Meteora

Hiking in Meteora is a great way to take in the impressive natural scenery.  There are several different well-marked hiking trails within the area. The Eastern and Western ridges offer different views of the area. We spent more time on the Eastern Ridge, as it had more hikes that we were interested in. We decided to take a taxi up the mountain one day so that we could spend the whole day hiking. This saved our legs, as it was mostly downhill hiking.  The other days we rented a scooter and drove around to visit the monasteries and do shorter hikes.

One of the first hikes that we did was to the needlepoint rock above Kastraki Village. It is a nice hike that offers shade and interesting views of the valley. You can also see caves and places that monks and other squatters lived in the side of the gigantic rock formations. It is quite interesting to think that these men would just go up and stay in these caves for their entire lives. They would rely on villagers bringing water and other supplies that they would hoist up to the cave with pulley systems. When looking at these cracks and crevasses, I stood in awe of the fact that people actually spent their entire lives in these spaces.

Kalambaka is a neat city to explore. The byzantine church is quite old and worth a look. The views of the city are nice and there are many trails that you can connect with here. The trail from the western ridge ends here and there are several offshoots you can take. You can also hike along the base of the massive rock formations here. On Friday mornings there is an open market where you can pick up some fresh produce and other snacks for your hikes.

We also hiked to the monument on the far point of the Eastern Ridge. It is a nice hike that offers endless views of the area beyond the valley. There is also a monastery out there that is closed all but one day out of the year, but the views are gorgeous and the monument offers a great place to have a pastry snack after a nice hike. It can be quite hot during the middle part of the day so it is best to leave early since part of the trail doesn’t offer much shade.

Tip: Be sure to carry water with you! It gets very hot on the trails and there is a lot of elevation change on the trails.

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