Agios Nikolaos Petrified Forest

apolithomeno3In a large seaside area that extends from Agia Marina and Agios Nikolaos to the Voies plain and Elafonisos, lies a rare natural phenomenon, the only one of its kind throughout Europe. It is of a rich geological museum of petrified tree trunks that date back to two or three million years. Among the finds are rare shell, algae and other sea creature fossils that complete the unique collection. The coasts of Agios Nikolaos, Agia Marina, Spitha and Voies represent the most interesting part of the forest. In Korakas village, visitors can admire the forest’s tallest two meter tree trunk, named “human” by the locals. The trail to the forest begins from the little church of Saint Marina. Voies municipality has created a modern geopark, with walking routes and informational material, around the Petrified Forest, in Agios Nikolaos region. Petrified forests are protected natural monuments of great scientific value.

The Petrified Forest is a valuable geological museum and a miracle for the land of Laconia. It extends along the coast of Agios Nikolaos in Neapoli. Fossils of tree trunks with petrified roots that date back to two or three million years ago were discovered next to the sea. Palm trees, conifers, and hardwood trunks (0.50cm to 1m diameter) were petrified due to various natural phenomena and they were recalcifiered by the rise of the sea level. The findings, unique in Europe, are priceless for scientific study. The creation of petrified trunks followed the procedure of the main petrification, namely the replacement of the organic material, molecule after molecule, by dissolved minerals rich in calcite and pyrite; the morphological characteristics of the trees were conserved in very good condition.

apolithomeno2The findings lie in a large coastal surface that extends from Agia Marina to Cape Maleas and reaches the Voies plain and Elafonisos. The most interesting part lies in the three rocky beaches of Agia Marina, to the east of Korakas and at Spitha beach in Agios Nikolaos. At Korakas you will find the “human”, the forest’s tallest two meter tree trunk. Numerous rare sea fossils can be observed at the coast and the surrounding fields; starfishes, snails, shells, crabs, mussels and various other shellfishes. It is very easy to cross the forest. You can start from the trail in the village of Agios Nikolaos and take the path that passes from the left side of Agia Marina church. Voies municipality has created a modern geopark, with walking routes around the Petrified Forest and information material.


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