A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023

On Saturday, May 27, 2023, the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre was looking different from all other days of the year because it welcomed hundreds of young and old visitors for the Turtle Festival 2023.

Making the necessary silence, the visitors had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the facilities and get to know some of the sea turtles housed in this special "hospital" of Glyfada, as happens every other day during visiting hours. However, this Saturday was a special day, as many festivities were taking place in the outside area of the Centre.


The inspiration for this year's celebration was the turtle Ella and her travels in the Mediterranean Sea. Ella was spotted nesting in Kyparissia in 2019 by ARCHELON volunteers. After she finished nesting, ARCHELON’s researchers carefully placed a satellite transmitter on her shell and were able to track her travels for the next 2.5 years. These trips were turned into a big game of hide and seek outside the Rescue Centre to celebrate World Turtle Day.

The space was designed to "fit" all the Mediterranean countries that Ella passed through, as well as many activities for our little friends: We buried eggs in the sand like the Loggerhead mother turtles, we made our own turtle-collages with colored pasta, we decorated ourselves with pictures of the sea, we danced, we threw the big dice so that our baby turtles could reach the sea, we became rescuers of injured sea turtles, we sang and together we conveyed a resounding message for the protection of nature!


We were impressed by the young and old visitors with their good behavior and their consistency in the games and we were delighted with their enthusiasm when, in the big tent, there was a live connection with the ARCHELON team in Kyparissia Bay! Michalis Souroulidis, Project Manager for West Peloponnese, connected with Dimitris Fytilis, the Rescue Centre Officer, through the big screen. He showed us a real turtle nest and explained how the volunteers locate and protect the precious nests on the beaches.

And the celebration didn't end there! Finally, the stage was taken over by the Art Group "Parodos" who, with their handmade costumes and accompanied by music, transported us to their marine world. The children dressed up as sea creatures, played and sang together conveying the message for nature protection.


Among the visitors we recognized the Mayor of Glyfada and members of the Municipal Council, who support the Rescue Centre, as well as people from the CMA CGM Group, a global player organization in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, which supports the work of ARCHELON at the Rescue Centre, as well as at the nesting beaches.


A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023The Turtle Festival was an opportunity to have with us old and new volunteers who participated in the organization and staffing of the festival and passed on their knowledge and enthusiasm for the protection of the sea and nature. "The Rescue Centre needs more volunteers for its educational and informative activities. We invite everyone who has time and willingness to help this summer and the next school year, to get in touch with us in the coming weeks", explained Anna Kontoleon, Education Officer of ARCHELON.

We sincerely thank everyone who participated in the organization and staffing of the celebration and all the young and old visitors, who with their participation supported the work of ARCHELON for the protection of sea turtles. We will be happy to see you again at the Rescue Centre, the nesing beaches or at the upcoming ARCHELON events!

Learn more about volunteering with ARCHELON here.



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