A walk with kids in Crete

Walking is a fantastic activity for kids. Choose carefully a terrain that offers lots to look at and things to clamber over: rocks, trees, streams, beaches. Kids love going to places linked to things that fascinate them, such as a cave. They love drama. Give it to them and for sure you enjoy a great walk without moaning.

A nice place to go with kids is the Arkoudospilio Cave or the Bear Cave near the monastery of Gouvernetto on the Akrotiri Peninsula. From ancient times, the Arkoudospilio Cave has been a place of worship. Excavations revealed that it had been an important Minoan Shrine dedicated to Artemis. According to archaeologists, thousands of years ago the goddess Artemis was worshiped in the cave in the form of a bear, so a cave with a bear-shaped stalagmite would easily be considered a sacred place.

According to the local legend, a bear once lived near the cave and came to drink the water dripping from the stalactites into the cistern that the local villagers had made in the rock. When they came to collect the water from the cistern, it was empty. The villagers accused each other of taking the water but one day they found out that the bear drank all the water. They did not know what to do. One of the villagers screamed in despair “Virgin Mary, help us!” and a miracle happened: the bear was immediately turned into stone.

My kids enjoyed listening to this story and still remember it. In the cave they can use their imagination and they might discover some other dangerous animals in the stalagmites and the stalactites.

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After the cave, you can walk the paved path down to the Katholiko monastery. My kids were delighted when spotting some goats and sheep. You can cross the stone bridge at the Katholiko monastery and descend very carefully from the left side. A dry riverbed full of rocks and stones is another little adventure for your kids and will lead you to the sea. Keep in mind it is not really for swimming here, so if your kids are fed up I would recommend you to soak up the sun on the beach of Stavros. There is interesting walk for kids in Stavros along the rocky coast. I will tell about that walk in another post.

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