Our accommodation - the Pension Arsenis, Meteora, Greece


Pension Arsenis close to the Meteora rocks and monasteries and surrounded by fantastic views of open countryside

That evening we decided to eat in and sample meals cooked by our hosts - The Pension Arsenis has a restaurant/dining room downstairs. Although we were not given a menu, Costas reeled off a choice of what we could have and it seemed that any type of meat cooked on the charcoal barbecue was available, with a Greek salad or tzatziki (yoghurt, cucumber and garlic salad) and chips. Bread is always served but eaten dry without butter, although olive oil is generally available.

Large dining/breakfast room We tried the recommended pork escalopes which were well cooked and rather large. Lamb, chicken and beef steaks were also on offer - all charcoal grilled. Meat in Greece is naturally produced and full of flavour. Portions at the Pension Arsenis proved to be generous, and I can recommend the chips which came with every meal. Perhaps they had heard that the British like chips with everything or maybe like us they didn't know the words for mashed or roast potatoes.

Individual dishes were served at different stages instead of all together as they would be in Britain, so if the chips were ready first, we started eating them before the meat was served. Eating in Greece tends to be quite informal with groups of people sharing a collection of starters and main courses which are all served as they are ready, so this was not unusual. The prices were comparable to those in the town although the choices were limited because this is a small establishment.


Relaxng and chatting in front of the log fireAfter dinner we sat in the lounge in front of a cosy log fire and watched satellite TV, and chatted to Costas, who is an amiable sort of guy and pleased to share his experiences of tourists from around the world. Edith, his wife, is Hungarian; a far quieter person than her husband.

Costa's parents also assist in the family business. They struck us as hard-working 'salt of the earth' types. They don't speak much English but endeared themselves to us in little ways over the next few days. The mother was welcoming and friendly; she frequently offered us sweets and Turkish delight. Her main role appeared to be cleaning and cooking. Costa's father appeared to be responsible for the maintenance and repairs. He came across me reading a book on the veranda one afternoon and gave me an apple. It was little touches like that and Costa's chatty nature that helped make us feel at home.

Every one of the 10 bedrooms has an en-suite shower roomThe accommodation was scrupulously clean, well maintained and comfortably heated, with polished marble floors throughout. The Pension Arsenis was purpose built with 10 en-suite bedrooms in 1998 and still retains a freshness both inside and out. The decor is of a high standard and can probably be best described as 'hotel room neutral'. The mattresses on the beds were a little too firm for our liking but probably very good for our backs. We had an en-suite shower room with adequate hot water. The pressure of the hot water was constant but the cold varied which meant that the temperature needed adjusting occasionally. Two towels each were provided for guests. There was also a shaver point.

The rooms are serviced daily; beds made and towels replaced. The rooms did not have their own refrigerator, hairdryer, or a kettle (almost unheard of in Greece), or any cooking facilities, or television, but were well furnished with good quality modern furniture - a dressing table, wardrobe, bedside tables and a suitcase stand. There were spare electric sockets that we used for a hairdryer and to recharge a camcorder. A travel adapter plug is a useful item in these situations.

Tea, coffee and other refreshments could be purchased from the restaurant downstairs.

The Pension Arsenis at the foot of Meteora surrounded by glorious countryside The fireplace where a log fire burns on colder days   A family bedroom with a double and 2 single beds
Surrounded by countryside
A family bedroom

The Pension Arsenis is rated as 'A Class' by the Greek Tourist Association, but the main reason why I would highly recommend the Pension Arsenis is location. It's very close to Meteora, set in the midst of beautiful countryside, with stunning views all round, and ideal if you like peaceful holidays and nature. Each room opens out onto either a shared balcony or verandah with chairs or tables so that you can relax and still take in the scenery. A car is essential if you stay here because it's a good 3 km out of town, away from the noise and commerce, but only a short drive if you want to be sociable or go out for a meal.

If you think that you would enjoy staying here, then the contact details are:

Telephone: 0030 24320 - 24150
Fax: 0030 24320 - 23500

There is some limited space for caravans.

The terrace at ground level  Superb views of Meteora and the mountain range beyond from the front of Pension Arsenis
The ground floor verandah with tables and chairs Meteora viewed from the front of Pension Arsenis