When it comes to vacationing in Greece, what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like most holiday-dreamers, the first images that come to mind include endless white-sand beaches, sparkling blue seas, and squat whitewashed homes dotting hilly islands. But what about the parts of Greece that are landlocked, on the mainland, without any of the iconic aspects of Greece that we all love? Well, if you choose to visit one of these regions, and especially Trikala, you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a part of Greece most people will never know! And you’ll fall in love with snow-peaked mountains, villages plucked from the pages of history, stunning pristine forests, and roaring rivers. Because Trikala offers fanatic eco-tourists the possibility to get lost in the majestic natural beauty little-known to mainstream tourists. Mountain climbing, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and horseback riding are just a few of the activities you can throw yourself into as a way of getting lost in the mountains, waterfalls, and lush forests Trikala boasts about. Best of all, Trikala is an ideal vacation destination year-round – which means both summer and winter visitors will be awestruck with the sheer number of activities and sites available.
Trikala, one of the most breathtaking regions of the Greek mainland, offers visitors a plethora of sports, vistas and cultural activities. If you love nothing more than to explore remote villages that boast traditional architecture and winding roads, you’re in luck. All you need to do is pick one of the three mountains Trikala is famous for and explore traditional villages. Perched atop soaring mountain peaks and surrounded by lush fir forests – the largest in Greece – early morning fog wisps its way around stone homes and winding roads to create an almost mystical atmosphere. Interested in cultural sites? Trikala is home to Meteora, the second most important network of monasteries in Easter Orthodox Christianity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monasteries of Meteora sit atop sky-scraping sandstone boulders, silent witnesses to the natural wonders of the area. If you love nothing more than combining city life with stunning parks, you’ll fall in love with Trikala town and the region’s villages. Stone bridges cross gushing rivers, winding walkways line near-urban cascading waterfalls, and trails zigzag through lush green parks.
Nothing attracts eco-tourists more than eco-sports. If you’re an adrenalin junkie, the region of Trikala is a veritable eco-amusement park. Thick fir forests, a trio of soaring mountains, interesting rock formations, wild rivers and rugged terrain offer sports enthusiasts ideal arenas for rock-climbing, mountain-biking, mountain-climbing, hiking, horseback riding and skiing. In fact, you can combine the mystical experience offered at Meteora by exploring it via rock-climbing. One of the premiere rock-climbing destinations in the world, Meteora offers rock-climbing fanatics almost 700 routes. And the views and monasteries will astound you.
Explore Trikala City!
Trikala city, the region’s capital. Not only is it beautifully built around a gushing river and hugged by parks, bicycle routes and thick trees, but it’s very high-tech as well, combining the past with the future. Trikala was first inhabited in 3000 BC and was known by the name of Trikki – quite apt considering the region’s fairy lore. Trikki was the name of a nymph, and the daughter of Pinio River. Lithios River, a tributary of Pinios River, now flows through town and the banks of the river in today’s modern city are lush with tall trees and bright green lawns. Perfect for walking, biking or jogging. Stone bridges cross the river at regular intervals, which give the park a nostalgic feel.
If you’re an archaeology buff, you’ll be interested in Trikala town’s illustrious history. It’s been well documented that this city was the birthplace of Asklipio, the Ancient Greek god of medicine. You’ll love exploring the archaeological park in the center of town. Here you’ll find remains of a temple dedicated to Asklipio Trikkis, including a building with gorgeous floor mosaics and baths, as well as the remains of a 10th Century Byzantine church. Architecture fanatics will enjoy exploring Trikala’s many neighborhoods – in fact, the city combines wonderful examples of traditional architecture with modern amenities. If you want to take a stroll through pages of history, visit the Varousi district. It’s the oldest part of town and boasts a number of stunning architectural examples from the 17th to the 19th Centuries. It’s located just outside the town’s medieval castle and was a Christian neighborhood during the Ottoman occupation. Continue your walk through history by admiring the Clock Tower which stands within the castle and is one of the most beautiful landmarks. Kozum or Osman Sack’s mosque is a testament to the city’s religious past, considered to be one of the most beautiful mosques in Greece and is worth a visit. It was built in the 16th Century by a Turkish prince who sought refuge in Trikala when wounded. The locals helped him recover and were very hospitable, and in return he built a mosque so they don’t forget his time spent with them. Now it serves as a cultural center for the city. For an example of the city’s industrial past, explore Matsopoulou Mill that was built in 1884. This mill played a crucial role in the city’s history – present in all facets of industry, its place in the region’s economy was honored by turning it into a municipal arts center that also hosts a movie theater, classrooms for art courses and other cultural activities. While you take in an art show, admire the mill’s stunning architecture. It’s one of the most unique venues of arts and culture you’ll see.
As you walk around exploring the historical treasures tucked away in Trikala town, you’ll no doubt notice how high-tech it is, masterfully blending the past with the cyber-future. E-Trikala is a project that the locals are very proud of, as it’s the first Greek town that’s truly e-established. There’s free wifi everywhere, for everyone, even in parks and along the river, while digital displays above all the bus stops notify you of any delays, ETAs, and other important information you’ll need as you use public transportation. An innovative app also lets you find available parking spots, so you don’t waste time circling around town. E-Trikala’s goal was to make the life of locals and visitors easier, more accessible, and very high-tech. Locals also use a special app to transfer medical documents and phone-based ECGS from remote villages to doctors in the town center, while another app lets locals vote on municipal decisions, determine items on the agenda of town meetings, and offer possible solutions to local problems.