One of the most truly impressive sights in Vatika is underground, in a cave where effectively lit stalactites and stalagmites in an amazing range of colours from red to white, yellow and and orange form magestic shapes resembling mountains and valleys, mythical figures and forms only found on postcards. It was in fact a postcard sent to Kastania in 1956 from the famous cave at Diros, in the Mani, that made a local shepherd exclaim: «I’ve got on of those on my land!»
The Kastania Cave has been classifed as the second of its kind in Europe. About 1,500 square metres in size, it lies at a depth of 30 metres, on two levels. A walkway covers a 500 metre route through the cave’s wonders, on a guided tour that lasts about half an hour.
Outside in the well-maintained grounds is a pleasant cafe serving local specialities in a quiet environment. Right next door is a very old chapel, Aghios Andreas, and a little further down the hill are the beaches of Panaghia and Varko.
There are two alternative routes to the cave from Neapoli. The first is via Paradisi and Kato Kastania. Follow the signs to the cave, which is 1.8 km further on. The other route is via Mesohori, Faraklo and Ano Kastania (1.6 km from the cave). The total distance from Neapoli, via the first route, is 11.2 km.
Until June 16, 2013, the cave will be open every weekend from 10.00 to 17.00. For further information call 27343 60100, 27340 23623 or 6939485937.