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Christmas in Meteora

Across the centuries, this huge stone complex composed of more than 800 tall dark-coloured rocks has been a site of singular natural beauty and one of the greatest Orthodox monuments in the world. On this place that appears to be suspended between heaven and earth, nature converses with the spiritual world in a unique manner, and the experience makes a lasting impression on visitors who come to Meteora in search of the true meaning of Christmas.

 

O Come all ye Faithful!

As per local archives, out of the thirty monasteries built on Meteora only six remain active today:
Megalo [Big] Meteoro
is the name of the leading extant monastic community, the oldest and largest one of all. Climb the stairs hewn into the rock and admire the architecture of the main church built according to Mount Athos style, as well as numerous precious relics kept in the Monastery.
Opposite Megalo Meteoro, visit the impressive Varlaam Monastery; you will see icons and murals of remarkable artistry.
At the southeastern tip of Meteora Rocks, St. Stephen’s Nunnery offers a breathtaking view of Kalabaka and the vast plane of Thessaly. Notice the fine art of the wood-carved iconostasis in the main church [katholiko] and the impressive old Refectory now turned into a museum.
Rousanou Monastery
is perched atop a steep crag and is easily accessible, despite its location. The icon paintings and murals decorating the monastery are considered as masterly specimens of post-byzantine art.
Agios Nikolaos [St. Nicholas] Anapafsas Monastery is located on a small rock, yet it gives the impression of being suspended above the ground. It possesses remarkable murals painted by Theofanis, a great religious painter of the 16th century. It is the first monastery you will meet on your way up from Kastraki.
Agia Triada [Holy Trinity] Monastery is the most difficult to reach. However, those of you who will venture up the rock will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding area.

 


Spiritual Uplift

The most joyful event of God’s Incarnation is celebrated in the monasteries during the divine services in an atmosphere of reverence. The service of the major hours begins under the dim candlelight at about 8.30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Awe, humility, peace of mind, and spiritual elevation are the feelings shared among the congregation. The Christmas Mass ends in the wee hours of Christmas Day. Next, the table is set in the guest quarters offering visitors a variety of treats in a festive atmosphere.


Return to …the Earthly World


Kalabaka town lies at the foot of Meteora Rocks. It is a tourist hub and an international climbing destination; its location will serve you as the perfect base for short trips in the area.

 


Don’t fail to visit:


- The Aspropotamos mountainous area with a lush fir forest and Acheloos river (or Aspropotamos) flowing through it. Traditional communities and beautiful villages (Agia Paraskevi, Milia, Katafyto, Anthousa, Kallirroi, Polythea, Krania, Stefani, Chaliki) as well as impressive Byzantine monuments dot the lands. You will also enjoy outdoor sports such as mountain biking, trekking, rafting, horse riding etc.
- Elati and Pertouli, two famous mountain destinations right next to each other. Snow sports fans will enjoy visiting the ski centre in a picture-perfect location, between the two villages. If you prefer hiking, there are plenty of routes for you to follow. Pertouliotika Livadia [=Fields near Pertouli], the lovely nearby Neraidochori village [=village of the fairies], Pyli village where you can visit remarkable religious monuments, the single-arched stone bridge (16th c.), and the waterfalls in Palaiokarya location are your must-visit areas.
- Trikala town, as this beautiful place is literally transformed into a huge amusement park for young and old alike, during the Christmas season.

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