The fossilized Palm Forest of the coastal zone of Agios Nikolaos is included in the Atlas of the Geological Monuments of the Aegean and today claims with strong foundations a place in the Network of European Geoparks.
In the coastal sites of Agia Marina, Korakas and Spitha, fossilized witnesses of a distant past keep secrets and codes of the time. According to a study by Professor Evangelos Velitzelos, Director of the Department of Historical Geology – Paleontology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the fossil finds at Agios Nikolaos are unique in Europe and of invaluable scientific importance. Geological disturbances, earthquakes and volcanic activity led to the fossilization of the old flora of the area, millions of years before our era. The organic matter of trees, plants and mollusks was replaced molecule by molecule by solutions of silicon and calcium in a time-consuming process that took place under the sea. Root nodes that reach a diameter of 1m and a number of fossilized creatures are preserved today in a large area of the beach of Agios Nikolaos and are a geological museum of incalculable value that occupies a prominent position among the preserved natural monuments.
To visit it, head from Agios Nikolaos to the picturesque port of Profitis Ilias, where just before there is a sign that refers to Agia Marina and Petrified Forest. Follow the dirt road for 3.3 km to reach the natural monument. In between and just before you reach the church of Agia Marina you will meet a place with information about this geological park.
In the Fossil forest, you will find the Information Center that remains open to visitors until the end of August, all week from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm with the help of two volunteers. Free entrance!