The first underwater museum of Greece opened its aquatic gates on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 off Alonissos, in accordance with the programme contract signed between the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Region of Thessaly and the Municipality of Alonissos, marking the opening of its first full tourist season after last year’s inauguration. A press release stated that in the experience of professionals and local agencies of the Sporades, the pilot opening of the underwater museum made all the difference to last year’s season, with many divers from abroad flocking to Alonissos, despite the pandemic.
Regarding the island’s prospects for the future of diving, the mayor of Alonissos sets as a top priority the need for utilizing and operating the other six wrecks of Alonissos and possibly a few more as yet not explored. “In this unique diving environment, divers will be able to enjoy an underwater feast of wrecks in a full seven to ten day programme like no other in the world. The goal should be the creation of the first underwater archaeological park in Greece, located in the largest natural marine park in Europe; the first multi-layered, marine and underwater park in the world “, says Mr. Vafinis.
The shipwreck of Peristera is situated at a depth of 22 to 33 meters and is to date considered the largest shipwreck of the Classical period and the most important accessible ancient shipwreck in the world. In all probability, it was an Athenian merchant ship, with a cargo of 4,000 amphorae and other vessels, approximately 25 meters long and 10 meters wide and it sank between 425-400 BC.
At the same time, the first in Greece state-of-the-art Information and Public Awareness Center is already operating in Alonissos Town, transporting visitors via applications of augmented reality to the magical world of the ancient shipwreck. Special cameras broadcast in real time from the seabed the history of tens of centuries, stunning images take your breath away and ancient stories transport tourists to another dimension without their having to dive underwater.