Walking on the land of Kythnos you may be unaware of the fact that beneath the ground is a system of natural and artificial caves and mines that from ancient times until the recent past were inextricably tied to the lives of the Kythnian people. Your stay in Kythnos will offer you an original experience!
Hidden openings that lead to the depths of Kythnos island
The most famous and prominent cave of Kythnos is Katafyki, which is also one of the largest in Greece. But at Kythnos Cape Suites, we recommend having a tour with an experienced local guide in the eastern part of Kythnos to reveal to you a multitude of tunnels created either by natural processes or during mining. These tunnels extend deep into the island and within them you will discover tools and facilities that are frozen in time.
Forgotten tools in Kythnos caves and mines
Looking at the exposed rocks, you will see the red shades of oxidized iron. Already in antiquity the Kythnos excavated the earth to extract iron, copper, lead and manganese. An activity that continued intensively until the middle of the last century. Also Kythnos provided raw materials to Renaissance painters, such as Hematite (red) and Azurite (blue).
The hidden natural beaty of Kythnos island
Caves such as Katafyki (which cames from the Greek word for "shelter") were the ideal shelter from the raids of the Turks, the Franks and the pirates who ravaged Kythnos and the coasts of the Mediterranean. It is also speculated that Kythnian people hid their precious belongings deep in the caves and the mines of Kythnos to protect them.
Accommodation in Kythnos island which was used in the past for the mining staff.
Underground customs and traditions
The great importance of the mines and caves for the inhabitants of Kythnos is also reflected in their traditions. In Orthodox Easter in Kythnos, after the Resurrection of Jesus, the inhabitants danced in the big square or "piatsa" of the Katafyki cave, a custom named "Magali Lambran". Also deep inside the Katafyki cave there is a natural formation of stalactites that gathers stagnant water, the "Gournaki" - inhabitants believed this water had healing properties and drank it to cure stomach ache.
Katafyki cave in Kythnos island
Hidden passages and natural beauty
The first mapping of the Kathykki cave took place only in 1969. For the first time were officially recorded rare stalactite formations and narrow passages of up to two kilometers which lead to neighboring areas of the island.
Unique moments from our stay in Kythnos island
Sources: Kythnos municipality - Katafyki cave (in Greek), photos: Experience Kythnos