During my solo trip through Greece I fell from one surprise into another. This country touched me so much! Not only because of the lovely people, delicious Greek food and beautiful nature: Greece is simply one big historical scene. I traveled through the northern mainland and stumbled upon something I had never heard of at the time: Meteora. As an UNESCO World Heritage Site, it attracts many tourists every day. I decided to take a different approach and stay here for a few days. Because even at the first step there among the high rocks, I was sold: Meteora is magical.
Meteora Greece: an impressive historical sight in Northern Greece
When I arrived in the nearby village of Kalampaka, my mouth fell open in amazement. Natural sandstone towers were raised by landslides and formed by erosion into tall rocks rising from the ground. A picture to dream away at. But there is more. Because on top of those rocks, high in the Greek sky, are monasteries. In the 14th century, with nets on ropes and long wooden ladders, the first monastery was built on the rocks, followed by 23 others. Today, only 6 of the 24 remain in reasonable condition, some of which are still inhabited by monks.
The monasteries of Meteora
The remaining monasteries in Meteora can now be visited. I visited three, all equally beautiful, with their own stories.
Monastery Agios Stefanos
Agios Stefanos: the only monastery visible from the village of Kalambaka. The monastery was built in the 16th century, today it is a nunnery.
The oldest, largest and highest (623 meters) monastery is Mega Meteoron. Through 115 steps I reach the entrance, from where I enter a beautiful monastery furnished as a museum. So I find old churches, beautiful murals, beautiful views and a room full of skulls.
The monastery of Rousanou
Through a path with 140 steps, I reach the monastery of Roudsanou, also called Agia Varvara and inhabited by nuns. With adorable gardens and fantastic views of Meteora, this is a great place to stay.
Hiking in Meteora
Many tourists come here only for one day to visit some of the monasteries. Too bad, because there is much more! Take an extra day or two and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, where you not only imagine yourself in the green Greek landscape, but also have several views of Meteora. A picture that many miss, but which allowed me to have the entire area all to myself.
With a small group of hikers, I walk through the green forest. Around us, small turtles move forward agonizingly slowly. We walk up the mountain. Monasteries we do not yet see. Until we rise above the trees. The views over the Greek mountains are fantastic. It is almost mid-day and the heat is getting worse. We walk a little further through the wilderness. Until we see the monasteries. And we plopped down in the grass after a four-hour walk. And let our eyes do the rest.
Where to stay in Meteora Greece?
Most travelers visit Meteora on a day trip from anywhere in Greece. As the morning progresses, more and more large tour buses are also popping up on the road in front of the monasteries. A shame, because it is well worth spending a few days here. This way, you can soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the beautiful sunsets and sunrises, take walks and see just a little more than in just one day. I stayed in Alsos House: highly recommended!
I intensely enjoyed my stay in Meteora and even got my parents to come and visit this beautiful part of Greece a year later as well. Would love to go back again. Because among the high rocks, in the green Greek forest, there is much more magic to discover.