Kefalonia Melissani Cave

Location: Sami

The Cave of Melissani in Kefalonia: Situated just outside Sami, the Cave of Melissani has a strange appeal. It is one of the most significant places for tourists to visit in Greece. Surprisingly, there is a lake inside the cave that has trees and forests surrounding it. The cave itself is B-shaped with two chambers or halls separated with land or an island in the center. 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 create a magical illusion and the whole Cave of Melissani suddenly feels lit with blue light.

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

This is the best time to visit this cave. Slanting rays in the morning and evening have the magical quality of their own. One gets an ethereal feeling of boats hovering in the light! Myth has it that the cave was named after the nymph Melissanthi who committed suicide because her love for God Pan was not reciprocated.

Discover the cave of Melissani with a tour

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The excavations carried out in 1951 and later in 1962 many artefacts that were found dated to the 3rd and 4th century BC that were used during the post-classical and early Hellenistic periods. Figures of nymphs unearthed have given credence to this legend. Small boats ply on the lake inside the Cave of Melissani. The cave 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 first chamber is sun-lit and the second chamber is dark and has many stalactites covered with algae and moss. Even though they are big in size, they are dwarfed by the huge dome. Surprisingly, many of the stalactites resemble dolphins, the companions and messengers of the nymphs as the legend goes. This chamber is lit with electric lights.

The water in the lake is a mixture of freshwater and seawater. It is about 500m away from the sea and the water is higher than the sea level by 1m. 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.

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
    from € 37.50
    Book now
  • 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 .

    8 hours Map
    from € 47.50
    Book now

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 5306 145, 0030 694 5118 866, 0030 697 7193 569 or book your taxi online.

Car rental: Τhere’s the option of renting a car in Kefalonia with as little as 11 euros per day and pick it up directly from the airport, port or your hotel. Using a car rental allows visitors to discover the Cave of Melissani and many other places of interest in Kefalonia at their own pace.

By Public transfers: The central bus station of the island is located at 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 in 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.

✔ How to organize your holidays in Kefalonia

Ferry to Kefalonia: Book your ferry to Kefalonia.
Hotels: Discover our selection with the best hotels and accommodation in Kefalonia.
Tours and Activities: Explore Kefalonia with some amazing tours and activities.
Sports Activities: Discover sports activities in Kefalonia.
Car rentals: Discover the island on your own by booking your car.
Tailor-made trip: Do you want to customize your trip according to your needs? Contact us!



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.