Ionian Greece: from the sea to the monasteries of Meteora
Ionian Greece is the one that shares the sea with our southern Italy (Puglia, Calabria and part of Sicily), and for this reason the landscapes are very similar. The perfect trip on a sailing boat passes through Corfu, a much needed stop for logistics and supplies, before reaching Lefkas. Two large islands let us explore this part of the Hellenic coast, between beautiful sea and a shore with a thousand inlets and mountains on the water's edge.
From these two ports you can reach in about 2/3 hours by car Meteora, a very particular location due to its monasteries perched on sandstone cliffs. It is a very popular tourist destination in Greece, and is one of the most important centers for the Orthodox Church. The monasteries are a total of 24, each built in the past centuries with unimaginable fatigue on the peaks of these spectacular monoliths.
Incredible first sight
As we approach the tops of these sandstone cliffs, we get the impression of a surreal, mysterious and mystical scenario. Something that recalls the past, ancient times that today we are used to recognizing thanks to many Hollywood films. The rock formations as well as hosting these extraordinary monasteries, already UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have contributed to the construction of the village of Kalambaka. This small community, which rises right at the foot of the rocks, is also the tourist center and meeting point for thousands of visitors.
Climbing along the road that runs along the "meteors", you come to a point where you can park your car, and continuing on foot you arrive right above one of the peaks. The view from this point is incredible, overlooking Kalambaka and all around you can admire most of the monasteries. Surely Meteora deserves a visit of at least a full day, to enrich your holiday with a taste of Greek culture and history.
A journey through sea and land beauties
From Corfu (Igoumenitsa) to reach Meteora it takes just 2 hours, crossing part of the Greek hinterland between villages and rural landscapes. While from Lefkas to reach the monasteries it takes a little more than 3 hours, in this case passing through the Gulf of Arta and near the lake of Ioannina. Besides the beauty of the Hellenic sea, visiting the "meteors" will also offer the opportunity to see the central northern part of Greece. All with a variety of landscapes that make the journey full of images and endless emotions.
A destination not to be missed, Meteora really deserves a visit for its fascinating "strangeness", a place that can really captivate you on an emotional level. An excursion that completes the experience of a trip on a sailing boat along the Greek coasts, where the millennial history of this great country is still savored today. In some ways we descend and have strong ties with Greece, and visiting its hinterland is like finding a part of our history and roots. The advice is to equip yourself with comfortable trekking shoes, a small bottle of water for excursions and of course a powerful camera. The photos that you can take will forever be a great memory to dig out on any occasion!