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A Visitor's Guide to Meteora

Kalambaka ● Meteora ● Thessaly ● 10 September 2017

The first time I went to Meteora I was a kid. My parents thought that I would find a visit to monasteries boring, but the truth was totally different. I was so impressed that I climbed all the stairs to the rock and the monasteries without even complaining. Meteora is an imposing phenomenon, which has been declared due to its cultural significance and natural beauty as World Heritage by UNESCO. Everyone, who visits Kalambaka or generally the prefecture of Thessaly, should not miss to see the marvellous mountaintop monasteries of Meteora.

Meteora means the middle of the sky, and this name reflects exactly this phenomenon. It is a formation of huge monolithic rocks, standing in the middle of the valley and offering a magnificent view. In the past and specifically in the Medieval Times, there were numerous Byzantine monasteries and churches in Meteora, but today, only 6 have remained. However, Meteora is considered the second largest and most significant religious complex in Greece, after Mount Athos in Chalkidiki. The sacred aura of this place is just impossible to be described by words.


Meteora is an ideal destination for the lovers of hiking, because the most monasteries are accessible only via a long hike up on the rock. However, everyone forgets the fatigue of the climbing the second he admires the view and feels the sacredness of this place.

The largest and oldest of all the monasteries, which is located at the highest point of the rocks, is the Monastery of Grand Meteoron. It was founded in 1340 by the monk Athanasios and is the most famous site in Meteora.

The Monastery of Saint Stephan is the only female monastery that operates in Meteora, and it was constructed during the 15th century. It is the easiest to access, and therefore, it is the most crowded of all.

The Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in Meteora, but you have to climb 195 steps to reach it. It is definitely worth it because it hosts a Christian and Byzantine museum and the monks are very hospitable, sitting, discussing with the visitors and making you believe you are participating in an important philosophical colloquium.

The Monastery of Holy Trinity was constructed in the 13th century by monks, who were seeking refuge from the Ottomans. In this monastery, were shot scenes of the film James Bond: for your eyes only, but despite its popularity, in the monastery today, lives only one monk.

The Monastery of Roussanou was built on the lowest rock of Meteora, and it is dedicated to Saint Barbara. It is also easily accessible, and thus, it is the perfect place for those, who have children or elderly people.

Last but not least, the Monastery of Saint Nicolas is worth a visit due to its nice frescoes, made by the famous Cretan painter Theofanis.

Where to Stay

Studio & Appartment in Kalambaka, Greece Alsos House
Alsos House
5, Kanari Str., 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

Alsos House is located in Kalambaka, offering magnificent views of Meteora. Trikala is 21 km away and Ioannina National Airport 102 km away.#

Hotel in Kalambaka, Greece Hotel King
Hotel King
97, Trikalon Str., 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

Hotel King is built in a central location in Kalambaka, close to shops and restaurants. Meteora Rocks are just a 5-minute drive away. The town of Trikala is 20 km away.

Hotel in Kalambaka, Greece Hotel France
Hotel France
Kastraki, 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

Hotel France is located in Kastraki, Kalambaka. It is 22 km away from Trikala and 101 km away from Ioannina National Airport.