When I saw the photos of suspended monasteries in Meteora, Greece, I knew I had to go and visit. It looks mysterious and mythical, and somewhat familiar as the place has served as an inspiration for the fictional city of Eyrie in Game of Thrones.
Meteora is declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. The site is a rock formation that is home to the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in the region. There are 24 monasteries in Meteora, but only 6 are functioning. We got to visit 2 through a 2-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora we booked via Klook.
Meteora and Delphi are two of the most suggested places to visit in Greece.
From our trip to Delphi, we continued our journey to Kalambaka(the town in Greece where Meteora is located) .Klook.com
We made 2 stopovers to have lunch and snacks.
I was sleeping when we had a stopover here and I just went down to have this photo taken 🤩
We arrived and checked in late in our hotel. For the Klook tour, travelers have the option to stay in a Tourist Class Hotel or First Class Hotel. There’s a two thousand peso difference in the ticket, but the hotels are right in front of each other. We checked in a Tourist Class Hotel – Orfeas Hotel which is decent for an overnight stay.
Knowing that we would only have one night in Kalambaka, Rodel and I decided to roam around the city. The place so much reminds me of the Pubstreet in Siem Reap.
We had coffee at Mikel which is a recommended coffee shop by our Welcome Pickups Driver.
The following morning, we started our journey to Meteora.
It was cold and rainy when we traveled to Meteora. I was not prepared for the weather. I was already feeling sick on our Day 6 in Greece,
We got to visit 2 of the 6 remaining monasteries.
The remaining 6 monasteries in Meteora:
Monastery of Great Meteoron
Monastery of Varlaam
Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara
Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas
Monastery of St. Stephen
Monastery of the Holy Trinity
For the Klook Tour that we booked, we visited Great Meteoron (monks) & St. Stephen (nuns).
Monasteries are sacred places and although I have a different religion, I always try to comply with rules and respect places of worship.
Things You Need to Know Before Visiting a Monastery:
1. Dress appropriately. Men must wear long pants (no shorts) and women must wear skirts that cover the knees.
2. Girls may wear a skirt provided at the entrance of each monastery.
3. Wear comfortable shoes as you would do a lot of hiking and climbing.
4. Do not take photos of areas where NO PHOTO or VIDEO sign is up.
5. No photos of monks and nuns.
6. Keep silence during the tour.
The Monastery of Great Meteoron
The Great Meteoran Monastery is the largest, highest and oldest monastery in Meteora. It is built in Wide Rock with 50 acres and height reaching more than 613m above sea level.
It was a challenge getting to the top of the Great Meteoron as it was cold and raining when we arrived. I tried not to risk my gadgets and my hands were already feeling cold and numb.
I cannot imagine how monks in the 14th century would climb rocks to hide from Turkish attacks. They used removable ladders at that time.
The Monastery of Great Meteoron houses 3 chapels, a rich library of patristic texts, hymnographical, rare incunabula of the 15th-19th century, legal documents, as well as classical ancient texts of Homer, Sophocles, Demosthenes, Hesiod, Aristotle,
There’s an old kitchen with original oven, and wine cellar with wooden wine barrels.
One of the most interesting sites is the sacristy where skulls of the monks where neatly displayed.
Monastery of St. Stephen
The sacred Monastery of St Stephen was discovered in 1400 and is now a nunnery. Although it is less spectacular compared to other monasteries, it is the easiest one to visit as it doesn’t require hiking.
It houses interesting religious pieces and impressive chapel with fine paintings and details. There is also a museum and gift shop where you can buy souvenir items made by nuns.
The Monastery of St. Stephen also gives a good view of the town. It was cold yet sunny when we visited. I was not in at my physical best but it was a beautiful day.
En route back to Athens from Kalambaka, we first passed by Icons. It is a souvenir and workshop store where you can learn about how images and religious icons are made. It would be a nice place to buy gifts for friends. The store even held a raffle and some of our bus-mates won gifts.
The statues and images look so legit in this store. They use special materials and delicate techniques to produce a paint-like images. Lit!
We had two stop-overs (lunch and snack break) for the bus ride back to Athens.
This view was amazing and I was glad I was not sleeping when this appeared in my window.
I cannot find the right words to describe what I was feeling when we visited the monasteries in Meteora, Greece. I have been to different temples in Asia but it is a totally different experience to learn more about other religion’s discipline and doctrines in such a sacred place.
When you don’t look your best but you still have to have a photo
Doing a day tour in Meteora, Greece is quite impossible to do since the place is 4-hour drive from Athens. I would highly suggest that you book a tour via Klook which is a 2-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora. It already includes entrances to the monasteries and Delphi Archaeological Site and an overnight stay in a hotel in Kalambaka (with dinner and breakfast). The tour costs Php8,000+ but it is very comfortable, safe and educational.
If you are planning to visit and explore Greece, I would suggest you book a tour via Klook.Klook.com
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