Fifty kilometres southeast of Thessaloníki, en route to the Kassándhra peninsula, and set among handsome mountain scenery, is the cave of Kókkines Pétres. The name means “Red Stones”, and they were discovered in 1959 by villagers from nearby Petrálona looking for water. Besides an impressive display of stalagmites and stalactites, the villagers – and, later, academics – found the fossilized remains of prehistoric animals and, most dramatic of all, a Neanderthal skull, all of which are displayed in a decent museum near the cave entrance. No photography is allowed, but there is a small museum and onsite café.

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