Meteora: Monasteries Built in the Most Inconvenient Places
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.
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.
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:
Next stop: Thessaloniki…