The Caves of Diros

The journey

We drove for approximately an hour from Villa Serendipity,  enjoying some splendid views as we weaved up and down the mountains before arriving at the Diros Caves. They are located at the bottom of the Mani, between the towns of Aereopolis and Pirgos Dirou.

The site

The cavern at Diros laid undiscovered for centuries in Mani, southern Greece. A gentleman walking his dog found a tiny entrance to the cave in the 1950s. Experts have spent the last few decades excavating the cave and believe hundreds of people lived inside Alepotrypa (the caverns official name – meaning “Foxhole”), making it one of the oldest prehistoric villages in Europe, before the cave entrance collapsed burying everyone alive 5,000 years ago. The artifacts found here, many of which are displayed in the museum, mean that the caves were one of the earliest inhabited places in Greece. The discovered area of the caves cover around 33000 square meters of which only 5000 square meters have been explored.

 
 
 On arrival at the caves you buy your tickets at a small ticket booth and drive on to the car park.
There are toilet facilities here.
Once at the cave entrance we were kitted out in life jackets and then walked down a fairly steep set of stairs to an underground lake. We climbed into tiny boats before sailing off into the caves manned by a guide with a pole. We were able to show the children the huge stalagmites and stalactites, and rich mineral rocks. The boat negotiated some fairly tight bends and low areas which added to the sense of adventure ( and ensured the taller amongst us were paying attention so as not to knock our heads on the low set rocks! ) The trip lasts around 30 minutes and then another 10 minutes walk through the caves and back to the car park and gift shop.
 
 
Practical info
 
Price – 15 euro per ticket.
 
Weather wise we were there in April, the weather was dry and over cast. We wore shorts, t- shirts and light weight cardis and were very comfortable.
 
My suggestion would be not to plan to eat here – whilst there is a small café type shop it was rather smokey and choice was limited.
 
Its worth noting that some websites warn that sufferers of claustrophobia may not be well suited to this trip. My advice is to use your discretion – we went as a group of eight, consisting of 4 adults and 4 children , the youngest being 4 years old. My two children are both adventurers at heart and basically fearless and loved the trip, both demanding to go again immediately. I am naturally quite cautious but other than needing to duck my head in some of the lower areas there was no cause for anxiety. The other two children in our party were a little wary at the start but soon relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed it.