Caves in Tinos
The ‘menu’ of the Tinian scenery, apart from its wild side with the carved rocks by the wind and the fierce waves, includes unique caves, enslaved by time and the powers of nature, most of which are unexplored.
A party of plain Tinian friends of the new – most promising – generation, Yiannis Palamaris, Giorgos Ameralis and Vanghelis Antalis, show us around most of them.
“Each and every one of them has its own history, character, its own adventure” says one of this nice party, Yiannis Palamaris, trying to offer us a taste of adrenaline and wild beauty through his spectacular photographic material…!
Mygospilia or Burnt Cave
It is situated 6km northwest of Aetofolia village, 100m above sea level at an unwelcoming and precipitous spot. To get close takes a fair amount of walking. The route is interesting for those who are into crossing trails. For someone who has no experience and heads to it for the first time it is hard to find, for it is not visible from above (it might take some searching and patience). It is of great historical, geological and entomological interest. Nevertheless, it is not suggested to amateur explorers.
It is 4km away from Platia village and 1km from Vathi bay. The cave was named after “drakoti” which in local dialect means cyanosis. The locals used to bring over to the cave their infected kids and put them light-colour clothes on instead of the usual black.
On spot they would pray for the children’s recuperation and kept them there for three nights. Those who eventually survived were supposed to have got better thanks to the healing qualities of the cave.
Caves beyond Livada
The 4 caves that begin somewhat south of Faneromeni and end up at Livada are Voulismenon, Kitharas, Fournakion and Spilies. They can all be explored by means of a boat trip past them, while a small boat could even enter them up to a point.
Cave of Gastria
It is lying west of Kionia and is believed to have sheltered pottery factories in the past. The rich- in- argyle soil as well as the existence of two furnaces bear witness to that. In the area a number of ceramic fragments have been found and nearby there used to be the great sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite, where ceramic jars were made available to the multitudes of pilgrims. Besides, the name “Gastria” has its origins in the word Glastria (pots, jars). This cave, 30m long, is also of extraordinary geological and historical interest.
It is situated at the northwest end of Panormos bay, at Kavaroulko (near the tiny cape of Kamara). It was discovered in 1854 inside a marble quarry. Outside it is quite rocky and full of unbalanced heaps of rocks, while the entrance is small and downhill and you can only enter bending forward.
Inside there may be bats which might fly out aggressively on sensing human existence (attention!). The patterns of stalactite and stalagmite all along the cave are remarkable.
The quarry at Planetes
After the cave at Panormos the “hollow” isle of Planetes is also worth a visit. When the weather is mild you can get to it on foot, as the water is at thigh-high level. The big ‘hole’ once opened for the mining of minerals is easily noticeable. If you take one of the two routes, you will end up in a room with heaped up marbles and a small pool.
If you take the other (to the right), you will suddenly see light: there is an exit to the other side of the isle. Here you get a chance to go uphill, all the way to the top, where you can explore the lighthouse.
The cave of Pontikous
Situated 4km away from Triantaros, it is inside a quarry hidden in a tiny dell.
This cave came to light during mining works, when the entrance was found. The apparent traces of moil around the entrance bear witness to the way the slit was opened.
The entrance is narrow but you can walk into the small hallway, with the small recesses right and left, without bending.
Getting to the main part of the cave is hard (not suggested to amateurs), for you have to get through a narrow slit (35cm) and immediately dive into a hole 2m deep and from then on you have to do a lot of searching, as it is 100m long with a lot of ‘crossroads’ and ‘rooms’.
for a wealth of photographic material: http://instagram.com/paplianos
Edited by Yiannis Palamaris