Meteora – Greece

Meteora is a complex of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries set on the natural rock pillars of the area. It’s a fascinating place to visit not only for the history and spirituality but also the breathtaking landscape.

Surprisingly Meteora does not really feature in Ancient Greek history. The first documented inhabitants in the ninth century AD were hermit monks, occupying the caves of the area, some scarily high up, living a life of solitude and prayer. The monasteries came later due to Ottoman attacks leading the monks to build high up. It really is mind blowing to see how high up the monasteries are, when you consider that the stairs you see today were only put in recently, and when they were built they would be reached by wooden ladders or being pulled up in a net!

Of the original 24 monasteries, 6 still remain and although there are few monks and nuns still in residence the income they generate is and important for the local area.

Our visit to Meteora was organised through Visit Meteora, they organised the trains from Thessaloniki to Meteora and then on to Athens via Delphi. We felt very well looked after and when the trains were on strike on the day we were due to get the train to Delphi they organised a last minute mini bus to take us instead.

What we did:

Sunset Tour

Starting at around 3pm the tour covers a lot of the history of the area as well as driving to most of the monasteries. We were lucky that it was very quiet when we were there and we had quite a lot of places to ourselves. We visited some of the original caves, one of the monasteries, an Orthadox church which was beautiful inside, stopped for photos at some of the amazing viewpoints and finished at a viewpoint for watching the sunset. Unfortunately there wasn’t a sunset the day we were there as it was too cloudy but because of that, where there could have been up to 200 people watching the sun go down, there was only 7 of us on our tour, 2 people in a campervan and a cat. The tour guide was incredibly informative and as it was a small tour the were flexible around the weather. The mini bus driver was also a great photographer.

Half Day Sightseeing Tour

This morning tour took us to 3 of the bigger monasteries, more amazing viewpoints and The old Chapel of Doupiani. Again our guide was very informative. We had time in each of the monasteries to look around at our own pace and interestingly they all are very different inside and each have a very different feel. Varlaam has a new museum which is fascinating and shows some of the history of the monasteries and religious artefacts. Each of the monasteries has it’s own chapel which beautifully decorated in Eastern Orthodox style.

What you need to know about visiting Meteora:

  • The tour guides aren’t allowed to deliver tours inside the monasteries so you are free to explore at your own pace.
  • There is an entrance fee of a few euros per person for each monastery.
  • There is a dress code for the monasteries; men should have covered shoulders and wear trousers or shorts that cover their knees. Women need to cover their shoulders and wear a skirt, even if they are wearing trousers. Wraps are available to buy at all the monasteries where you buy your ticket and a wrap around your waist is sufficient.
  • Some the monasteries have toilets but they are hole in the ground basic.
  • There are a lot of steps up to the monasteries so you will need a reasonable level of fitness.
  • You are allowed to take photos in the monasteries but not in any of the chapels.

Where to stay:

There are two main towns near to the monastery complex; Kalambaka and Kastraki. Kalambaka is the larger of the two towns but both are close to the monasteries and have a good selection of accommodation and places to eat.

There is accommodation for all budgets, everything from camping and hostels to luxury hotels. We stayed at Dellas Boutique Hotel, our review of the hotel is here.


There is a wide range of food options. We ate at the Panorama restaurant with amazing views over the rocks and Kalambaka, had pizza delivered to the hotel one night and in one of the smaller restaurants in the square in Kalambaka. Everything was delicious.


We visited at the beginning of April and the weather was chilly at times even when it was sunny. We were glad that we had taken warm coats for the evenings.

We visited Meteora in April 2022 when Pip was 9.

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