Kefalonia Melissani Cave

Location: Sami

Situated just outside Sami, the Cave of Melissani in Kefalonia has a strange appeal. It is one of the most significant places for tourists to visit in Greece. Surprisingly, a lake lies inside the cave, with trees and forests surrounding it.

The cave is B-shaped, with two chambers or halls separated by an island in the center. The first chamber is sun-lit while the second is dark and has many stalactites covered with algae and moss. Even though big in size, they are dwarfed by the huge dome. Surprisingly, many of the stalactites resemble dolphins, the companions and messengers of the nymphs. This chamber is lit with electric lights.
The roof of one of the halls caved in centuries ago, letting sunlight filter in. The depth of the lake is 20 to 30 meters. When the sun is right overhead at noon, the sunlight hitting the turquoise-blue waters creates a magical illusion and the whole Cave of Melissani suddenly feels lit with blue light.
This is the best time to visit this cave; slanting rays in the morning and evening have a magical quality and guests get an ethereal feeling of boats hovering in the light!

Book an unforgettable Tour to Melissani Cave or get there with your own rental car.

Melissani is 36m high, 40m wide and 3.5 m long. A balcony was built on top of the cave for tourists to get a spectacular view of the inside from the top.
The water in the lake is a mixture of freshwater and seawater. It is about 500m away from the sea and the water is 1m above sea level. The brackish water enters the Cave of Melissani from one end and flows out from the other. Water is replenished by the springs gushing underneath the 30m in-depth water inside. The Cave of Melissani leaves a memorable and lasting impression on everyone who visits it.

Myth has it that the cave was named after the nymph Melissanthi who committed suicide because God Pan did not reciprocate her love.
Excavations in 1962 that unearthed many artifacts dating back to the 3rd and 4th century BC give credence to the legend, as figures of nymphs were found.

Visitors can enter Melissani Cave after walking an underground path. Then, they can step into a boat and take a tour of the cave. 

Top Tours and activities

  • Kefalonia highlights private bus tour

    Category: Island, Private

    Discover the most representative sights of the majestic island. Visit the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos, Drogarati cave, the mount of Ainos, Robola Winery Cooperative and a relaxing boat ride on the turquoise waters with an expert tour guide.

    5 hours
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  • Kefalonia in a day private bus tour

    Category: Island, Private

    Discover all the wonder and amazement of Kefalonia Island, a well-preserved, unspoiled paradise on this day trip .

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How to get there

The Melissani Cave is located in Sami Village.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Kefalonia transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Alternatively, there's the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 694 511 8866, 0030 694 530 6145, 0030 699 561 9605, or booking your taxi online.

Car rental: There's the option of renting a car in Kefalonia and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover Melissani Cave and many other places of interest in Kefalonia at their own pace.

Public transport: The central bus station of the island is located in Argostoli. There are buses from Argostoli to Sami during the day. Consider that time schedules might change according to the season. Check the official timetables here.
Tip: Since buses don't always stop at every scheduled stop of their itinerary, our advice to visitors is to inform the driver about their final destination, so that he makes a stop there.



1 Reviews
  • cicipu 31 Jul 2010
    Best sight in entire island
    This is the best sight on the entire island of Kefalonia (and for me it was the best amongst all the places I have ever visited!). No I am not exaggerating and I am sure that you will say the same once you visit the place. The cave is shaped in form of the letter B and is about 40 meters wide and 36 meters high...

    But who's interested in statistics... it is the beauty of the place that definitely deserves a visit. The full tour is done by boat, first making an encompassing trip around the first hall of the cave with the crack in the roof. After that the boat crosses the island on the opposite wall, where a tiny canal exists. This channel is too slender for the boat to row, and therefore there is a rope attached to the wall with which the gondolier pulls the boat.

    It was a very good experience. There are numerous stalactites and stalagmites in the second chamber of the cave and when the boat passes it, numerous lights lit up the place which was simply outstanding. Highly recommended.