Tourism Media & Events, in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, organised a press fam trip. Its aim was to present the special natural environment and monuments of Lesvos which has been recognised as a World Geopark by UNESCO.
The group of journalists visited Lesvos from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 June 2020. Throughout their stay in Lesvos, the journalists were accompanied by Professor Nikos Zouros, President of the Hellenic & World Geoparks of UNESCO and Director of the Museum of Natural History of the Petrified Forests as well as its executives.
The rich tour program included an acquaintance with the Petrified Forest, the cultural monuments of the island, its gastronomy and the options for alternative tourism activities in Lesvos. At the same time, their program included meetings with local government and tourism agencies.
Tour of the city of Mytilene
Journalists had the opportunity to tour the city of Mytilene accompanied by journalist Stratis Balaska and get to know its long history as it is recorded through its monuments.
They also met with the President of the Lesvos Chamber, Mr. Evangelos Myrsinias, and discussed the situation and prospects of tourism development for the utilisation of the natural and cultural wealth of Lesvos and the various tourist activities it offers for visitors to the island.
Acquaintance with the Fossil Forest of Lesvos and the new works for the protection and promotion of fossils in the Fossil Forest Park
The journalistic mission, starting from Mytilene, crossed Lesvos in order to get to know the natural environment, landscapes and natural monuments of the island; the Geras Bay with its wetlands, the geotopes and hot springs in Therma, the main pine forest of their trapezoidal pine geopolitics of the ocean of Tethys, the wetlands of Kalloni, the volcanoes of central Lesvos, the Petrified Forest and the Museum of Natural History in Sigri.
They toured and were informed about the natural wealth of Lesvos and visited the wetland of the Gulf of Kalloni, the Petrified Forest Park, the new fossil carriers along the new road Kalloni – Sigri, the Museum and Skala Eressos.
They were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor for Volunteers, Culture and Youth, Mrs. Sugar Joachim and welcomed them on behalf of the Mayor of West Lesvos Mr. Taxiarchis Verros.
At the wetland of Kalloni Bay, they were informed by Mrs. E. Galinou, Environmentalist for the flora and fauna of Lesvos, which has contributed to the fact that Lesvos is considered a destination for bird watching and hundreds of bird watchers visit it every year.
Afterwards, they had the opportunity to see the protected area of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos and to visit the Park of the Petrified Forest. In recent years, special work has been carried out in the area of the Park to protect and highlight the fossil sites, which have led to the emergence of dozens of fossilised tree trunks of great scientific value under the Act “Maintenance and Promotion of Fossil Forest of Lesvos – Main Fossilized Area”.
At the Petrified Forest Park, they wandered among the standing and declining fossilised tree trunks that are 20 million years old and learned about the geological processes and phenomena that contributed to its creation.
They were impressed by the largest standing fossilised tree trunk in the world. It is a sequoia tree, with excellent preservation of the morphological features of a height of 7.02 meters and a perimeter of 8.58 meters.
At the Museum of Natural History of the Petrified Forest, they toured the permanent exhibition space of the Museum and showed special interest in the exhibits, discussing how to create the Petrified Forest and the techniques applied during the excavation and maintenance of the findings.
They got to taste the gastronomy of Lesvos through unique traditional dishes. The Women’s Association of Mesotopos offered journalists unique culinary experiences with delicacies specially prepared by the women of the Association with traditional products of the region. They were informed by the President Mrs. E. Pizza for the actions of the Agrotourism Associations of Lesvos for the promotion of its unique products.
They visited Skala Eressos where they were welcomed by the President of the Eresos Development and Promotion Agency Mr. Panagiotis Mantzoros and the Vice President Mrs. Ioanna Savva, who informed them about the actions of the Agency for the development of alternative forms of tourism in the region.
They referred to the cooperation with the Museum and the organisation of sports activities, the walking routes, the women’s festival, etc.
As it was emphasised, Eressos with its wonderful beach is an ideal destination for summer getaways.
Tour of Petra and Molyvos
On Sunday, June 28, the journalists visited V. Lesvos, where they had the opportunity to get to know the geological and cultural monuments of Petra and Molyvos.
Initially, they visited the traditional settlement of Petra, where they were welcomed and discussed on tourism issues by the Deputy Mayor of Tourism, Mrs. Aphrodite Vati and the Deputy Mayor for Administrative Services, Mr. Costas Pappos, who accompanied the journalists throughout their visit to the area.
They toured the traditional settlement of Petra and visited the church of Agios Nikolaos, climbed the impressive volcanic gorge on which the church of Panagia Glykophilousa is built and were informed about the tourist infrastructure of the area.
Then they visited the traditional settlement of Molyvos and the imposing Byzantine Castle. From the area of the Castle they had the opportunity to observe the great volcano of Lepetymnos, which created the impressive landscape of the area.
They then met with Mr. Nikos Molvalis, President of the Molyvos Tourism Agency and had the opportunity to get acquainted with the problems but mainly the possibilities that the area offers for its visitors and the efforts of the Agency to attract tourists.