The Caves of Diros

Trip Start May 08, 2010
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22
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Trip End Jan 23, 2011


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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, September 2, 2010

AREOPOLI AND  THE  CAVES  OF DIROS



We leave Sparti, and pass through Gythio, moving on to Oitylo, and then Areopoli.

We visited AREOPOLI back in 2005 and I have an entry with many photos.

Check here:

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/greekcypriot/1/1110102600/tpod.html



Areopoli is named after Ares, the Greek God of war. It has a population of one thousand inhabitants, and it is distinguished by its landscape and architectural style. It is a traditional town in Mani.

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We come to the caves of Diros, and although this is the third time I come here, I am anxious to get in the boat and see the cave once again.



It is one of the most enchanting caves I have ever visited.  With the utmost patience and artistry, nature has fashioned a wonder beyond imagination beneath the austere landscape of Mani.



My daughter visited the caves of Diros 2 years ago but she was disappointed she said, so I don't expect much this time.

To my surprise there are many people here today, and I am sure I will enjoy the sailing trip as much as the other two times I was here.



The boatman tells us that we should keep our hands inside the boat and follow his instructions. In some places we have to bend our heads to mind the low ceiling so we have to be very careful. The cutting or touching is forbidden.



Brilliant white stalactites and stalagmites and impressive glittering crystal drapes decorate every corner, creating a breathtaking spectacle!



I sit right behind an Italian couple who speak English, but they cannot understand what the boatman says. As we sail through the cave he shows different shapes of the stalactites and names them.  Every time he says something important I translate for them.  They are quite tall and they have to keep their heads bend every now and then. 



The existence of the cave was known to locals from around 1900.  No one, however, suspected the wonders hidden in its interior until 1949, when a couple named Yiannis and Anna Petrocheilou, founders of the Hellenic Speleological Society, began to explore it systematically.



Today the known length of the cave is 14 km. Exploration continues to this day,  both above and beneath the water with cave diving, - the boatman informs us.



The cave began to be formed hundreds of thousands of years ago. The stalactites and stalagmites that are now beneath the water were formed when the sea level was much lower than it is today. Stalactites have been found at a depth of 71 metres.



Inside the cave have been found fossilized bones of panthers, hyenas, lions, deer, ferrets and the largest collection of hippopotamus bones in Europe. Pottery has also been found near the natural entrance to the cave indicating the presence of man.



The water in the cave is brackish and very hard. Its temperature is about 14 degrees centigrade, while the temperature of the air in the cave ranges from 16 to 19 degrees centigrade.

Our tour with the boat lasts about 25 minutes and has a total length of 1.500 metres.



Some information concerning the hours the cave is open:



From 08:30 to 15:00 from October to May and until 17:30 from June until September.

Tel: 27330 52222 -3



The boat trip costs 12 euro, and 6euro for people who are over 60.

Of course there is another price for students and groups.



Coming here:

The distance from Athens is approximately 300 km.



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Comments

tony55
tony55 on

very nice photos
i THINK I HAVCE BEEN TO THE STALAGMITES IN IOANNINA
YEARS AGO
MAYBE 1974
AND 1980

Janet on

Very nice video Popi! I've been in these caves twice and watching your video was just like being there again:):) Good job!

venoth
venoth on

Lovely caves. Reminds me of another limestone cave that we have here in Malaysia. I hope the preservation process is maintained always for the next generations to come.

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