General Information on Meteora
Kalambaka, the gateway to Meteora, is located in Central Greece, sprawling over the northwestern part of the Thessaly plains. Situated in the shadow of the Meteora rocks, it is the largest city of the area, with over 12,000 inhabitants, most of them involved in the tourism industry. The city offers many sights and activities, mainly churches, Byzantine remains and a traditional settlement.
History of Meteora
The ancient name of the city was Aiginion, which was used throughout the Hellenistic and Roman years due to its location and great importance. The name Aiginion is mentioned on a plaque that is found at the eastern wall of the church of Saint John the Baptist. In the beginning of the 10th century AD (901-907), Kalampaka was known as Stagoi, which is still used to refer to the metropolitan area of Kalampaka.
The city was liberated by the Turks on 27 August 1881. During the Macedonian War, the city was a refuge of Greek fighters, while during World War II, it was burned to the ground by Nazi soldiers.
Top Things to Do in Meteora
Meteora Rocks: Towering over Kalampaka, the Meteora Rocks overwhelm the visitor with their imposing beauty. According to the theory of German geologist Al. Phillipson, the Thessaly plains were originally a lake. The Rocks were created by a large mass of river rocks, sand and mud, that were combined and formed a single cone. After a long time, when the waters of the Thessaly lake were drained to the Aegean, this unified cone mass was split because of water erosion, strong winds, heavy rainfall and earthquakes, thus creating hills and rocks of various shapes and sizes.
The first monks arrived here in around 1100 AD and perched within the hollows and small caves, seeking solitude and connection to God. During the 14th century, monk Athanasios Meteoritis (after whom the formation was named) created the first organised monastic priory, based on the laws governing Agion Oros. Nowadays, you may visit the 24 monasteries of Meteora, to be awed not only by the unique view and wild beauty, but also by the huge number of religious artifacts. The Meteora Rocks are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
How to Reach Meteora
Coach: You may take the coach to Kalampaka, from the bus stations of Athens or Thessaloniki.
Weather in Meteora
The weather in Kalampaka consists of hot summers, and fairly average winters with increased precipitation and occasional snowfalls.
Map of Meteora