Spiritual, magical, mystical, extraordinary, breathtaking, peaceful. These are only some of the words people use to describe beautiful Meteora.
A visit to Meteora offers the unique experience of nature’s grandeur in conjunction with history, architecture and man’s everlasting desire to connect with God. From the early Christian times, the Meteora vertical cliffs were regarded as the perfect place to achieve absolute isolation, to discover peace and harmony and, to support man’s eternal struggle for spiritual elevation.
Meteora is a truly inspiring and sensational setting of overwhelming rock formations, but one must also be prepared to expect that this trip is much more than merely visiting an exquisite landscape. It is a pilgrimage to a holy place for all Christians around the world., as Meteora has become a preservation ark for the 2000-year-old Christian Orthodox creed.
60 monks and nuns live here in fabled monasteries perched on the edge of sandstone peaks. In centuries past, their place of worship brought them solitude and protection from unwanted trespassers. Today, the Orthodox monasteries are one of the most popular destinations in all of Greece.
Only a few hours from Athens at the fringe of the Plain of Thessaly, the town of Kalambaka plays host to Meteora’s spectacular mountaintop attractions.
Meteora means “suspended in the air” and the first monks of Meteora arrived back in the 14th century establishing an entire monastic community on top giant cliffs. They chose to do this not because it was easy but because it was hard, almost impossible. And they succeeded in this great achievement through their faith.
The monasteries remain till present day the memorials of the past, a long forgotten empire that defended Christianity for over 1000 years. The monasteries of Meteora and the monks are now the living history of Byzantium.
Located at the northwest tip of the plain of Thessaly, Meteora today has become one of the most popular destinations of mainland Greece. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an archaeological site, and an officially declared holy place! At the foothills of the rocks, there are 2 settlements, the town of Kalambaka and the village of Kastraki.
Kalampaka is a town of 12,000 citizens and is situated on the foot of the most extraordinary Meteora rocks and is a town with a very rich and long history in itself. Kastraki is indeed a most picturesque place with an authentic character. Feeling closer to the local lifestyle in the Greek province, enjoying the proximity to nature and finding peace of mind are some of the major assets of this place.
Summertime brings many tourists to Meteora and Kalambaka can feel packed with visitors. However, neighbouring Kastraki offers a quieter, more intimate environment.
Autumn and Winter may actually be the best time to visit Meteora as without the summer crowds it’s easier to explore the monasteries and you can enjoy the local taverns and serenity.
This spectacular region of Greece has been attracting pilgrims and adventurers for thousands of years and is worth a visit by all those who are spiritual, at least once in your life.
*Source: Visit Meteora