On the southern tip of the Peloponnese, in Laconia, near the village of Agios Nikolaos Vion, you will come across a landscape of rare and wild natural beauty that is completely off the beaten path. There lies the only fossilised palm forest in Europe estimated to be between two to three million years old.
Palm tree trunks and roots have been uncovered in the area (with the numerous bumps and holes shown in the video below).
According to experts, at that time the climate in the region was subtropical and covered in rich forests, which gradually petrified as sea levels rose and water covered the trees.
The whole area has been transformed into a geological park with relevant signposts for visitors, and guided tours organised during the summer.
The Agios Nikolaos Coastal Zone Geopark is included in the Atlas of Aegean Geological Monuments and is vying for a spot in the list of the European Geoparks Network.
According to a study by Professor Evangelos Velitzelos, Director of the Department of Historical Geology – Paleontology of the University of Athens, the findings at the fossil sites of Agios Nikolaos are unique in the European area and of invaluable scientific value.