The stunning and unique rocks of Meteora, which embrace Kalambaka, are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and it is the largest monastic city in Greece after Mount Athos! It’s located about 25 km from the city of Trikala and according to geologists these ”weird” tectonic formations were created 30 million years ago when the sea which covered the area, began to decline. The way that these rocks stand for thousands year creates a magical landscape. This was the reason that led the monks to find the “right” isolated place for their monasteries. (slider and featured photo by Vasilis Karamouzos and below photo by Stephen McLeod Blythe)
Today, from the numerous monasteries of Meteora are operated only six: St. Nicholas Anapafsa, Megalo Meteoro, Varlaam, Roussanos, Agia Triada and Agios Stefanos. The largest and oldest monastery is the Megalo Meteoro. Located literally on top of a huge rock which is connected with a small strip of land on where you park your car. The monastery is like a real fortress! The entrance is through a small portico opened in the solid rock. Inside the monastery you can start your visit to the chapel observing some very old paintings and pictures. Also, continue to the museum where you will see artefacts from the battles of the Greeks from the revolution of 1821 AC, LIKE uniforms, weapons, manuscripts and prints. It’s needless to say the amazing view that this monastery offers. Continuing the tour in Meteora, don’t forget to visit the Monastery of Varlaam. Located just below the previous one is less crowded. So, take a look to the beautiful chapel with frescoes and rare images and the huge wooden barrel of 12000 litres where the monks used to store their wine! We cannot imagine who was drinking so much wine!!
(Varlaam and Rousanou Monasteries, Meteora, by Paul Stephenson)
The nearby town of Kalambaka is organized with decent hotels, rooms and camping and it’s an ideal base for walks in the village of Aspropotamos and also Doupiani is the most famous climbing area!
Tip: Even if the whole year Meteora is an amazing destination, probably the Easter is a perfect time to visit due to mystic atmosphere in the Meteora monasteries.