Based on earth, yet touching sky, the impressive rocks of the Holy Meteora are standing high above the city of Kalambaka in the region of Thessaly in central Greece. The unearthy formations of this unique phenomenon denote the long history of these smooth rocks, which are said to emerge from the bottom of a river after a great geological change. On top of the rocks, monasteries were built, 6 of which have been restored still maintaining their wall paintings.

 

Agios Triadas (Meteora)

By Danel Solabarrieta under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

In 1989, UNESCO included Meteora in the list of World Heritage Monuments, as a natural monument of great importance and it is not difficult to understand why. As soon as you look at the Rocks of Meteora you’ll be dazzled by their untouched beauty and greatness. And when you listen to their history you’ll be more than stunned. How is it possible for monks back in around 1000AD to climb up here just to praise God and practice asceticism? Nowadays, monks and nuns take care of the monasteries and make artistic crafts, such as woodcuts and icons.

Meteora is a place to visit at least once in your lifetime! However, in order to make the best of your visit in this fantastic destination, you’d better get an experienced tour guide agency, such as Key Tours, organize your trip in perfection.  With a selection of 9 tours to Meteora, you’ll certainly find the one that suits you best.

 

Meteora, Greece

By Elisa Triolo under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

Activities

Apart from their prevailing religious character, Meteora also have another more cosmic side.  After visiting the monasteries you can try out some of the outdoor activities on offer.

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Rock climbing The impressive rocks of Meteora are ideal for climbing, thanks to their height and vast selection of climbing routes. As they are some of the oldest and most beautiful mountains in Greece, Meteora will surely charm every discerning climber. Moreover, beginners have nothing to worry about, as highly-skilled trainers guide you in all routes, longer or shorter.
Hiking – The area surrounding the iconic rocks of Meteora is ideal for hiking, mainly thanks to its unspoilt environment and many hiking paths. In most cases, hikers will walk through the beautiful natural setting of Thessaly, such as forests with evergreen, oak and chestnut trees. During your hiking day you’ll come across the fauna and flora of the area, natural caves and traditional watermills. Some of the most beautiful areas for hiking are Pertouliotika, Livadia and of course the gorgeous Plastira Lake.
Cycling –  Push up your pulses and discover the unknown paths of Pindos mountain range in an alternative way. Get your mountain bike and start cycling in the lush green mountains, only to find out a landscape of pristine beauty. Feel the speed, live the adventure and take deep breaths of the freshest air ever. Raise your adrenaline and live the most rejuvenating experience. You can go cycling in the hiking routes suggested above!

 

Meteora in Greece

By Carlos Pinto under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Local taste

The district of Thessaly, where Meteora lie, is famous for its delicious local meat dishes, such as kokoretsi (traditional Greek meze made from the intestines and inner organs of the lamp spinned at Easter), kebap, sausages with leek, and the unrivaled Greek pies made with homemade pastry (fylo). These pies can be stuffed with herbs or cheese.

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Another mouthwatering meze (type of Greek tapas) is the grilled trout served in the nearby villages of Diava and Panagia (actually meaning Mother Mary). Apple and walnut trees also abound the area. For those of you with a sweet tooth, cornstarch halva covered with caramel syrup (or halvas farsalon as it is called in Greece) is the perfect treat after an active day in the countryside.

By Zoe Mouchritsa