Kolethra Springs of AghiosVlassios
Kolethra is a big spring that intensively pours out waters from a cave by creating around it a totally green natural reserve in the central area of Evoia. It is located on a height of almost 60 meters at the west of Kimi and at the wider area of Konistra near the settlement of Lakos, while it is also called Kolethra of AghiosVlassios due to the big settlement located nearby.
The area around it is known as one of the biggest karst areas of Greece with many sinks and springs in a nearby distance, a fact that means that they may be a united system. The spring collects underground the waters ofMavrovounio that stands on the west up to a height of 1190 meters and is the east edge of Dirfis. This is one of the biggest springs in Evoia providing almost 11 villages of the area with water. The quantity of the waters of Kolethra changes depending on the season. During winter and spring, the spring creates a lake and its waters form a stream especially after a rain storm, while during autumn and summer the water level drops significantly. In particular during the months of July and August when no water pours out, an empty basin of 10-meter depth is created. The stream created moves to the south, then to the east and then, after almost 3km, ends in the big river of Manikiatis.
The Kolethra Spring is located on the base of an imposing rock that hides in it a cave that usually attracts cave divers. According to references, the spring was explored to its first 300 meters in length during 1989 & 1990 by the cave divers Mr. Kompiliris Dimitris and Mr. Spinos Yiannis, members of the Hellenic Speleological and Exploration Club.
In 2007 Nikos Mitsakis and Komninos Boutaras began a series of dives with the purpose of further exploration of the cave. By 2009 they were able to reach 950 meters.
Since then many missions have taken place during 2012. During 2013 though, the Greek cave divers after many attempts managed to reach the Hellenic diving record by exploring the cave to the unbelievable length of 1500 meters. The divers were: KomninosBoutaras, Michalis Spirakis, FontasPitsinelis and GiorgosTzavelas. The cave is quite spacious in general with large halls and big aisles in height and width with an average temperature of 12 celsius degrees all year around. Its basic direction is to the north. The cave diver does not have to pass through tight passages or deal with a complex cave interior as the route follows a basic line between the rocks. The only two difficulties are the permanently low visibility that changes depending on the season and the rainfalls between two and five meters as well as the continuous depth change that is approximately 25 meters or lower offering quickly to the diver some minutes for the decompression. The cave has fauna and flora mainly up to the part where the sun can reach and it is common to meet small eels and fish. There, the local cultural club has created a small recreation area from where a path of 300 meters starts moving in parallel with the stream and passing through old artificial channels that still send water to the water mills at the end of the route. The Kolethra springs are an ideal place to enjoy the beautiful nature, to camp, to stay in the nearby villages and it will always be a challenge to the brave cave divers. During the spring and summer of 2017, the diving team of grafasdiving.gr organized and did a series of divings in order to film the cave. Friends and partners such as Fontas Pitsinelis, Triantafyllos Mavrodimos, Lefteris Koutalas, Stelios Stamatakis, Errikos Kranidiotis and Yiannis Liardakis met and realized divings by entering in many parts of the cave in order to know it better and enjoy the cave diving.