Athens to Meteora: Day 24 Topdeck Mega European Tour

Greece / Topdeck Mega European

Today we are back on the coach for the trip up north from Athens to the central Greek region of Meteora continuing the Topdeck Mega European Tour, in the context of the amount of travel we have done so far today will be a short trip of a couple of hours which was a relief.


24 May, 2012 – Athens to Meteora

This morning we leave the hotel and hustle and bustle of busy Athens bright and early to continue our trip to Meteora. The main attraction of this very small town is the cliff top monasteries which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight we will be spending the night in the town below the Meteora monasteries called Kalampaka, a small simple town in the middle of central Greece making it a nice change not to be in a major capital city.

On arrival in Kalampaka we checked into our hotel called Hotel Famissi before taking a coach trip up the hilly winding road to check out the monasteries. Being such a large group a lot of these hotels have to add extra beds in our rooms, on this occasion it was a new low in bedding for me (literally). The bed I chose for the night we later discovered when I went to bed as I sunk so low into the mattress was made up of what looked like random pool side deck chair cushions, not that the hotel had a pool to begin with. Pretty hilarious at the time.

Before going up to see the monasteries we had a little bit of time, most of us went to the local bakery to try some of the local delights, however they didn’t seem to have a lot of business for the day. I was the first customer of our tour group and they couldn’t change a 20 Euro note, when everyone else arrived to the commotion of them trying to find change, the rest of the group were worried as most only had 50 Euro notes. Anyway the bakery did a ripping amount of trade that day.

We all then jumped back on the coach for the short trip up to the high sandstone cliffs where these 11th century monasteries are perched, it is also interesting to note that these are still working monasteries and that everyone needs to dress conservatively. This especially includes woman who must cover their legs and will be required to use a sarong if required.

At one point 24 of these monasteries graced the steep inaccessible cliff faces, however now only four main ones remain, and the terrain is a lot more accessible these days with roads directly linking the monasteries. The coach took us up to the very top, there are two main ones where tourists can go inside for a small fee and look around, they will give you enough time to see both of them so the best way to do it is go in and look around the first one, then walk down to the second one where the coach will be waiting.

After spending a few hours looking around we then all hopped back on the coach and headed back to our hotel for our included dinner tonight, hope you love salad because you will get plenty of it or rather plain lettuce. With not much to do in town a few of us opted to go to the local pub for a drink, all in all a quiet night with the locals rapped to have tourists come to their town especially this guy who ran the pub wanting to know all about where we are from, very friendly people.

Tomorrow morning we will head off to our next port of call Kavala just before the Turkish border, another long day in the coach but necessary to get to Turkey and well worth it in the end.

NEXT: Meteora to Kavala: Day 25 Topdeck Mega European Tour

PREVIOUS: Mykonos to Athens: Day 23 Topdeck Mega European Tour

Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...

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