Dikteon Cave is one of the most beautiful and significant caves in Greece and it has received international attention. It is located at the mountain range Dikti, near Psychro village and it is known by many names (Diktaion Andron, Dictaean Cave, Psychro Cave). It is open to the public and walkable. At an altitude of 1025 meters, the cave is mostly famous for being the birthplace of the ancient god Zeus.
Although the cave used to be a place of worship from the Minoan to the Roman Era, archeological findings have brought to light signs of human presence that date to the Neolithic Period. The cave was an important religious center of Antiquity, attracting people who wanted to make offerings to Zeus and possibly other deities as well. It mostly thrived during the Minoan Era.
Among the findings, ceramics, figurines, weapons, jewls, grains, needles and Linear A tablets have been discovered, while numerous other objects have been lost due to looting. The ones that were recovered have been transferred to the Archeological Museum of Heraklion and other museums.
The cave was rediscovered in 1883 after having been forgotten for a long time and it took a few years of exploration and excavations to realize its archeological value.
Visitors can get there via a stone-paved path in approximately 15 minutes. At the entrance you will find the ancient altar, as well as rock formations that are occupied by birds and bats. In the other halls of the cave, you will get to see a lake and several impressive stalactites and stalagmites that have been illuminated for a dramatic effect. The cave's main attraction is the stalactite known as the "cloak of Zeus", which has been worn down by touch over time.
The cave's opening hours are from 08:00 to 18:00 during the summer and from 08:30 to 15:30 during the winter. You can purchase a ticket at the entrance for €6 (full price), while students enter for free and a 50% discount is offered to all visitors during the winter season.