Badovas hermit caves
Very close to Kastraki village lays the small valley of Panaghia (Virgin Mary). It stretches between two large rock formations called Pyxari and Amparia and few other smaller rocks which almost completely engulf it from all three sides. The locals know this place by the name of Badovas, which is the name of a nearby restored but abandoned small monastery dedicated to St. Nikolas or Agios Nikolaos of Badovas. The monastery was most likely built back in the mid 14th century into a natural big cavity existing on the side of a cliff that nowdays bears the same name.
In the centre of the valley lies the old chapel of Panaghia from the 19th century. On the foot of the high rock of Pixari is the skete of Aghios Antonios, partially built inside the large cavity on the foothills of the rock. In the old days this skete was accessible through a cave that existed right below it, where a wooden ladder connected it with the upper cave. Next to it, placed on the same cliff are the hermit caves of Agios Grigorios or St. Gregory. This is the place where the last of the hermit monks of Meteora lived more than 2 centuries ago.
Today, the wooden ruins of ladders and other staff still remain, perched high up on the cliff of Pyxari, evidence of the physical and spiritual efforts monks had put in this place for centuries! Badovas is one of the few places in the world that someone can witness all three types of monasticism within the Greek Orthodox Church, co-existing today side by side…