|Image: the stairs to the cave.|
|Location:||4km from Ioannina, in Perama, at the foot of Mt. Goritsa. Follow the main road of Ioannina to the north, the 20/E90. At the northern end of the city is a turnoff right towards Metsovo, Trikala, Larissa, 6/E92. Perama is the first village after about 2km. Try to park outside the city at the road and walk the left road in, about 250m to the cave entrance.|
|Open:||Summer daily 8-20, winter daily 8-dusk|
|Fee:||Adults EUR 6, Children EUR 2,50.|
|Classification:||Karst cave, cave with a view.|
|Dimension:||T=16°C, lake 14°C.|
|Guided tours:||L=1,500m, D=45min.|
P Pavlakis, et al (1995?):
New Evidence of Middle Pleistocene mammalian fauna from the Perama Cave (Ioannia, Greece),
The Palaeolithic Archaeology of Greece and adjacent area.
British Studies in Archaeology, Vol 3.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|Image: some formations, which are surrounded by paths.|
|1940||discovered by a resident of the village who was looking for a shelter to avoid bombardments during the Greek-Italian war.|
|1951-1955||the speleologists Ioannis Petrocheilos and Anna Petrocheilou explored the cave and discovered teeth and bones of ancient cave bears.|
|1956||opened to the public.|
|Image: the result of an earthquake.|
|Image: this strange looking formation is a stalagmite covered with cave coral.|
Mt. Goritsa risies above the village of Perama and Limni Ioanninon (Lake Ioannina). Perama Cave is located inside this hill. The cave is part of the bed of an underground river and was formed in the pre-Quaternary period, about 1.5 Million years ago. The river formed three cave levels.
The most famous feature in this cave is the stalagmite known as the Cross. It started as a cloven stalagmite, developed from drops falling from two stalactites above. Once the tip of one stalactite broke and fell down. But instead of hitting the floor, it came to rest between the twin summits of the stalagmite. Subsequent growth first anchored the stalactite and then continued the growth of the stalagmite, creating a cross.
In 1956 the tooth of a cave bear, the first ever discovered in Greece, was found in this cave by Anna Petrocheilou. An excavation, conducted by Ioannis Petrocheilos in the same year, discovered teeth and bones of an entire cave bear family, which lived some 600.000 years ago. He also observed a new species of dolichopod. This was examined by the French bio-speleologist Chappuis, who named it Dolichopod petrocheilosus in honour of its finder.
This discovery prompted the Swedish specialist K. Lindberg to undertake further bio-speleological research, with the result that the following orders of arthropods (invertebrate animals) were found: Oligochaeta, Arpacticidae, Isopoda, Amphipoda, Diplopoda, Collembola, Arachnidae, Acarea as well as the larvae of various insects.
|Image: the path is cut into the stalagmites and has no rails.|
|Image: pure white formations are common.|
The Perama cave tour is a bit strenuous. The cave path is often narrow and goes up and down between formations. Most of the time the path has no rails, the steps all have different heights and are sometimes very high. And at the end there is a pretty steep ascend of at least 50 meters to the exit. The cave administration tells, there are 163 steps to go up. But the surviver is rewarded by an exceptional view on Ioannina. And then you have to walk back across the hill.
The cave is well worth a visit and we do not want to restrain cave visitors, but as the cave administration does not tell this, we have to do it: the cave is not suitable for people with any disease which does not allow physical stress, like heart diseases. We also suppose, that people which have problems with walking on a rough path or have problems with balance, relinquish to visit the cave. Walking shoes are recommended. Despite the rather low temperature, a T-shirt seems to be sufficient, as you get a lot to do inside.
The cave has very nice and varied formations. Unfortunately they are very bad lit. All cave lamps are in a very intensive yellow, which makes the cave look like inside a road tunnel. The really nice colours of the formations become various forms of yellowish. We suppose this was done to reduce lamp flora, and it seems to work pretty well. Unfortunately it makes the whole cave look, well, yellow.
So we must regret, that the cave visit is not half as good as it could be with good light. The images on this pages, made with flashlight, do not show this yellow light.
Very much appreciated was the fact, that photography was allowed in the cave, which is not common in Greek show caves.
A cave visit is a very personal thing, and the quality of the tours often depends on the guide one gets. But the two descriptions of cave visits below, show some similarities, which are surprising, as there were 15 years between the two visits.