Find out why Meteora must be seen to be believed
A post by Ryan
Just as “shooting stars” got their name, Meteora, roughly translated from Greek, means “suspended in the air” or “heavens above”. It is certainly not difficult to see why.
Towering over the quaint town of Kalambaka, Greece, massive, pinnacles of sandstone - carved by wind, rain, and seasonal weathering - have stood as majestic and magical sentinels for almost 60 million years.
This is Meteora, and there is no other place like it on Earth.
Monks traveling through the area starting in the 11th century certainly thought so. It is next to impossible for me to imagine the amount of mental and physical fortitude required for the religious men of that era to build impossible structures on the top on those pinnacles with an eye not only to beauty, but to a precision which allows for most of them to remain standing to this day.
Simply put, these monasteries are stunning, surreal, and even more impossible in person to believe they exist that any photograph can show you. The reasons for building there are obvious - they are the perfect defensive towers. With only a rope ladder allowing entry, potential invaders had absolutely no method to gain admittance.
Kalambaka is a great place to bed down for 2 or even 3 nights. This is slow time. Time to take a hike, explore, find your own way around. Stop in the tourism office. Ask for George. Let him weave you a story of his childhood in the area, and his adventures growing up. Go see where he played, where he discovered, where he still lives.
You can’t take a bad photo here. And around every bend in the trail there is another jaw dropping scene to take in. Turn around and see a whole new spectacular view. You never know what you might find along the way - whether it’s wild mountain thyme, towering monasteries, hand hewn caves, fresh saffron, or new friends in the hikers you meet on the path.
There is a magic about this place. I have so much more I could and will write about Meteora. About how I learned more about photography on a 3 hour hike than I had in the last 3 years. About the Greek people who have huge hearts, a massive pride about where they come from, and a dedication to maintaining their way of life. About a people hundreds and hundreds of years ago who made an impossible climb to the top of a rock so that they could be closer to the stars they saw shooting across the sky.
Unesco has added it to its World Heritage List. I have added it to one of the most amazing and inspirational places I have ever visited. I will be back.
Planning a trip to Greece? Read more about the spots that have inspired us!
The Most Romantic Spots in Athens
Adventures at the Athens Meat Market
One Day, Four Ways in Thessaloniki
While in Meteora, I was a guest of Visit Meteora. All opinions about this destination remain my own. But I loved it here.