A unique tribute to Meteora
Lonely Planet visited Meteora and Kate Armstrong wrote an excellent article for all the things you can do in this unique destination. The title of the article is “Meteora beyond the monasteries: adventures in central Greece”.
Read below some extracts from the article:
As both religious and natural symbols of Greece, Meteora and its monastery-topped pinnacles are high on the list of the country’s most visited sites. Many travellers race through the area – and its six monasteries open to the public – in a day or stay overnight in the villages of Kastraki or Kalambaka.
However, over the last couple of years locals have considerably expanded the adventure offerings in the region. With walking, rock climbing, rafting and cycling opportunities, plus fascinating museums and caves to explore, there’s plenty to keep church-weary visitors busy here for a few blessed days.
A large network of monopatia (old monks’ trails) thread through the region, and you can wander on some of these alone. The most accessible path heads to the beautiful monasteries of Agias Triados and Agiou Stefanou.
For off-piste exploration, Visit Meteora offers some excellent guided half-day or longer walks in the hills, ending up in a couple of the monasteries. If you have a head for heights, opt for the walk to Agio Pnevma (Holy Spirit) rock, one of the oldest and smallest monasteries (not included in the usual monastery itinerary) which offers not only an incredible history lesson but also bird’s-eye views of the area.
Not surprisingly, given the region’s extraordinary rock formations and former hermits’ caves, Meteora is a rock climber’s mecca, with all grades of climbs available. Complete novices can test their abilities with Visit Meteora which offers beginners’ (as well as more advanced) rock-climbing sessions.
The same company can organise an adrenaline-boosting ‘scrambling’ tour. It is, well, just what the name says. At times, you are clipped on to a rope as you traverse rock ledges to monasteries and beyond, following original routes once taken by the Meteora’s intrepid hermits.
For a relaxed, water-based vista of the area, not to mention family fun (kids aged eight upwards can participate), float down the Ionas River for around 9km. We’re not talking wild whitewater here – these are Grade 1 to 2 rapids only – but the thrill is seeing the Meteora rocks from an entirely different viewpoint. That, and the nature experience: ancient plane trees line the banks and birdlife is prolific.