CAVES OF DIROS
Distance from Mareggio: 37km
The Caves are situated on the western coast of the Laconic Peninsula, on the Bay of Dirou, in the municipality of Oitilo. The Glyfada (or Vlychada) cave system is one of the most stunning worldwide. Its existence has been local knowledge since approximately the turn of the last century, but exploration of the cave only began in 1949, when the founders of the Hellenic Speleological Society, Giannis and Anna Petrocheilou, began studying it systematically. In 1970, the first underwater exploration took place. Today, the known length of the Cave exceeds 15 km. The Cave first began to form hundreds of thousands of years ago. The water found within is saline, extremely hard and has a temperature of about 14 C, while the air temperature ranges from 16 to 19 C. Its natural entrance is only about half a meter wide and is located very close to the sea’s surface. Fossilized bones of panthers, hyenas, lions, deer, ferrets and hippopotami have been discovered inside the Cave. Pottery shards, denoting the presence of humans at some point, have been found close to the Cave’s natural entrance. At the Alepotrypa Cave, located 220 m East of Glyfada, prehistoric cave drawings,etched on the rocks, have been discovered.