passed all the cheers! And the place itself and individual Guide did the trick-listening with open mouth and did not want to leave either from the caves of the Museum. Adults, too, were satisfied with-in the caves is very beautiful! A great option to diversify beach vacation. It is unclear that attitudes do not let individual transport up to the entrance of the cave, and forced all the big bus for free. It is perhaps the only downside of this place.
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  • Nothing special tour of 15 min. Don't go down a lot and not cave to no emotion. Ticket cost 18 years €8 >. Advise against wasted time
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Google
  • No photograph allowed in the cave, which was a disappointment (Maybe they should allow no flash photography). A pretty nice cave, worth a visit... but do not expect light show in the cave like in Gibraltar...
  • Very interesting and quite cool. Might bore smaller children though... If you're under 18 you go in for free. Not the best if you have a hard time walking, there were A LOT of steps to get up to the entrance.
  • Very well organised tour. Do not miss the museum. Great for kids.
  • Nice caves. €8 is a bit expensive for a self guided walk through. There are no tour guides, just "guards" who clearly don't enjoy their job and rush everyone through. The caves are neat though!
  • Nice cave with prehistoric human finds. Definitely worth a visit if you are close by. Not too far from Thessaloniki airport. Not busy and easy to tour as it is not very large. Other caves in the area are better (caves of Alistrati and Aggitis) but not as quick or easy to get to from Thessaloniki.

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