Meteore Greece

Meteore Greece: Guide to Visiting the Monasteries

The Meteora Monasteries are absolutely unmissable during your trip to Greece, here we can better understand their location through the map . In fact, it is in fact one of the largest and most important monastery complexes in Greece, and in 1988 it entered the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites . So, mark Meteore on the map of Greece, and come with us to visit this extraordinary place! In this article we will discover their history and the most important monasteries. Enjoy the reading!

The Meteor Monasteries in Brief, Useful Info

AddressMeteora, Greece
How to getFrom Athens : Drive on the E75, and at Thermopylae take the E65 in the direction of Larissa. Then follow the signs for Tricca and continue on the E92 to Kalambaka.
From Thessaloniki : Take the E75 in the direction of Larissa. Then continue on the E92 to Tricca and follow the signs for Kalambaka.
Price€3 for each monastery
AdviseArrive in the morning to be able to visit all the monasteries calmly.

Where are the Meteors found?

As seen from the Greece Meteore map, the Monasteries are located in Meteora , in northern Greece. Reachable by exiting the Via Egnazia, near Kalambaka , the location is therefore among the first mountainous offshoots to the north-west of the Thessaly Plain .

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Read also: Where to stay in Meteora and what to do there

Geography of Meteors, What They Are

Meteora means “rocks in the air” due to the presence of enormous natural rock pillars that rise in the Peneus Valley . Furthermore, monasteries , also called meteors, were built along the walls of these pillars . Some are in ruins and others have been destroyed, but 6 of them are still intact and can be visited, offering breathtaking views .

Therefore, immersed between history and nature, the Meteore Monasteries therefore offer an extraordinary sense of peace and tranquility.

History of Meteors

In Greece the Meteors retain a history rich in charm and spirituality. In fact, even today everything is about contemplation, elevation and isolation. Born as a place of spiritual retreat , an organized monastic state was founded here which quickly became a pilgrimage destination.

So, let’s see the main stages in the history of the Greek Meteors!

Read also: The History of Greece »

The origins

The current area of ​​Meteora Greece remained uninhabited until the 9th century , when the first Christian hermits occupied the caves that are wedged into the sides of these rocks. In fact, they were looking for an unattainable place where they could contemplate Nature and get in touch with God, far from wars and medieval political life.

Meteore Greece

Foundation and Development of the Meteor Monasteries

However, about three centuries passed before the foundation of a real monastic community. In fact, in the 12th century the anchorite monks founded a community of ascetics, and starting from the 14th century the first places of worship were built. Therefore, 24 monasteries were built which in Ottoman times also served as a refuge against persecution. In fact, their spectacular position made access impossible, which occurred exclusively via long rope ladders or baskets that were hoisted with pulleys.

The Meteors Today

Today, of the 24 monasteries only 6 remain, but they are decidedly fascinating and evocative. They are still an active place of worship and, therefore, it is necessary to visit them in due silence and with the utmost respect. Furthermore, less than 10 monks live in each Meteora monastery , and 4 of them are inhabited by both men and women. Finally, even today in some cases the climb is not so easy. In fact, you have to walk along long stairways carved into the sides of the rock, and cross small bridges that overlook the deepest void.

The Meteor Monasteries

So, after having consulted the Meteore Greece Monasteries map, let’s go and see which are the 6 monasteries that can be visited today!

Agios Nikolaos

The first monastery in Meteora that you come across, along the hairpin bends that go up from Kastraki, is that of  Ágios Nikólaos Anapausas  or  Saint Nicholas Anapasa , on top of an 80 meter rock formation. It can be reached via a path made up of 143 steps plus a staircase carved into it with a further 85 steps.

Furthermore, the Meteora Greece monastery is built on two levels to take advantage of the little space available. Therefore, on the first level you will find a tiny chapel with frescoes from the 14th century, while on the second the decoration from 1527 is the work of the founder of the Cretan school Teophanis Strelitzas , also known as Theophan of Crete .Meteore Greece

NameAgios Nikolaos Monastery
How to getFrom Kastraki you reach the car park under the monastery, from which the stairs lead to the top.
TimetablesFrom 9:00 to 16:00 – Closed on Fridays


The Monastery of Roussànou , dedicated to Saint Barbara, also dates back to the mid-14th century  . Its walls perfectly continue the sheer profile of the rock below, as in an immense column. The monastery is inhabited and managed exclusively by women , while female visitors can only enter with covered shoulders and a long skirt, just as men must have their knees covered.

The building covers the entire surface of the peak, and can therefore be reached via steps and two small bridges built only in the twentieth century.

NameRoussanou Monastery
How to getCross the bridge that leads to the monastery from another rocky peak.
TimetablesFrom 10:00 to 16:00 (summer)
From 09:00 to 14:00 (winter)
Closed on Wednesdays


Built in 1542, the  Varlaam Monastery  was instead the seat of the most important  scriptorium  in Meteora Greece. Its amanuensis tradition is demonstrated by the manuscripts displayed in its museum . The monastery takes its name from the monk who, in the mid-14th century, chose the site to build a church and some cells. However, two centuries later the complex was refounded and took on the appearance it still retains today.

Meteore Greece
NameVarlaam Monastery
How to getClimb the 135 steps that lead from the car park to the monastery.
TimetablesFrom 09:00 to 16:00 (summer)
From 09:00 to 15:00 (winter)
Closed on Thursdays and Fridays

Great Meteora

The largest and highest monastery of all is the  Mégalo Méteoro Monastery  or Monastery of the Transfiguration. Commonly called Great Meteora, it was built in the mid-14th century on the foundation stone placed by San Attanasio, coming from Mount Athos. From here those who don’t suffer from vertigo can look out to enjoy a truly breathtaking view.


NameGran Meteora Monastery
How to getReachable by climbing about a hundred steps.
TimetablesFrom 09:00 to 15:00 (summer)
From 09:00 to 14:00 (winter)
Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Agia Triad

the oldest monastery is Agia Triada . Built in 1476, it stands majestically on top of a rock tower of about 400 meters and from which you can enjoy one of the best views of Thessaly and the other Meteore monasteries. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity , it can also be reached thanks to the 140 steps carved into the rock.

Finally, splendid frescoes from the 17th century are preserved inside , while the important manuscripts were raided during the Second World War.

Meteore Greece
NameAgia Triada Monastery
How to getWalk up the sculpted staircase made up of 140 steps.
TimetablesFrom 09:00 to 17:00 (summer)
From 10:00 to 16:00 (winter)
Closed on Thursdays

Agios Stefanos

Finally, on the south-eastern tip of Meteora stands the Monastery of Agios Stefanos . This is the only Meteora monastery that cannot be reached by stairs. In fact, you can get to the top via a small suspension bridge . Located right above Kalambaka, it has been an exclusively female monastery since 1961 and preserves 2 small churches built on the model of those on Mount Athos.

Meteore Greece
NameMonastery of Agios Stefanos
How to getWalk across the small bridge that connects the car park and the monastery.
TimetablesFrom 09:00 to 13:20 and from 15:30 to 17:30 (summer)
From 09:30 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00 (winter)
Closed on Mondays

Visit to the Meteors, FAQ

How to get to Meteora in Greece?

To get to the Grecia Meteore Monasteries you need to go to Kalambaka . In fact, the town can be easily reached from both Athens and Thessaloniki.

How do you get to the top of Meteora in Greece?

The Meteora Monasteries can only be reached on foot. In fact, stairways and bridges that connect the different rock formations.

How do you reach the Meteora Monasteries?

The town of Meteora can be reached by car, but the visitable Meteore monasteries are all within walking distance.

How did Meteora originate in Greece?

Meteora in Greece was founded in the 12th century by anchorite monks who were looking for an isolated place in which to profess their faith, pray and meditate. In fact, even today Meteora is a very important place of worship for the Orthodox Christian faith.

What to visit in Greece near Meteora?

Near Meteora you can visit the beautiful town of Kalambaka. To the north lies the city of Thessaloniki and the splendid Halkidiki Peninsula.

How long does it take to visit Meteora?

If you want to visit the Meteora Greece Monasteries in one day, consider about 1 and a half hours for each monastery. Furthermore, if you intend to visit all the monasteries at your leisure, we recommend taking advantage of two full days.

What are the opening hours of the Meteor Monasteries?

The Monasteries have different opening hours. We therefore recommend that you find out about the opening of all facilities before your visit.

What to bring when visiting Meteora?

For a visit to the Meteora Monasteries in Greece we recommend bringing a bottle of water to hydrate during the walks to reach them and a windbreaker in case of rain.

Which visits should you combine with the Meteora Monasteries?

We recommend the visit during a tour of Greece. In fact, we suggest you combine visits to Delphi, Athens and Classical Greece on the Peloponnese Peninsula.

Our advice for visiting Meteora

We recommend arriving in Kalambaka the evening before, so as to dedicate the entire following day to visiting the monasteries. Furthermore, we recommend bringing a scarf or sarong with you to cover your shoulders and knees when accessing the monasteries.

Click the button and find all search platforms and book your next trip yourself.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also:Olympia in Greece – Complete guide to visit the archaeological site of Olympia and its museums

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