top of page
  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Visiting the 6 Meteora Monasteries

Updated: Mar 31


As with most of the places I wanted to visit and have visited over time, Meteora had been on my list for some time. I think that regardless of travel preferences, you can't help but want to get there. Ever since I first saw photos of the rock pillars and the monasteries perched on top of them, I imagined what the place would look like in reality. A reality that was far beyond expectations, the place is unlike any other place I have seen so far and I dare to call it a unique place in the world.

In addition to the landscapes as if taken from story books, the monasteries of Meteora also have an interesting history. The researchers concluded that the stone pillars were formed approximately 60 million years ago, on the bottom of a lake, which retreated due to tectonic movements. After the water receded, a relief remained which later underwent changes, due to natural phenomena, but which did not change much compared to the one of today.

For decades and even centuries, these monks refused to build steirs to facilitate the ascent to the monasteries, a decision taken both for spiritual and safety reasons, due to the inaccessibility, the evildoers gave up the possibilities before trying any action. However, in the 17th century, Meteora became the target of villains and conquerors, so that many of the monasteries were destroyed in the same period and never rebuilt.

Nowadays, there are a total of 6 monasteries in the complex that still serve their purpose and are open to the public. Below, I will tell you about each one separately, so you will find out which was the most beautiful (from my point of view) and which was the one I would never revisit.

Meteora Monasteries from Greece


To reach Meteora there are 2 options:

1. By car;

If you either come with your personal car from a neighboring country, or you choose to rent a car, the village closer to Meteora is Kalambaka.

If you rent a car for the first time, I leave here a complete guide, with the most important aspects you need to know when you rent a car.

2. By plane to Thessaloniki or Athens, and from there by tourist bus or train. There are multiple companies that offer excursions, which depart both from Thessaloniki, which is the closest city with an airport with frequent international flights, and from Athens:

- trip from Thessaloniki, details here.

- trip from Athens, details here, or here, or here.

There is also the option of public transport. From Thessaloniki there is a train to Kalambaka, with a change at the Palaeofarsalos station. From Kalambaka there is a bus to St. Stephen's Monastery.


The area where the Meteora Complex is located is quite rural, so most of the accommodation offers are in the nearby villages, the closest being Kalambaka. Among the offers found, the ones that caught my attention the most are:

- Meteora Central Hostel - it is a hostel that has both rooms with double beds, for two people, as well as beds in mixed bedrooms, or only for women, for 8 or 10 people;

- Rooms Batalogianni - is an accommodation unit that has both twin or double rooms, as well as triple rooms. Parking and internet are included in the price of the reservation.

- Diamond Palace Trikala - is an apartment accommodation unit in Trikala. Internet is included in the price, and there is free municipal parking nearby. The house can host up to 4 people.

- Grand Forest Metsovo - Small Luxury Hotels of the World - it is an absolutely gorgeous hotel, with an indoor pool and beautiful views. It is a bit further from Meteora, but it is a location worth considering;

-The Holy Rock - Hostel at Meteora - hostel-type accommodation unit, with a bed in a shared bedroom for 4 or 8 people;

-Sofia Rooms - accommodation unit with double, triple or quadruple rooms. Parking and internet are included in the reservation price;


There is no restaurant in the area where you have access to the monasteries, but you can find them as soon as you go down a little, both on the road to Kalambaka and in the town.

We chose to eat at Taverna Ziogas, which is located in the immediate vicinity of Meteora, and we were quite satisfied. The food was tasty and the atmosphere very pleasant.

In Kalambaka, the most recommended taverns are Taverna Gardenia and Gkertsou Family.


-entrance is paid for each monastery, €3/person/monastery (2023 price); Only cash payment is accepted;

-the 6 monasteries are close as far as driving distance, you can also go on foot, but I recommend this, only if you are athletes or have a good physical condition, otherwise it is tiring;

-there is enough time to visit the 6 monasteries in one day, with breaks to admire the scenery and a stop at a restaurant for lunch, if you start the day at 9:00 in the morning;

-locurile de parcare din apropierea manastirilor sunt putine, dar nu exista restrictii cu privire la a lasa masina pe marginea drumului. Peste tot se parcheaza gratuit;

-parking places near the monasteries are few, but there are no restrictions on leaving the car on the side of the road. Parking is free everywhere;

-there is a rule regarding clothing, so men are not allowed to wear tank tops and shorts, and women are only allowed to wear dresses/skirts below the knee, and shoulders must be covered. Long pants are also not accepted. If you don't follow these rules, you will either be offered various scarves or clothing items to wear over your clothes, or you will have to buy them there. A scarf costs around €3.

- in the complex, besides the views from the monasteries, there are other viewpoints. The most famous and with the most beautiful view to 5 of the 6 monasteries is called "The main observation deck", you can find it under this name on Google Maps;

belvedere point to Meteora Monasteries, Greece


The Saint Stefan Monastery is the most accessible of all, being the only one without a lot of steps to climb to get to it. Inside you can visit the monastery with two rooms, the courtyard and a garden with a panoramic view of the nearby villages.

Originally built in the 12th century, the monastery has undergone several changes over time. In the 16th century, a small church was built in the same courtyard, dedicated to Saint Haralabie, and during the Second World War it was attacked by the Nazis. In 1961, it was offered to nuns who refurbished it.

In the area there is both a free parking, with limited spaces, as well as a trailer that sells soft drinks, various sweets and souvenirs.

The Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada) is the most difficult to access, or at least that's how I perceived it. Among the 6 monasteries, it is the poorest, least maintained and with the fewest tourists. In fact, even the buses with tourists avoid this monastery, although from my point of view, it is worth visiting.

Even if the climbing area, on the stairs and tunnels dug in the rock seemed to me the most difficult part, that was also what I liked the most. The view is absolutely spectacular.

The Great Meteoron Monastery is located at the highest point in the complex and has the most beautiful views over the complex and the Varlaam Monastery.

Although it has gone through many tumultuous events over time, it has continued its activity until today. In the first 200 years of the monastery's existence, the monks used wooden stairs to go up and down, and the supplies were brought up with the help of pulleys.

Nowadays, there are some stairs that facilitate climbing, and the effort to climb them does not go unrewarded (if you get here, you will know what I mean).

Inside there is a museum, which is set up in the old part of the monastery. The courtyard is spacious, and the interior of the church is classic, without standing out too much.

Meteora Monasteries, Greece

Varlaam Monastery is the one that I liked the most of all. If you have a little time and you want to visit only one monastery out of the 6, then this is my recommendation.

The monastery was founded in the 14th century by a monk named Varlaam, who took care of it during his life. After his death, the monastery was abandoned for 200 years, until two priests from Ioannina decided to rebuild it. The paintings inside the church date back to the 16th century, being painted at the same time as the church was brought back to life. Both the interior and the courtyard are absolutely splendid, and some permanent exhibitions of church elements dating back to the Byzantine period have recently been set up.

Varlaam Monasteries, Meteora Greece

Roussanou Monastery is the place where about 15 nuns live. It is built on 3 levels, but the area open for visiting and where tourists have access is quite limited. I could say that compared to the other monasteries, even those €3 paid for the entrance ticket seemed a lot.

To reach it, you have to climb many stairs, but the advantage is that there is a lot of vegetation around them and they are shaded.

Meteora Monasteries, Greece

The Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapafsas is the first monastery that appears on the way once you enter the Meteora complex. It is believed that this monastery was the main resting place for pilgrims, the name Anapafsas, translating as rest.

The atmosphere of the place is very peaceful, or at least that's how I perceived it, especially due to the fact that it was nearly the closing time, there were far fewer tourists, compared to how many there were at the other monasteries, and we were able to enjoy the beauty the place without others like us.

Meteora Monasteries, Greece


Meteora is one of the most interesting and inspirational places I have seen in this wonderful world. It is a place that makes you feel richer, and the beauty of the complex was beyond my expectations. Also, if you have the opportunity, don't miss a guided tour of the entire area, at sunset, las details here.

I recommend, if you have the opportunity to come here, or if you are in the area, maybe even in Thessaloniki, do not hesitate and put this place on the bucket list. We didn't come to Greece specifically to visit Meteora either, but we stopped for two nights on our way to Zakynthos. We arrived in Kalambaka in the evening, we checked in, and the next day we explored, having more than enough time for the whole complex, and the next day we were on the road to the final destination.

In conclusion, Meteora is not just a place to visit. It is an opportunity for personal growth, self-discovery and appreciation for the beauties of this world.

Read about other great locations in Europe: Andalusia, Algarve or Thassos.

To be up to date with the latest posts, I invite you to subscribe to the newsletter, only your email address is required.

For more travel destinations and photos, you can follow me on Instagram.

Thanks for reading!

The photos and text are protected by copyright law.

This article contains affiliate links!

The author of this article is not responsible for the reader's choices, regardless of the negative or positive consequences of the actions taken by him after reading any page on this website!


bottom of page