Meteora - Varlaam Abbey
photo by Gabriel

Meteora (Greek: Metéora) is one of the gems of Greece. Located near the towns of Kalampaka and Kastraki in northwestern Thessaly it consists of a number of rock pinnacles topped with a total of 24 monasteries.

Getting there

By ground transportation

From Athens you can take either a train or a bus up to Meteora. The trains servicing the northern part of Greece leave from the Larissa station, while the buses serving that part of the country leave from Terminal B, at Liossion Street. Train schedules can be obtained from OSC website and buses usually leave once every two hours. Both rides are long (about 4.5 to 5 hours) so make sure to bring a good book.

By plane

You can fly from Central Europe to Volos, Central Greece airport which is located in Nea Anchialos and then travel by car for approximately two hours to Meteora.

Traveling around

You can hire a taxi right at the train station to take you to all the monasteries for about 30-40 euros(in 2005). However, reaching the spires by foot gives visitors a much more tangible feeling of the Meteora's majesty. It is a difficult hike, but experiencing the sanctuaries like the monks did a few hundred years ago only increases its wonder. In the summer, be prepared for the Greek heat, and as the hike takes a whole day, bring a few liters of water.


The following monasteries can be visited and are located nearby the road circuiting Meteora. Clockwise you'll find:

  • Agiou Nikolaou monastery (St. Nickolas Anapausas)

  • Agias Varvaras Rousanou monastery (St. Barbara)

  • Varlaam monastery

  • Megalou Meteorou monastery (Great Meteoron)

  • Agias Triados monastery (Holy Trinity)

  • Agiou Stefanou monastery (St. Stephen, the only monastery for women) An entrance fee is expected by some monasteries which might be about € 2. Inexpensive, mass produced icons may be purchased in the monasteries for as little as € 1. They do not have the variety of the factories, however.

The opening hours for visiting are (as of 2009):

  • Varlaam monastery: 09:00 - 16:00

  • Megalou Meteorou monastery: 09:00 - 17:00

  • Agias Triados monastery: 09:00 - 17:00

  • Agias Varvaras Rousanou monastery: 09:00 - 18:00

The monasteries were not originally built for tourism. Tourism, essential to the monasteries survival, has also destroyed their character. They are no longer contemplative.

Things to do

  • Walk along the paths leading to the rocks and monasteries.

  • Climb the rocks.


The nearby towns of Kalampaka and Kastraki both offer different kinds of accommodation. Choose Kastraki if you want to stay close to the rocks

  • Hotel Odysseon , 00302432022320, 00302432022320, in Kalampaka, Just on the foothills of Meteora with panoramic view to the rocks, you can find this charming and cheap hotel on the way from the center of the town towards Meteora and Kastraki Village just before you exit the town. checkin: 12PM checkout:12PM price from

  • Archontiko Mesohori , +30 24320 77125, +30 24320 77125, in Kastraki, Mobile: +30 6936786418. In the old habitation of one of the most impressive picturesque villages of Greece, this old mansion of the 19th century has been renovated to become a most attractive luxury small hotel. price from

  • Totis (and Totis Theano), A few blocks off the main square, towards the Meteroa footpath in the back of town, The owner of this place is pushy, irritating, and fraudulant. He is well known in the town for this behavior but for unsuspecting tourists, he can be a problem. Usually, he will lure you in with a good deal, bartering with you if you try to leave or hesitate. If you still refuse, he will follow you on his motorbike yelling at you to look at his daughter's hotel or accept another offer. As soon as you get inside, he will often change the prior agreement or find little things to charge you for. Do not stay here. Even if it seems a better deal than other places in the area, in the end you will not come out ahead.

  • Also's House , 00302432024097, 5 Kanari St. 422 00 Kalampaka, Head towards the back of town with the footpath to Meteora. It is there alongside two other places, Elena and Koka Roka, A quality establishment at decent prices, cheaper than most places in the area. If it is not busy, price may be reduced if you don't want breakfast or AC. Great view of the rocks, free internet and wifi. Clean, comfortable, and nice. You will get your money's worth here. The owner is a great guy as well, speaking excellent English and offering good advice.

  • Hotel Rex , 00302432022042, 00302432022042, Patriarhou Dim St 7, 3 Star hotel in Kalambaka. Don't forget to take your coffee or drink at the rooftop bar with views over the Meteora. All rooms have A/C and there is free breakfast and Internet


  • Women are required to wear skirts covering the knees and have their shoulders covered, too. Most of the monastaries do provide wraps for women who come unprepared, but if you bring your own, especially one with bright colors, you'll get a smile from the monk or nun at the entrance.

Along the same line, men are required to wear trousers covering the knees. This too can be borrowed from the stock at the entrance but that clothing isn't washed after every user so it may cause a bad feeling to you wearing these skirts. One size fits all for man!

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Gabriel, alaskapine, -=RoBeE=-, Alexander Baxevanis, Ivan Marcialis, Domenico Salvagnin, Marcin Grabski

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Stefan Ertmann, Marius Bancila, Andreas Routsias, george kourelis, Henry Cheung, David, Andrew Haggard and Jani Patokallio, Ilakast, Tatatabot, Ginohhh, Episteme, Pashley, Jelse, Hypatia, EBB, Nils and Akubra

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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