Are you a bit of an adventurer? Do you like exploring unique cave systems around the world? Diros Caves has a long history in Greek mythology and is definitely different. Read on to find out about our experience in this beautiful cave.
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Our Peloponnese road trip turned out to be one of the best we’ve ever done. We love a good road trip with lots to see; on this one, we hit the jackpot. We explored cities such as Kalamata and Napflio; and super sites like Mycenae, Pilos Castle, and the Palamidi Fortress. There’s so much to do in this smallish piece of land.
After stopping at the Olive Museum and Mystras, we were trying to get all the way to Diros Caves. It was about an hour or an hour and a half drive, but on the smaller roads, it’s always hard to tell if our time would be right or wrong. Thankfully, it was pretty spot on.
According to our sources, the caves were closing at 3 PM, which is earlier than we expected, but we chalked it up to being before the true tourist season started. That meant we had to arrive before 2:00 so that we could go in. Or so we thought. I’m not sure if this was a problem or not, because we made our time and were able to buy our tickets and go in.
What to expect in this article:
- Our Experience
- Planning Your Visit
The Diros Caves are well known in Greek mythology as an entrance to the underworld. In fact, Hercules is said to have used the caves on one of his many adventurous challenges. We didn’t see any of Hades’ minions on our journey through the caves, but then again the caverns cover more than fifteen kilometers and we only barged around a fraction of that.
Our Experience at the Diros Caves
Entering the cave was a bit interesting. There were automatic lines that were designed to scan your tickets, but these were not in use. Instead of lining up there, we had to walk around the corner, where we were being helped manually.
There were probably about 30 people already in line, and it was easy to just follow the people ahead of us. The line moved pretty quickly and soon we were heading down into the cavern system.
We were given floating devices and had to walk down about 40 stairs until we reached the cave. It felt like a small water grotto where we were loaded onto our boats, about eight people per boat.
Each boat had about four seats that were a little challenging to maneuver around. Ginny struggled to get over the benches. Jim tried to help but kept getting reprimanded by our driver. Only he would help her, but it made the entire embarking a little more worrisome for us.
Ginny was left floundering in the back and could have used a hand, but they wouldn’t let Jim assist her as he had to stay seated on his bench. This part was a bit rough, and if we were to do it again, we would probably tell anyone with similar issues to sit at the very back, not the front since you have to negotiate all the seats in between.
Despite the initial hiccups, the boat ride itself was pretty incredible. We navigated through the cave for about 1200 meters, which took around 20 to 25 minutes. The colors inside the cave were surprising.
We surmised that there must be a high content of ferric iron or ferrous sulfate in the cave, due to the amount of gorgeous stalagmites and stalactites. We love the way the caves were illuminated, because electric lights had been installed, giving off a warm glow and making it easy to see all the formations.
Unfortunately, there were a few stalactites that were broken, but for the most part, the cave was well-preserved. The ceiling was quite low, and one had to be aware of it at all times. I almost knocked my noggin a couple of times.
The boat ride finished at the same spot where we began, and disembarking the boat was much easier for us than getting on, which was a relief. We just climbed the steps, handed back our floating vests and that was that.
The entire experience took less than an hour, but it was memorable, and we were very happy to have gotten there before they closed. I think kids would especially love it.
A word of warning: Visitors are strictly forbidden from touching the walls or the ceiling, which I don’t think you would want to do anyway since it was rough and beautiful.
Planning Your Visit at Diros Caves
We rocked up to the entrance of Diros Caves at 2:00, and since there was no parking to be found, Jim dropped me off to go get tickets. The ticket line only had about 10 people in it, and it moved rather quickly. The attendant was counting and tallying the day’s income, though, so I do think it was closing soon.
No matter, we were golden! The cost was a straightforward 10 Euros per person (kids might have been a few Euros cheaper), and there were no choices as far as what you would do. The same ticket for everyone.
We didn’t really understand where all the people that belonged to the multitude of cars in the parking lot were because we drove down the side of the cliff to a lower parking lot, closer to the actual entrance, with plenty of open spots. Maybe there had been a lot of people leaving already? We just don’t know.
There was an on-site café that served snacks and drinks, but it was closed while we were there. Maybe it had been open earlier, but I suspect it really just had not opened for the season yet.
Places to Visit Nearby
The Peloponnese Peninsula is full of great places to visit. If you love ancient Grecian sites, it should be high on your list. Some of the things we loved doing on this road trip is visiting the Corinth Canal, the stunning city of Napflio and its stunning Palimidi Castle, and visiting sites such as: Nestor’s Palace, Diros Caves, Mycenae, Mystras, and Olympia.
Diros Caves is really a lot of fun. We had a wonderful boat ride throughout the cave system, that lasted a good long while, especially for a mere 10 Euros. The colored lights and many limestone attractions made it a really fun experience. However, we would warn you to take care if you have some balance issues, because getting in and out of the boat was a little unwieldy.
No matter what, make the trip to the end of that finger of the Peloponnese Peninsula to visit Diros Caves. You’ll be happy you did.
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.