Milatos Cave

Milatos Cave: Address, Phone Number, Milatos Cave Reviews: 4/5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
287 reviews
Excellent
138
Very good
95
Average
43
Poor
9
Terrible
2

Glyn F
Aberdeen, UK824 contributions
Found on the road rising out of Milatos towards Kounali this is an excellent little cave. Parking is limited to a couple of by the road spots and its about a 300 metre walk from the road which is reasonably flat to the cave entrance. You need to take a torch and can then navigate your way through the caves to the little church inside and terrific opening but be careful, floors are natural. Its a free attraction and very natural.
Written August 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Adie L
Isle of Wight, UK12 contributions
Family
This place was crazy! I ignored the other posts and wore flip flops (big mistake).
There's a shear drop from the church off the cliff edge inside the cave which was pretty scary.
Could've gone down into the cave alot further than I did but it was slippery.
Take a bright torch if you can but we'll worth a visit
Written August 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

goanjock
The Stunning Highlands46,154 contributions
Family
We were staying in nearby Sissi and the first time I visited was on my own early one morning whilst out exploring the nearby area in my car before breakfast. I followed the signs from Epano Milatos (most of them homemade or spray painted on rocks) up the mountain road to the cave. The views looking back towards Epano Milatos and down to the coast were fabulous which would have made the drive worth it on their own. I then parked my car up and walked along the path to the cave which doesn't take long and is a very easy walk. It was pitch black as I entered the cave before my eyes began to adjust to the light. I didn't have a torch with me (I was just out driving so it wasn't a planned visit) so I used my camera flash to see a bit more. Well the second the flash went off there was rustling and the sound of flapping wings as bats flew over my head and I nearly had a heart attack haha. Beyond the initial cave The Chapel Of St Thomas is cut into the rock in memory of the tragic events that took place in 1823 when the villagers of Neapolis, Latsida, Voulismeni and Milatos took refuge in the cave hiding from the Turks and their evil leader Hassan Pasha. A Turk living in Voulismeni however told Pasha where the villagers were hiding and a siege followed. Despite promises of a safe release from the caves Pasha was responsible for the brutal massacre of over 1000 men, woman and children (legend has it that the number was far higher) elderly men being trampled to death by horses before being beheaded and pastors having three fingers cut off before being executed. Knowing the history certainly adds a poignancy to the atmosphere of the cave as you look down the valley from the entrance just beyond the chapel.
I took my family to visit the caves one afternoon (armed with torches this time) a few days later (much to my disappointment there were no bats to fright the lives out of them lol) and they too really enjoyed the visit. After leaving the cave this time we continued up the mountain road a Km or so to the small mountain village of Kounali where there is a lovely family Taverna which was the perfect spot for some late afternoon refreshments (and would be perfect at any time of day).
Written November 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Geobar01
Manchester, UK1,496 contributions
Couples
Milatos Cave (no admission fee) can be a little difficult to find even with a map as the best available from stores in the area are still at a scale of 1:100,000 that don’t show in detail how to get there and local road signs could be better. If you find yourself in Milatos as we did then you still have about 3km to go and have quite possibly taken a wrong turn. There is a blue sign for ‘Milatos Cave’ that seems to be angled towards the road down into Milatos itself at a ‘T’ junction. Rather than head towards the village if coming from the West or Sissi side, you should head straight on paralleling the coast and watch out for more signs. At a sharp bend where you see a lay by with advertisements for various local tavernas on the rock face you should park up, this being the best spot along this stretch of road to leave your car, quad bike or scooter. The path leads up off the road a little way back around the bend but when we visited there was an unfinished building close by above the road and a path leads up to and past the front of it joining that from the road, so if you park in the lay by this will cut off part of the walk along the road. Continue to follow this path along the left (East) slope of the small gorge that appears in front of you, with good views along the coast. This path ends at the cave entrance so you can’t go too far and once there you will see it as an elongated hole in the rock face just above you and easily reached unless you have mobility problems.

Although a number of reviews emphasize the need for a torch the cave is still worth a visit without one, especially if you take a few minutes to let your eyes adapt to the poor light inside. Once you have, if you want to look back through any of the bright sunlit openings I would suggest the simple expedient of keeping one eye shut when you do as it will help when you turn back into the cave. Without a torch you need to take extra care as the cave floor is uneven but it’s not hard to make your way to the charming little chapel a short way in and to a second opening in the rock face that faces it. None of these are railed off so take some care if you go to the edge at any point. Apart from this, if you back track to the point where you entered the cave you will notice an opening about a meter off the floor to the left and a little way in as you entered. Clamber up this point and follow through an initially lower opening, shortly after which you should be able to stand most of the way. There are further openings in the rock face here and you will find yourself about 3-4m above the path. The openings here admit enough light to see by without a torch and you will be able to enjoy more of the cave.

If you plan on visiting the cave you should take a good head or hand torch with you as it will allow you to get a good deal more from it. If you choose to buy a torch while on holiday you may find that your choice is limited, those on offer not ideal though still very helpful and we found they were generally quite expensive. The cave had a series of lights strung across the roof in various parts when we visited but they don’t seem to have been used for some time. There is no guide here and so you are free to wander on your own responsibility. The floor is uneven and a little slippy and the cave floor is dusty so don’t dress in your best. To go further into the cave follow around to the left of the chapel and you will find openings that will let you go further. There is almost no light apart from that from your torch for much of this so take care.

The cave itself is quite rugged looking with the roof apparently supported here and there by rough ‘pillars’ of stone extending between floor and ceiling. If you like the chance to explore without restrictions or enjoy visiting caves then you will probably enjoy Milatos Cave as much as I did. If you don’t then there is still the chance to visit a lovely and out of the way chapel with good views on the way to and from it so Milatos Cave is worth making the effort to see it if you have the chance. If you want take photographs bear in mind the ability of most caves to soak up light. You can use a flash but without a really powerful one or the use of slave flash strategically placed you won’t illuminate the depths of the cave system and the foreground rocks may be quite washed out. If you have a stacking option this is well worth trying, with the camera capturing several images in a rapid burst then stacking them to produce a better exposed image, a method well known to astro photographers. If your image includes one of the openings so that you can see outside remember that the great difference in light levels between the dark interior and sunlit exterior will have to be taken into account. You can ignore the interior and allow it to provide a dark frame in the form of the cave mouth, take a series of exposure and treat them as a HDR image in post processing using software such as Photoshop or you can simply bring out more of the detail near the cave mouth to add some interesting detail, again in post processing. If using Photoshop the ‘highlights and shadows’ settings may be of help. Remember that bracketing your photos will provide you with more options later. You can of course also opt for long exposures using a tripod or other support but you still need a light source and in the darker reaches of the cave you’ll have to take one. Wide angle lenses and settings tend to do best here.

All in all, we enjoyed our visit to Milatos Cave and wondered whether the unfinished building I mentioned earlier might be intended as a future visitor centre as the cave is well worth visiting. If it is then make the most of the cave as it is now because in future you may find an admission charge and perhaps more importantly lose some of the freedom to explore that you have now. We encountered a handful of people passing in and out but it was by no means busy and parts of the cave you will almost certainly have to yourself if you want to explore and enjoy.
Written October 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jules
Windsor, UK159 contributions
The Milatos cave is a must if you are in the area! Fascinating history and a lovely walk up to it, its got a really sad story attached to it, and you can almost feel the cave has absorbed it. Well worth the visit!
Written October 28, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul B
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, UK197 contributions
Couples
One of the more accessible caves on crete , it has a well made if a little track way leading to its enterance, which has three openings to a quit extensive cave system with many chambers so smaller ones complete with bats.
the history of this place is quite sad as it is were hundreds of inhabitants were massacred by the otterman forces, After invading many of local inhabitants fled to the cave to hide from Hassan Pasha's troops, who were approaching on a bloody war path, ruthlessly destroying villages and slaughtering their inhabitants. Upon discovering where the villagers were hiding, Pasha sent 5,000 troops to surround the cave. The 150 armed men, as well as Cretan rebel soldiers from surrounding villages, valiantly fought to defend the villagers and successfully held back Pasha's men for nearly two weeks. However, the lack of food and water was taking its toll, and many people died. Starvation forced the villagers to attempt a escape. Unarmed and weak, they stood no chance against Pasha's troops, and were brutally massacred. Many slaughtered or trampled to death as they attempted to flee from the cave. Those who were captured were later beheaded or burned to death. According to some sources, some of the captured women and children were sold into slavery.
There now is a shrine just inside to mark this tragic event complete with bones collected after the event from the valley floor.
It was also used by partisans during WW2 according to a very old local man we later met in a taverna.
well worth a visit

hope the extra info helps as there is no information at the site for the visitor
Written October 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Val_SteveEastSussex
Korcula Island, Croatia43 contributions
Couples
The roads to the cave are quite minor and narrow. Once you see the sign, park on the right (on the bend). Walk back to the sign and follow the footpath to the cave, about a 15 min walk. Take a torch as there is no lighting in the cave. The church is worth a look.
Written January 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Graham B
Graham B
Devizes, UK41,482 contributions
Couples
The caves here used to be difficult to find but there is now a clear signpost as you approach the village of Milatos. We have visited several times and on all occasions, rarely share the experience with more than a handful of fellow visitors.The walk up is quite a haul and the track is somewhat rough with what looks like a fairly insubstantial hand rail but it is well worth the effort.

The caves drop back into the mountainside for hundreds of meters although there is no lighting inside so you would be ill-advised to explore beyond the main chamber. The caves' notoriety stems from the early 19th century; in 1823, suffering under Turkish rule, the villagers rebelled but were driven towards the caves. They sought refuge within from where they continued to repel the Turks. After several days of this, the Turkish commander promised the villagers safe conduct if they surrendered, which they eventually did, whereupon the men and boys were killed and the women sold into slavery.

The small chapel inside is a simple tribute to those 2,700 souls and for me, is one of the most poignant spots on the island. Not to be missed.
Written September 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul D
London9 contributions
Couples
The cave of Milatos was interesting. We took a torch and went fairly deep into the cave, until we saw loads of huge spiders and a bat hanging from the ceiling. Then we got a bit creeped out and left!!

It's worth reading into the history of these caves to get an idea of what happened here. I didn't find out the significance of the human bones until I got back home.

Nice mountain drive there too. Worth a visit. Stayed for half an hour.
Written May 13, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Simon P
Bishops Stortford, UK109 contributions
Couples
Wear trainers ! Packed on the corner of the road in the shade then walked back about 50m to the sign. About 15 minutes walk along a pretty uneven path you come to a cave opening. Use your phone torch and go through and you will be blessed with the most amazing tiny church. The view is breathtaking. Light a candle for your Angel's and on the way out mind the wasps and occasional hornet. They shouldn't bother you if you dont bother them. Best of all it's free. Well at the moment but looks like they are building a tourist office at the front.
Written July 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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