Just beyond the point where the Messinian Mani administratively ends, in the south of Oitilo, at Diros cove, you will find one of the finest, most beautiful caves in the world.
Its existence has been known to the locals since around 1900. But no one suspected the miracle it hid inside until 1949, when the founders of the Hellenic Speleological Society, John and Anna Petrochellos, began to explore it systematically. Until 1960, 1,600 meters were excavated and mapped, and today the known length of the cave is over 15 kilometers.
The cave began to form hundreds of thousands of years ago. The stalactites and stalagmites which are presently below the water were formed when the surface of the sea was far below its current level.
Its natural entrance has a diameter of only half a meter and is very close to the surface of the sea. In earlier times the cave had other entrances that were gradually closed.
Inside the cave fossilized bones of panther, hyena, lion, deer, weasel and the largest number of hippopotamus fossilized deposit in Europe were found. Close to its natural entrance, ceramics have been found indicating the human presence.
Do not miss to visit the impressive Cave of Diros, a real geological monument that time has crafted with excess art, if you find yourself in Mani.