Category Archive : 3 Days Tours

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

Description


Day 1: Arrive in Delphi at +/- 11:30.
Visit the famous “Temple Bank” of the ancient times, dedicated to the God Apollo, and see the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and in the archaeological Museum you will see fantastic Greek sculptures like the Sphinx, the famous athlete Aghias, the handsome Antinoos and the bronze Charioteer.

Day 2: The morning is free to explore the ancient site of Delphi. After lunch leave for Kalambaka through the town of Lamia. On the way, a short stop in Thermopylae, the place where the 300 Spartans (fought against the Persians) is in the plan, to see Leonidas Monument. Arrive in Kalambaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight.

Day 3: Visit Meteora, meaning “hanging from the sky”. It seems to be “suspended in the air”. You will visit two ageless Byzantine Monasteries and you will see unique specimens of Byzantine art. After lunch, return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

Days of departure & prices

The Delphi and Meteora tour operates April – October: Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & selected Fridays. CLICK and see the dates.

PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more? Our discounted prices, per adult, for this tour are:

Per person in 3 star hotel
– in double room with breakfast 225.00 €, or
– in double room with dinner and breakfast 270.00 €

The tour includes:

-1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalambaka in double room.
-2 breakfasts & 2 dinners
-The services of the professional Guide
-The entrance fees to Delphi site and the archaelogical museum are not included.
-Pick-up service from your hotel (see the list of hotels in the footer)
-Transportation with modern air-conditioned coach
-Taxes, except the hotel overnight tax.

Places visited


* The traditional village of Arachova.
* The modern Village of Delphi.
* The sanctuary with the temple of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi.
* The monument of Leonidas, the Spartan King, in Thermopylae.
* 2 monasteries are visited. One of them is the nunnery of St. Stephen.

* NB.The archaeological museum in Delphi is not visited in this tour. The museum is included in the 3 days Delphi – Meteora tour.

ORACLE OF APOLLO in DELPHI-the centre of the universe

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary. Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims visited here, from kings and philosophers to common people to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the ancient games held here, the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics.

The ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, and the stadium. DELPHI is one of the best archaeological sites in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed along the sacred way, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. The site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses of the City States, the ancient theatre, the stadium at the top of the hill, the gymnasium, and hippodrome. The sanctuary was built in an imposing location, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. The Temple of Apollo, the treasury house of the Athenians, the Polygonal wall, the treasury houses of the different city States — where treasures from all over Greece were kept, and the Theatre are some of the most important building.

The remaining part of the ancient site, bellow the road, with the temple of Athena Pronaia, the Tholos (a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored), the gymnasium and the sports facilities, used for training for the athletes that took part in the “Pythian or Delphian Games”, is not visited in the guided tours. Choose the tour without lunch and when the group is having lunch you can visit them on your own, without the tour guide.

Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started 1892, masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the famous athlete Aghias, the two “kouros” statues, the Roman “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

METEORA-THE ART OF NATURE

Beautiful rocks from another world embrace Kalambaka. The monuments are under the protection of UNESCO and are recorded as the second largest Monastic community after the Holy Mountain.
It’s a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks where the monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” from the 10th c. onwards. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. frescoes mark a key stage in the development of the post-Byzantine painting.
The monasteries at Meteora grew out of the need to avoid Turkish persecution during the occupation in the 14th c. Monks lived in caves in the rocks of Meteora since the 11th c. but the inaccessible peaks provided safety for Greek Orthodox monks. Over time a large number of hermitages and monasteries were built on these rocks, making Meteora the second largest monastic complex in Greece after Mount Athos.
Seeing the beautiful stone structure, surrounded by mist, is enough to make you understand why the monks and nuns selected this area for unceasing prayer. Today, from the many monasteries that existed, only six are open to the public: The monasteries of St. Nicholas Anapafsas, Grand Meteoron, Varlaam, Roussanou, Holy Trinity and St. Stephan. It is worth noting that the religious monuments mostly visited in Greece are the Holy Meteora.

“Here at these barren rocks thousands of orthodox monks learned wisdom, humility and morals“

Almost two million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.

contact us

Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message


In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

DELPHI – Centre of the universe

– One day guided tour to Delphi – museum and the site
– Two days to Delphi – Guided tour in slow pace
– Two days guided tour, visiting Delphi & Meteora
– Three days, guided tour, 1 night Delphi & 1 Meteora
– Three days, visit Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka
– 3 days, independent visit to Kalampaka & Delphi
– Delphi and the monastery of Osios Loukas (private tour)
– Delphi with lunch at the port of Itea (private tour)

ALL OPTIONS TO VISIT METEORA

– 2 days guided tour to Delphi(site only) & Meteora
– Include the Delphi museum in the tour above
– 3 days tour. One night in Delphi and one in Kalampaka
– 3 days Delphi & Meteora with an extra day in Kalampaka
– Visit Meteora on your own by train – Independent trip
– One day trip to Meteora. Train and 3 hours round by taxi
– 2 days in Kalampaka and One in Delphi, independently
– 2 days Meteora “Special”, with “Sunset” & “Morning” tours


  • MYCENAE-NAFPLION-EPIDAURUS

    One day tour to Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus
    – Two days guided tour of Argolis. Overnight in Nafplion
    – Morning tour to St. Paul’s Ancient Corinth (Apr-Oct)
    – Half day tour to Ancient Corinth and wine tasting (Apr-Oct)
    – Ancient Corinth, Nafplion, theatre of Epidaurus (private tour)
    – Tour to Ancient Corinth with lunch in Loutraki (private tour)

  • CLASSICAL TOURS OF GREECE

    – 3 days classical tour of Greece to historical sites
    – 4 days combining the classical tour with Meteora
    – Monday’s special. 4 days classical tour. Overnight in Nafplio
    – Monday’s special. Five days classical tour and Meteora
    – Two days, Olympia & Nafplion, Epidaurus (private tour)
    – Two days Delphi & Olympia (private tour)

  • TOURS TO OLYMPIA FROM ATHENS

    – 3 days – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi
    One day tour to Olympia (private tour)
    – 2 day to Olympia & Nafplion (private tour)
    – 2 day tour to Delphi & Olympia (private tour)
    – Visit Olympia on the intercity bus, 2 days/1 night


  • CRUISES TO THE GREEK ISLANDS

    – 1 Day Cruise – Hydra, Poros, Aegina, for 65.00 €
    – 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Santorini
    – 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Heraklion, Santorini
    – One day trip to Mykonos by ferry (July-Sept)

  • Choose your Hotel, but…

    let us do the reservation
    at a better rate than
    the rate that you have been quoted.

  • BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSFERS

    – On arrival, from the airport to the centre, 45.00 €
    – On departure, from your hotel to the airport, 35.00 €
    – From your hotel to the port of Pireaus, 20.00 €
    – From Piraeus to your hotel in Athens, 25.00 €
    – From your hotel to/from the port of Rafina, 40.00 €



The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

If you have two days to spare this is one of the most impressive places you will ever visit. Meteora is a flat plain where God in his great wisdom placed these giant rocks where monks could climb to the top to escape the world. These monks built impressive monasteries, some which could only be reached by ropes and pulleys, built and supplied by hauling material up in baskets. Today, Meteora, is one of the top tourist destinations in Greece. Doing a Delphi-Meteora trip is one of the most popular journeys.

Spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, the Meteora monasteries are among the most striking sights in Greece. The name Meteora (Μετεωρα) is Greek for “suspended in the air,” which perfectly describes these six remarkable Greek Orthodox monasteries. The sandstone peaks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, who clambered up the rocks to be alone with God. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability and revival of the hermit ideal; the first was Great Meteoron (c.1340) and there were 24 monasteries by 1500. They flourished until the 17th century but only six survive today; four of these still host monastic communities.

The nearest major town is Kalambaka (from the Turkish word for “pinnacle”), at the base of the Meteora, which has accommodation for overnight visitors as well as some medieval churches. Neighboring Kastraki has some accommodation as well. Alternatively, a guided day tour from Athens is a popular and easy way to visit. To visit all six in one day without joining a tour, begin with Ayiou Nikolaou Anapavsa, Varlaam and Great Meteoron before 1pm, break for lunch while the monasteries are closed, then see Roussanou, Ayias Triadhos and Ayiou Stefanou in the afternoon. A strict dress code is enforced: all shoulders must be covered, men must wear long trousers and women must wear long skirts.

The Meteora are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Six monasteries, open to the public today, built on natural sandstone rocks, over the town of Kalambaka. The 64 gigantic rocks, made of conglomerate, create a spectacle, unique worldwide.

There are several theories regarding the creation of these rocks. The prevailing theory is that one of the German geologist Philipson. According to Philipson, million of years ago the area was a huge lake and 3 rivers had their estuaries in this area. The rivers brought, stones and material, from central Europe. From the accumulation of these materials deltaic cones were formed.

About 30 million years ago, after geological changes that took place, the central part of today’s Europe was lifted the Alpes and the valley of Tempi were formed and an outlet for these waters to the Aegean Sea was created. During the time of the alpine mountain orogenesie, solid volumes of “rocks” were cut off from the mountain chain of Pindus and as the centuries went by, the plain of the river of Pinios was formed between them. Orogenesis refers to severe structural deformation of the Earth’s crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. The word “orogenesis” comes from the Greek (oros that means “mountain” and genesis for “creation” or “origin”). It is the mechanism by which mountains are built on continents. Orogenie develops while a continental plate is crumpled and thickened to form mountain ranges, and involve a great range of geological processes collectively called orogenesis.

Following the continuous corrosion by the wind, rain and other geological changes these rocks took their present form. A spectacle “unique” worldwide. At the cavities, fissures and peaks of these rock towers people found protection from enemies that invaded from time to time the area.

Some of these rocks reach 1800 ft or 550m above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors.

Hermits and anchorites found shelter on these rocks, seeking mental calmness and tranquillity, while praying and seeking for Christian perfection. According to the existing scripts monk hood is present from the 1st millennium. Initially the hermits were isolated, meeting on Sundays and special days to worship and pray not only for their salvation but also for the salvation of all people, in a small chapel that was built at the foot of a rock known as Doupiani. Their life was simple and the work hard.

According to scripts, Barnabas, the monk who established the cloister of the Holy Ghost is mentioned as the first hermit at 950-970 AD, followed by the monk Andronikos from Crete, who established the cloister of the Transfiguration of Jesus in the early 1000 AD. Later and around 1150-1160 AD the Cloister of Doupiani was established. Except the aforementioned cloisters others also existed in several cavities around the rock of Doupiani.

At the beginning of the 12th c. in the area of the Meteora a small ascetic state was formed, having as centre of worship the church of Mother of God extant until today at the north part of the rock of Doupiani. The hermits were flowing to this small church from their hermitages in order to perform their common worship, to discuss the several problems that concerned them and to ask for the help from other hermits in order to carry out the hard work. The leading man of the cloister of Doupiani had the title of the “first”.

Almost 200 years later, in the middle of the 14th c. the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mount was established by Holy Athanassios, who gave the big rock the name Meteoro. Since then all the rocks have this name.

During the 14th and 15th c. a time of great prosperity for the monk hood in the Meteora we have the creation of many more Monasteries and their number reaches 24. In the middle of the 14th c. monk Neilos, founded the Holy Monastery of Ascension (the Holy Monastery of Ypapanti-Candle Mass, today), and in 1517, Nectarios and Theophanes built the monastery of Varlaam, which was reputed to house the finger of St John and the shoulder blade of St Andrew.
Access to the monasteries was deliberately difficult.

The first hermits climbed up the rocks using scaffolds wedged in holes of the rocks. They felt safe from political upheaval and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. Later on, the only means of reaching the monasteries was by climbing ropes, windlass and long ladders, which were drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened.

The monastery of Varlaam has an extensive net and pulley system, from which rope nets are let down several hundred feet by a windlass, today used for lifting up provisions.

The ropes were replaced, as the monks say, only “when the Lord let them break”. In the 1920s the first steps were carved in the rocks. There is a common belief that St. Athanasius (founder of the first monastery) did not scale the rock, but was carried there by an eagle.

As years went by, under several difficulties, conquerors of the area, thieves’ raids and other factors, many of the flourishing Monasteries were abandoned (period of decline after the 17th c) and during World War II the site was bombed and many art treasures were stolen by the Germans.

Today, the tradition continues for over 600 years, uninterrupted in 6 monasteries, 4 inhabited by monks and 2 by nuns. According to popularity they are: the Monastery of the Great Meteoro, the Varlaam Monastery, the St Stephen Monastery, the Holy Trinity Monastery, the St Nicolas Anapafsas Monastery and the Roussanou Monastery. Each of them has fewer than 10 inhabitants.

Furthermore, with the generous efforts of the monks, the local Bishop Serafim and the contribution of the state, the E.U. and several citizens, more monasteries have been restored and maintained, such as:
1) The monastery of St Nicolas Badovas (dependent on the Holy Trinity monastery), and
2) Of Ypapanti-Candle Mass (dependent on the monastery of the Transfiguration or Great Meteoro).

We feel that the Meteora belong to everybody. This is your chance to see the “unique” spectacle and visit the monasteries.