The caves of Methana

  • Caves
    The Pigeon´s cave on Methana

    On Methana there are not only volcanic rocks, but even limestones from 150-200 milion years ago. And there are some caves, too!

The Pigeon´s cave on Methana

The entrance to the Pigeon´s cave. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The entrance to the Pigeon´s cave. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996

The cave, which was endangered by quarrying, was explored and mapped by the Greek speleologist Anna Petrochilou in the the 1970s. She was made aware of Methana people who wanted to protect the cave from destruction.

The inhabitants of Megalochori used to think that the cave was haunted and that "fairies" and evil spirits came from it. At some point Vangelis Lazarou from Taktikoupolis dared to go into the hole and discovered the "pigeon´s cave".

The cave is now easily accessible via the Steno-Vathy road. The length of the cave is said to be around 240 m and the area around 4000 square meters.
The cave can be reached via a pile of rubble made of large boulders. Attention! There is a great risk of slipping when it rains! You should also never visit the cave alone, as no help can come in an emergency case! After climbing over the dump, you can look into the cave lake and carefully climb down. Some who are brave enough, can swim in the lake, on which small crystals of magnesium and calcium carbonate float.

In theory, you can swim to the other side and reach more rooms there. First you arrive at a small rock island and then go to the second cave lake. Under the "stone shield" you would discover  the "Venetian Canal" and the "Pyramid Hall". Later you would arrive at the "penguin hall" where there are stalactites. Then the third cave lake will be reached and the "Door of Hades", a small 11 m long canal. Later the last accessible cave area is in front of you, where tabular stalagmites have grown on rocks. One of them resembles a sitting bird or penguin, which gives the cave it´s name "pigeon cave".

A map of the cave by Anna Petrochilou

The map of the Pigeon´s cave by Anna Petrochilou
The map of the Pigeon´s cave by Anna Petrochilou

Photos of the caves

The Heracles cave, which is already destroyed. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The Heracles cave, which is already destroyed. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
A small stalactite. (c) Tobias Schorr
A small stalactite. (c) Tobias Schorr
The small lake of the Pigeon´s cave on Methana. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The small lake of the Pigeon´s cave on Methana. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The small lake of the Pigeon´s cave on Methana. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The small lake of the Pigeon´s cave on Methana. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The small lake of the Pigeon´s cave on Methana. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The small lake of the Pigeon´s cave on Methana. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
There are small crystals floating on the lake´s surface. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
There are small crystals floating on the lake´s surface. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The crystal clear water of the cave´s lake. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The crystal clear water of the cave´s lake. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
An big boulder in front of the cave. (c) Tobias Schorr
An big boulder in front of the cave. (c) Tobias Schorr
In 1991 I visited the cave for my first time with my friend Lorenz Hurni. (c) Tobias Schorr
In 1991 I visited the cave for my first time with my friend Lorenz Hurni. (c) Tobias Schorr
The entrance of the cave, seen from the sea. Before the road Steno-Vathy was built. (c) Tobias Schorr 1991
The entrance of the cave, seen from the sea. Before the road Steno-Vathy was built. (c) Tobias Schorr 1991
My friend Aris Pavlou at the destroyed cave Herakles at Steno. (c) Tobias Schorr
My friend Aris Pavlou at the destroyed cave Herakles at Steno. (c) Tobias Schorr
Aris and his friend Vangeli swimming in the cave´s lake. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
Aris and his friend Vangeli swimming in the cave´s lake. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The destroyed cave of Heracles at Steno. The new road Steno-Vathy covered it with boulders. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996
The destroyed cave of Heracles at Steno. The new road Steno-Vathy covered it with boulders. (c) Tobias Schorr 1996