Heraklion Fairy Cave of Astrakoi

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Location: Astrakoi

The famous Fairy Cave of Astrakoi is located 23 km from Heraklion Town, inside the Astrakoi Gorge. It’s a lovely small cave that used to be a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena Tritogenia, which means coming from Triton. It is one of the springs of the Astrakoi Aqueduct that used to supply Heraklion with water during the 20th century.

Around the cave, plenty of water springs make a slight noise when flowing, which sounds like crying. After each rain, the waters look blurry, which is how a myth regarding a crying fairy was born.

The myth

The cave, as its name suggests, is believed to be the home of fairies.
In fact, there is a myth surrounding it, according to which a lyre player once discovered the cave and was enchanted by the fairies’ dance, accompanying it with his flute. He came back every night to play for the fairies, until he fell in love with one of them. In order to seek advice on how to make her his, he asked an old woman, who told him to grab the fairy from her hair and never let her go. When he went to the cave again, he grabbed the fairy, who at first screamed but then followed him to his house. After that, she lost her voice. Some time passed and she gave birth to their son. The lyre player asked the old woman again for advice on how to get his wife to speak again, and she told him to pretend to throw their baby in the oven. When the man did it, the fairy screamed, “Don’t do that to my child," grabbed the baby, and ran away. He looked for her everywhere but couldn’t find her. Because her sisters didn’t accept her, she went to the Loutra spring nearby to find shelter.

The locals claim that they can still see her two or three times a year holding her baby and crying, and her tears make the water look blurry.



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