The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada and the Turtles of the Aegean Sea.

The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre was built by ARCHELON in 1994 with the help of the Municipality of Glyfada, where it is located. Injured turtles are sent here from all coastal areas of Greece with the help of fishermen, locals, and the port police who find them and arrange their transportation.

Unfortunately, more than 350 sea turtles donʼt make it to the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre each year; they are found dead in the seas and on the beaches of Greece. ARCHELON interacts with fishing associations, other non-governmental organizations, the state and individuals with the goal to reduce sea turtle mortality and assist in their conservation, with environmental education a significant activity towards this goal.

Its location in the suburbs of Athens has made the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre an important destination for environmental education. More than 10,000 school children and adults of all ages visit the Rescue Centre each year to see these ancient mariners and understand what “threatened by extinction” means. ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, was founded in 1983 with the aim of protecting sea turtles and their habitats and raising public awareness about them and the threat of their extinction. It is a non-governmental and non-profit organization registered as a charity in Greece. It receives no state or EU funding, although the protection of sea turtles is a moral, legal, and constitutional obligation of the state.

Please donate to ARCHELON and help us save the sea turtles of the Mediterranean Sea. Visit ARCHELONʼs web site for further information: www.archelon.gr

There are currently 15 turtles at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre, with a variety of injuries and durations of stay. The following paragraphs are a short presentation of 8 turtles which were found in the Northern, Central and Southern Aegean Sea, written by the volunteers who treat them.

Cleo by Rebecca Langstrom and Duncan Howitt-Marshall.


She was moved out in one of the big tanks in the end of September but is now inside the green house, where we can control the water temperature over the winter.

Except for being an unusually social turtle, Cleo is quite a hazard when you take the water temperature, because if youʼre not careful, she just might try to eat the thermometer and your hand with it.

Kanella by Rebecca Langstrom.


So when Kanella came to the centre in July, he had a bone poking out that needed to be amputated. The first attempt failed because the anaesthetics did not make him sleep completely. The amputation took place in November, when an Italian surgical vet team came over to operate Kanella and four other turtles. After the surgery Kanella was pretty slow and did not really want to eat.

He got slowly better with the eating but the wound did not look right, even though we were treating it every day. When our vet, Lyto, took a look at it and realized that it had been infected inside, she started to take out the not healing tissue.

The wound was pretty bad, so we took Kanella to Lytoʼs clinic where she had the proper instruments to close the wound. Afterwards, Kanella got to spend the night in the office with a nice heater. Kanella is now back in the tank, he is getting antibiotics and thankfully is still eating and getting better.

Kostas by Johannes Kupke.


It is not possible to repair Kostas vision, because both his eyes were brutally removed with a sharp object.

Marina by Johannes Kupke.


Even more positive I can see the impression I got of her in the last half of a year I have been in Greece: No hint of all this difficulties any more. Tubefeeding would take us volunteers a big effort (she has 85kg and had 55 when she arrived). Fortunately, Marina eats continuously fish. Her head injury is almost healed and because she swam in the biggest of ARCHELONʼs tanks in the summer time, she was the most presentable turtle.

Marina was the reason for wide open mouths of kids and adults. As soon as she loses her incline (head down tendency) our biggest turtle of the Rescue Centre will be released in the freedom of the sea. We are quite confident and optimistic that it will happen next spring, when she has the chance to swim in the outside tanks of ARCHELON again, where it is too cold for the animals in the winter time.

Mina by Molly McCharger.


Pothea by Ida Kotjerba.


Pothea is much better now and hopefully we can release her in May when the sea is warm enough. She is a very nice turtle.

Aristotelis by Ida Kotjerba and Nikos Vallianos.


His length is around 40cm and his initial weight was 8kg. He wouldnʼt eat on his own, but he was tube-fed with mashed fish. Since summer 2010 he has been eating on his own and has already gained some weight. His wounds are also much better and we hope to release him as soon as summer starts.

Damaskinia by Nikos Vallianos.


Edited and tranlsated by Nikos Vallianos with input from Wilhelm Bodmark, Rebecca Langstrom, Johannes Kupke, Lindsey Death, Ida Kotjerba, Molly McCharger, Duncan Howitt-Marshall, Pavlos Tsaros, and Nikos Vallianos. Photos taken by Theodoros Benos-Palmer.



    Amvrakikos Project 2024: Special Call for a Field Leader

    ARCHELON is looking for a highly motivated person to lead its project in Amvrakikos Gulf, one of the few foraging sites for loggerhead turtles in Greece linking several populations nesting across the Mediterranean region.

    Read more

    Τhe nesting of loggerhead sea turtles started earlier this year and the effects of the climate crisis on the oceans are worrying

    For the first time, in the 40 years of ARCHELON records, the first sea turtle nest was found in Laganas Gulf, Zakythos on May 10th. Scientific predictions of the nesting season moving earlier in the spring due to climate change are being confirmed.

    Read more

    Save Turtles, See Greece on a Budget

    Dreaming of pristine Greek beaches and a chance to make a real difference? Here's why June and September are the perfect months to volunteer with sea turtle conservation efforts in Greece!

    Read more

    Sea Turtle Festival for Kids 2024

    Save the date! On Saturday 18 May at 11:00, the ARCHELON Rescue Centre opens its doors to welcome young and old sea turtle friends who want to celebrate, explore, learn, play and travel magically in the Mediterranean Sea. We are waiting for you to strengthen our message for a better and sustainable planet!

    Read more

    A successful year for the International Sea Turtle Symposium

    The International Sea Turtle Symposium concluded triumphantly this March in Pattaya, Thailand, with ARCHELON actively participating.

    Read more

    A Morning Beach Patrol with ARCHELON

    The camera lens of Stefanos and Maria of SteMajourneys caught a rare sight in the early morning: a Loggerhead sea turtle nesting! The volunteers in Chania took action right away to protect the nest.

    Read more

    Protecting sea turtles in Rethymno- Our Ocean, an Ocean of Potential

    The 9th International Conference "Our Ocean", which was held in Athens from April 15 to 17, was successfully completed. ARCHELON had the honor to actively take part in the conference and hosted a side event.

    Read more

    Coordination for the protection of sea turtles in Rethymno: Local authorities and tourism businesses join forces

    The meeting, which took place on April 5, 2024, in the building of the Regional Unit of Rethymno, touched upon key issues, such as the observance of conservation measures for the protection of the Loggerhead sea turtle. Given the tourist activity on the nesting beaches, the active participation of the tourism sector in the implementation of the measures is necessary.

    Read more

    "Tourists and turtles?" The environmental awareness campaign of ARCHELON spreads to the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle

    After the pandemic, ARCHELON - the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece - is once again mobilizing on the path to sustainable tourism. The aim of the new campaign is to provide information on the appropriate code of conduct for visitors to all nesting beaches, in cooperation with the tourism sector.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    Citizens inform us of sea turtle strandings

    ARCHELON started the effort to record the incidents of dead turtles washing up on the Greek shores in 1992. In recent years there has been an increase in these records which may be due to more of our fellow citizens reporting such incidents. Learn more…

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    Contributing to international developments on sea turtle research and conservation

    In the past, members of ARCHELON were actively involved in the elaboration of the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles, published in 1995, and nowadays three of our collaborators participate in the writing of the revised guidebook “Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles”.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    The Over & Above Awards for 2023

    These are the ARCHELON Over & Above Awards for 2023.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    The moving experience of Frederique at the Rescue Centre

    At ARCHELON, you'll have the opportunity to meet and work together with new people and form lasting friendships - a major benefit of volunteering.

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    Presentation of ARCHELON 2023 Results: Here is some good news!

    On Thursday February 15th, 2024, ARCHELON’s annual Presentation of Results took place downtown, at the Impact Hub Athens. When welcoming members, staff, collaborators, friends and volunteers, Daphne Mavrogiorgos, Director of ARCHELON, spoke about the multi-leveled action of ARCHELON during 2023.

    Read more
1 out of 0
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Learn about our latest actions and find out about our programs and how you can help sea turtles!