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Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Europe, Explore, Greece, Travel Info

Meteora: Monastery to Monastery

Greece - Meteora MOnastery

After watching sunset at The City in the Sky, I was eager to explore further.  Whatever you feel is the best translation – Suspended Rocks, Suspended in the Air, or In the Heavens Above – you cannot deny the allure of the monasteries. They are a beacon in the sky calling for me to enter. So I tied up my laces and hiked Monastery to Monastery.

The region is one of Greece’s most striking and I wanted to see it from every angle. There are 6 Orthodox Monasteries remaining on rock pillars today. They are still active monasteries and 4 are inhabited by men and the other 2 by woman. There is now a road that leads up to the top of the rocks and winds around and the monasteries are accessible by stairs cut into the rocks.

Greece - Meteora- View to Kalambaka

I took the local bus up to the first monastery for 2 Euros. I figured walking end-to-end would tire me enough, no need to hike from Kalambaka to the top. As I waited in front of the fountain on the main street in town, 3 other tourists had the same idea, and we joined forces to hike the monasteries. First stop: Megalo Meteoro.

We hopped off the bus and stared up at the huge monastery. They didn’t look so huge from below – but then again, the city below now looked like an ant farm. I wore a high neck t-shirt and capris pants, but I was still required to wear a skirt. Females must wear skirts, pants are not accepted even if they cover everything. I wrapped myself up and entered.

Greece - Meteora- Megalo Meteoro Monastery

Each Monastery has something a little different but they all contain museums, gift shops, and worship rooms. And yet, even with the similarities, I went mostly for the landscape views the balconies of each Monastery provided. Not to mention the views from the entire hike.

The monasteries used to only be accessible via pulleys, but now have stairs. Each monastery requires a long hike up steep stairs, stairs carved into the stone. Be wary of the stairs, when its 35 degrees out, and minimal cloud coverage, it is HOT – sweaty and melting hot. And I came unprepared – my small bottle of water was quickly devoured before the end of touring Megalo Meteoro.

Greece - Meteora - View behind the Rocks

Next up was Varlaam, than Agias Triada, than Agios Steganos. At each Monastery my first stop was the kiosks selling bottled water. I was parched, and the long hike between monasteries was leaving me depleted of energy. As glorious as the views were, the human body needs water.

But what about those Monasteries? Lets take an Interior and Exterior Views of these Monasteries.

Interiors of the Monasteries:

Greece - Meteora- Skulls and Candles

Greece - Meteora- Church

Greece - Meteora- Gold Tile Photo

Greece - Meteora- Candles for Prayers

Exteriors of the Monasteries:

Meteora Greece - Top of Monastery

Greece - Meteora- View to Kalambaka

Greece - Meteora - Monastery on Rock Pillars

Greece - Meteora- Megalo Meteoro

And both the interior and exterior of all 4 monasteries I was lucky enough to explore stunned and amazed me.

I was finally exploring the City in the Sky – a place I’d always dreamed about.

6 Comments

  1. This looks like an unbelievable place. I am completely in love with the Greek Islands but I can see I’ve so far overlooked much of the wonderful mainland. Great photos!

    • The funny thing is – Meteora has always ranked higher on my Greek MUST-SEE item list. It is such a fantasy land. :) You’ll have to check it out next time!

    • Meteora was a highlight for me as well. So glad you made it. It is a beautiful area that a lot of people overlook in lieu of the Greek Islands.

  2. Wow! I had no idea that Greece had monasteries like this! Absolutely stunning! I have heard of some “hanging” monasteries here in Asia, but nothing quite like this… I guess we’ll have to add them to our itinerary!

    And wonderful photographs; the colours really pop!

    • I think those hanging monasteries are in Bhutan? But if you find more LET ME KNOW! haha It is awful when you realize you can’t see EVERYTHING eh?