Cave of Zeus
Visit one of the most important places in ancient mythology with a trip to the Diktaean Cave,
otherwise known as the Cave of Zeus. According to legend, this is the spot where the king of the gods was hidden from his father when he was born.
It’s quite some journey to get to the cave, but the experience you’ll have is well worth it. You can drive to the village of Psychro, which is on the Lassithi Plateau and around an hour from
Hersonissos. From Psychro, there’s two steep, winding paths up to the Cave of Zeus, so don’t forget to bring some water with you if it’s a hot day.
When you reach the top of the path, you’ll be over 1,000 metres above sea level. Take in the
stunning views as you catch your breath, in readiness for exploring the cave. See if you can pick out the aromas of sage, thyme and other herbs before you venture into the depths of the mountainside.
When you step inside the cave’s antechamber you’ll be greeted by cool air, and the mysterious sights will begin. Keep your eye out for rock doves and long-eared bats as you make your way down into the depths of the cave. While you descend, you’ll find it hard not to think of Zeus’ cannibalistic father Cronus, who had a habit of eating his offspring so they didn’t overthrow him.
There are five chambers for you to explore, with the most impressive sight being the lake at the
lowest point, surrounded by huge stalactites and stalagmites. After you’ve gazed at the spectacular Mantle of Zeus, carefully make your way back down the path and head back to Hersonissos. Then have a few drinks by the beach as the sun goes down.