While travelling around Europe a few years ago, one of the most memorable things I did was trekking around the old peak top monasteries in Meteora, Greece. There are guided tours and buses, if you want, but I found that the magic and serenity of this place was best experienced on foot, alone and unrushed.
Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, “suspended rocks”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” – etymologically similar to “Meteorite”) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, and incidentally, Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Six of the original monasteries remain today. They were created to serve monks and nuns following the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The monasteries were established sometimes on the 11th or 12th Century and the are all built perched high on cliffs and pinnacles in the area and thus were deliberately difficult to gain access to, back in the day the only way to get inside was by means of rope, buckets or net ladders lowered down from dizzying heights. Access today is much more friendly, with ladders and walk ways having been cut into the rock and built for tourists.
The nearest town is Kalambaka, reachable by bus from Athens (couple of hours), plenty of accommodation is available. You can then just do a small walk, or perhaps even a bike ride up and around the valley. The tour buses only visit one or two of the biggest or most important monastries, by walking or riding alone you can choose which ones to visit and linger at. So, if you are ever in Greece, make the effort to go inland, and visit places, trekking around the old peak-top monasteries in Meteora, Greece was an experience I will not forget in a hurry.
Thank-you, unfortunately my photo shopping skills are not that great to stitch the photos together, but I really wanted to show the view, because it was so stunning!
breathtaking view…people in those monasteries would have enjoyed every second in there
Agreed, it was a warm late Spring day and the monasteries were dark and cool. You can see why the ancient monks and nuns would have found God while praying up there…
Beautiful photos. I have visited monasteries in Ireland and in the United States. Here is a story about my hitchhiking to California back in 1983 and staying at a monastery for three nights:
Nice one, cheers!
I love learning about new places, and would absolutely love to go here. Thanks for “enlightening” me.
It surprised me too, before going to Greece all I had heard about was the islands, which are pretty amazing, but I discovered that the interior of Greece is well worth a visit also!
Pretty amazing photos! Do you have photos of the food? I love Greek food.
Thanks, wow, I’m sure I do have pictures of the food, in fact I remember having some wonderful Greek style lamb shasliks and ‘proper’ Greek salad there. But I will have to search through my old pictures to see where they are.
You have taken some fabulous photos and obviously enjoy your trips! I will keep up with your travels. Thanks for leaving your calling-card on my post……glad you liked it.
Thank-you, you too!
The towns look like they’ve grown out of the rock. Superb.
It was amazing, the photos really do not do the place justice!
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