On the west coast of Laconia Peninsula, in the Ormos of Diros, one of the 60 caves of Mani is located, as well as one of the 10,000 recorded caves of Greece. The Cave of Glyfada (or Vlychada) Diros is one of the most beautiful caves in the world and was explored for the first time in 1949, when the founders of the Greek Speleological Society, Giannis and Anna Petrochelou, began to explore it systematically.
Its existence was known to the locals from about 1900. But no one suspected the miracle he was hiding inside. By 1960, 1,600 meters were explored and mapped, while today the known length of the cave exceeds 15 kilometres.
The 1970 became the first underwater exploration. The length of the cave’s visited corridors is 3100 m. (according to the MINISTRY of CULTURE), of which 300 m. It’s land. The tour to the Marine section is carried out by boats. Here, if you are lucky and you are taken by a boatman with knowledge and mood, you will enjoy the tour; otherwise, the tour will be silent, with your enthusiasm waiting for some information, but the anticipation is not satisfied. The real tourist route today is 1.5 km, of which 80% are limnea (with dinghy) and the remaining 20% (300 meters) is done on foot. The overall walk in the cave for US tourists takes about 30 minutes.
In fact, because of its rich colourful surround, the cave is placed at the top of the world list of Limnaion caves along with the Lebanese Zaita and the French Pantiak.
The terrestrial, but also the Enalio section, has a rich lithomatic decoration. It runs underground river poured into the sea about 23m. Right of its physical entry, which is located half a metre above sea level. Most of the cave is covered with seawater and the water level inside it varies according to the external weather conditions. Within the cave are found bones of hippos, panthers, yines, lions, deer and other animals, as well as prehistoric pottery.
The cave began to form hundreds of thousands of years ago. The stalactites and stalagmites, which are currently under water, were formed when the sea surface was much lower than its current level. The water inside is brackish and has great hardness. Its temperature is about 14 C, while the air varies from 16 to 19 C.
Its natural entrance has a diameter of just half a metre and is very close to the surface of the sea. In earlier times the cave had other entrances which were gradually closed. Two new entrances were opened for the utilization of the cave.
The Cave of Diros you can reach with your own vehicle easily through Sparta-Gythio-Areopolis-Pyrgos Diros.