Famous Speleologists Explore Corfu’s Stunning Caves



A Corfiot cave. Credit: Speleo Corfu

The famous Dutch speleologist René van Vliet and his team recently explored more than fifteen caves in Corfu in a span of less than 25 days.

The caving team was comprised of famous speleologists and forestologists from across Europe, including the Greek specialists Giannis Gasteratos and Theodoros Skalitis.

The intrepid group plans to continue their expeditions in order to record the stunning caves Corfu hides under its land — and even under the seas surrounding the island.

Speaking with state-run AMNA news agency, Vliet noted that Corfu has 186 recorded caves, but his team is sure that there are numerous others, which need to be explored.

The team “Speleo Corfu,” which studies the island’s caves, notes on its website that ”some caves on Corfu are small and used for practical reasons; they are called ”kaves” and were used for purposes such as storing milk and vegetables. History shows that the darkness and constant temperatures provide ideal conditions for the aging processes of some cheeses and alcoholic beverages.”

Credit: Speleo Corfu

Of course, Corfu is well-known historically for providing hiding places for pirates, and even as places to find cover during bombing raids during World War II, and caves have played a crucial role in island history.

”Some caves on Corfu are deep openings in rocky terrain, the so called ‘varathra,’ while other caves are small or big holes, the so called ‘spilies’ or in Corfiot dialect, ‘graves’ or ‘katavothres,’ the Speleo Corfu group explains.

It must be noted that many caves are not safe for most individuals to explore, and the teams which conduct these extensive explorations are adequately trained for such tasks.