Meteora is a unique geological phenomenon and the only unique state of Christian monks that arose on these stone landscapes. They are located in the northern part of the country, a few hours away by car from the city of Thessaloniki.
It is possible to start the journey to Meteora from Athens. This route will last 12-14 hours.
During an excursion to Meteora from the Thessalian Valley, you will see a majestic view as if the rocks are soaring above the earth, and you will be convinced that such beauty simply does not exist anywhere else.
After Athos, Meteora is the second center of Orthodox monasticism in Greece; they are also called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The “floating” monasteries are located on these rocks. Until the beginning of the last century, the ascent to the monasteries was carried out along rope ladders, the ascent along which was accompanied by great risks, but now there are roads and steps to the top.
Monasteries attracted not only deeply religious people, but also philosophers, poets, artists and deep thinkers of Greece. Today, only six monasteries operate, two of which are female, and the other four are male.
During a one-day excursion to Meteora, we will have time to explore 2-3 monasteries. From the date of excursion you choose, monasteries will be selected, since each of them has its own operating hours. You will hear more detailed information about each of the active monasteries from our guides during the tour, but now a little information about each of them.
*The Monastery of the Great Meteor or Transfiguration of the Lord is the most famous of the monasteries and is built on the highest rock. Founded by Athanasius Meteorite, one of the most famous figures of Orthodox monasticism, construction began in 1382 and was completed by the Monk Joasaph. Since the Serbian Emperor Simeon Uros gave all his wealth to the monastery and became a monk, it has become the richest and most powerful of all the monasteries, housing some of the most beautiful wall paintings and post Byzantine fresco art, as well as a wooden throne decorated with mother of pearl. The monastery is open from 9 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00 every day.
Monastery of St. Varlaam. The second most important complex, where the icon of the “Virgin Mother of God Intercessor” is carefully preserved. The All Saints Cathedral was founded in 1517 by Theophan and Nektarios from Ioannina, although the ascetic hermit Varlaam is considered to be the first to found the monastery. The monastery is built from tuff, an easy-to-work material. The monastery houses an important collection of relics, intricately carved wooden crosses, icons and many others. There are also frescoes by the famous Byzantine icon painter Frangos Katelanos. The monastery is open from 9:00 to 13:00 and then from 15:30 to 18:00. It is closed on Fridays.
*The Monastery of Agia Triada or Holy Trinity is located at an altitude of four hundred meters. The inhabitants of this place carefully preserve the Holy Gospel of 1953. It was founded by the monk Dometius in the 15th century. The monastery is decorated with 18th-century wall paintings by the brothers Antonios and Nikolaos. To reach the monastery, you need to walk up 140 steps cut into the rock, past the Church of St. John the Baptist with wall paintings from 1682. An interesting modern fact: the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only” was filmed there. The monastery is open from 9:00 to 13:00 every day except Thursday.
*The Convent of Rusanou or the Monastery of Saint Barbara was founded in 1545 by Joseph and Maximus, two brothers from Epirus, who built a monastery on the ruins of a church. In 1988, the monastery was converted into a convent. To get to this monastery, you cross a small bridge from one peak to another. The monastery has well preserved wall paintings, wooden iconostases, icons and iconostases. The monastery is open from 9:00 to 13:00 and then from 15:30 to 18:00. It is closed on Wednesdays.
*Monastery of St. Stephen, where the relics of St. Charalampios are kept, protecting against diseases and illnesses. It became a nunnery after reconstruction by the Greek government in 1961. The monastery is open from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00 every day.
*The Monastery of Agios Anapavsas was built in the 16th century by Dionysius, Metropolitan of Larisa and named after the patron saint. The monastery is decorated with wall paintings by the famous Cretan icon painter Theophanis Batas-Strelitsas. This monastery is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm.
In some monastery shops you can buy memorable souvenirs.
!!! Separately, please note that when visiting monasteries during an excursion to Meteora, you must adhere to strict rules. Women with bare shoulders and without skirts or floor-length dresses will not be allowed into the complexes. Men will not be allowed to visit if they come in shorts and bare shoulders.
The duration of the route from Athens will be approximately 10-12 hours.