What could make Christmas season more beautiful than an outstanding scenery covered with snow?
Metsovo is a beautiful and scenic town overlooking Ioannina town that if you haven’t visited yet you definitely should! A traditional settlement famous for offering a natural habitat for the European brown bear, the local cheese products and its distinct trails in the forests surrounding the town. We have chosen to visit Metsovo and Meteora in December because surely the beauty of the mountain landscape is even more magical when frosted with a few white snowflakes.
Setting off from the traditional hotel “Adonis” located opposite the church of Agia Paraskevi, we began our first day strolling around the narrow streets and the main square of the village. A peaceful place with breathtaking view from almost every point and although Metsovo has more than 6000 inhabitants they choose to stay inside because of the very low temperatures.
We had lunch at "To Tzaki" restaurant with delicious traditional cuisine and we tasted the famous cheese vlachotyri and metsovone. Being a cheese enthusiast myself, I loved them both! Visiting this place someone should definitely not leave without buying cheese from the traditional stores and taste their local wine.
The next day, after a blizzard, we visited the café "Metsovorama" which is basically a balcony overlooking the snowy Pindos mountain range. Apart from the view it has very nice coffee and a really cozy atmosphere. A special cafe for the area, which you should definitely also go to, is the "I Krini" café as well as taking a bite of the traditional Metsovian cheese pie form local bakeries.
Something we definitely admired was the church of Agia Paraskevi, in which the whole interior is carved on wood by hand and in such detail that you will surely be surprised!
On our third and last day we took the risk to leave with snowfall, since the roads were clear, and headed for the fantastic Meteora. An admirable and intriguing place as the morphology of these rocks reminiscent meteor. It is a giant rock complex that has almost on each top a monastery, 15 in total of which 6 are fully operative. We visited only two of them but the most outstanding and worth to see, is the Monastery of Metamorfoseos tou Sotiros. The monastery apart from having a breathtaking panoramic view of Kalambaka and Meteora , hosts the History and Folklore Museum which exhibits the historical course of Hellenism from ancient times until nowadays. On our way back to base we had lunch at Ioannina town, a quaint touristic place.
My advice for those who choose to make this short trip is to do it in a much warmer season, in order to enjoy nature in its greatness, to see the colors of the trees and the blossomed flowers; a season more suitable to walk and get lost in nature.
Patra-Metsovo 257 χλμ. ,
Metsovo-Kalampaka 62 χλμ
How to get there:
Driving, 2:30 hours through the Ionian National Road (a cost around 100 euro, incl. toll stations and gas).