• Diver Experience

    Open Water and higher

  • Max Depth


  • Interest

    Stalagmites/stalactites, fresh water pools, colorful sponges, marine life, elephant bones, crystal clear water

  • Visibility

    Excellent (20-40m)

  • Temperature

    19-26 C

  • Accessibility

    Fast RHIB Boat

The Elephant cave is an underwater sight of stunning beauty and unique history for both experienced and amateur divers.  The cave got its name from the discovery of fossilized remains of elephants that belong to the new species ‘elephas chaniensis’ that are estimated to be 50-60 thousand years old.  Along with the elephant’s fossils, there are fossilized deer bones that belonged to both normal and dwarf deer.  The cave is absolutely magical, as it is naturally decorated with white and red stalactites and stalagmites creating an enchanted environment.

This spectacular dive travels you to the past and is unlike any other in the world; join us for the most unforgettable experience!

The Elephant Cave has been shaped in Mesozoic limestone.  The entrance of the cave is 9m in height, 6m in width and the entrance is about 10m below sea level and continues in a tunnel about 40m in length.  The remaining of the cave is 125m in length with an average width of 25m which is the main chamber of the cave.  The underwater surface ranges from a few centimeters to 4 meters.  The study of the organic and chemical sediments, shows that with certainty, the cave was dry thousands of years ago.  Moreover, the air inside the cave is breathable.  Visibility is excellent and therefore divers can admire the beautiful décor of the stalactites and stalagmites and clearly see the fossilized bones which are embedded in the rocks of the cave.

More History on the Elephant cave

The cave was accidentally discovered by a snorkeler in 1999.  The Ephorate of Paleoanthropology & Speleology undertook exploration of the cave in 2000 where the discovery of fossilized bones of elephants and dear were found.  The discovered skeleton parts of the elephant (tusk, teeth and vertebrae), could be argued that they belong to a new endemic species, which was named ‘elephas chaniensis’, after the region of Chania.  The fossils belong to three adults and two younger members.  These elephants were significantly different from the African or Indian elephant, as they were three feet high and had thicker bones and huskier bodies.  The age of the bones are estimated at 50,000-60,000 years old.

The deer bones are also interesting, as they belong to both a normal size deer and deer dwarfs (up to 30 cm).  It is believed that the excessive increase in deer population, significantly reduced food availability which lead to the extinction of the elephants in the area.

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