In the west region of Thessaly, we find the almost inaccessible sandstone peaks forest. The prevailing theory about Meteora creation is that one large river had his estuary in this area in which for millions of years was covered by a narrow and deep part of the sea. The river waters placed matter, stones and generally several materials that were transferred by its waters at the estuary from Northern parts of primordial central Europe. From the accumulation of these materials deltaic cones were formed.
25-30 million years ago, after some geological changes took place during the centuries, the central part of today’s Europe was lifted. That’s how the opening of Tempi was created, having as a result the pouring of the waters in today’s Aegean Sea.
During the tertiary period, at the time of the alpine orogeny, the solid volumes of the “rocks” were cut off from the mountain chain of Pindos that was created and as the centuries went by, the plain of Pinios river was formed between them.
With the continuous corrosion by the wind and the rain as well as by other geological changes, these rocks took their present form through the passing of millions of years.
At the cavities, fissures and peaks of Meteora rocks, the people of that place found shelter from the raids of several conquerors and of those who passed from the area.
Also, several bold hermits and anchorites found shelter at these rocks, seeking for mental calmness, tranquillity and while praying they sought for Christian perfection.
The cave of Theopetra is found at the East side of the rock, under which the village is built. The cave is of the middle paleolithic period (40.000B.C.), 600 square meters, with stalactites. Two human skeletons were found in the cave, dated around 8.500 and 14.500 years old, as well as other forms of life dating 50.000 years B.C. In order to visit this site, you must first contact the responsible official of the Archeological department.
If you are searching to experience a different side of Meteora, you’re certainly on the right place! Most of Meteora’s visitors come here to enjoy some of the marvellous views of our area and visit some of the monasteries, but is it really only those things that this unique site has to offer to all the travellers coming here?
Locals like ourselves have always the advantage of maintaining the best possible insight of the area they live at any given time compared to any “outside” source. The plain truth is that if you are not one of the rare specimens of people who go in great lengths in order to dig out every last bit of information posted on the web, in tourist guides and books for each area they intent to visit, chances are you will be a regular tourist like the vast majority, completely unaware of the hidden gems in each place they visit. It’s also true that some of the best things any area has to offer, those off the beaten tourist places and things, always have their own ways to remain elusive to most rushing tourists and visitors. Well, fear not and read the list below of a few tips and suggestions we have prepared for you to gain fresh insight on how to combine sightseeing in a very different style:
The most exciting way of sightseeing around Meteora!
Combine the excessive adrenaline with a bird’s eye view!
Book a Tandem Familiriasation Flight and experience the most unique way of lanscape viewing!
This particular hike will take you up on the tallest of all Meteora rocks, some 400 meters above the town of Kalampaka, through an ancient curved path upon the rock of “Great Saint”, a huge rock complex, of which thousands of years ago it was an integral part of the formidable ancient fortifications of the town below. Very few people know the way or the history of that place. Once you reach the top you will enjoy unparalleled breath-taking views that you will remember forever!
Meteora is not only a paradise for walkers, but for climbers too.
In total, there are 700 different routes, encompassing 120 rock towers of the Meteora, and catering for climbers of all skill levels.
If you are travelling with the intention of climbing, the best times to visit are between mid-March to mid-June or between mid-August to mid-November. An impressive rock visible as you can approach Kalambaka from Trikala. The climbing range got its name from the village Theopetra found at the base of the rock. Theopetra is 5 Kilometers from Kalambaka. It has many climbing roads and is a popular place for climbing. It is of a sport character with many different roads.
“The bikes of tomorrow are here today”
What does this mean? It simply means you can now take a tour and not worry as much about the physical part and instead go faster and farther, while still enjoying the exercise, scenery, and fresh air.
Yoga has increasingly become a mainstream workout. Provides calmness, positive mentality and affects Health.
Embrace the joy of a Meteora Yoga session, feeling the harmony and balance between body and mind.
Relax participating in outdoor yoga class releasing yourself and feel bewitched from the extraordinary landscapes.
Pilates is a low-impact workout effective at strengthening, lengthening, and toning your muscles through controlled, repetitive movements.
Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body, and upper body strength as well as flexibility and posture.
Experience an unforgettable Pilates session and feel the vibes of Meteora.
Are you a natural team member? Team building events is your style of adventure!
Corporate fitness Events
Improve your productivity and grow positive morale!
Corporate Team Building
Become more cohesive as a team in order to accomplish same goals.
Sports team Building
Improve your performance and team spirit
Team building for all
Everyone can feel the individual progress and work as a team.
Mycophile: a devotee of mushrooms
Especially one whose hobby is hunting wild edible mushrooms
Are you a Mycophile yourself? If not, what is mushroom hunting?
Mushroom hunting is an outdoor activity that implies the use of seasonal and environmental indicators to search for varieties only ever seen in books. For example, knowing that morels pop up in early spring after a good rain. Also knowing they grow in the soil (not on wood), and they have a mycorrhizal relationship with sycamores (they are mycorrhizal with many trees, but sycamores are easiest to spot in the forest). By using these clues, you are able to find your first mushroom!
Truffle hunting in Meteora is an activity that takes place all year around. It is a hunt that requires the “learned” assistance of our well-trained dogs in combination with experienced guides! And what a field, the unique landscape of the Rocks! The truffle hunt can be a lonely experience, one person, or a more social happening with groups of friends or separate companies.
One of the most relaxing and peaceful outdoor activities is, of course, horseback riding. It offers a beautiful way of sightseeing,
accompanied by a horse, one of the loveliest creatures!
To the casual observer it may look like all the rider has to do is just sit there. The horse does all the work. Well, anyone who has ridden a horse will know how wrong that is. There is far more to riding a horse than one might expect. The benefits of horse riding are immense enjoyment, physically and mental fitness and a chance to enjoy the open countryside. For many a horse is a connection with nature when they ride on a trail. Many people find companionship and solace while riding a horse. Although riding can present its frustrations and challenges most people find it a relaxing pastime.
Experience Canoe – Kayak by crossing lakes and rivers in several routes covering the region around Meteora, choosing various levels of difficulties. You can sense the adrenaline pumping while passing through picturesque environments and observe nature on a 2-seat boat. Cooperate with your partner by coordinating your actions, focusing on mutual interactions. Row simultaneously and achieve the perfect result! Sounds challenging?
If you are a mountain bike lover, you can approach sightseeing in a more…intense way.
Experience the thrill of mountain biking through Meteora’s rocks and lake Plastira’s rugged terrain as you hurtle down bush slopes, dodging boulders and leaping over potholes as you go.
Archery is a simple and low risk outdoor activity. Everyone, even small children, can participate and develop skills and technique.
Basically, it requires more mental power than muscular strength. The activity can take place individually or as a team, competing with others in a fun way. During the activity, the concentration, attention and accurate targeting can be crucial for the desirable result. Plenty of positive feelings and a sense of achievement will fill you after a few successful shots!
Canyoning (or canyoneering) is traversing a canyon or gorge by combining hiking, climbing, swimming, and/or abseiling. A sport by many names, it explores the hard-to-reach areas of a natural landscape by following a water route carved through rock formations.
In navigating paths like Grevena and Mount Olympus, along streams, pools, and waterfalls, a canyoner will slide, jump, and descend down through the gorge, often using technical equipment for safety. It can be done primarily for fun and to gain experience, but also for the difficulty of the course and challenges of the terrain.
There are many levels to canyoning, and it can be enjoyed by all ages. The amount of water and the number of vertical obstacles can be considered as basic factors in determining a canyon´s difficulty. Some of the harder and more technical stages of a canyon, like rappels and jumps, can be modified or avoided altogether to make a specific route more accommodating.
The rush of jumping and diving into beautiful pools of water is incredible, and it doesn’t require a lot of advanced skills. Abseiling, or rappelling, involves descending into more difficult areas with the significant use of technical equipment, and is considered advanced canyoning.
Canyoning is most often enjoyed in comfortable weather, so it is best to head to the gorge in the summer and the months that bookend it. You will be staying active in a wet environment, so warm temperatures and moderate water levels provide the ideal conditions for the sport.
The water level generally relies on winter precipitation and thaw, as well as heavy rains and storms. This should always be considered when making plans for a canyon adventure.
From May to September, you are most likely to find the best times for canyoning. Towards the beginning of the summer, the water levels tend to be higher, and the temperature can vary. For more experienced canyoners, this can be a great chance to try the challenging aspects of the terrain.
As summer settles in, the delicate balance between warmth and water reaches its peak, and everyone can appreciate the fun and adventure of the gorge. Once autumn arrives, that perfect sporting atmosphere hits the road and the unpredictable climate returns. This can lead to a more hazardous time in the gorge.
First things first: A sea kayak or touring kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on open waters of lakes, bays, and the ocean. Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spray deck. They trade off the manoeuvrability of white-water kayaks for higher cruising speed, cargo capacity, ease of straight-line paddling, and comfort for long journeys. Weekend trips with overnight camping in Agiokampos are popular among recreational kayakers and many combine kayaking with wildlife watching. Modern sea kayaks are designed to carry large amounts of equipment. Expedition kayaks are designed to handle best when loaded, so it may be necessary to ballast them on shorter trips
Located in the National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, in the Aegean Sea, the underwater museum is part of the largest marine protected area in Europe. Because of looting concerns, the undersea antiquities were previously accessible only to archaeologists and those with special permission. Now recreational divers can plunge into the waters and, at a depth of about 80 feet, encounter the so-called Peristera, named after the neighbouring uninhabited islet. As the wreck dates back to about 425 B.C., diving to it is like traveling in a time machine.
With the recent designation as an underwater museum, recreational divers accompanied by certified instructors began visiting the shipwreck during a pilot phase from August to October 2020.
As divers descend, the sunlight dims and the colours fade. But flashlights bring back the hues, and visitors glimpse the oranges, greens, and reds of the corals, schooling fish, and sponges—and the moray eels poking their heads out of amphorae. At a depth of about 50 feet, divers get a panoramic view of the ancient wreck turned modern-day ecosystem. What you see … is 2,500 years old, a time travel.
Another – gourmand – way of combining sightseeing with other activities is joining Winery – Gastronomy tours.
Visit local wineries by cycling or other methods, enjoy unique tastes and discover new wines!
Feeling tipsy already?
Last but not least, we should mention that the wider area around Meteora has to offer unique destinations where you can enjoy most of the activities noted above. Rest assured, they can also provide you with adventures unique experiences that can enrich your memories of your visit!
Sightseeing and Activities around Theopetra Cave
The Cave of Theopetra is located at the north-east of the limestone rock that stands tall above the Theopetra community, about 4km from Kalabaka. Its entrance is arched and its dimensions are about 17x3m. The inside of the cave consists of a 500sq.m main hall with small recesses on the walls. The creation of the limestone rock of Theopetra is dated back to the Upper Cretidic Period (137000000 – 65000000 years ago). The cave formation dates back to an era later than the latter one. The cave had been inhibited since the Middle Paleolithic era (which began about 130000 years ago).
The Theopetra cave is the first one excavated in Thessaly and the only one so far in Greece with continuous man-constructed fillings starting in the Middle Paleolithic Era and continuing till the end of the Neolithic Era (3000 BC). The importance of this chronological continuation lies in the fact that it is the first time in Greece that we can see the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic Era. In the cave there have also been found stone tools from the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Era, Neolithic ceramic findings, tools and jewellery made of bone and a unique piece of golden jewellery of these eras, as well as the famous human prints of Theopetra that date back to 130000 years ago and are a rare finding, important not only for Greece but also for the whole Europe. The excavations began in 1987 by the archaeologist Aikaterini Kyparissi-Apostolika and went on until 2005 when the cave reconstruction and restoration work – including the creation of a visitor hall, also accessible to those with special needs – began. Right now, sadly, the work has not been completed and the cave is not open to visitors.
Even though you can not enter the Cave itself at the moment, several activities take place around it! There is the Theopetra museum that can provide you with additional knowledge, as well as lots of climbing and hiking to do!
Canyoning at Mega Rema
At Mega Rema, near the church of Aghios Georgios, there’s a beautiful small canyon, ideal for young and old canyoning lovers. The difficulty of the route is quite low. The route starts with walking through rocks carved by the water, which is followed by 8 rappels of 4-14 meters. Throughout the route there are some small lakes of maximum 1m depth you’ll have to cross. The activity takes 4-5hrs.
Climbing at Porti Mouzakiou
The climbing field of Porti Mouzakiou is one of the most popular in Greece. It attracts many climbers from all over the country. All routes are sportive and the difficulty levels vary. The rocks are high quality limestone and all routes are equipped with permanent anchors and safety equipment. Some of the hardest routes in Greece (foneas gigadon 8b/8b+) are located in the Mouzaki climbing field. The field is ideal for climbing throughout the year, but during the summer it’s best to go after 5pm. Some members of the climbing association of Trikala have built a wooden cabin right below the climbing field, where 6-8 people can spend the night.
Hiking at Polythea
Walking through the beauty of nature.
Polythea is an ideal destination for a nature-lover or a hiker. There are routes through which you can get to know the local nature, like the one leading to the springs of Goura (on the northwest of the village) or the one leading to the clearing of Kiari. The routes are easy, go through a dense pine and willow forest, running into small rivers and waterfalls, giving you an amazing experience, you’ll never live in a city. If you’re brave enough, you can take on the challenge of the Cap Grass and Neraida routes (2144m) and admire the breath-taking mountain view. The location “Fiarika” is ideal for photographing the whole area, thanks to its panoramic position.
Visit the Ancient Theatre of Larisa
The ancient theatre of Larissa is one of the most significant and largest ones in Greece. It was built at the south of the hill Frourio, where the fortified citadel of the ancient city used to stand. According to the inscriptions found, it must have been built at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. During the first centuries of its running, it was not only used for theatrical performances, but also for the meetings of the city’s administration officers. At the end of the 1st century BC, it was converted into a roman arena until the end of the 3rd century AC. It is a huge monument built almost exclusively with marble and rich decorations.
Explore the mountains of Pindos
Pindos is the biggest mountain range in Greece. It is spilt on smaller ones and mountains, which are formed through gorges and river valleys. The term Pindos often refers to the mountainous area included by the areas of Grevena, Ioannina and Trikala. This is also referred as “main Pindos”, divided to Norther and Southern. Apart from the impressive mountainous terrain, two of the most remarkable gorges in Europe have been formed there, named Vikos and Aoos, as well as the mountain valley of Valia – Kalda. The above areas have been declared as National Parks, and all of them are making up the National Park of Northern Pindos.
Throughout the whole mountain range of Pindos, there are a lot of mountain settlements of exquisite architecture, counting years of existence.
All of these unique places when visited and explored can guarantee an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience for both young and adults!
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