The cave of Skoteino or Agia Paraskevi is located in the Municipality of Chersonissos, 23km east of Heraklion and 1 km northwes of Skoteino village at an altitude of 225m.
The cave is 10 meters high and 27 meters wide. It was used mainly as a cult place in ancient times and later as a religious center for the Christians.Deeper inside the cave, there is an altar , where sacrifices were executed during the ancient times for the purpose of cult worship, from 1900BC to at least the 4th AD century is confirmed through the excavation findings.There are impressive clusters of stalagmites and stalactites whose shapes resemble animal forms.Lots of peculiar names and symbols have been inscribed in the walls close to this praying room. There are other chambers inside the cave at various depths and heights.
One of the most important caves in Crete, from speleological and archaeological point of view.
Firstly explored in 1933 by Evans, while archaeologist K.Davaras excavated the cave in 1962 and discoved pieces of vases, ceramic needles, lamps and three bronze figurines of the late Minoan Era, representing adorationin the famous worshipng attitude with the right hand on the forehead and other findings dating from the Minoan to the Roman era.
Visitors can view a modern chapel built on the remains of an ancient chapel to the right side of the cave entrance. This new chapel is dedicated to Agia Paraskevi and every year on 26th July, a large feast is held there.