A DAY TRIP TO THE METEORA
The Meteora is a rock formation located in central Greece and is known for hosting one of the world’s largest Eastern Orthodox monasteries. It is also one of the landmarks listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
Visiting the Meteora on my recent trip to Greece was one of my highlights. It felt surreal being there and is a memory I’ll forever hold dear.
As I was staying in Trikala with my friend, Kanyali during my visit to Greece, we had to take a bus to Kalabaka in order to see the Meteora. The bus tickets from Trikala to the Meteora are surprisingly cheap – they cost us only €2- €3 each for a one-way trip. We left Trikala at around 2.30 pm and arrived at the Meteora about one hour later. The journey usually takes about 15-20 minutes, but it took us a bit longer as we first stopped at Kalabaka town for a washroom break before heading up to the Meteora.
Once there, we took some time to buy snacks and admire the beauty of this one-of-a-kind landmark. Meteora translates to “elevated” in English, which refers to the tall rock formations upon which the monasteries are built. Pictured below is one of the monasteries, the monastery of Varlaam, which is said to house St. John’s finger and St. Andrew’s shoulder blade.
Afterwards, we joined a tour guide who took us on a tour of the monasteries. They were originally twenty-four in number but are now only six. They were once considered a safe place for monks at a time when Greece was constantly being attacked by the Turks. To control who went into the monasteries at the time, they were only accessible by a ladder which was hauled up whenever the monks felt that their lives were in danger. Since then, steps have been cut into the rock, allowing tourists access to the buildings.
After touring the monasteries, we spent most of the day making our way up a long, windy road so that we could get to the top of the Meteora and watch the sunset from there. Although it felt like forever before we finally reached our destination, I’d say that it was worth it in the end.
If you’re planning a trip to central Greece, I’d highly recommend visiting the Meteora. It’s a historical landmark unlike any other in the world and will definitely make your trip that much more educational and enjoyable. If you have the time, make sure you go right to the top and watch the sunset from 'Sunset rock'. It’s also a great spot for taking pictures.
P.S. Please note that a trip to the Meteora from Athens is significantly longer (roughly five hours by road and four hours by train) and costs much more (between €20 - €30). So, if you're travelling from there, you will have to adjust your budget and schedule accordingly.
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