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Table of Contents Show
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For its old rocks, the oldest Ammonite fossils in Greece, spectacular faults, and numerous karst formations, specialists refer to Chios as a “geological paradise.” There is more to Chios history than the historical events!
There are two distinct Chios Caves among the karst formations. Not because of their size but rather because of the caves’ extraordinary beauty and distinctive appeal. There are two caves open to the public: Olympi and Agio Galas.
The southernmost region of the island is where Olympi’s cave is situated. Chios is 35 kilometers away, while Olympi, a historic Medieval village, is 5 kilometers away. The vertical rise of this tiny cave, which has colorful and striking décor, sets it apart from other tourist caves.
Olympi Cave is one of the most popular Chios caves. It comprises the main chamber and an additional, lengthy segment—openings all around the main hall, some of which make other smaller chambers. Impressive visuals are produced when the natural colors of the cave’s interior (red, yellow, and white) are combined. The sun’s rays come naturally via a hole in the roof.
The oldest sample It isn’t easy to estimate how long ago the cave was created, but geologists think it is not more than 25 million years. According to scientists, the oldest sample was produced 230,000 years ago. It is important to note that construction on the Olympi cave is still ongoing today. Because of this, the management has taken steps to ensure that any potential human involvement won’t impact the microclimate within.
Chios caves opening hours: From early May to late September, daily guided tours (except on Mondays), from 11 am to 6 pm (18:00).
Agio Galas Cave
Northwest of the island is where you’ll find Agio Galas Cave. Despite being 65 kilometers from Chios Town, the journey to the north boasts a beautiful setting. They will pay you for the travel as well as the cave. Ayo Galas settlement gives a singular perspective of the Aegean Sea and the historic island of Psara because it is located on the rock where the cave system is opened.
The tourist-accessible Chios cave has a unique form and tremendous archaeological significance. The discoveries, which date back to the Middle Neolithic period and show the early occupants, were made during archaeological digs. They are on display in the Chios Archaeological Museum’s showrooms.
The visitor will come across the Agiogelousa church, constructed in the 13th–14th centuries, at the entrance of the middle cave. In 1969, Anna Petrochello and the Gourvellou couple visited and mapped the cave at the Chios Touring Club’s request.
Chios caves opening hours: From early May to late September, daily guided tours from 11 am to 7 pm (19:00).
The legend behind Agio Galas
According to the narrative that explains the church’s enigmatic location, a Byzantine king exiled his leprosy daughter to North-West Chios. The sick girl took refuge in a cave, where a black-clad woman attended to her needs. After three years, the King despatched a ship to retrieve his daughter out of regret, but a miracle had occurred! In other words, the princess had been healed by the water trickling out of the cave, according to the King’s ambassadors.
For his daughter’s miraculous recovery, the King constructed a church close to the settlement. But each morning, the crew discovered their equipment outside the cave. They built the chapel outside the cave and gave it the name Ayo Gala in honor of the miraculous water because they believed it was God’s desire. The name of the nearby community was carried over through the years.