Global Network of National Geoparks

SECOND circular-International Intensive Course on Geoparks 2008

Source : Published :June 13, 2008

International Intensive Course on Geoparks 2008

«Geoconservation and Geoparks:

Interpretation and Communication»

Lesvos Island - Greece, 23 - 28 September 2008


SECOND circular - June 2008

                                                  In collaboration with: Global Geoparks Network - UNESCO

European Geoparks Network

                    IAG Working group “ Geomorphosites”

Organization: University of the Aegean - Department of Geography

                        Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

Application deadline: June 30th, 2008


The University of the Aegean - Department of Geography and the Natural History Museum - Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark invite you to participate in the Intensive Course “Geoconservation and Geoparks: Interpretation and Communication” on Lesvos Island, Greece, from 23 - 28 September, 2008.

The Course is co organized in close cooperation with the Global Geoparks Network, the European Geoparks Network and the Working Group “Geomorphosites” of the International Association of Geomorphology (IAG). The Course will take place on Lesvos, at the premises of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark.

The course is open to PhD and Master students working on geopark, geotourism, geosite, geomorphosite and landscape topics, as well as to Geopark staff members with a degree in Geosciences.

Those who are interested in participating in the course are invited to send an application form accompanied by a short CV and an abstract (one page) of their PhD thesis or Master project, which they will present during the Course.

Information on the Intensive Course

Title: Geoconservation and Geoparks: Interpretation and Communication

Language: English

Participation: 20-30 PhD and Master students, Geoparks staff members

Organisation: Faculty of Geography - University of the Aegean,

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

Co- Organisers: Global Geoparks Network,

European Geoparks Network,

Working Group “Geomorphosites” of the IAG

Patronage: UNESCO

Date: September 23-28, 2008

Venue: University of the Aegean - Department of Geography, Mytilene

Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, Sigri, Lesvos, Greece

Access: Transportation from Mytilene airport by coaches will be arranged.

Inscription rate: €400 for PhD and Master students (including lessons by International staff, didactic material, food and housing during the course, travels during the course, participation in the workshop, but not travel to Lesvos)

Application deadline: June 30th, 2008

Scientific direction: As. Prof. Nickolas Zouros, University of the Aegean

Information:, +30 22510 36431, 22510 47033


All participants are kindly requested to complete the Registration form and submit it electronically or by fax to the Organising Committee, to the following address:

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

8th November 17, Mytilene, Lesvos Isl.,

GR- 81100, GREECE

Fax Number: +30 22510 47033


Registration Fee

Participants: € 500
Students and Post-graduate Students: € 400

The Registration Fee covers the right to attend the Course, including lessons by International staff, didactic material, food (Lunch and Dinner) and hotel accommodation (6 nights B/B) during the course, travels during the course, but not the travel to Lesvos.

The reduced fee will be applied to post graduate students and to researchers working full time for an advanced degree (M.Sc., Ph.D.) at the time of registration. Those wishing to register at the student fee should attach to the registration form a copy of their current student card to prove the student status.

All payments related with the workshop must be made to the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest. A written confirmation will be sent to all registered participants.

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

8th November 17, Mytilene, Lesvos Isl., GR- 81100, GREECE

Fax Number: +30 22510 47033

Registration fees can be paid by Bank transfer:

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

Account number: IBAN GR03 0150 0580 0000 9800 3698 432,


Name of the bank: Geniki Bank / Mytilene Branch

A copy of the bank transfer action must be sent to the Natural History Museum by mail or fax. Unless a copy of the bank transfer is sent, the registration will not be processed.

General Information


Arrival by air: Ulysses Elytis International Airport of Lesvos Island (airport code MJT) has several daily connections to Athens and Thessaloniki.

Charter flights from the UK, Germany and other countries can be also used.

Delegates are strongly recommended to book air travel as early as possible, since

Greece is a busy tourist destination.

There is a regular public bus connection between the airport and the Mytilene city centre, which is located 8 km to the north of the airport.

Arrival by boat: Ferries to Mytilene depart from Piraeus Port (daily), Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis and Kavala.

Sigri village, where the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos is, is located on the west side of Lesvos Island, 96 km from Mytilene.

Climate : The weather is usually mild in September, but it can occasionally be wet. Temperatures may reach well above 25° C. Sunny days with high humidity and perhaps cool nights should be expected.

Useful addresses

Some Internet addresses that might be of use to the participants:

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark

The Friends of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Association

European Geoparks Network

Information on Lesvos island

Lesvos, renowned since antiquity, is a peaceful island rich in geographical features. The bright sunlight makes its land fertile and rich in a vast range of vegetation, from the silver olive trees to the dark green pine trees and its unique wild flowers. Lesvos' natural beauty, its mythology and history have inspired many poets and writers.

Located in the north-east of the Aegean Sea, Lesvos is one of the biggest Greek islands. It lies to the north of Chios and west of the Asia Minor coast (Turkey) which is only 5-8 miles away.

The island, which encompasses an area of 1,630 sq. km, a coastline of 370 km and a population of 92,000 inhabitants, belongs to the prefecture of Lesvos which also includes the islands of Lemnos and Agios Eustratios.

The most important mountains are Mount Lepetymnos in the north, 968 m high, a main volcanic centre activated during Miocene times, and Mount Olympus in the south, 967 m high.

There are no extensive plains on Lesvos. A multitude of headlands and the numerous gulfs and bays are what give the island its distinctive look, unique in the Greek archipelago. During the Cenozoic period, Lesvos took its present impressive shape, which the famous poet Ulysses Elytis (Literature Nobel Prize 1980) likened to the leaf of a plane tree. The sea enters deeply into the southern portion of the island and forms the two enchanting gulfs of Kalloni and Gera. Small coves and fishing harbours ornament its shores and the headlands along the coast are most picturesque.

The warm climate of the island, the fertile soil and the abundant water supply has created the lush green Lesvos that every visitor enjoys today. Olive groves and pine trees cover mountains and plains on the central and eastern part of the island while a wide variety of aromatic and medical herbs are also present. Eleven million olive trees produce more than 20,000 tons of olives per year.

These ancient, boundless olive groves, the forests of pine, the thousands of varieties of plants and trees all make for an enchanting island landscape.

Mytilene, the capital of the island, is largely built on the ancient town. It spreads amphitheatrically around the harbour with extensions to the northern and western heights. To the north of Mytilene’s harbour the Venetian castle crowns a magnificent pinewood which reaches down to the shore. It is one of the largest mediaeval castles in the eastern Mediterranean. Places of special interest are the Ancient Theatre with its marvellous acoustics, the Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine Museum, the Theofilos Museum, the Teriade Museum of Modern Art and some of the monumental churches, having both impressive architectural features and ecclesiastical articles.

On the northern edge of the island stands the picturesque town of Mythimna (Molyvos) which has been declared a settlement subject to preservation. Its impressive castle has been crowning the town since the Byzantine times.

On the western edge of the island lie Sigri and Eressos, small villages in an area of incomparable wild and stark beauty, where visitors can encounter large accumulations of fossilised tree trunks comprising the well-known «Petrified Forest of Lesvos». The glossiness and the chromatic variety of the petrified pieces is fascinating. On Megalonisi, the island which protects the bay of Sigri, lie some marvellous trunks of petrified trees. The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, located in Sigri since 1994, undertakes scientific research on the natural monument, as well as the preservation and promotion of the petrified forest.

In the village of Sigri, the small castle built by the Turks in 1757 to protect the fishermen's locale has been kept in good condition.

Southeast of Sigri lies the beautiful country town of Eressos, birthplace of the poet Sappho and the philosopher Theophrastus, who is considered to be the father of modern Ecology and Botanology. The outstanding beach of Eressos, almost 3km long, was deemed the cleanest in Greece.