The caves are located in the southern foot of Mount Kerkis, north of Kabos Marathokabou area.
A dirt road leads to the exact location (cars can be used). The road starts from the coastal paved road. The drive lasts approximately 5-10 minutes.
You can reach Sarantaskaliotissa Cave via stone stairs, starting from the end of the dirt road and leads to the entrance of the cave. Actually, it is a Cave-Church, at an altitude of 320 meters, named after the forty old stairs leading to the cave (“Forty” = “Saranta” in Greek, “Stairs” = “Skalia” in Greek). At the entrance stands a one-room Byzantine Chapel dated back to the 11th century (according to the archaeologists) covered with frescoes, dated to the post-Byzantine years (i.e. the years following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453).
The upper part of the cave is divided into two halls. One is on the left-hand side (Dimensions: 10 x 5 meters and 3 meters height), at the back of which a, 5 meters long, sloping floor leads to an almost vertical precipice (4 meters in diameter and 43 meters deep). The right hall is 40 meters long, 10 meters wide and 6 meters high. Just 10 meters of the entrance is a sloping floor leading to an almost vertical, oval, precipice (Dimensions: 10 x 5 meters, Depth: 38 meters).
To the left of the precipice, a narrow path leads to a water tank. The two precipices are joined in a hall with a sloping bottom, some 100 meters long, with an average width of 6 meters, facing north south. The lower level of the hall is located in a depth of about 80 meters. The height of the hall is between 10-30 meters (this hall has no stalagmites worth mentioning). However, at its lower southern end, there is a low passage leading to a hall (Dimensions: 10 x 5 meters, Height: 20 meters) with magnificent stalagmites. Also, in the descend of the 53 meters long precipice, 15 meters away from the precipice’s floor and 15 meters to the south, there is a loft, leading to another hall (60 meters long, 8 meters wide, and full of small descends, some 2-3 meters long each). Perhaps, it is the most beautiful part of the cave with many beautiful stalagmites covering almost every surface. At the end of the hall a discontinuity leads to a narrow precipice some 8 meters deep, at the end of which is a hall (Dimensions: 15 x 5 meters), without any indication of continuity.
The first exploration of this cave-precipice was made by I. Petrohilos in 1953, while the second one took place in November 2005 by the HSAC (Hellenic Speleological and Athletic Club) and the HSEC (Hellenic Speleological and Exploration Club), in close cooperation with the Speleological Association of Samos “Eupalinos” (not yet established at the time). On December 2, 2006 the Speleological Association of Samos “Eupalinos” organized, in collaboration with the HFS (Hellenic Federation of Speleology) a huge operation in order to clean-up the cave by the large volume of garbage, piled over the years. The cave is of historical, religious and athletic interest.
Some 50 meters far from Sarantaskaliotissa Cave, at the same altitude, is located the so-called Pythagoras Cave. It is accessible via a short, slightly rough path, which starts from the middle of the path, the one leading to Sarantaskaliotissa Cave.
The entrance is wide. Pass the entrance is a spacious room, which extends in two levels. At the end of the left one, which is located on a higher level, is a circular opening, 5 meters in diameter, facing northeast.
An artificial rectangular carved stone (50 x 50 cm), on the right-hand side of the main hall, leads to a second, smaller, hall. On the left-hand side of the hall, the ceiling lowers, creating a narrow passage.
Both caves are visited by many tourists, Greek and foreigners alike. According to local traditions, this is the cave in which Pythagoras took refuge, persecuted by the tyrant Polycrates (light has been installed).
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