A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Meteora which literally means “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” is one of the hidden treasures of Greece. It is a formation of immense monolithic pillars and hills-like huge rounded boulders which dominate the local area. Meteora is an area in Thessaly (Central Greece) and Kalampaka is the city under the rock towers of Meteora. The thing that makes Meteora so special is the monasteries on the top of the rock towers.
We had planned a day trip to this hidden treasure. There are various companies which offer these day trips but I would recommend planning the Train journey by yourself as it’s very cheap and easy to book. If you need more info about the train journey from Athens to Kalampaka – Click here.
After 5 hours journey we reached Kalampaka Station which is the final destination of the train. We had booked a guide to take us around Meteora/Kalampaka and we were right on time with a smiling face. If you need more information about the guide please leave me a comment and i’ll get back to you ASAP.
We had a minivan all to ourself to take us around and also had the liberty to stay for whatever time we want as long as we catch the return train to Athens.
The first thing we did was grab some Gyros as we were very hungry and off we went. The road was winding up towards the world famous Meteora monasteries – an awe inspiring man’s achievement towards his religious and spiritual drive. We took a quick break at one of the viewpoints to soak our eyes on the amazing landscape and the way human has got atop it.
Our first pit stop was at the- Monastery of Great Meteoron – This is the largest of the monasteries located at Metéora. A narrow bridge connects the main road to the entrance of the monastery and it has a beautiful garden and well preserved kitchen.
Across the monastery one can see the famous – Varlaam Monastery (or Barlaam Monastery) which is named after the monk who first built a tiny chapel on this rocky promontory in the 14th century. In 1350, an ascetic monk named Varlaam climbed this great rock and settled at the top. He built three churches, a cell for himself and a water tank. No one chose to follow his lead, so after his death the site was abandoned. The buildings fell into ruin for almost 200 years until 1517, when two rich priest-monks, Theophanes and Nektarios Apsarades ascended the rock and founded a monastery. According to legend, they had to drive away the monster who lived in a cave on the summit before they could move in.
We then head to the The Monastery of St. Stephen. The monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was shelled by the Nazis during World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents and was abandoned. The monastery was given over to nuns in 1961 and they have reconstructed it into a flourishing nunnery, with 28 nuns in residence in 2015.
On our way back we stopped at one of the most scenic viewpoints I have ever been gazing over the cliffs and the perched monasteries.
We had a wonderful experience visiting this hidden gem and was a highlight of our Greece trip. Finally we had to take our train(Click here for more info) back to Athens in the evening but not before taking in more awesome sights.
Read more about our Greek trip here – Click here
If u need any help or additional information feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.