Extraordinaty trip to Meteora

Mihail Marinov
Greece is a popular destination for tourists, who enjoy spending time at the beautiful beaches in Halkidiki, Thassos, Kavala, and other seaside resorts. However, the country offers several extremely fascinating naturally phenomenal places, located in its heart. One of them, and maybe the most attractive one, is Meteora. This famous rock monastery complex is believed to have originated before approximately 60 million years ago and from then until present times, it leaves visitors with their mouths opened. But what makes Meteora so alluring and glamorous?

It is not an accident that Meteora's monasteries are part of UNESCO's list of cultural and natural heritage under 5 criteria. The ancient rock formations rise above the town of Kalambaka at 400 meters height. Initially, there were 24 gigantic rocks, but through the years, just 6 of them have been saved. Although their number was reduced, nowadays these monasteries possess significant forms that will catch your eye inevitably.

The Great Meteoron Monastery is a unique phenomenon because of the fact that it is the oldest one in the complex. Also, it is bigger than each one of the other monasteries. Locals characterize it as "suspended in the air", because of the formation of the enormous rock on top of which it was built.

St. Stephen's Monastery is the most accessible one in Meteora. You just simply need to cross a small bridge and its beautiful façade is right in front of your eyes. This monastery includes two cathedrals dating from 16th and 18th century. The older one was seriously damaged during the WWII, but the significance here is that today there still can be seen the holy relics of saints and founders of both cathedrals. This fact just shows that by visiting Meteora you can travel back in time hundreds of years.

Some things in life demand a big effort in order to get a positive result, but in the end - the hard work pays off. The situation with the Monastery of Holy Trinity is quite similar.

It is the hardest reaching place in Meteora, but when you get there, the panoramic view is simply incredible. This point is very desirable for people who love adventures. In fact, the final scenes of James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only" were captured there.

Of course, the other three remaining monasteries should not be missed. There are extremely interesting facts, connected with these rock formations. For example, the limited surface of rock for St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery forced its building to be done vertically on floors, one level on top of the other.

Although Meteora does not occupy a large area, there are plenty of places where you can try some traditional Greek food during your stay. In this complex local chefs use the original recipes for authentic dishes and surely will satisfy each of your taste preferences.There is a big variety of meals that you can have, but some of the most ordered ones are Moussaka, Tzatziki, Fried Saganaki Cheese, Meatballs, and Greek salad.
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