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Diros Cave
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The cave


The cave Glyfada (Vlyhada) Diros is one of the most beautiful caves not only in Greece but around the whole world too. It was named so due to the brackish water that gets discharged into the sea a few meters far from its natural entrance. The cave is located at the west coasts of the Laconian peninsula in the Diros Bay and just a few km northern the settlement Pyrgos Dirou. It is considered a miracle of nature and so many call it ‘the Parthenon of the caves’. The cave has been known to the inhabitants since the late 19th century and the visits culminated in the ‘40s but no one could suspect the miracle it was hiding. The systematic exploration of the cave began in 1949 by the couple John and Anna Petrohilos who founded the Greek Speleological Society. 1600m had been explored and mapped in 1960. At the same period the tourist exploitation of the cave started and the man-made entrance was created. The cave is a pole of attraction for many visitors from all over the world, especially during the summer months. The increasing number of visitors set necessary the creation of a second man-made entrance in 1975.


Cave’s Geography

The cave’s formation started 20 - 30 million years ago. It is a natural enclosure, unaffected by the weather phenomena and the weather changes. The internal conditions remain stable throughout the year. The water in the cave comes from the nearby hill of Sagia, is brackish and has great toughness. The water temperature varies between 13°C and 15°C and the air temperature between 18°C and 21°C. The interior decoration that is today under the water surface had been formed when the sea level was much lower than today. The fact that stalactites have been found at a depth of 70m is really amazing.


A Tour to the Cave

A corridor with steps leads to the first chamber, which has been turned into a dock. From this spot starts the lake part of the tour. The tourist route is1500m long; the 1200m are covered by boat whereas only the last 300m are covered on foot.

The ‘Crossroad’ (the starting and finishing point of the late route) is located at the ‘Megali Limni’ (the Great Lake). After the Crossroad two magnificent columns that emerge from the water (Hercules’ Columns) appear in front of your eyes and then you will see some columns and stalactites that resemble curtains. This is a gallery of unique beauty and is called ‘the Palm Trees Forest’.  Going onwards you will see the ‘Great Thimonia’ which is the largest stalagmite of the cave with a diameter of 3.5 meters. During your tour in the cave you will admire the Cathedral Church, the imposing Chandelier that is hanging from the roof, the Stone Kiosk and the Pink gallery that leads to the entrance of the ‘Beautiful Gate’ (with its imposing columns that form a special path). On the left of the ‘Beautiful Gate’ lies the gallery of the crystal rain (with a large number of tubular stalactites hanging from the top) and right next stand the ‘White Apartments’ with the amazingly beautiful decoration. At this spot the cave is forked and leads to galleries that are neither open to the public nor part of the tour. The next stop of the tour is ‘the Sea of ​​Shipwrecks’ that presents a lovely stalactite cluster that has fallen from the top and looks like masts of a shipwreck. Then you reach ‘the Lovers’ port’, ‘the Tower of Pisa’ (a column with characteristic inclination), and ‘His Great Ocean Hall’. This is the largest gallery in the cave with impressive formations on the walls and ceiling.

The rest part includes walking around galleries of really impressive decoration. The most remarkable sights of this route are ‘the Red Stalactites’, which owe their color to the grounds’ composition and the iron’s oxides, large galleries with lakes and rare stalactite discs.


Cave under exploration

Apart from the tourist trail there are many branches that lead to chambers with running waters and amazing decoration. In this-under-exploration part there are towering galleries, bright white rooms, large lakes with glittering crystals and clear crystal stalactite material. The cave even today continues to reveal secret passages to the explorers and enchants with its rich interior decoration. In many parts lie animal bones from carnivorous mammals such as lions and panthers and from large mammals like hippos.


Further Information

In order to reach the area you have to cover a distance of 300km from Athens, via Gythio (coming from Sparta) or via Kalamata. Immediately after Areopolis there are signs that lead to the cave.

The cave is open to the public October-May 8:30 -15:00 and June-September 8:30 -15:30. The general admission fee is 12€ and the reduced is 7€ for multi-child families, the elderly and children over 3 years old.

The visit lasts 45 minutes and the lake tour is conducted by boat.

Tel.: +30 2733052222-3, fax: +30 2733054263



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