General Information on Trikala
Trikala Prefecture is located in the Thessaly plains of central Greece. The prefecture boasts some beautiful cities and the amazing monastery community of Meteora, situated in one of the most breathtaking mountainous terrains of Greece. Visitors may find unique landscapes with mountains, lakes, open plains of farmland and traditional villages hidden in forests of pine and beech trees.
The capital of the prefecture, Trikala, is built near the Litheos River and is not yet overrun by tourists, which helps maintain its natural beauty and cultural traditions. It has a good street layout, open squares, parks and pedestrian zones. The city has many sights. In the old district, Varousi, there are many interesting corners to visit. You should see the Lithaio tributary of Pinios that crosses the city with its waters and plane trees, creating a magical landscape. Also worth seeing is the Byzantine Castle that dominates the city, the churches of Saint Ioannis the Precursor, Saint Ioannis of Eleimona and Virgin Mary Revealing. The liveliest part of town surrounds the central Square on the riverside, with a statue of local hero Stefanos Sarafis, commander of ELAS during the civil war. This square is ideal for shopping, dining and sipping coffee while watching passers-by.
History of Trikala
The ancient town of Trikala owes its name to Trikki, nymph and daughter of Peneus, Goddess of Medical Science and Health. According to legend, king of Trikala was Aesculapius and recent excavations proved that near the modern central square, the Aesculapium had existed since the Hellenistic Times.
King Phillip the second of Macedonia conquered the city in 343 BC and the Romans in 168 BC. Fortification walls were built by Justinian. The name Trikala is firstly mentioned in the times of Ann Komnenus. Whatever has remained of the ancient city Trikkis is probably buried under the present city, but the area is of particular interest because of its Byzantine monuments. In the years of Turkish domination, its history is the same with the rest of Thessaly. It was liberated in 1881.
Towns & Villages in Trikala
Elati: This village attracts tourist all year round. It is situated 14km from the Pyli at an altitude of 900m. The rare beauty and hospitable spirit of Elati are combined in one of the most developed holiday resorts in the area. Hotels and rooms for rent offer accommodation, trekking, mountain climbing, horse riding and mountain biking entertain nature lovers.
Kalambaka: This small town, on the riverbed of Pinios River flowing down from Pindos mountain range and into the plain of Thessaly, is built at the foot of breathtaking Meteora. The settlement is a convenient base for a visit to the Meteora monasteries, or a starting point for a trip through the Pindos Mountains to Ioannina. A satisfactory tourist infrastructure includes hotels, rooms for rent, restaurants and taverns for visitors to rest on their way up or catch their breath on their way down. While in town, you should visit the cathedral church of the Dormition of the Virgin, built on the first half of the 12th century, the chapel of All Saints with its 18th century wall paintings and the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos.
Kastraki: This small village is situated about 2km from Kalambaka. Its location right under Meteora is most impressive and the view all around the village has an otherworldly feel about it. The settlement is quite small, but despite its size more than a million people pass through here every year.
Pyli: The village of Pyli is situated 18km from Tripoli. The name of the village means “gate” and it is quite accurate as beyond the settlement is a spectacular gorge leading into one of Greece’s more attractive wilderness areas. At the entrance to the gorge, 1.5km from Pyli, is the 13th century Church of Porto Panagia.
How to Reach Trikala
Coach: Trikala is connected daily to most major cities, such as Athens (4.5 - 5 hours), Thessaloniki (3.5 hours), Ioannina (3 hours), Grevena (1.5 hours), Larisa (1.5 hours), Volos (2.5 hours) and Patra (5 hours).
Train: Train services link Trikala to Athens (4.5 hours), and Thessaloniki via Palaiofarsala.
Weather in Trikala
The climate of Trikala Prefecture is generally wet in the winter, with regular snowfalls. There are also frequent rains and low temperatures. In summer, it is arid and hot, though there are occasional buffs of cool breezes coming from the mountains. The surrounding forests and the river foliage of plane trees provide small pockets of relief in the summer.
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Map of Trikala