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Metéora Monasteries in Greece
Idea About: place
The Metéora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The nearest town is Kalampaka known not only in Greece but also all over the world because of the famous monasteries that exist on the top of the rocks of the Metéora. Although there were originally 24 monasteries at one time in the area, only six now remain. Other monasteries were destroyed during earthquakes and wars or simply perished with time. All six of remaining monasteries were built in the 14th -15th centuries on natural sandstone rock pillars, in the northwestern part of the Plain of Thessaly in central Greece. . The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Metéora may mean "suspended rocks" or "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above."
What Makes It Special
While traveling to Greece many of us visit Greek islands; however, some other destinations in Greece remain relatively unknown for many of us. One of them is an area around small town of Kalampaka with unusual geological formations - about 1000 sandstone rocks rising from the ground. Since early times these rock attracted hermits, first Metéora inhabitants. Cliffs' height and the boldness of their walls kept most visitors to the area away from rocks. With time, hermit monks living in caves and hollows in the rocks started building structures on top of some rocks typically as high as 1000 - 1300 feet (300 - 400 meters).
Directions To Destination
From Athens airport you can reach Kalampaka by train, by bus and by car. Renting a car can give you more freedom in exploring the area during your trip (where Metéora can be just on the places to visit). The drive from Athens may take from 5 to 6 hours (207 miles or 352 km). If you do not plan to travel to other areas in northern Greece, the most efficient way to visit Metéora is by bus or bus tour from Athens. Buses to Kalampaka are available from Ioannina, Trikala, Thessaloniki and Athens (the fare from Athens to Kalampaka is about €25). It is also possible to take the train from Thessaloniki or Athens; although you will have to switch trains, still you can arrive right to Kalampaka railway station.
Best Time To Go
The Monasteries of Metéora are opened for visitors all year round. However, the weather from December to March is cold and rainy. On the other hand, if you travel during high season (July - September), you may see crowds and deal with higher rates for everything. Because of all this, May and June can be a good opportunity to explore the area without haste.
Where To Stay
We recommend the following hotels in Kalampaka
Enjoy your visits to monasteries, their architecture, frescoes and small museums in some monasteries. There are various hiking trails in the area linking monasteries with surrounding villages. Finally, if you like climbing, keep in mind that in the Metéora there are about 700 climbing routes on 120 rocks - in fact, this place become something like a mecca for rock climbers. All rocks can be climbed apart from those with inhabited monasteries.
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
There are several things to keep in mind while visiting monasteries
Tags: climbing (9); Greece (3); Heritage site (22); Hiking (17); Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron; Holy Monastery of Rousanou St. Barbara; Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas; Holy Monastery of St. Stephen; Holy Monastery of Varlaam; Hotel Meteoritis; Kalampaka; Landscape (17); Meteora; monastery; Monastery of the Holy Trinity; Monastiri Guesthouse; Mountain (16); Petrino Guesthouse; Pyrgos Adrachti; Sacred place and sanctuary (20); Thessaly; Trikala