Visiting Meteora was a highlight of our trip to Greece.
Meteora is a holy place. In Greek, Meteora means ‘lofty – and that is an apt description of the monasteries perched on the top of the amazing rock formations of Meteora. There were over 20 monasteries built in Meteora, dating back to the 13th Century, but today only a handful remain.
There are now just 6 monasteries, and these are open to the public and they are all very beautiful:
- Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery (St Nicholas) – just one monk and one novice occupy this monastery. It is a long walk up a roadway and stairs. There is a lovely rooftop courtyard with fabulous views.
- Agios Stefanos Monastery (St Stephen) – small, beautiful monastery occupied by nuns. Closed on a Monday.
- Agia Triada Monastery (Holy Trinity) – we didn’t visit this monastery however it is a long walk up.
- Varlaam Monastery – 8 monks reside in this monastery. It is the largest of the 4 monasteries we see and is very crowded. Beautiful courtyard with gorgeous views.
- Metamorphosis Sotiros Monastery (Great Meteoron) – this is the largest monastery (we did not go in). There were crowds of bus tours so it would be a good idea to visit as early in the day as possible.
- Rousanou Monastery (dedicated to St Barbara) – 15 nuns reside in this monastery. Access is by wide stairs and 2 bridges. There is a very small area to see – just 2 rooms of the chapel and a common room. Don’t miss the story of St Barbara on a plaque in the monastery.
We based ourselves in the town of Kalabaka at Vintage Central House (booked through Booking.com) for two nights and explored the monasteries over one day. In one day, we were able to visit four monasteries at a leisurely pace.
It is a good idea to take drinks, snacks and even lunch as there are no cafes at the monasteries. At a couple of monasteries there were, however, vans selling drinks and limited food options.
One of the first things to do on arrival in the Kalabaka is to visit the excellent tourist office where you can pick up a map with opening times of the monasteries plus information on what to do in the area.
There is an entrance fee to each of the monasteries. For more detailed information on prices, opening hours and tours see Visit Meteora website.
There are plenty of eateries in Kalabaka – we can highly recommend enjoying a meal at Panellinion Restaurant. There are also restaurants as well as accommodation options in the smaller town of Kastraki.
We rented a car from Thessaloniki and it was about a 3-hour road trip from Thessaloniki to Meteora each way.
11-12 June 2023
Best Month of Your Life