Kalambaka (Καλαμπάκα) is a small modern town with near Meteora. The most interesting feature of the town is the dramatic backdrop of the steep Meteora rocks that frame the northern part of the skyline.
Kalambaka offers a number of hotels accommodations for visitors to Meteora, and its busy main street is filled with smalls tourist shops, cafes and restaurants.
The high rock named “Agia” is the landmark and separates it from Kastraki (2 km westward), and the paved road leads to the monasteries.
Ancient Aiginio is believed to be under the earth in the area (probably around, or under Kastraki).
The town is clean and quiet, with one main street that runs through it like a backbone, and several squares adorned with lavish fountains that become pivot points for families and boisterous children late in the evening. Most restaurants and cafes are located along the main street and in the few side streets in the center of town.
Kalambaka is a year-round tourist destination wand hosts a museum of modern art, and a traditional wood carving school.
The most interesting landmark of Kalambaka (besides Meteora) is probably the church of the Assumption of the Virgin.
This historic church was built in Byzantine times (16th c.) and was renovated in the 18th century. Built in its walls one can see some parts of an ancient temple, as most early Christian churches around Greece made use of existing building materials from previous temples around the site. One of the marble columns inside the temple is from a known set of three (one in Delphi, and one in Agia Sofia in Constantinople).
The church of Assumption was built on the ruins of an early Christian basilica, which was built by Byzantine Emperor’s Komninos family members. Some parts of this early church are still visible inside the building today. The “amvonas” (pulpit) in middle was rebilt with many parts from the old basilica, and some wall paintings on the east wall are from the 12th century, while the mosaic that’s visible through a square hole of the floor is dated to the 5th or 6th century CE.
The trail behind the church can take you one a comfortable 60-minute walk to the Agia Triada monastery.
Sarakina bridge south of Kalambaka over Penios River was built in the 16 c. and is still in use today with many modern interventions. The original bridge was built with 6 arches of which only 4 exist today.
Pindos Mountain range to the West of Kalambaka. Beautiful mountain drive, albeit a dificult one because of the volume of cars and trucks that traverse the road. This is the only road that connects Epiros with Thessaly and the rest of northern Greece. The volume of truck traffic make this a very dangerous road to drive, and in the winter months when the snow and fog settles it is down-right impossible to drive through safely.