Michael and Pam's Travels

Meteora and a night on Mount Olympus, Greece. 2015

Travelled : 128 Kilometres from Meteora to Mount Olympus.

Visited : The Monasteries of Meteora and Mount Olympus

Stayed : Arsenal Meteora, free if you eat there, plus โ‚ฌ5 for electricity, N39.708639, E21.654353ย and the Monastery carpark on Mount Olympus.

We travelled over the mountains from Ioannina for an hour or so. While it was very picturesque it was very slow progress, we had covered only some 40 kilometres. So we jumped on the tollway. During the next hour we travelled through numerous long tunnels cutting through the mountains of northern Greece. To be honest it’s quite an extraordinary road, lot of speed cameras but the tunnels often kilometres in length are a bargain at โ‚ฌ6 for the passage.

Eventually we leave the tollway and turn for Meteora. We are out of the high mountains and the remained of the journey is a cruise in top gear. The country seems much dryer, but the road does follow a river but there only appears to be a trickle of water in it. Kalambaka is a large touristy town, lots of low rise hotels and a long town centre. The road around Meteora starts and finishes in Kalambaka. We manage to stop and buy some fresh bread before starting up the hill. I have the co-ordinates for Arsenal Pension (Peejays Greek Stopovers) in the GPS and we soon turn into the driveway.

 

Get Directions

 

Kalambaka, with the start of the Meteora behind.

Kalambaka, with the start of the Meteora behind.

 

Arsenal Pension, the food was pretty good and the wifi worked.

Arsenal Pension, the food was pretty good and the wifi worked.

 

The pension is a large private house run as a hotel by the family. Campercars can stay for free if we eat at the restuarant. A quick chat with the proprietor and we can hook up to his electricity for โ‚ฌ5, as the temperature is well in the high 30s, seems reasonable for a good sleep. So it’s a late lunch, the awning is out and all the windows open. There’s a nice breeze and we catch a afternoon nap. Dinner is the usual Greek salad, home made sausage and chips, with 3 large beers and a carafe of dry white comes to โ‚ฌ31. A bit expensive but rolled up with a nice spot to stop value enough.

 

Pam on the wifi, probably with Kate about her favourite granddaughter Indiana !

Pam on the wifi, probably with Kate about her favourite granddaughter Indiana or catching up with Nicholas the favourite grandson !

 

Eight in the morning is very early in campercar land, but we want to be at Moni Megalou Meteora the largest of the Monasteries when it opens at nine. There were lots of tourist coaches around yesterday and the last thing we want to do is walk up 300 steps in the blazing sun behind 55 elderly Koreans all talking selfies or having an angina attack. We make Megalou in good time getting a parking spot in the shade less than a 100 metres from the entrance.

 

Grand Meteoro, the largest of the monasteries.

Grand Meteoro, the largest of the monasteries.

 

I will let the photos of the two Monasteries we visited provide the description of our visit. But the Meteora area has been inhabited by monks since the 11th century, by the 14th century the Byzantine empire was crumbling and the Turkish Ottoman Empire was expanding, the monasteries isolated as they are, became a refuge for the Greek Orthodox faith. The monasteries are beautiful their surroundings in the forest of rock quite breathtaking.

The wonderful frescos of the Grand Meteora and Pam who is equally wonderful and not nearly as old.

The wonderful frescos of the Grand Meteora and Pam who is equally wonderful and not nearly as old.

If your a monk in the Meteora at least you can keep an eye on the place, even after your gone.  Pam was wondering who gets the top shelf ?

If your a monk in the Meteora at least you can keep an eye on the place, even after your gone. Pam was wondering who gets the top shelf ?

 

The monastery gardens.

The monastery gardens.

 

Varlaam Monestary, Meteora.

Varlaam Monestary, Meteora.

 

Royal Approval !

Royal Approval !

Anyway, hundreds of stairs later we make our way back to the Hymer. The roads are now choked with tourist coaches and cars. We head back down to Kalambaka, grab a loaf of bread for lunch and continue our journey east. From Elassona we drove up and around Olympus from the south. From 2000 metres up the mountain is shrouded in mist, unfortunately we couldn’t find a reasonable spot to for the night. We make our way down to Litochoro where the Aegean Sea glistened before us. A ranger at the National Park information centre recommends the old monastery carpark and off we go again back up to 1000 metres. It’s so much cooler up there, we enjoy a great sleep.

 

Get Directions

 

Our Hymer in the mist, on Mount Olympus. It's much cooler than on the coast.

Our Hymer in the mist, on Mount Olympus. It’s much cooler than on the coast.

 

No time for a nap driving on Olympus.  Good fun on a motorcycle perhaps but hard work in a motorhome.

No time for a nap driving on Olympus. Good fun on a motorcycle perhaps but hard work in a motorhome.

 

Our spot on Olympus, we had a very quiet night and free, Pam's favourite.

Our spot on Olympus, we had a very quiet night and free, Pam’s favourite.

 

The Monestery walk down to the holy cave.

The Monestery walk down to the holy cave.

 

image

 

Read all about the Monestary.

Read all about the Monestary.

Michael and Pam

 

7 thoughts on “Meteora and a night on Mount Olympus, Greece. 2015

  1. Rod

    Making good progress. I see they have decided to put an election on while your there – don’t forget to vote.

    1. mickpamg@bigpond.com Post author

      Thank you Rodney, I will be voting against osterity and the preservation of the defined benefit !!!

  2. Denice

    Hi Guys, Still doing it tough with all that fabulous scenery. How in the world do u get to the Varlaam Monestary – helicopter?? Obviously no OHAS when they built that! Love the photo of the Garmin!!!! Hope u took your sea sick pills before tackling that road. Cheers Denice

    1. colleen dryden

      Looks fantastic most interesting Pam looks great also
      had a quick look in my atlas so I can follow where you are . very grey her today not much rain keep happy lovew colleen

      1. mickpamg@bigpond.com Post author

        Colleen and Maureen
        Thanks for your comments on the blog, we have been bumbling along without any issues really. Say hello for Jessie for us.

        M&P

  3. Sandy Tomkins

    Loved catching up on reading your latest updates …. Read the past 3 all together on this lazy rainy Sunday afternoon . Your weather looks fabulous . Enjoy your next stage of your trip …. Missing you Sandy x x

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