Petrified Forest

In the west part of the island, you will be impressed by a particular landscape hosting a wonder of nature: the Petrified Forest of Lesvos which has been declared “Protected natural Monument” by the Greek state. Here the climate is dry, with volcanic rocks. In some parts you will have the chance to observe petrified plants which constitute the worldwide famous Pertified Forest of Lesvos. It expands over an area of 15.000 ha and in 2004 was included in the UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network. In the area many fossil sites with special interest have been reported, including clusters of petrified tree trunks and impressive volcanic geosites, witnesses of the intense volcanic activity of the past. For this reason the area of the pertified Forest could be characterized as a window on the geohistorical evolution of the Aegean over the last 20 million years.

The park is accessible via a 5 km long paved road which starts from the 15th km mark of the Antissa-Sigri road. The Park was established in 1987, covering an area of 286 hectares. Integrated interventions for the protection and preservation of the fossils have been conducted over the years.

Visitors to the park can tour an entire mountainside along specially constructed trails. During the tour, visitors can view the unique displays of Protopinaceae, ancestors of the modern-day pine tree, grouped in small clusters. Most of the fossilized trunks belong to the Taxodiaceae, forerunners of the present-day sequoia which grows on the west coast of the United States. The largest lying coniferous trunk (longer than 20 meters) and the large standing sequoia trunks belong to this family.

The Nissiopi islet, found opposite to Sigri, is part of the Pertified Forest. Its visit offers a unique opportunity of high environmental and educational significance. Hundreds of petrified tree trunks, upright or down on the ground, with impressive colours have been identified almost throughout the island. The high concentration of petrified plants in Nisiopi makes it a unique geotope. The Marine Petrified Forest Park of Nissiopi is the first marine fossil park in Greece. Visitors to the park can tour both the terrestrial fossils sites across organized footpaths as well as the marine area around Nissiopi with a special glass bottom boat for underwater observation. The Natural History Museum of Lesvos Petrified Forest organizes cruises and visits to Nissiopi during summer period, every day from the harbor of Sigri. It is necessary to make a reservation (tel. +30 22530 54434).