Greece’s First Underwater Museum Opens Historic World To Dive Vacationers

Greece's First Underwater Museum Opens Ancient World To Dive Tourists

Scuba divers go to underwater museum in Aegean Sea in Greece, off the coast of Greek island Alonissos.


Rising from the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, Hans-Juergen Fercher has simply returned from his fourth dive to the place mounds of two,500-year-old wine pots mark the location of an historical shipwreck — and Greece’s first underwater museum.

“This can be a mixture of diving and archaeological diving. It is diving into historical past,” says the 48-year-old psychiatrist after pulling himself onto the deck of the Triton dive boat.

“It makes it particular and distinctive.”

The museum beneath the waves at Peristera, a rocky outcrop off the island of Alonissos, opened in 2020, although the location has been largely mothballed till now because of Covid-19 restrictions.

As Greece opens up its important tourism trade, the location affords an instance of a brand new and extra sustainable income.

Divers like Fercher and Danish wine-cellar maker, Lisette Fredelund, are keen to pay 95 euros ($110) a dive — about 50 p.c greater than the price of a daily leisure scuba outing — for a guided tour of a web site as soon as the protect {of professional} archaeologists.

“It was simply wonderful,” stated Fredelund. “I used to be simply, whereas we had been down there, making an attempt to think about what it had been like being on a vessel transporting wine.”

Extra to return

Extra wrecks have been found within the space — the center of the nation’s largest marine reserve — holding out the prospect that extra such museums will open.

Greece has made diving a part of its focus to draw guests since laws handed in 2020 making it attainable to entry such websites, Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis advised AFP.

“This can be a kind of tourism that pulls individuals all yr spherical, a particular viewers that pays generously to dive,” he stated, including that 10 new diving parks are able to be licensed beneath the method offered for by the laws.

On board the Triton, a bunch of six extra guests don their scuba gear and plunge into the ocean, carefully following their information. About 300 individuals have paid to go to the wreck because the museum opened, in response to Alonissos Mayor Petros Vafinis.

Vafinis — himself an avid scuba diver — joined a bunch of vacationers as they one after the other launched themselves off the rear deck of the Triton into the ocean.

All guests should first bear a briefing concerning the web site and the strict guidelines — equivalent to holding at the least two metres (about six ft) away from the artifacts.

Excessive expectations

After a brief swim from the boat, the tour information leads the group down by altering layers of sunshine and rising chilly to the ocean mattress virtually 30 metres beneath.

“My expectations had been actually excessive from the briefing, and it fulfilled every part,” stated George Giasemidis, a Greek vacationer who visited the realm particularly to see the wreck.

As a result of depth and technical problem of the descent, solely certified divers are allowed to go to the wreck of a ship that was delivering wine and different items when it foundered, across the fifth century BC.

Greater than 4,000 two-handled amphorae are anchored within the sand, their positions marking out the define of the picket vessel, the stays of which have been washed away over time.

“We wish to suggest one other form of tourism to the individuals who come. I do not need intensive tourism we are able to discover wherever else,” Vafinis stated.

With 4 different wrecks found close by, the aim is that they may in flip change into accessible, including Alonissos to the must-do listing for divers around the globe.

“It goes to place Alonissos on the world diving map, to have like an underwater safari of historical wrecks,” stated Kostas Efstathiou, co-owner of the Triton diving centre.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Tags: Greece, greece tourism, greece tourists, greece underwater tourism, greece underwater tourists

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