What could be more thrilling than diving through crystal clear waters to explore an ancient shipwreck covered in historic amphorae? If you are a history buff, then this is what your diving dreams are made of. Previously only accessible to archaeologists, the 2,000-year-old Greek shipwreck, the Peristera- an underwater museum, is now open to the public.
As Greece begins to relax its previously strict restrictions on certain historical sites, The Peristera will become Greece’s first underwater museum, allowing public access of this site to scuba divers. Dive trips to the historic site will be available until October 2, 2020 but will reopen next summer.
The Peristera shipwreck stretches across a 25-meter area. Archeologists believe this large merchant ship sunk due to bad weather in 425 BC while transporting thousands of amphorae full of wine from northern Greece to other parts of the ancient Greek empire. The wreck rested at the bottom of the Aegean Sea for 2,000 years until a lone fisherman discovered it in 1985.
To help protect the integrity of the wreck, divers will still need to be accompanied by licensed, local dive guides. Divers can book trips in Alonissos, Greece, where they will then depart to the nearby, uninhabited islet of Peristera in the northwest Aegean Sea. The dive guides will take divers to depths of 28 meters to explore the remains of the wreck and its more exciting cargo, nearly 4,000, mostly intact amphorae.
This fascinating dive site is being referred to as the Parthenon of shipwrecks due to the historical significance of discovering such a large number of ancient amphorae in a single site. Greek authorities anticipate diver enthusiasm over this site will be high and are planning on opening up additional shipwrecks in the area to scuba divers and underwater enthusiasts with the ultimate goal of forming a diving park.
With gin-clear waters and temperatures of up to 25C (77F), this fascinating, historically rich site offers the ultimate adventure. Ancient artifacts are not the only things to explore, however. The wreck is also home to an abundance of Mediterranean marine life, including colorful fish and beautiful sea sponges. With only a month and a half left to access this unique dive site and Greece slowly opening its borders up to other countries, don’t wait…plan your Peristera dive trip today!