In the northwest corner of Thessaly, the wide bed of the Pinios River emerges from the mighty canyons of the Eastern Pindus Mountains that plummet abruptly onto the Thassalian plain. Here, in the shadow of the mountains and just beyond the town of Kalampaka, massive gray colored pinnacles rise towards the sky. It is a strange but breathtaking landscape that has been sculpted by wind and water over thousands of years. These smooth, vertical rocks have become a favorite destination for rock climbers who are, perhaps, the only ones today who can truly appreciate the feat of the 9th century hermits who first climbed them to settle in the caves and fissures of the rocks. On Sundays, they clambered down from their cells to celebrate mass in Doupiani and as their numbers increased, the Theotokos of Doupiani was established as the first semi-organized community during the 11th century.
A visit to the Monasteries of Meteora is highly recommended. Each monastery charges a small admission fee. The nearby towns of Kalampaka and Kastraki have become very touristy with accompanying higher rates than the outlying areas. We suggest combining a trip to Meteora with another destination such as Zagoria or the Halkidiki peninsula. If you do not plan to travel to other areas in northern Greece or if your time is limited, the most efficient way to visit Meteora is to take a bus tour from Athens. You can usually negotiate a good deal with any of the several travel agencies to be found around Syntagma Square.