Exploring the Dikteon Cave known as the birthplace of Zeus in Crete, has been on our list since we saw a documentary on the cave few years back. During our fall 2021 trip, we visited this cave.
History of the Cave
Dikteon Cave in Crete, known also as Dikteon Andron, Dictaean Cave, Psychro Cave, and Cave of Zeus, is considered a sacred cave throughout many ages in history. Known in Greek Mythology as the birth place of the God, Zeus. Legend has it that Rhea is the mother of Zeus and Kronos is his father. Unfortunately, Kronos had the odd issue of eating his children after they were born. It was because of this that his wife Rhea decided to go into the mountains and have her baby secretively and hide him from his father. Thus Zeus, who became the supreme god, was born in this cave and hidden here.
Other places in Greece also stake claims to having housed the hidden baby and child. One of these places is in Naxos. We visited this cave as well a few days later and I will be blogging on that at a later date.
Dikteon Cave is located in the Lasithi Plateau in Eastern Crete North of Malia. Near this cave you can also find the Windmills of Lasithi and visit the town of Krasi. We visited the Windmills and had lunch at Krasi in 2019 but ran out of time for the Cave that year. This entire area is a beautiful drive and well worth the time. Note that the road is quite curvy at times so it does take a bit of time to reach this area.
The Hike to the Cave
Once you park your car, the hike to the cave is easy to find. The path is not difficult but it is steep and uphill. You will see beautiful views. Once to the cave you can see the panorama of the Lasithi Plateau before you. There is also a spot to get a drink. Note, that it was a requirement to show our passports and our Covid card at the entrance. Luckily they were on us. It would have been awful to have to go back and get them and then return up the steep path again!
From above, the cave looks like just a large hole in the ground, but as you descend down you start to see how large it is. Inside, the cave is illuminated and you can see all of the beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. They are quite beautiful and impressive. The steps are a bit slick, but not difficult, just know you will have to return up them again. Also note that the cave is quite chilly inside. As it was a hot day it felt good in there! Dikteon Cave is a beautiful birthplace for Zeus to arrive in this world!
The Return Down
The return path down winds around to the other side and is an easy trek. We found ourselves just about back at the start. At the end of the path was a little snack shop where I had an awesome iced Freddo and Steve enjoyed a Lemon Fanta.
I am not a cave person but I really was impressed with this one. Even though it was not easy to get to, both by car and foot, I would recommend a visit if you are in the area. Dikteon Cave was interesting to explore, in addition, the mythology of being the birthplace of Zeus added to its allure. After the cave we continued to drive past the Plateau and through the mountains to Agios Nikolaos and then to where we were staying in Elounda. It was a very enjoyable drive through many small villages and beautiful countryside.
Follow these links for more posts of my 2021 Greece Vacay:
You can also follow my other Crete adventures here:
Links to our 2018 and also 2019 Trip can be found in this post:
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