On August 3rd, 2020, the first underwater archeological museum in Greece was inaugurated. It is located in the marine area of Alonissos island (in a proximity to Skopelos Island) and more specifically in the ancient shipwreck of the island of Peristera. Alonissos as well as all the islands of the Northern Sporades (Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos) have managed to maintain an extremely important natural environment and feature a one-of-a-kind national marine environmental park, unique to the entire Mediterranean. (See more about the Northern Sporades marine park)
The Ancient Shipwreck of Peristera Island
The shipwreck of Peristera is the oldest visitable shipwreck in the world. The ancient ship sank between 425 BC and 415 BC and was about 30 m long and 10 m wide. It transported wine from Northern Greece (Macedonia) and the Sporades. In total, 3,000 intact amphorae have been discovered. The pile of amphorae extends along the sea bottom to a length of 25 meters, giving a sense of the contours and the large size of the ship.
It was discovered in 1985 by the fisherman Dimitis Mavrikis, on the west shores of the island of Peristera, east of Alonissos island. The Ephorate of Marine Antiquities investigated it in the summers of 1992 and 1993. The underwater excavation and the highlighting of the amphorae at a depth of 26 meters, was a challenge for the archeological community, as it required divergent procedures than a regular museum.
Who can visit the Underwater Archeological Museum?
The underwater museum in Alonissos can be visited with diving equipment, by certified level-2 divers. It is located at a depth of 21-27 meters. Divers can carry a tablet that provides information about the archeological finds. Those who have no diving experience will be able to admire the underwater exhibits with the assistance of digital technology. The museum offers a unique virtual diving experience with 3D augmented reality goggles. The Information Centre is open daily to the public with free admission. Finally, five underwater cameras broadcast live images 24 hours a day on the site www.nous.com.gr.
Mrs. Lina Mendonis, Greek Minister of Culture emphasized that “The aim of the museum is the development of diving tourism in Greece“. With the operation of the underwater archeological site, the area is included in the international map of diving tourism. By the Alonissos island and the Western Pagasetic Gulf there are four more shipwrecks, which are in the process of development, in order to form a complete submarine park in the area.
More information about the underwater museum and the ways to visit it is provided by the Reception of our hotels.