The Meteora monasteries are built on rocky pinnacles, which tower 400m over the Peneas valley on the Thessalian plain. The small town of Kalambaka is located on one side and the village of Kastraki on the other with small roads and paths taking visitors up and around the monasteries, some still-inhabited; some now abandoned.
'Suspended in the air' (the meaning of Meteora in Greek), these monasteries represent a unique artistic and engineering achievement and are one of the most powerful examples of the architectural transformation of a site into a place of retreat, meditation and prayer. The 11th century saw the first hermits arrive in the area and build the Skiti (hermitage) of Doupiani. Over the next 600 years twenty four monasteries in total were built, which, given the geography of the area, was no mean feat! There were no passable roads and pilgrims (as well as food and supplies) had to be hoisted up the cliff in a net to reach the monasteries!
Today, only four monasteries - Aghios Stephanos, Aghia Triadas, Varlaam and Megalo Meteoron - still house religious communities.
Where to stay
This small and friendly hotel enjoys a panoramic view of the area and is often called the 'balcony of Meteora'
"I've been meaning to write since we got back from our trip to thank you for helping us to organise the 8 day self drive part of our longer trip to Greece. We had a fantastic three and a half weeks away, with all the different parts fitting together really well. Northern Greece was a revelation to us, absolutely stunning. All the accommodation was good, with really friendly and helpful staff.The directions you sent were excellent, although, as the Greeks don't seem to go much for road signs, we did have problems getting in and out of town (having stopped in town) onto the right road around Ioanina. Luckily my husband had a portable GPS that he uses for geocaching which proved very helpful. Apart from that it was fine!"
P Thomson, August 2016
"just wanted to thank you once again for putting our trip together for us. We all had an amazing time, the whole trip went very smoothly. We were particularly impressed with the first accommodation in Dadia forest and would really recommend this. The villa on Thassos was also excellent. The only disappointment was the main car hire which turned out to be more of a van and a bit of a heap - the air con didn't work which was disappointing but it got us from a to b without incident. I just want to say how brilliant Dawn was as putting our trip together for us - we shall be using you again. Thank you! We will be in touch in the future as we are already planning our next trip to Greece."
K Cartwright, June, 2015
"We just wanted to thank you both very much indeed for organising a truly fantastic walking holiday in Greece for us. Our self-guided walking holiday in Zagori National Park & Mt. Olympus was absolutely superb in every respect. The organisation, accommodation, food, walking & our local guide Alex were all excellent. I seem to remember asking when we first made contact if you could organise some walking for us in remote areas of Greece, away from the normal tourist haunts & having the “wow” factor. Well you certainly achieved those aims for us. The small hotels/guest houses you organised for us were all excellent & the food & welcome we received was second to none. I would thoroughly recommend the holiday as a brilliant means of seeing spectacular parts of Greece & staying in marvellous small hotels . The food was exceptional everywhere. The local people very friendly & welcoming. Thanks again for all your efforts to ensure that we both had a wonderful walking holiday & witnessed magnificent parts of Greece that we didn’t know existed."
R Tookey, Sept 2016
"I just wanted to let you know that although there were only 2 of us on the tour - I had an excellent trip and cannot recommend Alex and this tour enough. I really thought he went above and beyond what was required of him to make sure we had a good holiday."
K Patel, Sept 2015