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ABC/J Excursion 2022 | GREECE | 17.09. – 01.10.2022


Natural and anthropogenic landscape evolution in central and eastern Greece with special focus on geoscientific and geoarchaeological aspects

The Geoverbund ABC/J has used the time during the pandemic and developed a new ABC/J excursion offer. So this coming September, it's "GO TO GREECE!"

The interdisciplinary excursion is addressed to all students and PhD students of the institutes affiliated to the Geoverbund ABC/J. Each of the total of 20 excursion places is sponsored by the Geoverbund ABC/J with 500 euros!

© Konstantin Ntageretzis"Entrance to the cave of the ancient Greek tragedian Euripides (485 - 406 B.C.) on the island of Salamina in southern Greece near Athens"
Copyright: Konstantin Ntageretzis

Date & Excursion Management

  • The excursion starts on Saturday the 17th of September in Athens and ends on Saturday the 01st of October in Kavala (NE-Greece). The journey from Germany to Athens and the return journey from Kavala to Germany have to be organized independently.
  • Along a SW-NE route, through the regions of Attica, Thessaly and Macedonia, the country will be explored in a tour bus, introducing diverse areas. A total of nearly 2,000 km will be covered in the country during the 15 days.
  • The excursion planning and implementation will be done by the Geoverbund ABC/J without the participation of external travel agencies.
  • The excursion is led and organized by Dr. Konstantin Ntageretzis from the coordination office of the Geoverbund ABC/J. Prof. Dr. Frank Wendland from the Institute for Bio- and Geosciences of Forschungszentrum Jülich. Dr. Ntageretzis is a geomorphologist and has analyzed numerous coastal regions of Greece with regard to the reconstruction of paleotsunami events. Not least because of his Greek roots, he is a pronounced connoisseur of the country. Prof. Dr. Wendland is a geologist and was significantly involved in the establishment of the Pinios Hydrologic Observatory, which will be visited during the excursion. Prof. Dr. Wendland is also a connoisseur of Greece, which he has not only been traveling to constantly since the early 1980s, but where he now lives with his family to some extent.
    The archaeologist Dr. Chrysanthi Kallini from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will be at our side throughout the excursion period. She will bring her archaeological and historical-cultural expertise to each site and will address anthropogenic landscape and cultural development. At the various excursion sites, colleagues will also accompany the excursion from renowned Greek research institutions with which the ABC/J Geoverbund collaborates:
    o Prof. Dr. Ioannis Papanikolaou | Agricultural University Athens – Structural Geology
    o Prof. Dr. Georgios Stamatis | Agricultural University Athens – Hydrogeology
    o Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Papanikolaou | National Kapodistrian University Athens – Geology
    o Dr. Andreas Panagopoulos | DEMETER – Soil and Water Resources Institute Sindos
    o Dr. Vassilios Pissinaras | DEMETER – Soil and Water Resources Institute Sindos
    Against this background, we will not only deal with geoscientific topics, but also visit historically significant sites with the excursion participants, which still shape European culture today.
  • In addition, the ABC/J excursion group will spend three days in the field together with a group of students from RWTH Aachen University, led by Prof. Dr. Klaus Reicherter from the Department of Neotectonics and Georisks at RWTH Aachen University.
  • Due to the accompaniment of the Greek colleagues, lectures during the excursion will be given in English as far as possible.

Thematic Contents

Greece is part of the Balkan Peninsula, which is characterized in large parts by a geomorphologic form of young mountains, which are attributed to the Alpidic orogeny. A major characteristic of the country is the markedly diverse configuration of the land surface as well as the coastline. Frequently, steeply rising mountains with deep valley incisions, intramontane basins of different sizes, cliffs and uplifted alluvial plains are found in close spatial proximity. In addition, there is the contrast between the mainland and the extensive island world.

Climatically, Greece has a Mediterranean climate. This subtropical winter rain climate is characterized by mild and humid winters and hot and dry summers, which sometimes last from mid-May to October. However, the north and the mountainous regions are always somewhat cooler than the south and the flatter areas of the country.

The mild climate and the diverse natural features of Greece have always favored the life and work of man, which was accompanied by a very early cultural development. Therefore, the anthropogenic influence on the landscape development dates back to (pre-) historical times. The cultural heritage, which is omnipresent, is correspondingly large. For example, today's European understanding of science, politics and art is decisively shaped by ancient Greece, which is why Greece is still considered the cradle of Europe.

Diverse and varied as the country and the culture, the excursion topics and locations were selected. Considering the landscape genesis, the focus is on geological-tectonic as well as geomorphological and hydrological aspects, which in turn intertwine with anthropogenic factors of influence. Looking at land use and cultural development, (geo-) archaeological, historical as well as cultural-geographical topics from antiquity to the present are illuminated.

In short, you can expect an exciting and multi-faceted intra- and interdisciplinary program that is aimed at ABC/J students and PhD students who want to think outside the box of their own discipline!

Excursion areas

(subject to change)

© Konstantin Ntageretzis"Rough overview of excursion areas and route based on Google Maps" (for a better view please click on image)
Copyright: Konstantin Ntageretzis

In the first days of the excursion we will explore the region of Attica. We will be accommodated in a modern hotel on the island of Salamina, directly on the beach. After a half-day introductory workshop we will get an overview of the island in the afternoon. The follwing days we will start in the morning to go on day-excursions to the geo-tectonically important region of Corinth and the region around Marathon. The latter has been affected in recent times mainly by forest fires, which in turn is now affected by recent erosion processes. In addition, the ancient silver mine of Laviron and Cape Sounion with its temple of Poseidon, located at the southernmost tip of Attica, will be visited.
The excursion will then l continue to Kalambaka with the imposing rocks of Meteora and the monasteries built on top of them, seemingly floating in the air. From there we move eastward along the Pinios River, which is one of the longest rivers in Greece and drains and irrigates the fertile Thessaly plain.
The next accommodation will be in Skiti, a small mountain village in Thessaly. From there we will head for the measuring stations of the Pinios Hydrological Observatory, which is operated in cooperation with the Institute for Bio- & Geosciences (IBG-3) of Forschnugszentrum Jülich and the Soil and Water Resources Institute (SWRI) of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization (HAO) "DEMETER".
On the way to our next accommodation in the metropolis of Thessaloniki, we will make a detour to the excavation sites of Vergina, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. In downtown Thessalaoniki, a guided tour will focuss onthe historical development and cultural diversity of the metropolis, before the excursion participants will have the opportunity to explore the extremely lively city on their own.
The last part of the trip continues through the region of Macedonia to Kavala, which is considered one of the most beautiful Greek port cities. There we will take up our last quarters directly on the harbor promenade. From there we will explore the surrounding region. This includes the neogene basin of Philippi, and its up to 2.000 m high framing of the Rhodope mountains, as well as the visit of a marble mine and the speleologically important cave of Aggitis. Finally, we will visit the geomorphologically varied coastal landscape, where there will certainly be an opportunity for a last dip into the azure sea, which is still warm even in September. The excursion will end with a cozy get-together and many Greek specialties in a traditional taverna in the port of Kavala.

Performance for a certificate of participation

Each participant will prepare a detailed progress report on one day of the excursion with a scientific reference to the respective sites. The excursion day to be logged will already be determined at the preparatory seminar (see below). Thus, the participants will have the opportunity to prepare the day of their protocol well, so that they will have a corresponding thematic and site-specific pre-expertise in the field, which they are supposed to bring in on site. The protocols are to be prepared in English following the field trip and will be reviewed and evaluated by the field trip supervisor in terms of performance for a certificate of participation. It is planned to compile all protocols into a field trip report.
Please get in touch with the contact person of your study office / examination board before you apply for a place on the excursion with regard to the location-specific recognition of the course work.

Preparatory seminar

A preparatory seminar is an integral part of the excursion and a prerequisite for the recognition of academic credits.

  • Date & Time: Sat. May 14, 10:00-16:00 (save the date)
  • Location: Department of Geography, University of Cologne, Exercise Room 3, Otto-Fischer-Strasse 4, 50674 Cologne, Germany
  • Contents:

    o Introduction & getting to know each other
    o Information about the organization and the course of the excursion
    o General information about Greece and the local conditions
    o General thematic introduction and overview of the sites
    o Assignment of protocols related to the excursion route
    o Common end of the excursion

For students and PhD students affiliated to the Geoverbund ABC/J there is the possibility to have the excursion recognized as a course credit after individual examination of the requirements. Questions regarding the recognition of study achievements can be answered by the respective contact persons at the universities.

Excursion fee

The excursion fee for the excursion places sponsored by the Geoverbund ABC/J is 850,00 € per person. In this contribution the scholarship of the Geoverbund ABC/J was already considered. The excursion fee is therefore calculated as follows:

1.350,00 € p.P. Logistics costs
- 500,00 € p.P Scholarship Geoverbund ABC/J
= 850,00 € p.P. Excursion fee

The following logistic costs are covered by the excursion contribution:

  • 14 overnight stays in 3-4 star hotels
  • Breakfast in the accommodation
  • Daily lunch snack in the field in the form of a picnic
  • Daily sufficient drinking water
  • 3-4 common (evening) meals in traditional taverns
  • Entrance fees
  • Transportation during the whole time in an air-conditioned coach with enough space and comfort for all participants

The excursion fee is due on receipt of the invoice after a place on the excursion has been confirmed.

Further costs

The excursion fee does not include the costs for arrival and departure (usually flight), the costs for dinner (except for the above-mentioned common meals), the expenses for any travel documents to be obtained individually, any necessary vaccinations and certificates as well as personal expenses on site. These costs must be borne by the excursion participants themselves. The booking of flights is also the responsibility of the excursion participants. As a popular and safe travel destination, it may be possible to travel to the country on your own or to take a vacation before or after the excursion.
Information on entry requirements, medical advice and other information is provided by the German Foreign Office at:

Organizational handling

The organizational handling of the excursion (incl. the application for an excursion place) for all participants is done by the ABC/J coordination office located at Forschungszentrum Jülich, which is headed by Dr. Konstantin Ntageretzis.

Conditions of participation & application

The excursion offers the possibility of participation to all student members and PhD student members of the Geoverbund ABC/J. Enrollment in a degree program affiliated with Geoverbund ABC/J is required.

As outlined above, 2GPlus status is required for field trip registration and participation.

All participants will have to submit a so-called "external business trip application via the FZJ", so that insurance coverage is hereby granted. Nevertheless, the conclusion of a foreign health insurance (30,00-50,00 €) is expected in addition, since activities in the spare time are usually not covered by the insurance of the FZJ.

All student members and PhD student members of the Geoverbund ABC/J can apply for one of the 20 excursion places funded by the Geoverbund ABC/J. The application consists of a letter of motivation, which must also address the main scientific interests, and a tabular curriculum vitae with complete address and telephone number. Please do not forget to include a current certificate of enrollment. Please also indicate any food intolerances and dietary restrictions. All documents should be submitted in the form of a single PDF document to Dr. Konstantin Ntageretzis, Head of the ABC/J coordination office.

Deadline for applications: Thursday, April 14, 2022

The final 20 field trip participants will be selected from the applications received. Notification of all applicants will be made in early May 2022, so everyone should keep the above-mentioned date for the preparatory seminar blocked until then.

General information

The information on this page has been carefully compiled. Nevertheless, no guarantee can be given for the completeness, topicality and correctness. We reserve the right to make changes, especially in the context of the Corona pandemic and any regulations that may change at short notice. This information is constantly updated.


For questions regarding the conditions of participation, the application procedure and general organizational matters, please contact the coordination office of the Geoverbund ABC/J.

We are looking forward to your applications and to a great time together in the field!

In cooperation with

© Konstantin NtageretzisCopyright: Konstantin Ntageretzis

Additional Information

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