14/12/2022

Looking for a unique family experience for the holiday season or the weekends? Come visit ARCHELON’s Rescue Centre in Glyfada

The ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre is in essence a ‘hospital’ for injured or sick sea turtles from all over Greece and, at the same time an information & awareness point for marine life. Kids and adult visitors come close to these ancient animals, their habitats, their stories and get to meet the people who fight for their recovery and their safe return to the sea.

This special ‘hospital’ is located at the 3rd Marina of Glyfada next to the sea shore and is housed in re-designed old train carriages and containers. Visitors are greeted at the entrance by ARCHELON’s volunteers and the tour takes place on a semi-outdoor space, next to the tanks, the greenhouse and through in informative exhibition.

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The operation of the Rescue Centre began in 1994 with the cooperation of the Municipality of Glyfada. Since then, the Centre has welcomed over 1250 injured or sick sea turtles. ‘Staff and volunteers fight to save the turtles In an organized care facility. Around 700 animals have returned healthy to the sea reaching a full recovery up to now’, says Dimitris Fytilis, oceanographer and Manager of the Centre.

The sea turtles and the work done by the volunteers attract the interest of many people and the Centre has become a popular destination for Greek and foreign visitors. ‘We welcome over 10,000 visitors a year on weekdays and weekends, during the hours that we are open for the public’, says Anna Karatsori, ARCHELON's Awareness Officer.

In addition, many choose to book the 45-minute educational “Sea Turtle Rescue Tour”, which is designed for small groups that decide to ‘adopt’ an injured turtle. This guided tour concludes with an audio-visual presentation in a closed space. Participants receive information about their adopted turtle a few days after their visit. ‘Taking part in the “Sea Turtle Rescue Tour” means that you are no longer just an observer of the sea turtles but rather an important part of their story’, Dimitris explains.

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In the reviews of people who took the tour we read:

A brilliant and informative tour. The volunteers that showed us around are clearly passionate about their work, and share the information in a lively and interesting way’ - Jennie Reeves

I have had such an amazing experience and have already recommended it to so many people. It is so lovely to see how much the volunteers care for the turtles. […] I enjoyed every minute of this tour and I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to visit. Hopefully one day I will return as a volunteer’ - Hollie Wood

Great tour that deepened our understanding about why sea turtles got injured and what the Centre does every day to help them. It gave my girls (age 8 & 10) some food for thought and ideas about what they can do in the future’ - Jermaine Chow

The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre is located at the 3rd Marina of Glyfada (TRAM stop ‘Paleo Dimarhio’). There is partial access for wheelchair (observation deck and toilet).

Free admission to the public on weekdays: Monday - Friday 13.00 - 15.00 and on weekends 11.00 - 17.00, with the possibility of a brief tour by a volunteer (up to 15 minutes - Greek and English).

The”Sea Turtle Rescue Tour” is available upon reservation, for groups of 1-8 people (not counting children under 4) who will make a donation for the care of a sea turtle for 10 days (50 Euros). The tour takes place at specific times every day, outside free admission hours, in Greek and in English and it is suitable for adults and children. It lasts 45 minutes and includes information about sea turtles, their rescue, care and protection of their nesting beaches. More information and reservations are to be found online.

Contact info: 210 8982600 (Monday – Friday, 9:00-17:00), rc.officer@archelon.gr

Note that the Rescue Centre will be closed for the following dates: 24/12/2022, 25/12/2022, 26/12/2022, 31/12/2022, 01/01/2023, 06/01/2023

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