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Visit Meteora: Greece's Hidden Gem of Spiritual Beauty and Natural Wonders

Meteora, an underrated travel destination

While iconic places like Athens and Santorini draw massive attention for their historical significance and picturesque landscapes, Meteora’s cool vibes often get overlooked in the travel scene – it’s like the hidden rockstar of Greece that doesn’t always steal the spotlight!

The colossal rock formations, crowned with ancient monasteries, create a surreal and captivating atmosphere that stands in contrast to the lively buzz of Athens or the coastal vibes of Santorini.

People often flock to the popular Greek islands or historical sites, overlooking the serene and spiritually rich experience that Meteora gives. The region’s geological marvel of immense rock pillars and caves, combined with the historical significance of the monasteries, forms a unique tapestry of natural and cultural wonders.

In essence, Meteora offers a quieter and more contemplative escape compared to the hustle and bustle of mainstream Greek destinations. The sense of isolation, coupled with the profound spiritual ambiance, sets it apart as a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by those seeking a different kind of Greek adventure.

Also, don’t miss our video spotlighting the mesmerizing beauty of Meteora. I’ll be sharing it later in this post. Get ready for a visual journey through Greece’s hidden gem!

Meteora Monasteries Greece Hiking Tour on Hidden Trails with a Local Guide

Marvels Carved in Stone: Meteora Monasteries' Timeless Lesson

You can not help but be in absolute awe. Meteora Monasteries is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Greece. Indeed, a spectacular marvel of nature and man. The Greek meaning of Meteora is very apt, namely “hovering in the air”

Imagine your house as it is right now, set on nature’s rock as pillars. Immense pillars. Build your house on the rock is taken from a parable of Jesus, of which the quote is down below. The spiritual lesson is to build our lives on Him and His truth. In this instance, the monasteries not only lived the morals but also put them into stone! And today, it’s still standing.

Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Six monasteries are hovering in the air and each has its own authentic story to tell !

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Meteora Greece travel destinations what to do hiking adventure rock scenic travel and home

The monasteries truly is a marvel of both nature and man. Not just one monastery, but six of them. No wonder then that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site (UNESCO Site Id: 455).

THIS is without a shadow of a doubt, a travel bucket list holiday destination.

  • The 15th-century Agia Triada or Holy Trinity has beautiful wall 18th-century paintings. Also, it was one of the settings in the blockbuster James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only!
  • The 16th-century Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas is named after an old patron. 
  • Agios Stefanos is the only convent.
  • On the highest rock is the best-known monastery of them all, namely Megalo Meteoro. It’s usually closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The construction of this monastery started in 1382.
  • Across a small bridge from one peak to another, Roussanou Monastery (1545) has outstanding wall paintings. 
  • At Varlaam Monastery (1517) you get to see embroidered epitaphoi, intricately carved wooden crosses and many other ecclesiastical treasures.
 
 
 
Meteora Monasteries, Know This Before You Go, UNESCO World Heritage Site min
What to expect when you go to Meteora Monasteries, Greece

What to expect when you go to Meteora Monasteries

How many steps to climb?

Some monasteries require a climb up steep steps carved into the rock formations. Be prepared for this physical activity. Consider the time and energy needed for the climb, especially if you plan to visit multiple monasteries in one day.

For example, to get to Agia Triada or Holy Trinity, you have to climb around 140 steps, past the church of Saint John the Baptist.

Activities in and around the monasteries?

Hiking, rock climbing, and e-biking are popular activities in the area.

Going on one of these activity tours is money well spent, because there is a mountain of information and interesting stories that the local tour guides share with pride.

Furthermore, if you’re into hiking or photography rest assured that the guides know the mountains and every rock like the back of their hands.

I will never do the monasteries without a tour guide, even if it is my third time visiting. It’s so much more fun and you really get to immerse yourself into the spectacular marvel of nature and man.

Travel Tip(s)
  • Start early in the day when you have more energy, and take breaks during the climb to enjoy the breathtaking views.
Meteora Monasteries Hiking Tour on Hidden Trails with a Local Guide
Walk through nature’s playground in one of the world’s most popular Unesco sites. Discover the hidden Monastery of Ypapanti, visit the Great Meteoron or Varlaam Monastery and enjoy magnificent views.

Best time to visit Meteora Monasteries

It’s a popular tourist destination. So, if you want to avoid the crowds be there either early morning or around 16h00 (they usually close at 17h00).  The morning light casts a beautiful glow on the monasteries, and the sunsets create a magical ambiance. Avoid midday visits when the sun is at its peak, making the climb more challenging and the sites more crowded.

It’s usually closed on Wednesdays, and between 13h00 and 15h30 on other days. 

Meteora Monasteries' Dress Code

In Meteora Monasteries, respect for the religious sites is key. Wear modest clothing – cover shoulders and knees, like for men, long pants, and a short-sleeve t-shirt. Comfortable shoes are a must as you might need to climb steep steps and paths to reach some monasteries. A hat and sunscreen are useful during sunny days, and in cooler weather, carrying a light jacket or shawl is advisable, especially in the mornings or evenings when it can get chilly.

Monastery Etiquette

Respect the rules of each monastery. Some monasteries have specific guidelines, such as no photography inside the buildings, maintaining silence in certain areas, or covering your head before entering. Remember that these are active religious sites, so maintaining a respectful and quiet demeanor is crucial.

Travel Tip(s)
  • Plan your visit during the quieter times to savor the tranquility and capture some amazing photos.
  • Pack a scarf or shawl in your bag; it’s versatile for covering up or adding warmth when needed.
From Athens, Book A Full Day Meteora Tour with Greek Lunch
From Athens, Book A Full Day Meteora Tour with Greek Lunch

Tickets & Timings

Each monastery may have different opening hours and ticketing systems. Some might have limited visitor capacity. Guided tours may have specific timings, so plan accordingly.

Travel Tip(s)
Meteora Monasteries, ancient relics, artifacts, kitchen, sightseeing, tour, Greece min

Accommodation near Meteora Monasteries

To make the most of your time here, “Travel And Home” definitely recommends staying at the Meteora Hotel at Kastraki, Kalabaka. You’re in for some magnificent views of the rocks of Meteora as the hotel is set at the higher point of Kastraki. The mountains’ reflection on the pool is stunning. So peaceful. 

In addition, it’s a mere 7 km away from the monasteries, taking you about 10 minutes to get to the monasteries. Oh, and they have an airport shuttle too.

Meteora Hotel has lodging options for families, single persons, couples, and more.

Their breakfast is delish, and a great start to the day.

 
Travel Tip(s)

Scan for seasonal deals before booking your stay.

If you have a bar fridge in your hotel room, check with reception whether the content is on the house, or pay as you use.

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