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News: Lesvos
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Arch, impressive geomorph on the west coast of Nisiopi.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Daily trips to the Marine Park of Nisiopi

Unique experiences in a special glass-bottom boat

Visitors to the Marine Park of Nisiopi are offered a unique experience in a special glass- bottom boat; an original visit offered by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest.

Daily trips, starting at 10.00 am, take visitors to a unique park, with a variety of sea and land routes that bring them into contact with giant petrified tree trunks, volcanic structures, evidence of the violent volcanic eruptions that took place in the area millions of years ago, as well as impressive tectonic, geomorphological and coastal geotopes and today’s rich flora and fauna of the islet.

The visit to Nisiopi Park starts with a scientific briefing of all visitors on the premises of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in Sigri. Next the visitors go to the port of Sigri, where, on the glass-bottom boat, they visit the Park’s marine area and then land in the small harbour of Nisiopi, where they tour the section of the Park that is on dry land.

Organized visits to Nisiopi Marine Park take place after booking at the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest at 22530-54434.

Sea tour of Sigri Bay and the Nisiopi islet

Nisiopi Park offers an unprecedented experience to the visitor of western Lesvos; a tour of the unknown marine section of the Lesvos Petrified Forest.

The special glass-bottom vessel “NISIOPI”, belonging to the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest, gives visitors the opportunity to tour the Gulf of Sigri and the impressive coastal landscapes which were created by volcanic activity and have shaped the coastline of the Aegean over the years.

Visitors can observe stunning tree fossils on the shores and the seabed that are evidence of past ecosystems and the dramatic changes in the landscape of the Aegean region over the last 20 million years. They can also watch the rich benthic life of the marine ecosystem in Sigri Bay and the impressive meadows of Posidonia oceanica, which are the natural fish breeding stations of the Aegean Sea.

The sea route around Nisiopi brings visitors into thrilling contact with the dramatic volcanic coastal scenery and submarine terrain, with reefs, ravines and enigmatic geomorphs, the result of intense geotectonic processes, changes in the sea level and coastal hydrodynamics that shaped the landscape of the wider region. Coastal caves, sea arches, fossil horizons, and honeycomb forms of corrosion, transfix one and excite the imagination.

Visit to the fossil sites on Nisiopi Park’s dry land

In Nisiopi Park, 44 fossilized sites have been identified, which are accessible to visitors via 4 kilometre long hiking trails.

Excavation sites surrounded by stone walls for the protection of fossils appear along the walking routes and have special signposting. Excavated sites have revealed fossilized tree trunks in their original place, fossilized tree root systems and perfectly preserved fossilized tree trunks lying on the ground, buried in layers of volcanic ash. Moreover, one can observe detached segments of trunks, a large number of branches and twigs and leaf horizons.

Special constructions for visitor access have been provided for viewing the fossilized trunks in steep coastal locations.

Most findings of coniferous trees belong to the pine and cypress families that include the sequoia trees. One also encounters many fruit trees such as oak, walnut, laurel, cinnamon and palm trees.

At excavation site No. 18, the largest petrified tree of Nisiopi has been unearthed. It is an impressive, reclining trunk of a sequoia tree, 17.80 meters long, and 1.70 meters in diameter, with its entire root system intact. This enormous tree was uprooted by the blast wave of volcanic eruption gases and covered by large mud flows of pyroclastic matter.