A Bird’s Eye View of Three-Million Year Old Greek Petrified Forest



In Laconia, on the southern Peloponnesian peninsula, lies a rich geological museum of petrified tree trunks which date back to between two or three million years ago.

In a large seaside area which extends from Agios Nikolaos, Agia Marina, Spitha and Voies lies a little-known geopark.

Palm trees, conifers, and hardwood trunks ranging from 0.50 cm (.2 inches) to 1 meter 3.2 feet) in diameter were petrified due to various natural phenomena and then recalcified by the rise of the sea level. The findings, unique anywhere in Europe, are priceless for scientific study.

The creation of the petrified trunks followed the main petrification, namely the replacement of the trees’ organic material, molecule by molecule, by dissolved minerals rich in calcite and pyrite; the morphological characteristics of the trees were conserved in very good condition.

Among the other finds at the geopark one can find rare seashells, along with fossils of algae and other sea life that complete the unique collection.