A window to the geological history of the Aegean area during the last 20 million years
Petrified trees and parts of plants that lived in the distant past can be found in an area of 15.000ha in Western Lesvos. No description can value the brilliance, the beauty and the vivacity of their colors, the real glory of the standing fossilized trunks or the wild beauty of the volcanic landscape.
The large number of standing petrified trunks with their root systems intact and in full development provides proof that these trees were petrified in their original position. Finds include the largest to date upright fossilized tree trunk found in Europe, measuring 7.02 meters in height and 8.58 meters in circumference, ancestor of the modern-day sequoia tree.
Recognizing its great environmental, geological and paleontological value, the Greek State declared the ‘’Petrified Forest’’, a Protected Natural Monument.
The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest was founded in 1994 for the study, research, promotion, conservation and preservation of the Petrified Forest.
The exhibitions of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest through its showcases, the interactive displays and the reconstructions of the environment and the volcanoes, travel the visitor 3.2 billion years back in time and presents the evolution of plants and the changes that occurred in the climate and the landscape.
The visitor of the Museum gets all the background information on the creation of the petrified forest of Lesvos, has the opportunity to observe online the actual seismic activity of the area through monitors that are in the exhibition rooms and experience the thrill of an earthquake, by participating in one of the earthquake simulator programmes. Forestall
After visiting the Museum one can visit the open-air parks: the Petrified Forest Park, to see a petrified forest ecosystem like no other in the world, the marine Nissiopi Park to make a tour with the glass bottom boat and to visit also its terrestrial part, the Sigri park, to see a large concentration of petrified root systems and the Plaka park, to enjoy petrified trees in the coastal area. The parks of the Petrified Forest and impressive geosites are connected with a network of trails “The lava paths”.
In 2001 the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest was awarded with the Eurosite management award, for the promotion and management of the Petrified Forest. In 2008 it was awarded with the Ecotourism award of SKAL international and in 2009 Lesvos and the Petrified Forest were declared as top tourism destination in the frames of the “European Destinations of Excellence” (EDEN) awards. It is a founding member of the European Geoparks Network and member of the Global Geoparks Network since 2004.