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The petrified palm forest of the Agios Nikolaos coastal zone is included in the Atlas of Aegean Geological Monuments claiming an important place in the European Geoparks Network.
In coastal sites Agia Marina, Korakas and Spitha, the petrified witnesses of a distant past hold the secrets and codes of their era. According to a study by Professor Evangelos Velitzelos, Director of Historical Geology – Paleontology at the University of Athens the findings are unique in Europe and of invaluable scientific importance.
Geological disturbances, earthquakes and volcanic activity led to the region’s paleoflora fossilization, millions of years ago. The trees’, plants’ and mollusks’ organic matter have been replaced molecule by molecule from solution of silicon and calcium in a patient process that took place under the sea.
Root nodes reaching 1m in diameter, and numerous fossilized creatures have been preserved in a large area of the Agios Nikolaos coast preserving a priceless geological museum that wins its place among nature’s monuments.
In order to visit, head straight from Agios Nikolaos to Profitis Elias picturesque small fishing harbor. Shortly before that, there is a sign mentioning Agia Marina and Petrified Forest. Follow that road for 3.3 km to reach the monument. In between the route you shall find an information kiosk just before you reach the Agia Marina church.
The information center at the Petrified Forest is open daily to the public until late August. Visiting hours: 10 am – 7 pm.