DIDYMA - Distance from Ermioni: 24 kms/30 minutes

Didyma is a small quiet traditional village, located in a valley where you can visit the Megali and Mikri Spilia, the large and small caves (sinkholes) of Didyma.   The large cave is on the hillside which you can see from the main road coming from Ermioni, the other smaller cave is below ground level and not visible from the road, as it is also surrounded by trees.  Inside the small cave, there are two small Byzantine churches.  One is Ag.Georgios (St George) with its wall murals dating back to the 14th century, the other church built into the surrounding rock is the Metamorfosis of Sortiros.  You can enter these churches and view the interiors, but please close the doors when you leave.  It is said that the villagers of Didyma used to hide in this smaller cave during attacks by raiding Turks and Pirates, also from occupying Italian and German troops in the Second World War. 

Didyma means twins in Greek, in referance to the two mountains on either side of the village.  Mt Didyma, (1110m) is to the North-East and Profitis Ilias (775m) to the West.  The village is dominated by the large church of Agios Nikolaos (pictured above) which is built on the ruins of an ancient temple to the god Poseidon, showing that the area was highly populated before the 5th century B.C.

There are clear road signs showing which small track to take from the main road that runs around Didyma village.  When you approach the large cave on the small track, you will see a small tunnel entrance on your right, surrounded by blue coloured metal railings and entrance gate.  You may leave your car here and walk down the narrow steps that take you down this tunnel, through the ground, to a 'balcony' overlooking the small cave and churches. The feeling you get within the smaller crater is as if time has stood still.  You can walk around the whole cave perimiter keeping to the small footpath, although parts of the footpath can get a bit rocky in places.  Although the large cave looks very impressive from a distance, it is rather disappointing to see from close quarters, as there's no depth to the cave.  It's far more interesting to spend your time exploring the small cave with the two Byzantine churches.

The one thing that many people still debate today is how these cave-sinkholes came into being.  One thing we do know is that they were not caused by space meteorites, as no evidence of un-earthly rock has ever been discovered around the cave area.  Some reasonable theories are that these remarkable holes were created by underground natural gas explosions or collapsing caves many centuries ago, as there are similar cave-sinkholes on the opposite side of the same hill, which are not seen from the village.  

In April, the villagers of Didyma celebrate their 'Festival of Tulips', an annual event since 1962, which is held in the main plateia square.  The whole village square is converted into one big colourful outdoor taverna, where traditional folk dancing, various competitions and games are held by the local children.  A grand parade of groomed horses are then exhibited through the main square, followed by live music, where all the people attending are invited to dance the evening and night away, after much feasting and drinking in-between.  A very traditional and colourful event enjoyed by all the villagers and visitors alike. The festival dates vary depending on the local tulip harvest, but the event is usually held on the last weekend in April, first in May, starting around 14:00.  

The next Didyma Tulip Festival will be held on 6th May 2024, which is the Greek Orthodox Easter Monday.  

Salanti beach, is 6 kms South-West from Didyma.  It has a great long white pebbly beach with a small chapel at one end, close to a large derelict hotel complex which at one time attracted many European tourists to this coastal paradise.  Today, you can relax on this tranquil beach, swim in the beautiful clear blue sea and enjoy fresh fish in the small taverna that is occasionally open nearby. See the map in the picture gallery below for directions to the beach. 


Didyma (Small Cave)
37° 28' 11.6472" N, 23° 10' 3.3276" E
Picture Gallery
Didyma - The valley and village of Didyma Didyma - Church of Agios Nikolaos - built on the temple to Poseidon Didyma - Rural surroundings on the approach to the caves Didyma - The small track leading to the two caves of Didyma Didyma - Close-up view of the left-hand section of the large cave Didyma - Close-up view of the right-hand section of the large cave Didyma - The tunnel entrance to the small cave of Didyma Didyma - The tunnel comes out onto a small 'balcony' platform Didyma - Close-up of the left-hand section of the small cave Didyma - Close-up of the right-hand section of the small cave Didyma - The small Byzantine church of Aghios Georgios (St George) Didyma - Decorated interior of Aghios Georgios with icons and murals Didyma - The tiny older church of Metamorfosi of Sortiros Didyma - The decorated interior of the church built into the rock Salanti beach - 6 kms from Didyma Salanti beach - just peace and tranquility Didyma 'Tulips' festival - The plateia becomes one big taverna Didyma 'Tulips' festival - Village museum of folklore Didyma 'Tulips' festival - Students dance in the plateia Didyma 'Tulips' festival - The whole village enjoys the day Didyma 'Tulips' festival - the horse parade begins Didyma 'Tulips' festival - Many horse owners take part Didyma 'Tulips' festival - The stallion star attraction Didyma - Directions from Ermioni