With word origins in the meteorological, Meteora translates literally as ‘suspended in the sky’ or for the faithful, ‘in the heavens above’. It is spectacular and precarious site of six monastery complexes which survive from more than 20 built atop naturally formed stone pillars by Eastern Orthodox monks some time during the 14th century.

Monastic occupation of these ancient pinnacles, second only in their religious significance to Mount Athos, began in the 9th century, through caves in the area are first thought to have been inhabited as long as 50,000 years ago including during the intervening ice age.

The formation of the monolithic pillars, located next to the Pindos mountains in Western Greek region of Thessaly at Meteora is a geological rarity. Today the six remaining complexes are a UNESCO protected World Heritage site.

For racers who will begin the finishing parcours at Vlachavas in the North, the pillars will be obscured by the ridge line until the final moments of their journey. The reveal should not fail to uplift even the weariest of souls and will mark the end of their Transcontinental voyage as well as the first Greek finale to the race. Experiencing the calm yet magnificent theatre of Meteora it is easy to appreciate how it invokes the spiritual senses and will provide racers with an ideal setting in which to relax and recover once their task is complete.