The cave of Antiparos

The cave of Antiparos is known from ancient times. It is not mentioned to any historic sources, but there are elements to prove it. Archaeological researches inside the cave have brought to light shells and human bones, which are today demonstrated in the Archaeological Museum of Parikia in Paros. There is also an inscription which reports that in the archaic years a visitor of the cave waσ Archilochus, the great lyric poet of the 7th century B.C., born in Paros. The cave seems to have had some special visitors in the years of Alexander the Great. Until 19th century, on a huge stalagmite at the entrance, letters of the Greek alphabet were clearly distinguished.

The cave of Antiparos was created millions of years ago, probably during the Cenozoic Era, when the Greek mountains were formed, long before the submersion of the land and the emerge of the Aegean islands. It is precipitous because at the time of its creation, a large amount of water passed through and destroyed the rocks less resistant to corrosion.

The following geological period, Quaternary, the existing water leaked out from drains and chasms and a new quantity took over the place. Finally just drops remained which over the centuries created the marvelous decoration of stalactites and stalagmites.
Every centimeter needs eighty to one hundred years to be developed.

The number of visitors, both Greeks and foreigners, increased as time went by. This can be seen in the names engraved here and there, mostly in the huge "pillar" of the entrance. Among the visitors, there are names of well-known persons. In the third, the last, room of the cave, the name of a distinguished visitor is engraved.


OTHO the 1st - KING OF GREECE 27 SEP 1840

The drops flow affected by the surface slope of the ground. The has three rooms with different slope. The flow is greater in the first two rooms. As a result, the decoration is more intense and impressive than the third room at the lowest level. The scaled depth of the cave reaches 85 meters. Its length is 89 meters and the greatest width 70 meters. The height to the roof is 40 meters. The area is 5,600 square meters and has almost no fauna. No bats, just a few bugs and mushrooms.

Cave survey by Anna Petrochilou
Hellenic Speleological Society