The myth of Hades and the afterlife was born in the ancient Diros caves. Bold explorers that we are, we dared the ferryman to row us across their still waters…

There are two Diros Caves  – Alepotripa and Vlichada – and together they cover a huge area at the edge of the Peloponnese Peninsula. Since their discovery only sixty years ago, archaeologists have excavated tonnes of ancient artifacts and more than a hundred skeleton. The true significance of the caves is still being studied, but it is known to have been extensively used in Neolithic times as a place of worship, cemetery and even dwelling. It is believed that mourners came from miles around to bury their dead in the caves.

We were rowed across the underground lake of Vlichada, maybe not by Charon – the ferryman of Hades –  but possibly by his not very chatty cousin.

We really did go to hell and back to bring you these photos