We all know and love Greece’s stunning archeological museums, but Trikala’s museums are entirely different, quirky and unique. Begin exploring this very eccentric aspect of the region by heading to Trikala town’s Arts Center. This is a gem for all music lovers and for all of you who are interested in Greece’s musical history. In the Arts Center you’ll find a record of the creative life of a number of Greece’s prominent musicians, including Vasili Tsitsani who is a native of Trikala. This very interesting museum is found in the Varousi neighborhood, Trikala town’s oldest historical district, which adds to the museum’s allure. If you love antique musical instruments, here you’ll find guitars and bouzoukia (mandolins) used by Tsitsani and others when composing their lyrical hits. You’ll also be able to read handwritten rough drafts of lyrics, poems and letters and other correspondence as well as old records. You’ll also be able to see how beloved these musicians were by Greeks and the media, with photos and drawing as well as newspaper clippings combining to form a wonderful array of artifacts.
Another unique and quirky museum that you’ll no doubt love is the Kliafa Museum, also in Trikala Town. Kliafa used to be a factory where soft drinks were made and bottled. The buildings date back to 1926, which will also let you peek into the region’s industrial culture, but they now house a variety of small museums under one roof. Take the time to explore the Kliafa Museum of History and Culture and find out more about the everyday life of Trikala natives in the past. Household objects, manuscripts, and old photos provide a window into the past to transport you into a Trikala you’ll find enchanting. In another exhibition area you’ll be able to travel back in time to an early period of industrialism, as machines and contraptions from the Kliafa factories’ history are on display. If you’re a newspaper buff, you won’t want to miss the gallery that houses an antique printing press. It’s so different from what we all know, you’ll want to find out more about the newsrooms and printing press that documented critical moments in Greece’s history. You’ll also be able to admire old issues of Trikala’s newspapers as well as photos of the region’s prominent reporters and journalists. Quirky exhibitions are also the most interesting, and this museum certainly does not lack eccentricity.
If you’re a vintage soft drink bottle collector or are just interested in the history of food production, you’re in for a treat. The Kliafa Museum houses one of the most extensive collections of soft drink bottle caps and labels from all over the world. While you take a virtual tour of the history of soft drinks, you’ll also be able to admire locally produced soft drinks, all under the Kliafa label. It’s interesting to see how marketing and design changed throughout history. The Kliafa Museum also houses a Children’s library, so take a peek at the type of picture books published in Greece. Gearheads will enjoy taking a tour of the museum’s engine room, which has been pristinely preserved from the factories’ heyday. As you explore the many exhibitions here, make sure you admire the architecture. Painstakingly preserved industrial facets of the factories’ production lines and architecture frame every corner of the Kliafa Museum and all the exhibition halls.
Are you intrigued by the power of water and how it was used extensively in the past? If so, make sure you visit the watermill in Pili. Located in lush forests, this Hydroengineering Museum is housed in a watermill that dates back to 1665. Take some time to order a coffee and desserts at the café right next to the museum, and then make your way to the old stone watermill. The owner of the café and watermill has restored the mill to working order, and now put the mill to use to portray the power of this clean source of energy. Rugs and carpets are cleaned in the mill, wheat and corn are ground. Admire the engineering used to perform these everyday tasks, and learn more about the world’s industrial past.
As you explore Trikala’s misty mountain villages and quaint shops and tavernas, make sure you taste the many delicacies the region is famous for. Trikala is known for its delicious varieties of feta cheese, Equally mouth-watering are Trikala’s thick creamy yoghurts which are made in small family-run farms. If you like rustic-style butter and sour-milk, you’ll be amazed at the variety you’ll find throughout the region. The creamy texture and taste are a testament to the quality of locally produced dairy. If you’re a cheese connoisseur, make it a point to savor the different types of myzithra cheese that locals produce from fresh milk. You can eat it on its own or as part of the many pites or pies Trikala’s cooks have turned into an art form. Everyone’s a fan of spanakopita or spinach pie, as well as the popular tiropita or cheese pie, but Trikala is a pie-making center. Prasopita is a leek pie that will leave you wanting more, while hortopita is a pie combining a number of wild leaf greens Trikala’s cooks collect from the slopes of nearby mountains. Not only is it healthy, but you’ll find it will soon become a favorite of all vegetarians.
With all the stunning natural landscapes Trikala is famous for, its meadows and mountain slopes fill with wildflowers each spring. This is wonderful news for honey-lovers as the region’s eclectic varieties of honey will make you a lifelong fan. Good with tea, on bread or in baked goods, honey is a staple food in Trikala. As you venture through all these beautiful mountain villages, pop into the local shops and stock up on herbal medicinal teas. Following in Asklipios’ footsteps, the locals brew their tea from medicinal herbs they pick from the mountains. Take a bag home with you and you’ll understand why they’re very rejuvenating in the winter. Arts and crafts collectors will also be astounded by the level of talent you’ll find here. Local crafts workshops display and sell their art-work, so be sure to pick up stunning hand-carved wood artifacts. Trikala is also center for weaving, and the artifacts produced and sold double as a historical cultural record here as artisans focus on traditional patterns that date back hundreds of years. Take home hand-woven tablecloths, placemats and other decorative items and you’ll also take home a little piece of history. They make perfect gifts for your friends, and ideal keepsakes for yourself as well.
The glorious region of Trikala offers visitors a treasure chest of stunning natural landscapes, quaint traditional villages, the mystical magic of Meteora as well as a variety of eco-sports ideal for all adrenaline junkies. With all these stunning locales and challenging sports to experience, Trikala has nothing to envy and everything to be proud of. Perfect for visitors year-round, choose Trikala as your vacation spot and you’ll understand why this region can rival any island, any beach. Unique, majestic and gorgeous, it’s a favorite of all eco-travelers. And it’s all there for you to explore and fall in love with.