Continuing the bus tour we left Fiskardo and travelled south to the district of Sami to visit Melissani Lake.
Melissani Lake or 'Cave of the Nymphs' is located at Karavomlos, just 2km from the town of Sami. It is a unique cave structure, with a lake whose waters reach a depth of 39 meteres. To reach the cave one has to descend a sloping ramp down to the boats waiting on the lake. The cave is 160m long and 40m wide. Its stalactites date back 16,000 to 20,000 years in age. In the centre of the lake, where the covered section begins, there is a small island 30m in length on the surface of which are two small elevatioins, 8m and 9m in height.
A narrow channel between this little island and the walls of the lake leads to the rest of the cave. We were expertely ferried through the channel, 12 to a rowing boat, by one of the four boatmen who work at the lake.
Melissani has been the site of several excavations which have brought to light a number of finds, most of them from the 3rd and 4th centrues BC, and attesting to a cult of the god Pan. A number of female figures have also been found the famous Nymphs. The visitor can tour the lake on a boat and admire the wonderful colours to be seen in the water constantly changing as the sunlight falls on it ghrough the apeture in the roof above.
The lake is fed from the sea but by the time the water reaches the lake it has lost 90% of its salinity, this almost clear water is fed back into the sea. It was cool on the lake but not cold, though one could certainly feel the change in temperature ascending to the exit.
Melissini Lake is a beautiful natural phenomenon, well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Kefalonia.
Tune in for Kefalonia Part 5 and our visit to Drogorati Cave.