Starting the Meteora tour from Athens in the morning we will drive to central Greece, pass by cities such as Lamia (where Achilleas origins are), the city of Karditsa, Trikala and many villages.
On our way to Meteora, we will visit Thermopylae were the most epic battle in world history took place. In that area, 300 Spartans together with few thousand other hoplites faced the huge Persian army in 480 BC. You will have the opportunity to see the battlefield and the statue of mighty King Leonidas. This story became famous worldwide after the Hollywood film “The 300”.
Arriving at the Meteora rocks you will have time to visit 2-3 monasteries. The origins of the ascetic community are lost in time. It seems that the first hermits and monks climbed on these rocks already in the 11th century in search of refuge and peace. From 24 monasteries, today only 6 are operating, in turn, every day. These rocks were created 60 million years ago in the Tertiary period.
The operating monasteries are the Great Meteoron which is the largest, it started to being built in 1483 and finished in 1522. Today it serves as the main museum for visitors. The katholikon(main church) is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus.
The monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest in the Meteora complex. It was built-in 1541 but it was first occupied during the first half of the 14th century by a contemporary of St. Athanasius the Meteorite. The monastery is perched on a unique spot and the view from the rock is astonishing.
Other monasteries in the Meteora complex are Rousanou/St. Barbara, St. Nicholas, St. Stephen which are adorned with amazing wall paintings made by the teacher of El Greco and the monastery of Holy Trinity, where a scene from the James Bond movie “For your eyes only” was filmed.
Continuing the Meteora tour from Athens we will visit the picturesque village of Kastaki for lunch and Kalambaka city for shopping. Later on, we are returning back to Athens.