The very first hatchlings of the 2009 in Rethymno and Kyparissia Bay!

Likewise, excitement ran high when ARCHELONʼs volunteers in Peloponnesus, at the beach near “Vounaki” in the southern part of the Kyparissia Bay, watched 8 hatchlings emerging from the A2 nest and crawling to the sea.

So, this yearʼs hatchling period started on July 23rd while the nesting period had started on May 30th at the Bay of Kyparissia and on June 2nd at Rethymno.

In Greece, usually, the nesting season commences at the end of May and lasts until the end of August. During this stage, the females will come ashore at night to lay their eggs on the sandy nesting beaches. A female may deposit an average of 120 eggs into a 50-60 cm deep cavity, a process that may by repeated 3-4 times on that same summer.

The females usually return to the same beach where they hatched to nest every 2-3 years. The eggs will incubate in the warm sand for approximately 2 months until they are ready to hatch. At about 80 newly hatched sea turtles will dig out of each nest and run to the sea, something that happens at nightfall or very early in the morning.

One thing we should all be aware of is that hatchlings should be allowed to crawl to the sea unhindered; when they hatch bright lights from the houses, streetlights confuse them and lead them away form the sea, where they cannot survive.

Please, donʼt help them to make that road to the sea; this is natureʼs way to prepare them for the great journey ahead!

Only 1 or 2 in 1.000 hatchlings will survive to reach adulthood! The female ones will need 15-25 years to begin breeding and come back to the beach they were born to nest.

The question is: will the beach still be as remembered? The marine environment is under constant and increasing pressure. The situation of the coastal ecosystems is equally one of our chief concerns: nesting beaches are also under serious, real threats, demanding our caution and care.

Offering information & Inspiration

We run special projects to raise awareness and inform the public, both the residents and the visitors, concerning the importance of not only the sea turtlesʼ habitat but the coastal and marine environment as well.

Our Info Kiosks are open daily to give instructions and answer questions; on the beach, turtle patrol members check the nests and inform the beach users, whilst we frequently organize live presentations at hotels.

In this context it is relevant to note that each summer we manage to spread the information to more than 200.000 Greek and foreign visitors.

Take the time to speak with us & ask questions Take the time to learn about our efforts & how you can help

Remember, we share the beach and the sea with sea turtles and many other marine animals and creatures. What we do has a direct effect on their lives. Be-come a friend of ARCHELON, be-come a friend of the environment.



    Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance

    World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.

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    Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?

    ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.

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    ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada

    Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.

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    What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?

    A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.

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    Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives

    “ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.

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    Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded

    Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".

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    19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe

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    Messages of love from the world turtle community!

    Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide

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    When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future

    Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.

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  10. OUR NEWS

    Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think

    Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.

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  11. OUR NEWS

    Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre

    “During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.

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  12. OUR NEWS

    Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!

    Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.

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  13. OUR NEWS

    The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”

    The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.

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  14. OUR NEWS

    Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!

    The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!

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  15. OUR NEWS

    The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role

    Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.

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