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Badovas Hermit Caves

The secluded caverns of Badovas lie in close proximity to Kastraki village, nestled amidst towering rock formations between the village and Kalabaka town, creating the serene valley of Panaghia, encircled by colossal stone pillars such as Pyxari and Amparia. Locally known as Badovas or the hermit caves, this area is home to a restored yet deserted monastery honoring St. Nikolas of Badovas, believed to have been constructed in the mid-14th century within a natural cavity on the cliffside that now bears its name.

At the heart of the valley stands the 19th-century chapel of Panaghia, while nestled at the base of Pyxari's towering cliff lies the skete of Aghios Antonios, partly built into the cliff's foothills. In earlier times, access to this skete was through a cave below it, linked by a wooden ladder to an upper cave. Adjacent to it, on the same cliff, are the hermit caves of Agios Grigorios, where the last hermit monks of Meteora resided over two centuries ago.

Today, remnants of wooden ladders and scaffolds still cling to the cliffs of Pyxari, bearing witness to the physical and spiritual dedication of the monks throughout the centuries. The hermit caves of Badovas, alongside the small monastery, offer a unique glimpse into all three forms of monasticism within the Greek Orthodox Church, coexisting side by side.

The breathtaking scenery has led to the emergence of a new district around the foothills of the cliffs surrounding Badovas, in the charming village of Kastraki, featuring traditional houses, cozy modern hotels, and renowned tavernas, all capitalizing on the magnificent views of the area.

St. Gregory's cloisters (left) and skete of St. Antonios
St. Nicholaos Badovas
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