When the big decision you have to make is whether to visit Meteora or whether to visit Delphi, you know you’re pretty lucky. After some expert advice from a lovely 85 year-old grandma, we decided on Meteora. And as you would expect from someone with a lifetime of wisdom to share, we were not set wrong.
After a first stop to eat gyros (because what else do you eat for your first meal in Greece?) we set off for Kalambaka / Kalabaka / Kalampaka – the town where most people stay when visiting Meteora. And why did I write three names for one town you ask? Because in Greece you’ll find things translated a number of different ways into the Roman alphabet.
With our happy bellies full of AMAZING greek food, we had an early night, ready for an early start in the morning. Which was totally unnecessary of course, because as any guidebook will tell you, the monasteries don’t open until 9am anyway. But at least when they did open, we were ready.
As with all touristy spots, the first monastery was packed with tourists. The second wasn’t as bad, and by the time we got to the third, crowds were dwindling. So we continued on walking (yes, walking, you don’t have to have a car or tour bus) to the forth and fifth which we almost had to ourselves. When we reached the sixth, there were only about two other tourists there.
It’s hard to describe just how beautiful these buildings are, sitting on these rock formations, which are stunning in themselves and would probably be famous with or without religious dwellings on top of them. If I had only one word to describe them, it would be: spectacular.
If someone suggests spending just one day in Meteora, in the middle of summer, in the scorching sun, my suggestion is to say no. But I didn’t have time to say no, it was now or who knows when (never say never). My only piece of advice if this is your case too, is to be there when the monasteries open, and avoid the midday sun. Or, as in my case, spend June and July in 40+ degree temperatures in Madrid and you’ll be just fine in the seemingly cooler temperatures of Meteora.
Are you interested in reading more from my trip through the Southeastern Europe? I started in Ljubljana, took a side trip to Lake Bled, stopped quickly in Split and Dubrovnik, then went to Mostar and Sarajevo. To get to Skopje, I spent a night in Kosovo. Click on the links to find out more.