Dictaean Cave tour: The birthplace of Zeus

Lasithi, Greece

Cultural Mapping

Stops

9

Stories

51

Distance

0.25km

Duration

50min

Audio

Human Voice

Description

Dictaean Cave tour: The birthplace of Zeus΄s birthplace is a fascinating self-guided audio walking tour in Psychro Cave at Lasithi, Crete. Discover credible and original stories written by top local professionals after extended research. Take your tour now and enjoy it instantly on your smartphone device.

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. This is a cave, after all, with a long pedigree of visitors who encountered something unexpected.

Ask poor Epimenides. He went looking for a lost sheep and entered the cave to rest. He woke up 57 years later without having aged at all. In a most remarkable demonstration of persistence, he kept looking for that errant sheep before he realized what had happened. And what about the band of young delinquents (Laius, Celeus, Cerberus and Aegolius) who decided to steal honey from the cave and found themselves before the swaddling-clothes of Zeus? It was a good thing they were in a sacred place where a murder was a profanity, otherwise, Zeus would have killed them instantly with his thunderbolt for snooping in his closet.

Fortunately, not all visitors have to suffer for their adventurous decision to enter the cave. Europa found her bridal bed here and an array of impressive wedding gifts: a gold dog that excelled in the hunt, a bronze giant, and a quiver with arrows that always hit their target. Minos, the legendary ruler of Crete, would come here to chat with his father, Zeus, and receive the new laws for humanity. And the archaeologists who used explosives to explore the cave came across a bonanza of Minoan artifacts, scattered all over the floor.

As you descend to the depths of the cave, try to picture a time long ago when these chambers echoed with the clanging armor of the Kouretes, the young male warriors entrusted with the protection of the infant Zeus. Here he was nourished by Amaltheia, the she-goat whose horn could grant any wish. And when you reach the pond at the deepest part of the cave take a minute to admire the stalactite that hangs above the waters like a chandelier. This is the mantle of Zeus and fortunate are those who see it and live to tell the tale.

This tour is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. image/svg+xml

By clicking "Add to cart", you are purchasing this tour in English. This tour is also available in the following languages: Ελληνικά, Deutsch, Français, Русский.

Highlights

  • Gateway to the Otherworld

    1. Gateway to the Otherworld

    The Diktaean Cave is an ideal location for those who wish to communicate with the gods. All it takes is a small offering and the determination to enter a dark subterranean space.
  • The fateful birth of Zeus

    2. The fateful birth of Zeus

    Family relations, even among the immortal gods, are not always easy, especially when the father has the habit of swallowing his offspring.
  • Kouretes, the boisterous dancers

    3. Kouretes, the boisterous dancers

    Zeus was not an easy child. Those responsible for raising and protecting him had to have some very special skills and the ability to generate lots of noise.

Featured stories

Cultural Mapping

Cultural Mapping is an ATHINA Educational Network initiative (www.athinaedunet.org). Minoan Routes integrate myth, history, and tradition to highlight aspects of life in prominent focal points of Minoan Crete.

See all by Cultural Mapping

Details

Address Diktaio Andro - Cave of Zeus
Starting point Psihro, Oropedio Lasithiou, Crete
Areas Lasithi, Dictaean Cave
Opening hours Winter (1 Nov. to 31 Mar.): 8:00-15:00, Summer (1 Apr. to 31 Oct.): 8.00-20.00
Additional admission General: 6€

Why take a self-guided tour?

This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.

You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.

After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.