Σπηλεα Ελληνωκαμαρα

Spilea Ellinokamára - Ellinokamara Cave


Useful Information

Location: Near Kathístres, Agia Marina, Kasos Island.
(35.402898, 26.904134)
Open: no restrictions, cave gated.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Kassos Maritime And Tourist Agency, Kassos, Dodekanissos, 85800 Greece, Tel: +30-245-41323 or +30-245-41495, Fax: +30-245-41036. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1843 first sketch of the cave made by L. Ross.
1982 Ephorate of Paleoanthropology and Speleology sent a team to survey the cave.
2009 path built to the cave.

Description

About a kilometre beyond the hamlet of Kathístres, and a further 500 m south west is the Cave of Ellinokamára, named after the late classical, polygonal wall completely blocking the entrance. Its ancient function is uncertain, perhaps a cult shrine or tomb complex. To reach it, turn south at the two restored windmills in Ayía Minína, then right (west) at the phone-box junction; carry straight and down (not level and left) until you see a red-dirt path going up the hillside to a crude, stone built pastoral hut. Some modern masonry walls enclose the start of this path, but once at the hut (the cave is more or less underneath it) you're compelled to hop a fence to visit - there are no gates. From Ellinokamára another, fainter path - you'll probably need a guide - continues for about 1500 m in the same direction to the larger, more natural cave of Selai, with impressive speleothems in the rear chamber.


Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

The Σπηλεα Ελληνωκαμαρα (Cave of Ellinokamara) is a smal cave with an ancient temple, and while it is not gated it is also not developed for tourism. However, it is quite small and the ancient ruins offer some kind of floor. If you visit, please respect the archaeological remains and do not destroy anything.

The small island Kasos or Kassos has not very many tourist sites, and so the small cave has always attracted visitors. In 1843 L. Ross while passing through Kasos during his travels in the Aegean archipelago, visited the cave and made the first sketch. The first detailed report and plan of the cave was made by G. Susini. Ιn the 1960s R. Hope Simpson and J.J. Lazenby visited the cave twice. They made a sketch of the entrance and a ground plan of the cave. An official survey was carried out by the Ephorate of Paleoanthropology and Speleology in 1982. An archaeologic excavation was made in 1985.

The most impressive sight of the cave is obviously the megalith wall in the entrance portal. Huge rectagular blocks of limestone were used to errect a thick wall with a small door (which is gated) and a higher window (which is not). The blocks were set without mortar, they were sculpted very accurate and the is only a thin crack between the blocks.

In 2009 a path was built to the cave, budgeted with € 325,000, of which 75% came from the EU. The result is a comfortable and beautiful flagstone walkway with steps, beginning at nowhere and leading up to the cave. It seems the whole effort was useless, as there are no open hours and almost no visitors at all.

On the way you should visit the small Agios Minas cave chapel.