Carved out of the limestone by the slow-moving underground river Vlychada on its way to the sea, the vast Pirgos Dirou caves—actually two main caves, Glyfada and Alepotrypa—were places of worship in Paleolithic and Neolithic times, were believed to be entrances to the underworld by the ancient Greeks, and served as hiding places millennia later for Resistance fighters during World War II. Today they are one of Greece's more popular natural attractions, and a visit
is an entertaining and surreal experience. You climb aboard a boat for a 25-minute tour of Glyfada's grottoes—with formations of luminous pink, white, yellow, and red stalagmites and stalactites that resemble buildings and mythical beasts. The cave system is believed to be at least 70 km (43 mi) long, with more than 2,800 waterways, perhaps extending as far as Sparta. At the end of the tour you walk for several hundred yards (about a fifth of a mile) before emerging on a path above the crashing surf. The close quarters in the passageways are not for the claustrophobic, and even in summer the caves are chilly. During high season you may wait up to two hours for a boat, so plan to arrive early. In low season you may have to wait until enough people arrive to fill up a boat. Opening hours change frequently.
Along southern coast, 5 km (3 mi) west of Areopolis–Vathia Rd., Pirgos Dirou, Pirgos Dirous Caves, 23062, Greece