Drone footage taken in early November of Greece’s rugged Mani peninsula, located in the Peloponnese, revealed a unique feature of the area’s beautiful landscape — a dark, seemingly bottomless cave — with a forest growing inside.
The “black hole,” located near the village of Erimos in western Mani, is one of the few spots in the rocky area where Greece’s scorching sun doesn’t beat down, providing perfect conditions for the small forest growing inside the cave.
“Black Hole” Cave home to lush forest
Although the region is not well-studied, locals call the cave “Vathy Mouzi.” The lush, hidden forest inside the cave is a stark contrast to both the cave’s inky darkness and the surrounding area’s arid and rocky terrain.
The cave, so well protected from the Mediterranean sun, provides the perfect temperature and humidity levels for growth the forest within it.
The region of Mani is home to many starkly beautiful and historic caves, notably the Caves of Diros, where remains of Neolithic people have been found.
Mani Peninsula full of history, culture
Sitting at the southernmost tip of continental Europe, the Mani peninsula in the Peloponnese has a unique, stark landscape but its rich history and traditions make it a stunning destination for those who want to explore the real Greece.
Mani is an arid region and it has a rough edge to it, unlike many other regions in Greece. Its stone houses often look more like small forts, while its Byzantine churches, tiny coves and awe-inspiring caves complete a picture worthy not only of travel books, but history books as well.
Mani is a “closed” society, which has been ruled for centuries along the lines of blood and gender. Perched on the steep slopes of the southern Taygetos mountains and constantly on the alert for invasions over the centuries, the people of Mani developed a very strong sense of autonomy.
Even now, what visitors see in Mani is only what they are allowed to see. In this corner of the Peloponnese, at the southernmost tip of continental Europe, everything there has a unique starkness, yet a magical quality at the same time.