Petrified Forest of Lesbos | Protected Natural Monument
Updated: Jun 9
The Petrified Forest Lesbos has been designated by the Greek State as a protected natural monument. It was formed from the fossilized remains of plants, which can be found in many localities on the western part of Lesvos island. The Petrified Forest of Lesvos, this major geosite of "Lesvos Geopark" which is enclosed by the villages of Eressos, Antissa and Sigri, is managed by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest. As of Spring 2014, it has been proposed for UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.
The Petrified Forest was created 20 million years ago, and the first references to the Lesvos Petrified Forest come from the 19th century. The top scientists who have studied the Petrified Forest have argued on its uniqueness and its high scientific value. The creation of the Petrified Forest is related with the volcanic activity in the North Aegean. It is remarkable that the forest, which consists of 20 meters long and 4 meters wide trunks, has been petrified in its original structure and position.
Isolated plant fossils can be also found in the villages of Molyvos, Polichnitos, Plomari and Akrasi.
The Petrified Forest reveals significant information about the climatic conditions, the environmental conditions and the paleoflora conditions of those times, 20 million years before. The area was a forest with walnuts, cinammon trees, platanus, oaks and more.
The protected area of the Petrified Forest includes:
1) The Natural History Museum in the village Sigri, with its excellent impressive collection of plants.
2) The Petrified Forest Park in Bali Alonia.
3) The Sigri Park, next to the venues of the Museum.
4)The Plaka Park, located 800 meters south of Sigri.
5) The thematic hiking route “Lava Paths” linking the fossiliferous areas.
Τhe Petrified Forest is founding member, since 2004, of the European Geoparks Network. In 2004, the monument of nature became a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, whose aim is to echange good practices and experiences with other areas with natural geological monuments.
In 2001 the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest was awarded the Eurosite management award. In 2008, the Natural History Museum won the First Prize at the International Competition of the World Ecotourism International Association of Tourism Professionals. In 2009, the Forest was proclaimed as a top tourist destination in Greece within the European project “European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN)”.