Meteora Monasteries

About Meteora Monasteries

The Meteora Monasteries are nestled on the unique rock formations in the countryside of Greece, offering deep knowledge about the historical and religious heritage of this region since the Middle Ages. The monasteries are a short hike away from the base town of Kalambaka, the highest structure - Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron - placed at an elevation of 615 metre above the valley pit. The monasteries are renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a tour of these monasteries also includes ruins of old monasteries, hidden gems like hermit caves and more. There were a total of 24 monasteries during the middle ages, with Meteora enjoying its most glorious days during the 16th century. Today only 6 of these monasteries remain active preserving the religious, spiritual, magical, breathtaking history, heritage and traditions of the monks. The monasteries also offer stunning views of the natural landscapes and surreal hillside of the cliffs, as visitors hike from one monastery to another. The highest of these is the Great Meteoron Monastery, nestled at 615 metre above the valley base. The Roussanou Monastery is a stunning sight even from far away, appearing to be carved from the cliff itself. Other major monasteries are the Holy Trinity Monastery and the Varlaam Monastery - both of which are occupied by male monks unlike the Roussanou Monastery and St. Stephen Monastery.

Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron

This male monastery is also the largest and oldest structure in the remaining 6 monasteries of Meteora and serves as a museum to the visitors. The monastery has preserved important traditions, artefacts and religious heirlooms like skulls of monks who have lived here in the past are on display for visitors to explore. In addition to this the monastery also has chapels of the Virgin Mary of the Meteorite Stone, Holy Baptist, Saint Equal Apostles Constantine and Helen and Saint Nektarios.

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Holy Monastery of Varlaam

The Holy monastery of Varlaam is located just to the opposite cliff of the Great Meteoron monastery, and is the second largest structure in the Meteora Monasteries. The monastery was first inhabited in the 14th century by anchorite Varlaam, but was then deserted for the next century and a half. It gained its status back in the 16th century, and today has a small museum on the premises for the tourists to explore. In addition to this the monastery also has two chapels - St. Anargyroi and of the Three Hierarchs.

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Holy Monastery of Rousanou

The Holy Monastery of Rousanou is a unique structure consisting of three floors, nestled on the cliff in such a manner that it appears to have been carved out from the cliff itself. The monastery is accessible directly via road from Kastraki, and is one of the two nunnery nestled in Meteora rock formations. The monastery is also a mini art gallery, with paintings of the ledger dating back to the 16th century and reorienting the work of the more mature wing of ‘Cretan School’.

Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapafsas

The current structure of the St. Nicholas Anapafsas was renovated and finalised in the early 16th century. The monastery houses the work of the best frescoes artist, Theophanes the Cretan and his beautiful murals on display. Since the cliff is small in area, the monastery has been structured vertically with many levels. During their visit the tourists will get to explore the different floors with religious artefacts such as the Holy Table - a beautiful piece decorated in murals. The tourists also get to visit the chapels of St. Anthony and St. John Prodromos.

Holy Monastery of St. Stephen

The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen is among the best monasteries in Meteora which is now inhabited by nuns and non monks. It is one of the most easily accessible monasteries nestled in the unique rock formations, as visitors will have to cross a small bridge to reach the particular cliff. During their visit tourists will explore the stunning 18th century main cathedral of St. Charalambos and view his holy relics. The monastery also offers the visitors wondrous views of the scenic Thessaly valley, pristine Pinios river, and the majestic Pindos range across the cliffs.

Holy Monastery of Holy Trinity

The Holy Monastery of Holy Trinity is one of the most beautiful structures in all the monasteries of Meteora and also the most difficult one to reach. With a steep climb and panoramic views of the surrounding rock formations, the monastery is 300 metres above the small town of Kalambaka. The Holy Trinity also gained popularity due to the filming of the James Bond movie at this stunning structure. Tourists will also get access to visit the chapels of Holy Trinity and John the Baptist, painted with beautiful frescoes from the 17th and 18th century.

FAQs For Meteora Monasteries

What are the visiting hours and opening dates of the monasteries ?

The Meteora Monasteries have two different timetables for different seasons, changing every year. The opening date and visiting hours for 2022 are provided to you right here.SUMMER SEASON OPENING HOURS(April 1st to October 31st):- St. Stephen’s Nunnery: 9:00 to 13:30 and 15:30 to 17:30 - Closed on Mondays - Great Meteoron Monastery: 09:00 to 15:00 - Closed on Tuesdays- Roussanou Monastery: 10:00 to 16:00 - Closed every Wednesday- Holy Trinity Monastery: 10:00 to 16:00 - Closed on Thursdays- Varlaam Monastery: 9:00 to 16:00 - Closed on Fridays - Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery: 9:00 to 17:00 everyday WINTER SEASON OPENING HOURS (November 1st to March 31st):- St. Stephen’s Nunnery: 9:30 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 17:00 - Closed on Mondays - Great Meteoron Monastery: 09:30 to 14:00 - Closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - Roussanou Monastery: 10:00 to 14:00 - Closed every Wednesday- Holy Trinity Monastery: 10:00 to 16:00 - Closed on Thursdays- Varlaam Monastery: 9:00 to 15:00 - Closed onThursdays and Fridays - Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery: 9:00 to 16:00 - Monday to Saturday; 9:30 to 16:00 - Sunday

How many monasteries can I visit in one day ?

It is advisable to cover somewhere between 2 to 4 of the six monasteries in Meteora within a day's time. The exact number depends on the fitness and transportation mode of the tourists, as well as how much time they spend exploring a single monastery.

Is Meteora Monasteries worth visiting?

The best monasteries in Meteora offer a deep insight into the history and cultural heritage of this unique rock formation. Nestled on the cliffs, the monasteries can be reached after thrilling hikes and also provide religious history of this beautiful site through the Middle Ages.

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How hard is it to climb Meteora Monasteries?

It does require a good deal of physical fitness and mental alertness to enjoy the hiking trails leading to the Meteora Monasteries.

How to visit Meteora Monasteries ?

The best way to travel to and around Meteora is a combination of driving and walking. To reach the Monasteries on the cliffs, tourists can embark on the adventurous journey of different hiking tours.

What are the best things to do in Meteora?

  • Hiking through the rock formations and Meteora forest
  • Tours of the 6 Monasteries of Meteora which are currently active
  • Hiking to the hidden gems and monasteries/ ruins off road
  • Rock climbing on the cliffs of Meteora
  • River rafting in the river Pinios
  • Food and wine tasting

What is Meteora famous for?

Meteora is a unique destination in Greece known for its natural rock formations and cliffs that appear to be stranded mid air with surreal panoramic views. Tourists here get to indulge in adventurous activities like hiking, rock climbing and river rafting in addition to exploring the world renowned monasteries in their tour of the cliffs.

Is hiking in Meteora difficult?

Hiking in Meteora is not a very difficult activity, however it does require a certain amount of physical fitness and alertness.

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