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215 215 9814

The Stunning Monasteries of Meteora Greece

January 31, 20244 min read.

As explained in the previous article, Meteora or The Monasteries of Meteora, can be found in the area located north of Kalambaka.

The Monasteries proudly stand on gigantic greyish rocks that rise as pillars next to the valley of the Peinios river. On top of these almost inaccessible rocks and at a height of approximately 600 meters, there are many monasteries, present since the 14th century. Now, what does the term "Meteora" mean?

Definition of Meteora, the Hanging Monasteries of Greece

Meteora literally means "suspended in the air." In the 11th century, some ascetics (from asceticism, the philosophical and religious doctrine that seeks to purify the spirit through the denial of material pleasures or abstinence) began to settle in this area, but the monasteries, located on the precipices formed by these giant vertical rocks, flourished in the 16th century - after the wars Between the Serbian and Byzantine empires. At that time, in order to make them even more inaccessible, they put in place rope ladders or rudimentary pulley hoists, which are still in use today to carry supplies.

At the height of their prosperity, between the XV and XVI centuries, there were up to 24 monasteries, decorated lavishly by important artists, linked to the monastic group of Mount Athos, and with beautiful frescoes and icons.

After a long period of decline, caused in many cases by the rivalry between the different monastic communities, only a few monasteries could finally be kept open and still in operation.

The best time to visit Meteora largely depends on your preferences and the type of experience you're seeking. Here are considerations for different seasons:

Best Time to Visit Meteora

Spring (April to June)

Spring brings blooms and lush greenery, enhancing the natural beauty surrounding the monasteries. Mild temperatures make it comfortable for exploration without the intense heat of summer.

Summer (July to August)

Summer offers long daylight hours, providing ample time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. It's a popular time for tourists, so expect more crowds. However, the warm weather is ideal for outdoor adventures.

Autumn (September to November)

Similar to spring, autumn boasts mild temperatures, making it pleasant for exploring without the summer heat. Also, tourist numbers start to decrease after summer, allowing for a more relaxed experience.

Winter (December to March)

Meteora takes on a magical appearance with snow-covered landscapes, providing a unique and serene atmosphere. Besides, winter is the least busy time, offering a tranquil experience. However, some monasteries may have reduced hours or closures, so check in advance.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Meteora depends on your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and the overall experience you desire. Each season offers its own unique charm, ensuring a memorable visit to this extraordinary destination.

Operating Hours of Monasteries in Meteora

For those planning a visit to the monasteries in Meteora, it's essential to be aware that operational hours differ across these sacred sites. The following schedule provides a general overview for your convenience. In the event of specific inquiries, it is recommended to contact the relevant monastery.

  1. Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) of Christ (Great-Meteoron)

    • Hours: 09:00-15:00
    • Closed: Tuesday
  2. Holy Monastery of Varlaam

    • Hours: 09:00-16:00
    • Closed: Friday
  3. Holy Monastery of Saint Stephen

    • Hours: 09:00-13:30 and 15:30-17:30
    • Closed: Monday
  4. Holy Monastery of Holy Trinity

    • Hours: 10:00-16:00
    • Closed: Thursday
  5. Holy Monastery of Rousanou

    • Hours: 10:00-16:00
    • Closed: Wednesday
  6. Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas

    • Hours: 09:00-17:00
    • Open: Every day

Please note that these timings are subject to change based on the operating days and times of each respective monastery. For precise details or specific requests, it is advisable to directly contact the relevant monastery.

Additionally, be aware that local holidays or events may influence the opening hours. Plan accordingly to make the most of the visit and immerse in the historical and spiritual richness of these remarkable monastic establishments.

Visiting Meteora: Conclusion

Meteora beckons, promising a journey unlike any other. Explore the spiritual tapestry of this unique destination, where history, culture, and nature converge to create lasting memories.

Your Meteora adventure awaits!

What is the best monastery to visit in Meteora?

The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron claims its spot as the "greatest" among Meteora's monasteries, being the largest, highest, and oldest in the region. Positioned on a cliff above Varlaam, it offers a stunning view of the surrounding rock formations.

Can you wear jeans to Meteora monasteries?

When visiting Meteora's monasteries, adhere to the dress code. Men must wear long pants, avoiding sleeveless shirts, while women need long skirts and covered shoulders. These guidelines honor the sanctity of the spaces and contribute to a respectful exploration.

What is better Meteora or Delphi?

Delphi, a crucial site in ancient Greece, and Meteora, with its monasteries perched on unique rock formations, are essential stops on any Greek itinerary. A tour from Athens seamlessly connects these cultural gems, ensuring a rich travel experience.

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