Magical suspended rocks Meteora
At the very heart of Greece, in the province of Thessaly, there is a magical place that is worth visiting (at least) once in a lifetime – Meteora. For a very long time, this rock formation with Orthodox monasteries had been on the very top of the list of places I wanted to visit. Due to a strange turn of events, I married a Greek who moved to Croatia. And of course, once we had a son, the logical step was to visit his parents and relatives in Greece, to let them meet their first grandson. We decided to set off in our own car, mostly because of our kid, in order to be comfortable and freely manage our time. One of the places where we intended to stop was my great wish – Magical suspended rocks Meteora.
The road to this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site is not at all easy, especially if bends and turns make you nauseous, but I have heard there is a new road in the plans that will make the trip much quicker and simpler. Meteora is located next to the small town of Kalambaka, some 360 km from Athens. If you don’t have a car, other options are taking the train (about a 6-hour drive) or the bus.
The town of Kalambaka boasts a lot of excellent hotels, which are quite full during the season, so I would advise you to book accommodation in advance. The prices vary and you can really find all sorts, for anyone’s pocket. The luxurious new hotel we were in (Dellas Boutique Hotel, highly recommended) cost us less than EUR 70 per room. Also, you will never be hungry. Greek food is phenomenal, and the restaurants here do not lag behind in terms of gastronomy.
The view of Meteora is breathtaking – rocks up to 550 meters high, with monasteries on top, make you dizzy. Monks who had fled before Turks to this part of Greece around 12th century decided to build monasteries on those rocks in order to find peace, and of course, be close to God. The construction of the monastery would take about a month or so, but to get the material to the very top, using pulleys, ropes and baskets – it would take over twenty years!
There are currently six monasteries opened, completely functional with monks living in them, and each of them can be visited at a certain time of day. The Holy Monastery or the Great Meteoron is the largest monastery of Meteora, erected in the 14th century. It is also where the main museum for tourists is located.
In addition to the monasteries, Meteora also offers rock climbing, exploration of the nearby caves, rafting, all the way to private helicopter tours. Whatever you choose, one thing is for sure –this will be a memorable trip and I think you’ll wish to come back.