Vrizoni is a name of a lift-basket. Vrizoni is a kind of lift that is still put to use to the present day for heavy luggage. It is a net basket into which the materials and food supplies of the monks or visitors are placed to be hoisted up and down the cliffs by means of a winch.
Access to the monasteries was originally extremely difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and humans.
There are still examples of these baskets which are used for bringing up provisions. Back in the days when these baskets were the only way to get to the monasteries a nervous pilgrim asked his monk host if they ever replace the rope. "Of course we do" he replied. "Whenever it breaks", which I am sure put the guy at ease.
Access to the monastery was by rope and net and we can see it still hanging from the vrizonitower; today it is still in use not only for supplies, but for tourists. The mechanism is electric. There is also a bucket on a cable slung across the chasm also used for supplies.
You may watch my 6 min 54 sec VIDEO-Clip Meteora-Kastraki-Kalambaka Road out of my VT-Tube or Greece Meteora-Kastraki-Kalambaka Road out of my YouTube with popular Greek music.
It is located to the northwest of Trikala city and is 21 km. away from it.
There is a highway from Athens to Lamia and from there a national road links Lamia to Trikala (331 km) and then to Kalambaka.
There are, also, trains to Trikala from Athens. They follow the Athens to Thessaloniki line until the station of Paliofarsala and then there is a local train to Trikala.
Finally, there are buses to Trikala from Lamia, Athens (331 km) and Thessaloniki (215 km). There are, also, local buses that connect Trikala with nearby cities such as Karditsa, Volos and Larissa.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Kalambaka-Meteora on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 42' 15.89" N 21º 37' 44.98" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Kalambaka - Tower of the Great Saint .
You may watch my 1 min 42 sec VIDEO-Clip Meteora Road to Great Meteoron out of my VT-Tube or Greece Meteora Road to Great Meteoron out of my YouTube with popular Greek music.
We went there just for one day and it was raining. Hotel found a taxi for us, we paid 20 euro for 1-1,5 hours. Yorgo show all monasteries, all nice views. He helped us for everything. It was very nice tour. He can speak English and Deutsch.
Buses to Kalampaka are available from Ioannina, Trikala, Thessaloniki and Athens. It is also possible to take the train from Thessaloniki or Athens with a switch at Larissa or Palaiofarsala station. You can always hire a taxi but hiring a car is more preferable.
Here are some more detailed information:
By road through Athens – Lamia – Domokos – Karditsa – Trikala- Kalampaka.
Distance: 352 km
By train through Athens –Lamia – Paleofarsalos – Karditsa – Trikala – Kalampaka.
By road through the high way from Thessaloniki – Katerini – Larisa – Trikala – Kalampaka.
Distance: 237 km
By train through Thessaloniki – Larisa – Paleofarsalos – Karditsa – Trikala – Kalampaka.
By road through Igoumenitsa – Ioannina –Metsovo – Kalampaka.
Distance: 246 km.
How to get there ?
Take a four-hour ride by bus or catch a train from Athens’ Larissis Station to Thessaloniki, drop off in Paleiofarsalo. From Paleiofarsalo take the train to Kalambaka.
I was lucky to have a direct train from Athens.
Paid 20 Euros for one way ticket.
In the past, chain and rope ladders were the only way to reach the 24 monasteries here, of which only 6 remain. If someone fell, it was God's will.
Today, you can reach the monasteries by climbing steps cut into rocks or crossing wooden bridges over dizzying chasms.
Anyway, you need a good set of legs!
On the high-way Thessaloniki - Athens. Turn right (if you are coming from Thessaloniki) for Trikala. Then it's easy.
Buses to Kalambaka are available from Ioannina, Trikala, Thessaloniki and Athens. It is also possible to take the train from Thessaloniki or Athens with a switch at Larissa. If you are travelling from Athens, take a morning train so that you can enjoy the spectacular scenery as you pass through the mountains between Livadia and Lamia.
Buses to Kalambaka are available from Ioannina, Trikala, Thessaloniki and Athens.
It is also possible to take the train from Thessaloniki or Athens with a switch at Larissa.
If you are traveling from Athens, take a morning train so that you can enjoy the spectacular scenery as you pass through the mountains between Livadia and Lamia.