Meteora
Theopetra, Kastraki, Meteora

 
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With the town of Kalambaka as a starting point, we set out on an exploration of the wider area, which includes nearby destinations such as Meteora and Kastraki, and more distant locations such as Trikala, Elati, Petrouli, Metsovo, and Plastiras Lake. Very popular are also the mountain climbing, trekking, kayaking, rafting and horse-riding excursions.

The region defined by the Antichasia Mountains, which includes Meteora and Kalambaka, has been characterized as a Natural Habitat and a Special Protected Area.The highlands of mount Koziaka (mount Kerketion in antiquity), full of gorges clad with firs, beeches, oaks and deciduous trees, and of Achelous river

(Aspropotamos), strewn with riparian forests of plane-trees, willows, maple-trees and other aquatic plants, with their vast alpine valleys at an elevation of 2.300 m. or more, have been included in the list of the European network of protected areas NATURA 2000. The diverse landscapes and the lush virgin nature will entice you to rejuvenating and relaxing hiking explorations.

At a distance of 5 km. from Kalambaka, we find village Theopetra with the namesake cave, 100 m. above the valley floor and 280 m. above sea level. This cave is of utmost importance since it was the finding site of two human skeletons, one from the Upper Paleolithic period and a burial from the Mesolithic period, which make it the only cave in Greece in which the transition from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic and from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic period can be studied and accurately dated.

Kalambaka Town & Meteora View

The boulders of Meteora

...are located 7 km. north of Kalambaka, at the foot of the Pineios valley. This unique geological phenomenon makes for an unworldly spectacle that overwhelms all visitors with awe. The visit to the monastic state focuses on the 6 surviving monasteries out of the 30 that are estimated to have existed initially. In 1989, Unesco included this whole region in its list of World Heritage sites characterizing it as a "preserved monument of Humanity" and thus asserting that, despite been located in Greece, it belongs to the whole world in light of its cultural significance.

At the foot of the boulders, we find Kastraki, which has been thrice characterized by the Greek State as a traditional and preserved settlement and tourist attraction. The houses of this traditional village stretch from the surrounding slopes to the foot of the valley, where the monasteries are situated.

Since the route to the monasteries is the most aesthetically pleasing, many visitors choose to hike from Kastraki (2 km. from the accommodation), past the derelict monastery of Lord Pantokrator (to the northern side of boulder Doupiani), the abandoned and restored Monastery of Ypapanti and the bust of the Greek Revolution freedom-fighter Papathimios Vlachavas, to the majestic monasteries of "Great Meteoron" (Monastery of the Saviour) and the "Holy Monastery of Varlaam".