Panagia Arkoudiotissa Cave (Arkoudospilios)

Explore the bear cave of Chania!

Caves Panagia Arkoudiotissa Cave (Arkoudospilios)

Panagia Arkoudiotissa Cave or Arkoudospilios which translates to bear cave, has taken its name for the bear-shaped and somewhat eerie rock found in the middle of the cave.

The cave was used as a temple for the Greek goddess Artemis in ancient Crete and the bear-shaped is the figure of Artemis which was transformed into a bear.

One theory says the monks living in the cave were suffering from thirst as the bear was drinking their water, so they have prayed to Virgin Mary which petrified the beast, hence the shape seems to lean down to the pond as if a bear to drink water from it.

You can reach the cave after a 15-20  minute walk down a rocky footpath from the Gouverneto Monastery so make sure you have your walking/hiking shoes on.

Tip: If you have plenty of suntime ahead of you, make sure to walk further down to Katholiko Monastery and even further to the Katholiko Beach crossing past the gorge.

There is no entrance fee.

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