To go back in time to really follow in the footsteps of the dinosaurs, you must visit the island of Lesbos and the stone forest there, which is more than 20 million years old. The mythical island, the birthplace of the legendary poet Sappho, who lived in the 7th century BC, also has a rich cultural and historical heritage and beautiful beaches.
According to Greek mythology, Lesbos was not only the supreme god of the island, but also the first king to rule there. He had many daughters who bequeathed their names to one of the major cities in the country. In classical mythology, Lesbos's sister was killed so he could sit on the throne. Ancient Greek writer Homer says that the island was the property of King Priam and was within the borders of present-day Turkey.
During the Middle Ages, the island was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462 and remained in its possession until the beginning of the Balkan War in 1912, when it became part of the then kingdom of Greece. It is believed that in the Late Bronze Age, immigrants from Greece, mainly from Thessaly, settled on the island and introduced the Aeolian dialect in Greek, which was used in the written verses of the poetess Sappho.
On the west coast of Lesbos Island, where the blue waves of the Aegean Sea crashes into volcanic rocks, fossilized remains of plant life, part of a distant and long-lost past, are revealed. This is another lost Atlantis that sank into the "sea of fire and lava" during volcanic eruptions in the North Aegean 20 million years ago.
The most notable places where there are fossilized trunks known as the Stone Forest are in the areas of Sigri, Antis and Eresos and have an area of over 15 000 hectares. The Stone Forest is a natural monument and chronicler of the geological history of the Aegean. Aware of the cultural, ecological, geological and paleontological value of the area, the state declared the Stone Forest a natural protected natural monument. Visitors to the island have the opportunity to see the fossil "sculptures".
You can enjoy these natural wonders in more detail at the Sigri Open Air Museum, which offers the largest variety of fossilized trees and leaves. The museum's park is called the Butterfly Forest and has an area of 28,6 hectares. It is an incredible monument, like no other in the world, where perfectly preserved fossilized trees that make up a forest ecosystem from a distant past are stored. Visitors will be impressed by the number and size of the dozens of trunks scattered around the area, with some of the exhibits above 7 meters high and 22 meters long.