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Blue caves, Zakynthos island, Greece | © Mila Atkovska / Shutterstock
Blue caves, Zakynthos island, Greece | © Mila Atkovska / Shutterstock

Welcome to the Blue Caves, Greece's Mysterious Azure Waters

Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 24 May 2017

The Blue Caves are one of the most popular attractions of the island of Zakynthos (or Zante). Discovered in 1897 by Antonio Komouto, the caves, or rather remnants of caves, attract thousands of visitors every year.

While the island of Zakynthos is known for its splendid beaches, verdant landscape and for being an important birthing place for the Caretta caretta (loggerhead) sea turtle, the island is more than a one-trick pony. While you may already be familiar with the picturesque Shipwreck Beach, located in the rugged northern portion of the island, here is another magical place you can discover on Zakynthos.

The Blue Caves, which start around Agios Nikolaos and stretch to Skinari Cape, are a series of geological formations created naturally by erosion. The area, a hot spot for scuba diving aficionados, features a succession of limestone arches through which small boats can travel. It’s even possible to visit some of the caves, including the biggest one, Kianon (from cyan), where you can admire stalactites hanging like chandeliers from the top of the cave.

But what is most spectacular about these natural wonders is the unique colour of the water found inside. Indeed, as light reflects onto the water, it gives an eerie and ethereal blue colour to anything that touches it, including you.

If you want to admire this natural phenomenon, it is best to visit the caves in the morning when the light is abundant. It is also a perfect time to admire the whole coast and swim in the translucent turquoise waters. However, if you cannot make it in the morning, a later afternoon visit is equally inviting, when the sea takes on a reddish hue, due to the setting sun.

The turquoise glow in the Blue Caves, Zakynthos | © ebrom / Shutterstock

Accessible by boat, the Blue Caves are usually part of an organised boat tour that also includes the Shipwreck Beach, which is a bit further away. You can find boats departing for the caves in the little harbour of Agios Nikolaos, only 10 minutes away, or Porto Vromi on the western coast. And if you are looking for something more adventurous, you can also drive by car until you reach the small mill near Skinari Cape. From there, you can go down to the sea by way of steps, and at the bottom, you will find some rocks from where you can dive and swim and start exploring the caves.

View from Skinari belvedere on Blue Caves. Zakynthos Island | © R_Szatkowski / Shutterstock