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The Northwest

Meteora's Rock Formations and Monasteries

map thessaly greeceThis area is known and visited mostly for its monasteries built on top of sheer stone pinnacles, but it is also an area rich in flora and fauna. There are both white and black storks, the white ones far more visible, as they next in the villages and back and forth from them to the nearby valley, but the black ones next in the woods. There are many other birds as well, and is about the best site in Greece for Egyptian vultures, with about 50 pairs breeding. Other birds include red-rumped swallows, alpine swifts, kestrels, rock doves.

Above the small village of Kastraki, which is also a quieter place to stay than Kalambaka, there are woods with oak and plane trees, and ungrazed Meteora Monasteriesgrasslands, as well as bare areas with rock slopes that have nice flora, including quite a few kinds of orchids. Butterflies and insects are also abundant in this area. To the north and east of Meteora are the Anthassia Hills (east from Kalambaka through Kallithea or from Meteora north to Vlahava and Skepari) which is quite wooded and has some peaks up to 1400 meters 4592 feet) to the east.

Birds of prey are plentiful here, including eagle owls, honey buzzards, lesser spotted and booted eagles, Levant sparrowhawks. Rollers are also seen in this area and quite a number of other birds. Spring wildflowers include peacock anemones and stars of Bethlehem.