The walk to Franchthi Cave is easy, short, yet very beautiful, as it sets out from a quiet beach and follows the coastline all the way to the impressive entrance of a place that was already inhabited by man some 40,000 years ago. Having been abandoned only around 3,000 BCE, it is one of the very few settlements in the world that shows nearly continuous human occupation for such an extended period of time. No wonder it is one of the most thoroughly studied archaeological and anthropological sites from the Stone Age in Southeastern Europe.
It is here that the oldest complete human skeleton was found, dating back to 23,000 BCE, and in 2014 after extensive research, it was finally confirmed that Franchthi Cave is the oldest human settlement in the whole world. Most of the findings from this important place are on display in the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio.
The pathway to and from the cave offers wonderful views on the picturesque fishing village of Kilada and the privately owned island of Koronida. The cave itself is not only a mysterious place to visit but also features a small lake and offers an amazing view onto the sky above because part of its roof has collapsed.
Another point of interest is the Macedonian watchtower nearby, of which only the first few layers of stones have been preserved. It offers a great view onto the bay of Kilada and across, towards the mountains of the Central Peloponnese.
Cave, prehistory, nature, sea, landscape, mystery, watchtower, ruin, beach.
Depending on your location, this tour can be offered as a "short walk" of around 2,5 hours or as a "half day excursion". It can also be combined with a visit to the picturesque village of Kilada, where several fish restaurants serve the daily catch, fresh out of the fishing nets.