S The marvelous mountaintop monasteries of Meteora
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The marvelous mountaintop monasteries of Meteora

Kalambaka ● Meteora ● 22 March 2017
 

Meteora (= middle of the sky) is a formation of huge monolithic rocks, which dominate the whole area. Amazing Byzantine monasteries have been constructed on top of these rocks, and the view of the valley is breathtaking. In the past, there were numerous monasteries and churches in Meteora, but today, only 6 have remained. However, they are considered as the second largest and most significant religious complex in Greece, after Mount Athos in Chalkidiki.

The natural beauty, the magnificence of the landscape and the importance of the monasteries have led to the declaration of Meteora as a World Heritage Monument of UNESCO. The nearest town, where is the starting point of the excursions to this amazing area, is Kalambaka. Meteora is the place to be for those, who love hiking, because the most monasteries are accessible through a long hike up on the rock. However, everyone forgets the fatigue of the climbing the second he admires the view and feels the sacredness of the locus.

The largest of the monasteries, on the highest point of the rocks, is the Monastery of Grand Meteoron. It was founded in 1340 by the monk Athanasios and is the most popular sightseeing in Meteora. The Monastery of Saint Stephan is the only female monastery that operates in Meteora, and it was constructed during the 15th century. It is the easiest to access, and therefore, it is the most crowded of all. The Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in Meteora, but you have to climb 195 steps to reach it. It is definitely worth it because it hosts a museum and the monks are very hospitable, sitting and discussing with the visitors. The Monastery of Holy Trinity was constructed in the 13th century by monks, who were seeking refuge from the Ottomans. In this monastery, were shot scenes of the film James Bond: for your eyes only, but despite its popularity, in the monastery today, lives only one monk. The Monastery of Roussanou was built on the lowest rock of Meteora, and it is dedicated to Saint Barbara. Last but not least, the Monastery of Saint Nicolas is worth a visit due to its nice frescoes, made by the famous Cretan painter Theofanis.

In addition to the monasteries, the area offers the traveller many other interesting things to do. Kalambaka is a modern city, where you can relax, walk and eat after your excursions, while it also offers many choices of accommodation. About an hour drive from Meteora, Lake Plastira is a romantic destination, surrounded by a truly beautiful landscape. The Ski Centre of Pertouli is located 30 km from Meteora, and it offers slopes of various level of difficulty. Elati is a wonderful village nearby, with traditional architecture that is perfect for a relaxing weekend.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Kalambaka, Greece Hotel France
Hotel France
Kastraki, 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

Hotel France is located in Kastraki, Kalambaka. It is 22 km away from Trikala and 101 km from Ioannina National Airport.

Hotel in Kalambaka, Greece Hotel Kaikis
Hotel Kaikis
146, Trikalon str., 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

Hotel Kaikis is located in the centre of Kalabaka. The town of Trikala is a 20-minute drive away.

Hotel in Kalambaka, Greece Hotel Rex
Hotel Rex
7, Patriarchou Dimitriou Str., 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

This hotel is located in the centre of Kalabaka Town.Τhe city of Trikala is 20 km from the hotel, while the nearest airport is Ioannina Airport, 69 km away.


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