Σπήλαιο Καταρρακτών Έδεσσας

Edessa Waterfalls Cave


Useful Information

Location: Edissa, easter rim of the city.
(40.803592, 22.055416)
Open: All year daily 9:30-20:30.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 1.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyTufa Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Edessa Waterfalls Cave, Γεωπάρκο Καταρρακτών, Edessa 582 00, Tel: +30-69807-64375.
Κέντρο Πληροφοριών Καταρρακτών (Waterfalls Information Center), Tsimiski 2, Edessa 582 00, Tel: +30-23810-20300.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

14th cty earthquake changed the course of the river.

Description

Σπήλαιο Καταρρακτών Έδεσσας (Edessa Waterfalls Cave) is located in the homonymous city Edessa, the capital of the Prefecture of Pella. Actually both are named after the River Edessaios. This river has formed a huge tufa plateau with a rim to the east and southeast, where the river splits into branches, similar to an estuary, and forms seven waterfalls. Four of them are located at a small park at the rim, which is sometimes called Open-Air Water Museum of Edessa. There is a parking lot at the foot of the escarpment and trails through the park and to the waterfalls. Its also possible to visit the park from the upper end, from the city, but as there are not many parking possibilities public transport is much recommended.

Next to the waterfalls is a small cave which was formed by the growing tufa, a primary cave or tufa cave. The growing tufa grew irregular and so space was not filled with travertine and later closed to form a cave. The entrance of the cave is located right at the main waterfall in the park. The cave is rather small, which is typical for this type of caves, developed as a show cave with electric light and trails. It is actually the only tufa cave in Greece open to the public. However, the whole location, with waterfalls, mills, channels, and museums, is actually the site, the cave is only a part.

This geological phenomenon is typical for a limestone rich river, due to the waterfalls the surface of the water increases, carbon dioxide escapes into the air, and the water is not able to keep the limestone dissolved. It precipitates, forming a rim along the river, elongating the edge were the waterfall starts and forming limestone flowstone or dripstone on the walls and at the bottom of the waterfall. That's how the tufa or travertine plateau grows and becomes bigger. The amount of deposited limestone depends on the amount of water, the temperature, and many other factors. But to form such a huge plateau takes many thousands of years. So the legend about an unspecified phenomenon (probably geologic, probably an earthquake) which may have changed the course of the river, but that was only relevant for the city, not for the deposition of limestone. Actually the river on top of such a flat tufa plateau changes its course quite frequently, and the plateau has an edge which is more than 2 km long. This edge was formed by waterfalls, and so any meter of the 2 km once was the location of a waterfall, The plateau is very flat and a fallen tree is enough to change the course of the river.

The center of the waterfalls is also the center of numerous sights. The Waterfalls Information Center has information material, so it is a good start for a visit. The Μουσείο Νερού (Water Museum) and the Μύλος των Γεύσεων (Sesame Mill of Flavors) are located at Perdika 45. The Υπαίθριο Μουσείο Νερού και Υδροκίνησης (Open-air Museum of Water and Water Power) with its mills is located at Konstantinoupoleos 7. The Αλευρόμυλος Σαλαμπάση (Mill of Salambasi) is one of the numerous mills. There is also a small zoo with an aquarium and reptile tank and the botanical garden. And if you get hungry from all those mills, there is also the Mill Café with snack bar and the Κανναβουργείου Γεύσεις restaurant.