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
216 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • This cave is located not far from tourist spots and as a consequence people goes there a lot. This means that walking on the cave will be a big crowd. The cave was used at various times as ancient people and animals remains found of both of those. All in all a very interesting and not long. If you enjoyed and want more then welcome to the Cave of Alistrati. The site has all the information about prices, better grab your there.
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  • The visit was very nice. I had an accident before and had to walk on crutches. It was raining heavily and we were the only people there. That is why we were allowed by the guards to park right in fron...  more »
  • The cave itself is wonderful. It's definitely a sight to behold and when you realise how long all the stalagmites take to form is surreal. The tour guide spoke good English and gave us the best info h...  more »
Google
  • Super cool cave. Stalagtites, stalagmites at their best. It is cold inside, wear heavy clothing and keep warm
  • 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.
  • It is great experience to visit the cave and the museum. Our guide Grigori explained a lot for the cave an the proces of creating the stlagmites and stalactites. About the animals and humans using the cave as a shalter rather than home. Its temperature is 17 degrees celsius during the whole year. You wont regret the visit of the cave.
  • Very well organised tour. Do not miss the museum. Great for kids.
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