Backpacking From One Side of Greece to the Other

Greece Itin­er­ary: Corfu (11 days) -> Athens (5 days)-> Mete­ora (2 days)-> Thes­sa­loniki (2 days)

Mete­ora: Monas­ter­ies Built in the Most Incon­ve­nient Places

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Holy Monastery of Varlaam

The Appeal

Some of the old­est east­ern ortho­dox monas­ter­ies were built on top of nat­ural sand­stone pil­lars. The set­ting is breath­tak­ing and was a fan­tas­tic excuse to test out my new cam­era lens, the Pana­sonic 20, 1.7.

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Vil­lage of Kastraki

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Vil­lage of Kalambaka

Get in

29 Euros each. 5 hours by local bus from Athens. Bus departs from Ter­mi­nal B, at Lios­sion Street, a 10 minute walk from Kato Patis­sia metro. We had to switch buses in Trikala, which is about 30 min­utes away from Mete­ora.  The bus dropped us in Kalam­baka, where there are lots of places to stay. We took a 4 Euro cab to Kas­traki, a quiet moun­tain set village.

Where to stay

25 Euros a night. We stayed at Blout­sos bed and break­fast in Kas­traki. I have fond mem­o­ries of writ­ing my last Mex­ico blog post there in a sur­real set­ting with moun­tains all around us. If you pre­fer more action, you may want to stay in Kalam­baka, which is a proper town.

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Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron

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It’s Tim.

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World War 2 art inside the museum at Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron

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Close up of the Holy Monastery of Varlaam

High­lights

We didn’t visit the area for very long, but we had the good for­tune of vis­it­ing two of six monas­ter­ies.  Sadly, we ran out of time before we could visit the Theope­tra caves where they have found evi­dence of inhab­i­tance dat­ing back from between 50,000 and 5,000 years ago,

Eat a beau­ti­ful Moun­tain set din­ner in a set­ting unlike no other.  We enjoyed some great hos­pi­tal­ity at the Tav­erna just across the street from our sleep­ing quar­ters. The nice fam­ily run restau­rant made us some deli­cious food, and offered a round of Ouzo on the house.

Visit the Holy Monastery of Great Mete­oron, which is the largest of the monas­ter­ies and was was erected in the mid-14th cen­tury.  It was easy to get to.  We waved down a bus early in the morn­ing and got there for a cou­ple Euros.

The Holy Monastery of Var­laam was also quite inter­est­ing, though we had the mis­for­tune of arriv­ing at the same time as two tour buses, so it’s hard to say the expe­ri­ence was serene.  There was great photo oppor­tu­ni­ties up there, though.

Pho­tos of Meteora:

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Night shot of the moun­tains with my new cam­era lens, the Pana­sonic 20, 1.7

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Just imag­ine it’s your job to build the monastery up there.

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Murals inside the Greek ortho­dox church

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Inside the Monastery’s wine mak­ing room

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Wine mak­ing equipment

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Skulls of old monks who lived in the monastery

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Beau­ti­ful Meteora

Next stop: Thessaloniki…

Greece Itin­er­ary: Corfu (11 days) -> Athens (5 days)-> Mete­ora (2 days)-> Thes­sa­loniki (2 days)

5 thoughts on “Backpacking From One Side of Greece to the Other

  1. Pingback: The Time We Went to Cofu, Greece | Laughing Abroad

    1. Tim Fisher Post author

      Thanks Hugh. I think that was the point when I was most tanned of my life. The colour of the sun exag­ger­ates some, but even when I look at the photo I think, ‘man those guys are really tanned’.

      Reply

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