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Kalambaka, the town that guards the approach to the Meteora, was burned to the ground by the Nazis in WWII, and is now almost entirely of recent construction. While not especially attractive in itself, it does occupy a stunning location immediately in front of some gigantic rock formations. It also holds a magnificent old Byzantine church, plus a couple of enjoyable museums – one devoted to old schoolbooks and another to mushrooms – and hosts a bustling market every Friday.

As it takes at least a day to see all the nearby monasteries, most visitors spend a night or two either in Kalambaka or the nearby village of Kastraki.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kalambaka.