Tag Archive : delphi and meteora

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

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


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:
……

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.


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.

 

Meteora - St Stephan nunnery

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

Departures & prices


The Delphi and Meteora tour operates April – October: Mon, Wed, Thu & selected Saturdays. CLICK and see the dates.
From November – March this tour operates ONLY on Wednesdays.

However, we believe that one day in Kalampaka is not enough. Give your tour an extra day – it will not be wasted and you will not regret it. April – October depart on Wednesday and return on Friday. You follow the guided groups on Wednesday and Friday, and on Thursday you explore Meteora on your own, otherwise, CLICK HERE and see our 3day/ 2nights tour by train, spending 1 night in Kalambaka and 1 in Delphi.

PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour to Meteora at different prices. We believe that our price 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. However, don’t take our word for it; go ahead and compare our discounted prices:

HOTEL
DOUBLE ROOM
SINGLE ROOM
3* Kosta FAMISSI – with breakfast
120.00 + entrance fees (12.00, 6.00 or 0 €)
142.00 + entrance fees (12.00, 6.00 or 0 €)
3* ORFEAS – half board
135.00 + entrance fees (12.00, 6.00 or 0 €)
165.00 + entrance fees (12.00, 6.00 or 0 €)
4* AMALIA or GRAND METEORA – half board
170.00 + entrance fees (12.00, 6.00 or 0 €)
includes complimentary arrival transfer
215.00 + entrance fees (12.00, 6.00 or 0 €)
includes complimentary arrival transfer

APPLICABLE ENTRANCE FEES:
JANUARY – DECEMBER, Juniors under 19 and E.U. students, are allowed free of charge.
JANUARY – DECEMBER, students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65, pay 6.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pays 6.00 €, and from APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pays 12.00 €

We offer the tours without the entrance fees. We have clients that because of age, occupation, etc. are allowed to enter sites & museums free. Juniors under 19, Students of E.U. Universities, Cultural card holders, Journalists with a journalist identity card, Schools of Tourist Guides, are allowed to walk into ancient sites and Museums, free of charge, while between November – March everybody pays 50% of the regular entrance fee.

* The hotels we use are: 3* Hotel KOSTA FAMISI or 3* Hotel ORFEAS and 4* hotel AMALIA(Thu & Sat) or Hotel GRAND METEORA(Mon & Wed)
* Our offers are real. No hidden costs. If they sound interesting read the “4 steps to book” in the footer and start communication.

THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE:
– transportation in modern, air conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near it (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
(This service is from hotels in central Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens).
– Entrance fees to the 2 monasteries open on the day that you visit Meteora.
– Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour.
– 1 night hotel accommodation in the hotel of your choice.
– All taxes except the hotel night tax of 1.50 €(in 3* hotel) – 3.00 € per room, per night(in 4*star hotel)
– No hidden costs or surcharges. We offer the best price and we assure you that you ‘ll have a great tour.

NB:Lunches on both days are not included. The bus stops at local restaurants, but the lunches are extra.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) Share a triple room with a friend and save 5% on the double room rate.
b) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%, or
c) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save.
# SUBMIT your booking request form 4 months before the tour departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 €, p.p.
# TWO MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blog:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price compared to the other travel companies. Is this a scam? Well, it was not a scam and the complimentary arrival transfer was true. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa in Syntagma at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL. Read more in the testimonials section…

Places visited


* Arachova
* The modern Village of Delphi
* The sanctuary ofApollo and Oracle of Delphi
* The archaeological Museum of Delphi

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.
The ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, and the stadium, while the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia consists of the best known landmark (the THOLOS = a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored), the gymnasium and the rest of the sports facilities, used for training during the “Pythian Games”.
Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive MUSEUM, displaying findings from the local excavations that started 1892. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors such as the famous Charioteer, the statue of handsome Antinoos, the two “kouros” brothers statues, the Roman OMFALOS, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many more.

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 visitored in Greece are the Holy Meteora.

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

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

Itinerary

DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30am and, traffic allowing, it departs from the terminal in the centre of Athens at 08.30am.
Passing by THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short rest room stop) and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI, the famous “Temple-Bank”, at +/- 11.30am.
Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks to be “the centre of the universe”. With the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.

13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA for Kalampaka with a short photo stop at THERMOPYLAE, the site of the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers against the huge Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place. Arrival at your hotel in Kalampaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight in Kalambaka.(Dinner is optional).

DAY 2: 08.15 After breakfast on the way o METEORA, you pass by a local art studio where you learn about the technique of painting of the icons and what an icon means for a Greek Orthodox Christian.
You then drive up to the rocks and visit two of the monasteries that are open on that day.
12:30 Return to Kalambaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return to Athens and arive in Athens between 19.30 – 20.00.

Time Tour Plan & Services
8:30 Hotel pick up startsat 07.30am and depart from the terminal at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break outside Levadia you arrive in modern Delphi village
11:45 Follow the professional tour guide, and visit the ancient sanctuary site
13:45 Proceed for lunch at a local restaurant (optional).
15:00 Continue to Kalanbaka via Thermopylae(photo stop), Lamia, Karditsa & Trikala.
19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Check-in the hotel and (optional) dinner at 19.30
08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS, and visit the icon exhibition
09:00 Drive to Meteora and visit 2 monasteries (entrance fees included).
12:00 Have lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price)
14:00 Start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00

4 STEPS TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE

Map

Tour options

For centuries the towers of sandstone, provided totally inaccessible retreats for the monks. Meteora is one of the most beautiful areas of mainland Greece and the monasteries are one of the country’s most unique attractions. Join one of the following tours and visit Meteora.

GUIDED TOURS IN SHARED BUSES

 

Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
Guided tour in shared bus
Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
1 night Delphi, 1 night Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
2 nights in Kalambaka
Guided tour in shared bus
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
Guided tour in shared bus

 

INDEPENDENT TRIPS TO METEORA BY TRAIN

 
Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
Independent train trip and taxi tour
Train trip Athens-Kalambaka-Athens & private taxi tour
1 day Meteora, train & shared bus
Independent train trip
Train & tour of Meteora in shared bus
Independent train trip
Train ticket & hotel
Train ticket, hotel, Sunset & morning tour

FAQs

QUESTION: How many hours do we stay at the ancient site in Delphi. ANSWER: You spend 1.30 hour in the ancient site of Delphi.
QUESTION: Is there any free time, or is it all guided? ANSWER: There is free time but I suggest you break from the group as early as possible. The tour doesn’t go to the top of the mountain to see the Delphi stadium.
AT METEORA: You spend about 1 hour in each monastery but there is no need to break early.
Appropriate clothing is required to visit the Monasteries and nunneries. Skirts below the knees for ladies and long trousers for gentlemen.
The monasteries/nunneries provide wrappings that the visitors can wear them over their clothing before entering.
FREE TIME: After the guide takes you around, you have enough time to see whatever is left to see.
AT DELPHI, the 2 day tour to Meteora meets the 3 day classical tour, and the tour company usually moves guests travelling to Meteora onto another bus and they proceed to Kalambaka and visit Meteora together.
For the 2 day tour to Delphi and Meteora clients: The restaurant in Delphi is 3 km after the modern Delphi village. If you decide to take the tour without lunch, you can ask the tour leader to drop you at the entrance of modern Delphi, and +/- 1 hour later to pick you up from the same point for the return to Athens.

CANCELATIONS If you cancel 7 days before the departure, there is no cancellation penalties.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 days before the departure, there is a 50 % cancellation penalty.
If you cancel within 2 days of the departure, there is a 100 % cancellation penalty.

Read more about Athens to Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Trip 2019 – https://www.viator.com/tours/Athens/2-Day-Trip-to-Delphi-and-Meteora-from-Athens/d496-31408A?mcid=56757

Testimonials

littlebluekingfisher, Bangalore, Re: Astoria Travel, Jan 14
My family and I are just back from a wonderful trip to Greece. I’d done some research and bookings before I ran into a brick wall trying to book train tickets to Meteora. Searching around I found a note by another traveller on Tripadvisor, who’d had exactly the same problem and stumbled on Astoria Travel. He’d had a great experience with them and recommended them highly. So I contacted Kosta at Astoria, and am blessing my stars that I did so!
If we had a good, sensibly planned trip in which we saw as much as we could without being run ragged, it was thanks to Kosta. Over the course of several emails he helped refine my plans; even to the extent of arranging to hire a taxi from Delphi to Levadia railway station to catch the train from there to Kalampaka and not lose a day.
He also arranged our train and ferry tickets (to Santorini) — getting the latter at a cheaper rate than that quoted on the web! I wish we’d done our hotel bookings through him too, as according to people that we met in Greece, he got them good rooms at the hotel that we all stayed at lower than the rates that we were found through www.booking.com

I visited them at their office in Athens. It was impressive to see that Astoria Travel has been in business since 1958, and through experience have been able to attune their services and offerings to a very wide range of traveller indeed. Their list of contacts is vast, which worked helpfully in our favour: Kosta just picked up the phone and got a taxi to pick us up at Kalampaka station (paying no more than the normal rates, despite being booked ahead).
Moreover, they are a family-run concern, so their levels of friendliness, personalisation of services and traveller support is several notches higher than what a more impersonal agency could provide.
I would highly recommend Astoria Travel not just for booking tickets, tours and hotels, but for help and advice in planning your holiday as well. He graduated from a University in South Africa, his English is excellent and he is highly knowledgeable and courteous.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From: https://travelbunny8.blogspot.com/2016/07/greece-4-days-classical-greece-tour.html
(Visit the excellent blog site, read the description and comments)

If you wish to see the major sights of mainland Ancient Greece including UNESCO listed ancient site of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora monasteries, then I recommend you to join a 4 Day Classical Greece Tour.
The tour departs from Athens and returns to Athens.

5 UNESCO World Heritage Site in 4 days. I have to warn you that 4 out of the 5 World Heritage Site are in ruins. The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/

However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL http://www.astoria.gr/price-tours-classical-4day.html that can be contacted at athens@astoriatravel.gr. I e-mailed Mr. Kosta and since I booked the tour through him in 4 star hotels, I got a free arrival transfer offer to my hotel. Actually, Kosta himself, came to the airport and took us to the hotel.

After browsing through the web, I found that Astoria Travel offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! I even book my first two night in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (very near Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through Astoria Travel.

I took the First Class package as the price difference was not much compared to the Tourist Class package and the complimentary airport transfer sounded attractive. During the tour, some of my fellow travelers took the Tourist Class package. Frankly, I don’t think there was much of a difference compared to the First Class hotels. In fact, the Tourist Class hotels were located nearer to the town centre while the First Class hotels were located at quieter locations outside the towns providing small luxuries (swimming pools, good dinners and breakfasts, etc.)

After checking in the hotel, you can actually explore the town of Kalampaka and don’t miss the 9th century church at Kalampaka. The church is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel.

The tour includes visits to two of the six monasteries of Meteora.

As the tour group was small, we got to know each other pretty quickly.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
tinghq, melbourne, posts 60, reviews 8. Re: Astoria Travel

Just came back from 2 days Delphi and Meteora tour arranged by Kosta. He gives such good service with fast replies and issuing of vouchers. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring and courteous.ery trust worthy. There were 6 of us going on the tour and on the morning of the tour, he personally came by and make sure we got on the tour! Great discount for the tour and we did save €’s by booking with him rather than direct with tour company or Viator. On the bus we met and became good friends with a couple that bought their tour from Viator and we could compare prices and services for the same tour in the same hotel. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring and courteous. His English is excellent, he is very experienced, extremely helpful and proud of Greek history and Greek culture.


In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sound 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.

 

Following the paths of monks to Meteora

Meteora is a complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries built on natural sandstone pillars. Today four monasteries and two nunneries are open to the public.

Meteora today

If there is one place that you must visit is Meteora in central Greece. This huge Eastern Orthodox monastic complex is unlike anywhere else in the world – and despite how overused this phrase is nowadays, at Meteora it means the exact picture. If the unearthly landscape of massive pillar-like mountains and columns weren’t striking enough, monks went ahead and built huge monasteries ON TOP of them 800 years ago. 6 of them are still working monasteries nowadays and are open to the public if you are willing to make the trek up to them.

A view from Meteora is spectacular no matter where you stand, and it will make even the most seasoned traveler to say “wow”. Greece is full of spectacular sites, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one more unique and with so many fabulous views as in Meteora. The World Heritage monasteries of Meteora, in the middle of Greece, are one of the most extraordinary sights.

Meteora map

Meteora map

Built on top of huge pinnacles of smooth rocks, the monasteries provided monks with peaceful havens from increasing bloodshed as the Byzantine Empire waned at the end of the 14th c. The earliest monasteries were reached by climbing removable ladders. Later, windlasses were used so monks could be hauled up in nets, a method used until the 1920s. Apprehensive visitors enquiring how often the ropes were replaced were told ‘When the Lord lets them break’.

These days access to the monasteries is by steps hewn into the rocks and the windlasses are used only for hauling up provisions.

Don’t miss this unique place at this special price!

Monasticism at Meteora


The Monasticism at the Holy Meteora and its living witness over the centuries
The monks’ love of God and of monasticism and asceticism formed the impetus for this miraculous way of life on the rugged spires of the plain of Thessaly. Monasticism is the highest calling and the path that leads most directly to holiness. It is the complete devotion of the human person to the triune God. It is the imitation of the angels in divine love, chant, obedience and the ministry of souls, which is why it was called ‘equal to the angels’ and an ‘angelic state’. The entire life of a monk consists in fully opening the heart to God and keeping His commandments, in constantly striving for sanctification and praying continually. Whether working, studying or in the stillness of prayer, the monk is unceasingly crying out to the Lord in the heart with the brief prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us”.

Over the centuries the Meteora monasteries were seed-beds of holiness for a multitude of monks, a bastion of faith and civilization, treasuries of the values and virtues of the Greek Orthodox spirit. Here, the unparalleled natural wealth of Meteora coexists in absolute harmony with discreet human intervention; intense spiritual striving and devotion to God is juxtaposed with a love of beauty and culture; the harsh ascetic way of life stands side by side with the refinement of art and artistic creativity, with the sole purpose of glorifying the Creator.

The monks’ ascetic struggles were characterised by heroism, their spirituality by a spirit of self-sacrifice, self-denial and support to the troubled souls who sought refuge in these strongholds of Orthodoxy. Thus the monasteries of Meteora became the watchful custodians and guardians of tradition: they became schools for the Greek children under Turkish rule and a refuge for the persecuted, they offered provisions to the freedom fighters and at the same time gave an education in holiness and salvation.

The valuable ascetic tradition of Meteora, the large number of saints who have lived on the hallowed spires, its rich liturgical life and many relics, which are its most precious treasures, together make the monasteries vital centres of Orthodox spirituality.

Meteora is a holy land, a sacred space created and guarded by God, its cliffs and caves and ravines sanctified by the host of holy ascetics and martyrs of the Greek Thebaid who have inhabited them. A contemporary saint, St Porphyrios, used to say: “I speak with the rocks, for they have so much to tell of the ascetic life of earlier fathers”.

Over the last fifty years a remarkable programme of restoration has been carried out to the monasteries of Meteora, as a result of the hard work and tireless efforts of the energetic and worthy abbots and monks, the watchful care and blessing of Metropolitan Seraphim of Stagoi and Meteora and the excellent collaboration of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Larissa (formerly of Trikala). This major undertaking includes extensive reconstruction work, the preservation of frescoes and treasures in the monasteries’ collections and improvements to the surrounding space, making Meteora one of the most spiritual and attractive destinations in the world.

The monastic communities of Meteora participate in liturgical life and attend to the many visitors with love and sensitivity. In addition they preserve and maintain the sites, paint icons, embroider with gold thread, create miniatures, produce beeswax candles, incense and small icons, cultivate the monastery gardens and keep bees. Their publications include studies in history, theology and hymnography. However, their primary purpose is to offer a living witness of Christ in an age which is spiritually barren, when people have lost their sense of national and religious identity and are experiencing a crisis that is not only economic but also spiritual. The monks strive to preserve the precious legacy of their faith and rich tradition and to highlight their inestimable value in modern times.

The origin of the monastic community


Perched high atop spires of conglomerated Calcerous and sandstone rock, the monasteries of Meteora are one of the world’s most spectacular sacred sites. Located in the Thessaly region of North Central Greece and overlooking the valley of Pinios, the towering rocks of Meteora, meaning ‘rocks in the air’, have long evoked awe in human beings. Paleolithic remains indicate settlements around the stones from between 100,000 to 40,000 BC, and hermits and ascetics have lived in the area since long before the Christian era. The arrival of Christianity began in the 8th century, organized monastic communities had developed by the 12th century, and by the mid 1500’s twenty-four Greek Orthodox monasteries had been constructed upon the spires of stone. The monasteries, 200-600 meters high (and some accessible only by baskets lowered by ropes and winches), became a center of scholarship and art until the mid 18th century when popular interest in monasticism declined. Most of these meteorisa monastiria (‘hanging monasteries’) were abandoned and today only six survive, of which four can be visited by way of bridges and rock-cut steps. Previously a remote area, the construction of a highway in the early 1960’s made the monasteries accessible to pilgrims and tourists. This influx of visitors, however, has discouraged new monks from joining the monasteries and compelled others to move to Mt. Athos in search of solitude and privacy.
Orthodox Monks started to populate the area of Meteora over 1200 years ago, initially searching for quietness, peace and the perfect environment

Lifting system with ropes in Meteora to pray and meditate. They were living in caves like hermits, with little human relations. Beginning of the 12th c. they started to congregate and create the first monasteries. To make things more difficult, they decided to build their communities on top of rocky peaks, apparently inhospitable places to live in, but with more protection from the outside world, and amazing views to enjoy daily.
Approching Meteora the visitor wonders how could they manage at that time to climb these steep peaks with very little equipment and later to carry the materials to build the monasteries. The cliffs are as high as 600m (1800 feet) from the plain level, and hardly accessible even today to equipped rock climbers. Originally entrance to the monasteries was possible only with ladders, or ropes connected to nets, used to lift goods and people. Not only it was adventurous, but also really dangerous, since the legend say that the ropes were changed only “when the Lord let them break”. The advantage of such an access system was that the ropes could easily be lifted to protect the monks from external threats. The biggest expansion of the monasteries had place at the end of the 14th c, when Greece was threatened by Turkish invaders, and monks from other areas of Greece took refugee in Meteora, building a total of 24 monasteries, progressively abandoned in the last two centuries.

While walking in Meteora we saw buses packed with tourists going from one monastery to the other without even stopping on the way to enjoy the amazing views. This means to miss all of the magic of this place, the fusion of the human-made monasteries perfectly integrated on top of incredible rock formations. We advise you not to do the same mistake and enjoy the route in between the monasteries!