The Pigeon´s cave on Methana

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 position of the caves
The rescue of the cave

During the Greek military dictatorship, the cement works of the Iraklis company expanded on the Methanas limestone massif. Thynni Bay was completely destroyed and its archaeological remains destroyed. When the cement works also threatened the caves, some brave people from Methana gathered and put pressure on the local government, so that the beautiful pigeon cave wasn´t destroyed, too. The cement plant was still trying to blow up large parts of the cave, not only this one, but with the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974, the cement plant on Methana was closed.

Some methaners can be seen in the photo:

  • Above right: Spyros Papaioannou
  • Below him: unknown
  • Next to the unknown: the photographer Christos Lazarou
  • Next to the photographer: Vasilis Triantafyllou
  • Next to Vasili: Panagiotis Kazematis
  • Above him: Christos Athanasiou
  • Next to him: unknown
  • And left: Stavros Maltezou