According to legend, the Dikteon Andron, or Dikteon Cave, or Diktaean Andron, was the birthplace of Zeus, the mightiest of the ancient Greek Gods. Set high above the Lassithi Plateau, its incredible stalactites and stalagmites are thousands of years old. Join our Diktaean Andron – Cave of Zeus and Lassithi Plateau Family Tour and discover everything about it.
Reaching the Cave of Zeus involves a fairly steep 15 minute walk from the parking area. For this reason, we do not recommend this tour for families with very young children, and certainly not for families with pushchairs. Our experience has led us to believe that it should be fine for active families with kids aged 7 and over. There are also some donkeys which you can hire to go both up and back down. Even if you do not choose to ride, you can still take some great pictures of them!
When you eventually reach the cave, take some time to admire the views out over the Lassithi Plateau. You have earned them, after all! Then, it is time to descend down into the cave where Zeus is said to have been born.
Legend says that Cronus, the Father of Zeus, was told in a prophecy that he would be overthrown as King of the Gods by one of his children. As such, whenever one was born, he ate them! Rhea, pregnant with Zeus, tricked Cronus by substituting a rock for the baby, and then fled to the Dikteon Cave to give birth and hide. It is said the cave was chosen, so that Cronus could not hear the cries of baby Zeus.
Inside the cave, it is easy to imagine why the Greeks thought that Zeus was born and lived there. It is a beautiful, almost magical place, where the rock formations and columns seem to ooze mystery. As you walk around, you will appreciate the cool temperatures and the atmospheric lighting. If this is the first cave your kids have visited, they will find it amazing!
After leaving the cave, the tour carries past windmills and on to an Eco Park area, where there is an opportunity to enjoy samples of local products such as cheese, olive oil, wine and honey. There is also a small area where native goats and other animals are kept. This is a great place for the kids to play for a while, whilst the adults enjoy a relaxing coffee or other drink.
This Diktaean Andron – Cave of Zeus and Lassithi Plateau Family Tour can be combined with a visit to the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, Agios Nikolaos, and nearby Elounda and the Gulf of Mirabello. If you are interested in tailoring your Diktaean Andron – Cave of Zeus and Lassithi Plateau Family Tour to meet specific needs or see certain attractions, contact us via email or the online chat. We would love to help!
Families should know
- There is a steep climb to the cave which takes about 15 minutes
- You should wear comfortable shoes, sunblock, take some water, and leave any heavy bags behind
Kids will love
- Visiting a mysterious cave of stalactites and stalagmites
- Seeing the birthplace of Zeus from the Greek Myths
- Playing at the Eco Park
Parents will love
- Showing their kids a cave – maybe for the first time?!
- Views of the Lassithi Plateau
- Trying delicious traditional products
Best season to visit
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