Perama Cave

Μετάφραση Greek Version

Perama Cave

The Perama Cave is among Greece’s largest and most impressive caves. It spans in an area of 14,800 square meters below ground; however, the tourist route is only 1100 meters. The 1100 meters of its fairy-tale passageways can be explored on hourly guided tours (45 minutes in Greek and English). This underground walk will be an opportunity to discover 19 different types stalactites and stalagmites with surprising shapes as well as underground lakes and fossils of animal teeth and bones. Walk down the 163 steps that lead to the first of the chambers and discover limestone have been transformed into crystal and today form fascinatingly shaped stalagmites and stalactites where candles, cactus and even a tower of Pisa can be seen.

The Perama cave is located on the Goritsa Hill near the village of Perama, just 5 kilometers from the city of Ioannina. At the foot of the hill is the legendary Lake Pamvotida also known as Lake of Ioannina. The cave had been known to the villagers since the early 20th century but was closed for a long time before being used again during the Second World War, when it allowed the inhabitants to protect themselves from aerial bombardments. After World War II, Ioannis Petrocheilos, a famous Greek geologist and speleologist, found out about the cave and he was the first to explore it. He was so amazed by the beauty of the interior which resembled to a luxurious palace, that he dedicated the cave to Pluto and Persephone.

The cave is part of an underground river bed that began to form 1.4 million years ago according to Ioannis Petrocheilos. The air temperature inside the cave is 18 °C and the water temperature of the small lakes 14 °C, while the humidity is almost 100%. The research that was carried out by the Swedish professor K. Kildberg has shown a number of insects living inside the cave. Amongst them, there is a new species of dolichopod found for the first time in Greece by Ioannis Petrocheilos. This dolichopod was studied by the French biospelologist Chappuis who named it “Dolichopod Petrochilozi” in honor of the man who discovered it.

Next to the parking lot, is the “Anna Petroxheilou” Information and Promotion Center of the cave. The Center houses a projection room, exhibition area of geological and paleontological finds as well as a small café. The projection room is open from 09:00 am to 16:00 pm and visitors have the opportunity to watch a 20-minute documentary on “the world of caves”. The exhibition room hosts paleontological findings dating from 60,000 BC up to 240 million years BC such as mineral rocks, gemstones, fossilized organisms and corals from all over the world.

Operating Hours - Tickets

The cave is open year-round from 09:00 am to 17:00 pm including bank holidays. Tickets can be purchased exclusively at the cave ticket office and fares depend on the type of ticket. For adults the ticket cost €7,00 for groups €5,50 and for students €3,50. The beginning of the tour is announced by a loudspeaker installation. Bear in mind the cave is colder than outside, so dress accordingly. Perama Cave can be reached by car or bus from Ioannina. Buses from Ioannina’s clock tower run regularly to Perama, 250 meters south of the cave. The cave has a tourist train with two closed heated wagons able carry up to 50 passengers, that transports visitors from the parking lot to the entrance of the cave.

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