Things To Do In Meteora, Greece

Meteora is an exciting town in central Greece, famous for its rock formations and ancient monasteries perched atop them. But what can you do in Meteora? How can you travel to Meteora? And how many days should you spend in Meteora? Let’s find out!

Things to do in Meteora, Greece
Things to do in Meteora, Greece

Variety Of Things To Do in Meteora

Meteora offers a variety of activities for visitors, ranging from cultural experiences to outdoor adventures. Here’s a list of things you can do in Meteora:

Visit the Monasteries of Meteora

Meteora is famous for its monasteries perched atop massive rock formations. Notable ones include the Great Meteoron Monastery, Varlaam Monastery, the Holy Trinity Monastery, Roussanou Monastery, St. Stephen’s Monastery, and St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery. Each has its unique history and offers breathtaking views​.

Take This Tour Around Monasteries
Learn More About The Monasteries in Meteora

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Meteora Monasteries is their incredible construction and location. These monasteries are perched atop almost inaccessible sandstone rock pillars, at heights of over 400 meters (1,312 feet) from the ground. This unique position provided the monks with isolation and protection from political upheaval during the 14th century.

The word “Meteora” itself means “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above,” aptly describing these remarkable structures. Initially, the only means of reaching these monasteries was through ladders lashed together or large nets, which could be drawn up to protect the residents from invaders. The ladders were intentionally precarious, as a test of faith and a deterrent to those with less than pure intentions.

What’s also remarkable is that the first hermits arrived in this area in the 11th century and lived in hollows and fissures in the rock towers, some of which reach 550 meters (1,800 feet) in height. The exact construction dates of the monasteries are not well-documented, but they are estimated to have been built during the 14th and 15th centuries.

Today, only six of the original 24 monasteries are still active and open to visitors. Each of these monasteries houses a small number of monks or nuns and continues to be a place of worship as well as a repository of exquisite post-Byzantine art and manuscripts. The combination of architectural ingenuity, historical significance, and spiritual tranquility set against the backdrop of the stunning natural scenery makes the Meteora Monasteries a truly captivating sight.

Monasteries of Meteora
Monasteries of Meteora

Hiking and Scrambling Tours Around Meteora

Exploring Meteora on foot is a great way to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the area. Organized hiking tours are available, and adventurous visitors can enjoy the Hike and Scramble tour of the Great Saint, which takes you to the highest cliffs in Meteora​​​​.

Take This Sunset Tour in Meteora

Rock Climbing in Meteora

Meteora is a world-renowned rock climbing site suitable for both beginners and experts. The landscape provides a unique and challenging experience for climbers​​.

Rock climbing in Meteora
Rock climbing in Meteora

Local Truffle Hunting and Forest Meals

Join expeditions to hunt for truffles and mushrooms in the forests around Meteora, and enjoy a meal prepared with your finds​​.

Mountain Biking in Meteora

Meteora offers both road and off-road trails for mountain biking enthusiasts, allowing you to explore the monasteries and the countryside​​.

Meteora in Greece
Meteora in Greece

River Rafting in Meteora

Rafting down the Pinios River is another exciting activity that offers a different perspective of the Meteora landscape​​.

River drafting in Meteora Greece
River drafting in Meteora Greece

Explore the Towns of Kalambaka and Kastraki

These towns at the foothills of Meteora offer a mix of local culture and stunning views. Kalambaka, the larger of the two, is known for its dramatic backdrop of rocky towers, while Kastraki offers a more local feel with its maze-like streets​​​​.

Visit the Theopetra Prehistoric Cave

Located just 4km from Meteora, this cave has a history dating back to the Middle Paleolithic period​​.

Meteora Greece
Meteora Greece

Experience Local Greek Cuisine

Obviously, you can’t visit Meteora without tasting the authentic Greek dishes such as Greek salad, Saganaki, and other local specialties in Meteora’s restaurants​​. Meteora has a rich tradition of food and wine, including the production of spirits like Tsipouro by monks since the 14th century​​​​​​.

how To Visit meteora

There are several options for visiting Meteora, depending on your starting location and preferred mode of travel:

  • By Train: You can reach Meteora by train from various cities on the Greek mainland, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Larisa, Livadia, and Paleofarsalo. The nearest train station to Meteora is in Kalambaka. From Kalambaka, you can then take a car or taxi to reach Meteora. Trains departing from Athens leave from Larissa station. For detailed information about train routes, timetables, and ticket prices, you can visit Trainose​​​.
  • By Bus: To visit Meteora by bus, you’ll first need to reach Kalambaka. If traveling from Athens, you can take a KTEL bus from Liosion bus station to Trikala, and then another bus to Kalambaka. More information can be found on the KTEL Trikala website​.
  • By Car: If you’re driving from Athens, the route to Meteora goes through the National Greek Road Athina – Livadia – Lamia, following the route to Kalambaka. Renting a car is also an option if you don’t have your own vehicle​​.
  • By Air: The closest airport to Meteora is Nea Anchialos National Airport in Volos, which operates mainly in the summer and offers some low-cost flights. However, for more regular flights throughout the year, you might prefer to fly to Athens or Thessaloniki and then travel to Meteora by car, bus, or train​​.
  • Private Transfers: If you prefer a more direct and private mode of transportation, there are private transfer services available from Athens Airport, Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Airport, Piraeus Port, and Delphi to Meteora. These services typically take around 3 to 5 hours depending on the starting point​​.

How Many Days Do You Need in Meteora?

To thoroughly experience Meteora and its monasteries, a minimum of two days is recommended. Ideally, allocating three or four days would be even better, as it allows you to explore the monasteries and the surrounding areas without feeling rushed. Each monastery has its closing day, so to visit all of them, you would need at least two days​​​​.

Two Days In Meteora: Popular Itinerary

A suggested itinerary could include joining a half-day morning tour to visit three of the monasteries on the first day, followed by visiting the Natural History Museum of Meteora in Kalampaka in the afternoon. On the second day, you could take a public bus to visit the Great Meteoro Monastery and Varlaam Monastery, and in the afternoon, plan to watch the sunset on the rocks​​.

Meteora monasteries in Greece
Meteora monasteries in Greece

If you have more time, spending three days in Meteora allows you to delve deeper into the region’s beauty and history. You can engage in activities like hiking and scrambling tours, and spend more time photographing the stunning landscapes, as the weather can vary each day, offering different photographic opportunities​​.

For accommodation, there are various options ranging from family-owned guesthouses to upscale hotels in Kastraki village and the neighboring town of Kalambaka​. A two-day car rental can also be a convenient way to explore Meteora, with rental services available in Kalabaka​​.

When planning your visit to the monasteries, keep in mind the dress code requirements and be prepared for a fair amount of stair climbing at some of the sites. Each monastery charges a small admission fee, and it’s best to check their individual visiting hours as they vary​​.

FAQ – Meteora

Things To Do In Meteora

What is Meteora and why is it a must-visit destination?

Meteora, located in central Greece, is a unique and breathtaking destination. It’s famous for its monasteries perched atop towering rock formations, offering a blend of natural beauty and historical significance. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit for its stunning landscapes, rich religious history, and the opportunity to see one of the most extraordinary architectural achievements in Greece.

Things To Do In Meteora

How can I get to Meteora?

Meteora is accessible by various means of transportation. The nearest town is Kalabaka, which can be reached by train or bus from major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki. Renting a car is also a popular option, providing the flexibility to explore the region at your own pace.

Things To Do In Meteora

What are the must-see monasteries in Meteora?

The six active monasteries are the main attractions in Meteora. These include the Great Meteoron Monastery, Varlaam Monastery, Roussanou Monastery, St. Nicholas Anapausas Monastery, St. Stephen Monastery, and Holy Trinity Monastery. Each monastery has its own unique features, history, and artifacts.

Things To Do In Meteora

Are there any hiking or walking trails in Meteora?

Meteora is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. There are numerous trails winding through the rock formations, offering scenic views and a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area. The trails vary in difficulty, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers.

Things To Do In Meteora

What is the best time to visit Meteora?

The best time to visit Meteora is during spring (April to early June) and autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the landscape is at its most beautiful, avoiding the summer heat and the winter cold.

Things To Do In Meteora

Can I take guided tours in Meteora?

Yes, there are several guided tour options available in Meteora. These tours can enhance your experience as they provide in-depth information about the history, geology, and culture of the area. Options range from hiking tours, bus tours, to private guided tours.

Things To Do In Meteora

What are some local delicacies I should try in Meteora?

The region around Meteora offers a variety of delicious local Greek cuisine. Specialties include dishes made with locally sourced meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Don’t miss trying the pies, a regional staple, available in savory and sweet varieties.

Things To Do In Meteora

What accommodation options are available in Meteora?

Meteora offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. These include hotels, guesthouses, and monastic stays. Many accommodations provide stunning views of the Meteora rocks and monasteries.

Things To Do In Meteora

Are there any cultural or religious etiquette tips I should know about?

When visiting the monasteries, it’s important to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees. Photography is usually allowed, but it’s respectful to ask for permission inside the monasteries. Remember to be respectful of the religious sites and the monks and nuns who reside there.

Things To Do In Meteora

Can I visit Meteora with children?

Meteora is a family-friendly destination. However, visiting the monasteries involves climbing steps and walking on uneven surfaces, so it may be challenging for very young children. The natural scenery and open spaces make it a great place for older children to explore.

Things To Do In Meteora, Greece
Things To Do In Meteora, Greece

You Might Also Like...