Once at the bottom of an ancient ocean, the ‘Rock Forest‘ of Meteora was worn down by the elements over millennia into sheer pinnacles that now reach up to 550 meters in height. In a testament to the difficult times of the middle ages, these were colonized by an early monastic community & form a now remarkable and awe-inspiring combination of nature and spiritual heritage.
From the original total of around twenty-three Monasteries built from the 11th Century, Six remain and are in good shape to visit. From the 1920s stone steps or bridges have been installed so you will not need to be hauled up the rock face in a basket or net by the monks. However, the steps & ascent to some are still significant. A fit traveler can be out of breath and a less fit needing to pause along the climb more than once.
Do not let this put you off because several are directly accessible with little or minimal steps. The joy of the location is also the viewpoints along the road that connects them and which for most is the most impressive.
There is no good or bad time to visit Meteora. Perhaps the Winter months less so, with cloud dampening the panoramic views to the plane of Thessaly far below.
The main town of Kalambaka nestles directly beneath the cliffs and has nice views with a mix of tourism & local rural activities. A walk to one of the two main squares in the evenings is great, with many local children playing noisily whilst their parents chat on the surrounding benches.
Kalambaka is quite small & the Monasteries are the main draw in the Area. Several small museums are located in the town. Other local sites include the Prehistoric Caves of Theopetra and its Museum.
In a recent addition, the Ypapanti Monastery dating from 1367 and built inside a natural Cave has been renovated. With more difficult access it’s best to do this along with one of our guided hiking tours. For Tours, we also organize Electric Bike combined with visits to the Monasteries and a visit to the local winery.
4 of our most popular Meteora-Tours are listed below, but you can see all Day-Tours, Multi-Day Tours, and Packages from our main menu, & ask us to tailor any further options you like. If you want to combine Hiking with stunning locations then you may also like to consider our 2 or 3-day Delphi & Meteora Hiking & Sightessing Tour from Athens.
A small concern can be the erratic times that the Monasteries are open to visitors. They normally rotate opening days and also for morning & afternoon periods so it’s best to ask us in advance if you are planning a visit & would like to see a specific Monastery.
Kalambaka Town may not be the most pretty in Greece. However, its many tavernas are excellent. We recommend the ‘Panellinion Taverna‘ at the main square. Excellent service & a good range of home-cooked & surprisingly inexpensive dishes. Directly opposite you will find a ‘Zaharoplastio‘ (sweet shop) with many locally produced specialties & liqueurs.