82 km from Litochoro
87 km from Meteora
154 km from Litochoro
87 km from Elassona
At the northwestern edge of the Thessalian plain, between Chasia and Pindos, emerges the imposing rock complex of Meteora. Impressive monasteries nestled upon cliff rocks, reflect the place’s spirituality d long-standing monastic tradition. Ever since it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the region of Meteora attracts over 2 million visitors annually. The distance between Litochoro and Meteora is 158km, while from Elassona, it is 90km.
In all their sharpness and overwhelming density, these epic stone formations constitute an amazing geological phenomenon that leaves no one untouched. During the 10th century, the otherworldly quality of the place inevitably attracted the first hermits who founded through time a number of monasteries. Today, just six are open to the public: The monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas, the monastery of Roussanou, the monastery of the Transfiguration or otherwise the Great Meteoro, the monastery of Varlaam, the monastery of the Holy Trinity and the convent of Agios Stefanos. Back in the old times, transport to from the monasteries, as well as reserves, was conducted through the help of ropes, nets, wind-ladders and bare hands. Climbing was borne out of necessity. Today, things are different. Meteora are sought after by climbers looking for a world-class climbing destination. Trails, caves and hidden passages, over and through the rocks, promise great hiking and mountain-biking experiences. Taking and sharing photos of these breathtaking rock formations is an absolute must-do. Kalampaka is, usually, the set-off point to Meteora. Wondering around the picturesque town with the stone-cobbled streets and alleys is something you shouldn’t miss doing. The region is known for its culinary goods, mostly for its meat products, cheese varieties, herb pies, wine and tsipouro. Gastronomy holds strong in Kalampaka and the nearby beautiful village of Kastraki, built at the foothills of Meteora. For mushroom lovers, there is the Museum of Natural History & Mushrooms in Kalampaka, offering a one-of-a-kind experience spanning from mushroom-tasting and trufle-hunting to mushroom-pasta, cooked out in the forest! One of the most important archaeological sites worldwide is located just 3km away from Meteora, in front of River Lithaio, on the way between Trikala and Kalampaka. In the Cave of Theopetra, which is open to visitors, excavations have revealed evidence that the cave has continuously been inhabited during the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. The site and its findings testify on the transition of humans from Neanderthal to Homo Sapiens. Human footprints, which have been dated to approximately 135,000 years ago, are a rare finding on a European level.
The renowned cylinder mill of Matsopoulos (previously known as Agathoklis’ mill) was constructed in 1884; it ground tons of cereals from the whole of Thessaly plain and it is an important example of industrial architecture. It is a four-storey building with stone walls decorated with bricks laid in ‘bands’, with exceptional interior mechanical and wooden machinery. The Mill is closely associated with the course of growth the city enjoyed after its liberation from the Ottoman rule.
The fortress of Trikala, which overlooks the city, was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century on the ruins of the acropolis of ancient Trikki. The Byzantine castle was reinforced by the Ottomans and was the most powerful fortress in western Thessaly controlling passage to the Pindos mountain range and Epirus.
The Muslim mosque of Osman Sah or Koursum mosque was erected by Osman Sah, who served as commander of the sajaki (prefecture) of Trikala and was buried, in 1567, in the neighbouring octagonal mausoleum. The impressive mosque, which has been declared a monument of architectural heritage by UNESCO, was built by the famous architect of Greek descent, Mimar Sinan, most probably in 1557. At present the mosque serves as an exhibition centre.
The petrified forest of Meteora welcomes thousands of visitors every year, who are amazed by the geological phenomenon, the architecture of the monasteries, byzantine art and the monastic uniqueness of the area. Apart from pilgrimage tourism, Meteora attracts many climbing enthusiasts to its inaccessible rocks.