What if we told you that Meteora is higher that the human eye can reach? How can you climb? Nets and ladders are not used there anymore. You can easily get up to the entrance of the monastery by car. But to get in the inside «Meteora», only one source exists. It is awe. Awe, such as prayer, a prayer for cleansing the soul.
Excursion to Meteora
With only 352 km from Athens, 237 km from Thessaloniki, 142 km from Volos, 82 km from Larissa, 70 km from Metsovo, 57 km from Ioannina, and 22 km from «Trikala, Meteora is a place to envy. A place you would want to go even tomorrow, just for one weekend.
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ACCOMMODATION FOR KINGS IN METEORA
Meteora, these incredible rocks that pierce the sky with courage, were once inhabited by kings and noblemen. It was inhabited by people like the king of Thessaly and Epirus, John Uros Paleologos, who left his throne at 22 years old and sanctified the Monastery of Grand Meteoro as a monk named Joasaf. It was even inhabited by the καταλογος σελιδων
son of the Serbian ruler and son of the Byzantine Katakouzinou family, who lived in the monastery of St. Stephen as the humble Saint Anthony. Furthermore, it was inhabited by the Apsaras brothers, the noblemen from Ioannina (the later monks Nektarios and Theophanes), who waited patiently for 22 years until the materials were uploaded to build the church of the Monastery of Barlaam. Back then, there wasn’t even water on that rock. Evidence for these «royal comforts» of the first settlers of Meteora is a barrel of twelve tons, in which rainwater was gathered for Barlaam Monastery.
Meteora today, have gained an international reputation as a place for climbing with a variety of difficulty levels. The only condition is that the climbers are not allowed to climb on the rocks of the working monasteries. Let us not forget that some people have work to get up from 3 at dawn every day to pray for the salvation of us all.
There are places that can take your breath away. One of those is Meteora. And the closer you get, the more you realize that these shelters have been created for strict asceticism and monasticism. It’s like seeing a small Agio Oros. The more time you spend in this place, the closer you feel to god. If you are a nature lover, it leaves you staring its majestic nature, like a fool. Those gray-green boulders were justly recognized as monuments of world cultural heritage. From an aesthetic point of view, Meteora offers a special, highly sophisticated blend of tradition and novel elements. And we can see that outside, in the architecture of the monasteries, and internally, in their hagiography.
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The currently operating monasteries of Meteora are six: Two of them – the monastery of St. Stephen and the Holy Monastery Rousanou – are female. Men’s monasteries are, The Great Meteoro, Agios Nicholas Anapafsas, Agios Barlaam and Agia Triada. Built mainly in the 14th century they have very thoughtful hagiography and important relics. Their greatest treasure though, are the many relics of saints.
|Great Meteoro St. Athanasios, named the big boulder on which he built the Moni Metamorfoseos also known as Great Meteoro. There exist paintings of students of Theophanes the Cretan. Here, it is worth to see the library of manuscripts and the Gallery.The paintings of Adam on topics from the monastic life and the liturgical life of the Church are excellent. Furthermore, impressive is the bank of length of 32 meters.You can visit every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. Summer: 10 am -5 pm. Winter: 9 am- 4 pm Tel 24320-22|
|monastery of Agios Nikolas Anapafsas
It is the first monastery you encounter while climbing 80 stairs carved into the rock.Today the monastery has only one monk. The painting of the monastery church has been painted by the famous Theophanes the Cretan.You can visit every day except Friday. Summer: 9 am – 3.30 pm. Winter: 9 am – 1 pm Tel 24320-22375
|Monastery of Barlaam
Here, you can see splint forms of the founders Nektarios and Theophanes. There is still the huge barrel in which they collected rainwater.Among the relics I recognized the Gospel that belonged to the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos.You can visit every day except Thursday. Summer: 9 am – 2 pm & 3 pm-5 pm. Winter: 9 am -3 pm except Thursday and Friday. Tel 24320-22277
|Agia Triada Monasteryto get in the monastery of the Holy Trinity there is a path and a teleferic lift. All the monasteries in Meteora have a Teleferic lift mostly for moving the luggage.You can get everywhere by car, with the exception of Agia Triada, where you either have to go with the stairs or the lift. Here, apart from the very impressive rock where the monastery is built, it is worth seeing the image of Christ with the local karagkouniki clothing.You can visit every day except Thursday, winter – summer: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. & 3 pm-5 pm Tel 24320-22220|
|Monastery of St. StephenAll the monasteries of Meteora have stairs except from the monastery of Agios Stefanos, where you arrive directly at the entrance by car. In the cathedral, you can see the hagiographies of modern Tsotsonis Vlassis and admire the wooden temple. Before leaving the monastery, seek to worship the skull of Saint Charalambos.You can every day except Monday. Summer: 9 am – 2 pm & 3.30 pm – 6 pm In winter: 9.30 am-1.30 pm & 3-5 pm Phone 24320 to 22279
|Rousanou Monastery Here, the church frescoes were painted by pupils of Theophanes the Cretan. The ostrich eggs symbolize God’s paternal care.The ostrich doesn’t spin its eggs. It watches them from afar until they are born and then gets close to them until they grow up.You can visit every day except Wednesday. Summer: 9 am-6 pm In winter: 9 am-2 pm & 3-5 pm Tel 24320 – 2264|
If you want to see Meteora, but to have tranquility as well, the best option is Kastraki.
A beautiful village, built under the rock of Meteora, Adrachti. It is 2 km away from Kalambaka. All hotels there have view on Meteora.
In Kastraki you can do various hikes. There are trails and green. About walks you can ask a local.
Kastraki has nice taverns with gardens, such as «Gardenia» and «Herein», an excellent restaurant and cafeteria.