The Meteora is the name of the six monasteries built on sandstone pillars in the municipality of Thessaly, Greece. The Egnatia Highway has brought the North and Western part of Greece closer and more accessible, so the Meteora are now a 2 hour 30 minute drive from Karavostasi.
The monasteries were built by monks who had already chosen to lead an ascetic life, and by the 14th century the threat to the Byzantine Empire from the Turks led these monks to build the monasteries on these high pillars. From the original monasteries 6 have survived time and wars. Originally, the only way to access the monasteries was by rope ladders or rope baskets. Now, all the monasteries are accessible by road.
The Holy Monastery of the Great Meteoron is the largest of the monasteries located at Metéora. It was erected in the mid-14th century. It is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus. Opening hours 09.00 – 17.00 (closed on Tuesdays)
The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in the Metéora complex. It was built in 1541 and is dedicated to All Saints. The old refectory is used as a museum while north of the church is the parekklisi of the Three Bishops. Opening hours 09.00 – 16.00 (closed on Mondays)
The Holy Monastery of Roussanou has received the name of the first probable hermit who settled on the rock but it is dedicated to the memory of Santa Barbara. It was founded at the end of the 16th century. It is one of the two monasteries which houses nuns, Opening hours 09:00 to 17:45 (closed on Wednesdays)
The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas is the first Monastery that we encounter on our way to the Holy Meteora and was founded at the end of the 14th century. Opening hours 09:00 to 15:30 (closed on Fridays)
The Monastery of Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) is the most difficult to reach, but the one with the greatest view. Visitors have to follow a pathway and then before they walk up the140 steps. The monastery’s main cathedral was constructed in the 15th century.Part of the Monastery was used as the setting for the final scenes of the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Opening hours 09:00 to 17:00 (closed on Thursdays).
The Monastery of St Stephen is the other monastery inhabited by nuns. The entrance of the monastery is over a small bridge. It dates back to the 12th century, and is the one monastery which has seen the most damage from wars. Opening hours 09:30 to 13:30 and from 15:30 to 17:30 (closed on Mondays)
Caves, gorges, paths ruined monasteries are all among the other “musts” at the Meteora. A day out at the Meteora can be filled with fun. Hiking, cycling, touring – make this a place to add to your bucketlist on your trips here.