Lee Tokouzis

Earlier in the year, Greece opened its first underwater museum in Alonissos.

Visitors will be able to experience the ancient shipwreck called the Peristera.

The Peristera was a cargo vessel loaded with thousands of amphorae, filled with wine, which sank in the Aegean sea around 500 BC.

The cargo included black-glazed bowls, cups, plates and tableware, all destined to grace the tables of the lavish banquets that were held in ancient Greece.

The dive site is highly regarded and one of the most interesting in the country. The wooden parts of the Peristera which have long been exposed have now rotted away but the cargo that remains is fascinating to see. Many of the amphorae are still in one piece and are home to a colourful array of a fish and sea sponges.

Amateur divers, as part of a licensed tour, will be amazed by the archaeological treasures and wonderfully rich sea life in the area, which holds a protected status as a marine park.

Archaeologists say that there is so much still to learn from the wreck as much of it still remains on the seabed. The cause of the wreck is still unknown although there are some signs pointing to the possibility of a fire on board and of course, still unknown are the treasures that might still lay buried.

The marine park, the largest in the Mediterranean, is home to monk seals and several species of dolphin, sperm whales, loggerhead turtles and more than 300 species of fish. A true diver’s paradise


The museum is run by the Ministry of Culture, who also have an information centre in the main town of Alonissos. Visitors can learn all about the Peristera by taking a virtual reality tour.