Located near to Karavomilos, Melissani Lake is the most spectacular cave lake on the island. The road signs are ambiguous and the lake is nearer to Karavomilos than you would first think. Within a few hundred yards off the Sami to Agia Efimia main road. The entrance is not clearly marked.
Found on the island at the entrance to the inner cave in 1951 was an ancient lantern. In the 1963 excavations, Marinatos found a clay figurine depicting the god Pan, a disc showing Pan surrounded by dancing nymphs and a fragment showing the figure of a woman in relief who is believed to be the nymph Melissanthe (from which the lake name is derived) who fell in love with Pan. Sadly she drowned in the lake when he rejected her. Exactly what she was doing in a damp dark and flooded cave in the first place, folklore does not tell us, anyway all artifacts can now been seen in the archaeological museum in Argostoli.
Lake Melissani has an absolute invisible specialty, which sounds pretty strange. The lake water is brackish, a mixture of sea water and sweet water. The cave is about 500m from the sea, and the water level is a meter higher than sea level, and the brackish water rises from a 30m deep cave system on one side of the cave and flows silently to the other end of the cave, flowing through narrow crevices into the sea.Here the water from the Katavothres on the other side of the island reappears. This was discovered by dye tracing experiments in 1959.
Drogarati’s Cave, which is close to Sami, was discovered 300 years ago, when a part of it was destroyed because of a strong earthquake, and so the entrance was created. The cave’s depth is 60 meters from the ground level, the temperature is 18 C and the humidity is 90%. Initially, the cave was developed and used by the community of Haliotata, under the supervision of the speleologist Mrs. Petrocheilos,and since 1963 it is open for the public.
Speleologists have confirmed that the cave has an extention, that, however is not approachable. That means that the cave is probably connected with other caves in the area. It’s got many stalactites and stalagmites created from the rain, which comes through the rocky level of the cave, it corroses it and deposits its elements on the edge of the stalactites. A stalactite grows one cm every 100 years. Unfortunately, many stalactites are broken, some of them because of the earthquakes, some others because of human lack of sense for the magnificent natural piece of work. Tthe big hall of the cave (900m2), is called “Sala of Apotheosis” because of its perfect acoustics. It’s therefore also used for concerts and other shows.