Venturing south east from Epidavros there are some interesting caves that are rarely visited.

Franchthi Cave

This cave is best approached from the beach near Fourni and it is signposted from the main road. Avoid using Google maps, it tries to to take you to the cave from the other side and the road becomes a bumpy track. Follow signs from the main road and park on the far side of the beach and you will see a sign for the cave and you can follow the marked path from here.

The cave itself is open at both ends, is large and not claustraphobic and there are information boards in English. Archeological evidence has shown that the cave was inhabited as early as 40,000 years BC and was in regular use until the 8th Century BC and then intermitently until the 3rd Century BC.

Well preserved human skeletons were found in the cave including one approximately 7.5 metres underground that has been dated to around 8,500 years BC making it one of the earliest human burials found in Greece. The skeleton is of a man, aged about 25 who died from fatal blows to the head.

Francthi Cave child skeleton , reconstruction at Nafplio Museum.

Just north of the Francthi Cave are the ‘Big and Little Caves’. You can see the Big Cave from the road although it’s more visible if you are heading north. These ‘caves’ are actually sinkholes, not caves at all.

Small Cave

This ‘cave’ is completely hidden from view as it is obscured by trees. You can park near the entrance but you only get to see it after you enter via the whitewashed tunnel that leads into it. There is a path around the sinkhole and two tiny churches built into the rock.

Big Cave

The ‘Big Cave’

A ten minute walk from the small cave is the rather large sinkhole that is visible from the road. It’s a bit of a scramble to get to the edge where you can peek into it or clamber down if you feel the urge. There are no churches in this one.

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