“Ι dare you to dive into the frozen waters” a friend said. And I only had to think about it for a second. Because once you reach the Papanikolis Cave, the real challenge is to stay on the boat, resisting the allurement of the crystal clear sea. So, are you strong enough to spurn the temptation of this unspoiled paradise before your eyes? Forget about how cold it is. Just follow that stunning turquoise reflected on the stalactites hanging from the cave roof. It will lead you straight to a sandy, crescent shaped beach inviting you to stay there. Now take a minute to think about the history- or should we say the myths accompanying the place. Located on the southern part of Meganissi island it is believed to have served as a hideway during the World War II. The submarine Papanikolis would tuck up inside the cave to hide from the Italian armada and then emerge again to carry on the war against the Αxis powers. Not impressed yet? Well legend has it that centuries ago it was an ideal refuge for those trying to escape the vicious pirates ruling the seas of Meganissi. With a chamber about 120 metres long and 60 metres wide it is after all one of the biggest sea caves in the world.
How to get there: It is accessible only by sea. Plenty of organized boat cruises from Nidri (Lefkada) make a stop there, but you can also rent a motor boat from Vathi Meganissi.
Location: It is located at the southern coast of Meganissi, 12 nautical miles from Nydri (Lefkada). Meganissi means “Big Island” but in reality it is a tiny isle (less than 9 square miles) of exceptional beauty and many mysteries to discover.
How to get there: It is accessible only by sea. Plenty of organized boat cruises from Nydri make a stop at Papanikolis Cave, but you can also rent a motor boat from Vathi port, at Meganissi.
Text and photos by Natassa Stasinou