Glyfada - Glifada Cave - Glyphada - Vlychada - Diros Caves

Useful Information

Location: Near Pirgos Diru, Diros-Lakonia. From Pirgos Dirou a road leads 4 km to the bay of Diros, where the cave is located.
Open: NOV to MAR daily 8:30-15.
APR to OCT daily 8:30-17:30.
Fee: Adults EUR 15.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyriver cave.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=15,400 m [2005], T=16°-19 °C, Water T=12 °C, A=50 m asl.
Guided tours: D=45 min.
Bibliography: J S Vourlitis ND (~1970): Caverns Of Mani, 72 photos, 12 pp text in English German and Greek. SB
Anna Petrocheilou (1970): The Diros Caves of Mani: Alepotrypa and Glyphada, 32 p., [16] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 17 cm.
Address: Diros Caves, Pirgos Dirou, 23062, Tel: +30-27330-54263, Tel: +30-27330-52222.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1895 cave discovered by Petros Arapaki.
1949 explored by Iannis Petrochilos and Anna Petrochilou.
1963 opened to the public.
1983 the crystallized skeleton of a large carnivorous animal, probably a panther, discovered.


Speleothems, Pirgos Dirou. Public Domain.

There are four caves near Pirgos Diru: the Spilia Dirou (Diros Cave), Alepotrypa, Katafygi and Glifada. They are all parts or different levels of a huge cave system that runs from Sparta, more than 60 km to the north, under the great spine of the Taygetos massif to the sea.

The natural entrance of Glifada Cave measures just 40x50 cm and is about 50 m asl. Visitors enter the cave through an artificial entrance tunnel about 100m west of the natural entrance, and leave the cave via an artificial exit. Just 23 m from the natural entrance, the river Glifada or Vlihada leaves Glifada Cave and falls into the sea.

Glifada Cave is called the most beautiful river cave besides ShowcaveJeita (Lebanon) and the ShowcaveGouffre de Padirac (France). (an assertion can not confirm, as we did not review the cave yet) The river Glifada flows at a rate of 30 cm³/min. The water level varies according to weather conditions: low with north wind, high with south wind.

The tour starts with a dry section, then a 30 minutes boat ride follows and then another dry section. The trail through the dry parts is about 500 m long. The visitors have to duck down in the boat several times, as the ceiling is often rather low. At the same time the guides tell, not to put the fingers into the water as there are huge eels living in the water which would bite. We guess thats a case of cave guide humour. The cave actually has unique life, for example the Dolichopoda petrocheilosa, named after Anna Petrocheilou, which lives on dry land.

In the Great Ocean Room, the flowing water is nearly 30 m deep. Visitors can take a half an hour boat ride for 2 km through nine large chambers. In summer there is a two hour long queue, so try and arrive early in the morning. Next to the cave is a small bathing beach, snack bar, taverna and changing room.

Noted for its cave painting depicting: Three Dancers, A Bird, A Medusa, and a symbol against evil spirits.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.