Whenever we travel to great places around the globe we always wonder what amazes us more, whether varied landscapes as nature’s art or insanely human efforts to make those places as their home. Meteora is one such great place where we can’t reach to a conclusion. It takes you on a memorable journey to a completely different landscape with unique high rise pillar rocks and a 600 years old architectural history. In the 14th century, some monks did something next to impossible and made their home at the top of these pillar rocks. With no extra word, here is the first glance of majestic Meteora.
MONASTERIES TO VISIT
In the 16th Century, there were 24 monasteries at Meteora but today only six functional monasteries are remaining. Visiting most of the monasteries is not that easy as it requires a long walk and climbing the stairs to the top. But all the efforts lead to a great vantage point with scenic views which makes it all worth it. It may not be possible to visit all six monasteries during your trip as different monasteries remain closed on different days of the week and also have their own opening and closing hours.
We visited only two monasteries: Monastery of Holy Trinity and Great Meteora Monastery as we spent most of our time in roaming around and capturing the landscape beauty of Meteora with monasteries as a great addition to the landscapes. There is another post coming soon dedicated only to photography tips and locations in Meteora.
|| HOLY TRINITY MONASTERY ||
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 9 am to 5 pm (Closed on Thursdays)
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 9 am to 4 pm (Closed on Thursdays)
You get some nice view of Holy Trinity Monastery from the road and it is allowed to park your car on the roadside but you should do that with proper judgment to avoid any mishap.
Hike to the top
There is a properly designated parking at the entry of the Monastery, then a fun hike begins first all the way down and then stairs to the top of the cliff.
There is a nominal entry fee of 2 euros for the monastery and you must wear full-length clothes, they also give you a wrap around if you need. There are few great places to see inside the monastery like this prayer room below and once you pass all the establishments, there is a scenic view of the whole city at the backside.
|| GREAT METEORA MONASTERY ||
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 9 am to 5 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 9 am to 3 pm (Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
It is one of the largest and oldest among all six monasteries with great information about the history of the place and also if you are looking for some souvenirs and gifts, there is a shop inside.
|| VARLAAM MONASTERY ||
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 9 am to 4 pm (Closed on Fridays)
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 9 am to 3 pm (Closed on Thursdays and Fridays)
|| ROUSSANOU MONASTERY ||
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 9 am to 5 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 9 am to 2 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
|| ST. NICHOLAS ANAPAVSA MONASTERY ||
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 8 am to 5 pm (Closed on Fridays)
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 9 am to 4 pm (Closed on Fridays)
How to reach
The most convenient as well as the cheapest way to reach Meteora from Athens is by train. You can book your train ticket at their official website from Larrisa station (Athens) to Kalambaka station (Meteora). There is no direct train from Larissa station to Kalambaka, so you need to change at Palaeofarsalos station.
The total duration of the journey depends on your departure time from Athens due to lay-over time at Palaeofarsalos station. The one side ticket will cost you 10-15 euro per person.
How to commute
There is no public transport and cab is a rare commodity in the town especially in the night. There are several bus tours for visiting monasteries if you are looking for a pre-planned itinerary otherwise, a rental car is your best option. There are no 24 hr car rental places, so you need to plan your commute to hotel/station if you are traveling at odd hours (early morning or late night).
Where to stay
We stayed at a very old but well-maintained family owned place, Guesthouse Arsenis, located 4-5 km outside the town. It may or may not be the right place for you to stay due to its remote location, depending on your schedule. I would recommend this place if you prefer a scenic escape from the town and you are not reaching or leaving Meteora at odd hours due to commute issues.
You can find a lot of food options in the town especially signature greek food places, Gyros and Souvlaki and definitely you can’t escape the greek desserts. The best part is that food is way cheaper than a big city like Athens.
We roamed around in Meteora for two days and were able to find some great locations with an amazing view. We got some great travel pictures as well as landscape shots in our trip, also discovered a unique mushroom rock. We will discuss that all in another post which is coming soon. Please subscribe to travelanubhav.com to get notifications for any new post. Here is one glimpse of a sunset view in Meteora. Check out the complete guide here.