Πέμπτη 28 Δεκεμβρίου 2023

Diros caves, Laconia,Greece

Vlychada Cave in Diros is one of the most beautiful caves in the world and is located on the west coast of the Laconian Peninsula, in Diros Bay. Under the sparse Mani landscape, nature has patiently and artistically sculpted a miracle beyond imagination – white stalactites and stalagmites, impressive waterfalls and glittering crystals adorn every corner, creating an incomparable spectacle that takes your breath away!
There are three Caves in the Diros area, Vlychada, Alepotrypa and Katafygi. Local people have known of the Vlychada cave’s existence since about 1900. But in 1949, when the founders of the Hellenic Speleological Society Giannis and Anna Petrocheilou began to explore it systematically no one suspected the miracle that was hidden inside the cave.
By 1960, 1,600 meters had been explored and mapped. From 1987 the Ministry of Culture’s Ephorate of Paleoanthropology – Speleology began a detailed study of the Cave and, in collaboration with an international group of cave divers, continued to explore and map it. To date, 14,700 meters of routes have been mapped. Most of the Cave is located below the surface of the water.
Το σπήλαιο άρχισε να σχηματίζεται πριν από εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες χρόνια. Οι σταλακτίτες και οι σταλαγμίτες που σήμερα βρίσκονται κάτω από το νερό σχηματίστηκαν όταν η επιφάνεια της θάλασσας βρισκόταν πολύ χαμηλότερα από το σημερινό της επίπεδο. Έχουν βρεθεί σταλακτίτες σε βάθος 71 μέτρων. Το μέγιστο βάθος του Σπηλαίου έχει εντοπιστεί εκτός της τουριστικής διαδρομής και φτάνει τα 80 μέτρα.
Το νερό που εισχωρεί στις ρωγμές του ασβεστολιθικού πετρώματος και το διαλύει, δημιουργεί κυριολεκτικά σταγόνα σταγόνα, τον διάκοσμο του σπηλαίου. Το ίζημα του διαλυμένου ανθρακικού ασβεστίου σχηματίζει με πολύ αργούς ρυθμούς σταλακτίτες και σταλαγμίτες.
The cave began to form hundreds of thousands of years ago. The stalactites and stalagmites that are now under water were formed when the sea surface was much lower than its current level. Stalactites have been found at a depth of 71 meters. The maximum depth of the Cave is outside the tourist route and reaches 80 meters.
The water that penetrates the cracks in the limestone and dissolves it creates the ornamental features in the cave literally drop by drop. Over a long period of time, the precipitate of dissolved calcium carbonate forms stalactites and stalagmites.
The natural entrance of the cave is only half a meter in diameter and is located very close to the sea surface. In earlier times the cave had other entrances which gradually closed.
Fossilized bones from panthers, hyenas, lions, deer and ferrets, and the largest deposit of hippo bones in Europe, have been found in the cave. Ceramics suggesting a human presence have been found near the natural entrance to the cave.
The water inside the cave is brackish and is very hard. The water temperature is about 14 ° C, while the air temperature ranges from 16 to 19 ° C.
The tourist route is 1,500 meters in length, of which the first 1,200 are on the lake, and the tour lasts about 25 minutes.
The doors of the cave were first opened to visitors in 1967, when E.O.T. completed the necessary works that had begun six years earlier.
Important anthropological findings from the Neolithic era were discovered in the adjacent Alepotrypa cave. Many of these findings will be exhibited in the museum to be built next to the entrance to the Alepotrypa Cave. For more information you can contact the competent service of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.