Unique in Europe is the fossilized palm forest located at the southern tip of the Peloponnese, in Laconia, near the village of Agios Nikolaos Vion. In a landscape of rare, wild natural beauty, palm trunks and roots (the holes and "bumps" seen in many places in the video) have been uncovered, ranging in age from two to three million years.
According to experts, at that time the climate here was subtropical and there was extensive forest, which was fossilized in a unique way, as the sea level rose and the water covered the trees. The whole area has been transformed into a geological park, with information signs, while in the summer guided tours are organized.
The Geopark of the coastal zone of Agios Nikolaos is included in the Atlas of the Geological Monuments of the Aegean and today claims with strong foundations a place in the Network of Geoparks of Europe.
In the coastal sites of Agia Marina, Korakas and Spitha, the fossilized witnesses of a distant past keep the secrets and codes of their time. The findings of Agios Nikolaos are unique in Europe and of inestimable scientific importance.
Geological disturbances, earthquakes and volcanic activity led to the fossilization of the old flora of the area, millions of years before our era. The organic matter of trees, plants and mollusks was replaced molecule by molecule by solutions of silicon and calcium in a patient process that took place under the sea.
Root nodes that reach a diameter of 1m and a number of fossilized creatures, are preserved today in a large area of the beach of Agios Nikolaos and are a geological museum of incalculable value that occupies its place among the protected natural monuments.
To visit it, head from Agios Nikolaos to the picturesque port of Profitis Ilias. Just before there is a sign that points to Agia Marina and Petrified Forest. We follow the dirt road for 3.3 km to reach the monument of nature. In between and just before you reach the church of Agia Marina you will meet a place with information about this geological park.