top of page


Meteora it's an unforgettable place, between the magnificence of nature and the spirituality of the six ancient monasteries on the rock.

We leave Thessaloniki to go and see one of the wonders of Greece, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998: Meteora.

Its name means "suspended in the air" and perfectly symbolizes these magical monasteries suspended on very high rocks. The first hermits settled in the area around the 11th century to escape Turkish persecutions and after a few centuries, they began to erect these monasteries for their small communities, reaching a total of 24 buildings, of which only 6 remain today.

Monasteries of Varlamm and Gran Meteora

Kastraki, Iera Moni Barlaam, Gran Meteora

The road to Meteora is shorter from Thessaloniki than from Athens, but it is still 3 hours whether you go from inland or from the sea. The landscape along the way is flat, but luckily around 45 minutes before arrival, there are some beautiful and gentle hills, which in October become a carpet of magnificent autumn colors.

We decided to sleep in Kastraki to be close to the monasteries and experience the thrill of living and walking under the high rock formations that overshadow the village.

Although at 8 in the morning we were already on the march, we arrive in Meteora at about 11, and the time to see the monasteries is already short. We decide to immediately see the monastery of Iera Moni Barlaam (Varlaam), dedicated to Barlaam, the first monk who lived and built a place of prayer here.

This monastery offers a large chapel with beautiful frescoes, a panoramic terrace, an old barrel where they stored water, and a museum on the history of the place and its saints.

Here you can also see the first wooden staircase embedded in the rock which was used to place a second staircase and extend it upwards to reach the summit. This system was then replaced by long suspended ladders which were lowered and had a rope to withdraw them. There was also a system of ropes and nets to carry the less courageous and food. From under the rock, it is always an impossible undertaking, just the thought that the monks were able to climb in those conditions for over half an hour makes you dizzy. Fortunately, around 1920, work began to create stone steps that would reach the top more comfortably.

Magnificent is the view of the surrounding landscape and of the monastery itself from the surrounding rocks. We stop on the rocks to the right of the monastery, take our sandwich from the backpack and enjoy a lunch with a view like a king.

We continue on foot for 10 minutes towards the monastery of Great Meteora, the most ancient and solemn. Dominant over the surrounding area, in 1300 the organized monastic life of the Meteors originated in this monastery thanks to the saint Athanasius. You go up a long staircase over 500 meters high and you can visit the hermitage of Sant'Anastasio, the beautiful frescoed church, and the ancient kitchens. Here is the website of the monastery with its history

Returning to the car we stop at another panoramic point between the two monasteries and we remain to contemplate.

Monastery of Agios Stefanos, Agios Nikolaos

Monastery of Agios Stefanos, Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

We still have a few hours left and without wasting time we go to the Agios Stefanos Monastery. We had read about a suspension bridge and were expecting something incredible after the stairs and steps, while it is small and allows direct access for everyone. The complex is run by nuns and perhaps for this reason it is well-kept and elegant, with beautiful flowers and the scent of incense (which they sell together with honey, creams, and other products). The frescoes in the church are splendid and colorful. This complex was destroyed during World War 2, but luckily it was restored and returned to be inhabited in 1960.

We leave at 5.30 and enjoy the sunset from the viewpoints along the road; even if there are many tourists, it remains a unique spectacle and is an opportunity to meet new people who come from all over the world to enjoy the landscape.

The next day at 9.30 we are already at the entrance of the Agios Nikolaos Monastery, it is the closest to Kastri and has a beautiful path in the woods, which acts as a way of the cross, up to the vegetable gardens and the slopes of the rock. There are no tourists around and we can truly breathe the peace that monks experience. We climb the steps and enter what is the smallest monastery, but which remains more impressed by the atmosphere. A young monk lets us in and we see another intent on ironing. Space is limited and for this, we can go to their places of daily life. We learn that some areas are under renovation and that for this reason, the monks cannot sleep there at the moment. Here the church is very special, the frescoes are blackened by the smoke of the candles but it has something really intimate. On the top of the monastery, there is a terrace overlooking Kastri and other rocks where we see the ruins that we imagine were other ancient monasteries.

Monastery of Aghia Triada e di Rousanos - Santa Barbara

Monastery of Aghia Triada, Monastery of Rousanos

We continue the road and we stop at the Aghia Triada Monastery, of the Holy Trinity. This is the oldest of the monasteries that have survived to this day, erected in 1476. The walk to the entrance is one of the most exhausting, but the stairway carved into the rock creates a gorgeous cave effect. Furthermore, from here you can enjoy a privileged view over the valley.

The last of our visits is the Monastery of Rousanos - Santa Barbara. There are two entrances to access it, we chose the one from the side above with a suggestive walk in the forest to the entrance (it seems long but it is not at all). This is the second female convent and here too you can feel the meticulous organization and refinement. Wonderful is the structure of the monastery built on several spurs of rock, the garden, and the field of lawn with colored hives for bees. The nuns are very kind and explain to us some details, such as the instrument used for prayers and to dictate the day's activities.



To sleep we preferred Kastraki and we chose Batalogianni as accommodation, which offered a room overlooking the rocks, parking, and a restaurant. The breakfast was fantastic with lots of food and huge bowls of yogurt and honey.

From Kastraki there are also some trekking paths to the nearest monasteries.

To eat, we let ourselves be conquered by the colors of the Meteora Vavitsas Restaurant and the scent of grilled meat .. some kittens kept us company challenging each other for food.

Another option is to sleep in the village of Kalambaka, a few kilometers away, more city-sized with supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, and shops.


For 2 people we spent 60 euros to sleep and 40 euros to eat, dinner was more expensive than the standard prices in Greece but being a tourist area it was a good price. To add the price of petrol and the highway (if you take the road from Katerini).

Souvenirs: we bought something in every monastery :)


  • Women can only enter with long skirts up to the calves-ankles: we recommend a long dress or skirt, or bring a scarf to tie it to your waist ... but if you forget or don't have them you can get one on the spot with some euros at the Monastery of Iera Moni Barlaam (you will support the economy of the monastery and you will have a colorful souvenir) or we have seen that in others they were provided free of charge.

  • Check the opening hours and days of the monasteries to better organize your trip

  • Another useful website is

Itinerary in map:

Click here to see the map or use it during the trip



Do you want some advice?

We will be happy to help you 😉

bottom of page