Meteora Complete Guide: One breath away from the sky

A few words about Meteora 🗣️

No description and none of the –thousands of- photographs that you have seen of Meteora can describe this place. “It is a miracle of nature”, “It cannot be real”, “See what the touch of God can do” and dozens of such phrases were uttered around us from the surprised visitors. We cannot blame them… Meteora has geological beauty that cannot be found anywhere else in the world !The dark rocks look like they have fallen from the sky and got pinned on earth! And as if this wasn’t enough, on their tops and inside their cavities loom hermitages, cloisters and imposing monasteries that make you wonder… “Is this man-made?!” Meteora is one of the most popular destinations in Greece, as it attracts 2.5 million visitors annually! In Winter or Summer, with snow or sun, clouds or mist, the rocks stand proud and enchant the visitor from the very first minute.

Under no circumstances can they be described as a day-trip destination, as it is not enough time for you to reach a high point and observe them! You will have to stand beneath, on top of, as well as inside the rocks (!), learn their history, walk along the trails and climb to their tops.And as our people wisely say, nobody knows a place better than the locals! That’s why we appealed for their help, so that we could meet the charms of Meteora. And who are these locals? George, Vangelis, Alex and the rest of the team of Visit Meteora. Visit Meteora. People with much zest and love for their homeland, helped us meet Meteora through trails, activities, stories and delicious flavors. Visit Meteora Visit Meteora offers activities packages for solo travelers, couples, groups and families that cover all tastes.


Useful information Meteoraℹ️

Meteora has more than 1,000 rocks, while when it rains they turn from black to green, due to the moss growing on them! It is one of the best rock-climbing destinations in the world, with over 1,000 paths and Ayia as its highest peak, at an altitude of 630 meters. You should also know that in the area grows the endemic plant Centaurea kalambakensis, and that the locals climb to the top of –some- rocks, without being tied! Furthermore, in Kalambaka you will find the Holy Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, one of the only three churches in the world with the Pulpit in the center. Finally, it is said that 23 million years ago the rocks were covered in water, as the area used to be a river delta!


Activities Meteora 🚴

Hiking in Meteora

The Hiking Tour is one of the most interesting experiences in Meteora. Through a 7.5km-long route you will learn all about the history of the rocks, the life of the monks, you will see the area’s flora, visit monasteries and get well into the paths of the history of the land. 👉 Book a Hiking Tour in Meteora…A walk in Kalambaka

Kalambaka is the gate to Meteora. Beautiful, tourist-friendly and bustling (during high season), it hosts most accommodation sites, stores and restaurants of the area, while it offers plenty of choices for entertainment. Discover it..Sunset in Meteora

Sunset in Meteora is becoming ever more popular. As a matter of fact, it has risen to the no2 spot in visitor rates, after the one in Santorini, and not in vain! The sun coats the rocks, clouds and monasteries in wonderful shades of orange, yellow and red, offering scenes that seem to be taken out of the most beautiful fairytale. You will find the best spot to admire the sunset HERE 👉 Book a Sunset Tour in Meteora.The “Floating” monasteries

Even if your interests are not religiously oriented, you should pay a visit to some of the six active monasteries of Meteora. There you will learn about the way of life of the nowadays few monks, and their history, while you will see heirlooms of great religious importance. It is worth mentioning that two of the monasteries are inhabited by nuns (St. Stefanos, Roussanou).Truffle “hunt”

The Truffle Hunt is an alternative and very interesting experience. It starts with the search for black truffle in the forest, proceeds with a picnic with truffle-spaghetti and concludes with a tour of the Museum of Natural History and Mushrooms. The activity is winning over a growing number of fans, as it is original, combines many things and offers value for money.Rock-climbing in Meteora

Meteora is the place that birthed and established the practice of rock-climbing around the world (monks in the 11th century). Nowadays, it is one of the most well-known rock-climbing sites in the world, with 1,000+ paths, of all levels of difficulty. In order to experience the activity with safety, 👉 prefer one of the organized rock-climbing trips organized by Visit Meteora.Trikala

Trikala is a quiet and exceptional city that loves people, bikes and bridges! Devote a few hours to discover the old town and the popular alleys of Sakaflias, the clock, the beautiful fort, the Kursum Mosque, and do not miss the chance to cross it by bike and take a romantic boat-ride in Litheos.Paleokarya Stone Bridge

Within a 40-minute distance from Meteora you will find the Stone Bridge of Paleokarya, which is surrounded by two artificial waterfalls. It has been standing there for more than half a millennium and it used to connect Thessaly with Epirus. An idyllic place, ideal for instagram-perfect photos, picnics and many beautiful images.Food & wine tour

It is said that in order to get to know a place, you must get familiar with its cuisine. An undisputable truth! That’s why we learned, tried, drank…and came closer to Meteora and the area’s culture through an interesting and tasty 👉 Food & Wine Tour.Theopetra Cave

The Rock in the cave of Theopetra was formed 65-137 million years ago! It is an unknown yet important monument, as the oldest human imprints in Greece were found inside it, which are 130,000 years old! It is truly impressive for one to walk in the steps of other human beings after thousands and thousands of years…don’t you think?Museum of Natural History and Mushrooms

Inside a beautiful and well-kept space you have the chance to learn about the region’s fauna, as well as a wide range of mushrooms! What make it stand out are the wonderful setting, rare exhibits and the love expressed by the staff. It is worth getting in touch with the unusual..Walk in the village of Kastraki

Curled up in the embrace of the rocks, the village of Kastraki is the best place to experience the magic of Meteora! Less “commercial” than Kalambaka, Kastraki is characterized by serenity, quiet and a wonderful view of the rocks. Just direct your gaze upwards…!Museums of Digital Projection & Geology

Offering free access to the public, these two museums will take you on a journey through Meteora’s history via 3D movies, rocks and plenty of audiovisual material. The museum of Geology is located in Kastraki, while the museum of Digital Projection is at the exit of Kalambaka (on the road to Kastraki).Mountain bike in Meteora

With a mountain bike you will have the chance to escape the mainstream paths and discover the hidden treasures of Meteora. If you do not own one you can rent, while if you want something more organized, opt for one of the area’s experienced guides.


Accommodation Meteora 🏨

Meteora is an up-and-coming tourist force, as it becomes more popular with each passing year, throughout the whole world. Guesthouses and hotels are popping up like mushrooms, offering ever more options for accommodation. The quality to price ratio is good, as for a double room (during high season) you will have to pay from 60 to 150€ per night, including a traditional breakfast. The three areas to stay at are Kastraki, Kalambaka and Trikala.

👉 Ananti City Resort (Trikala): The 5-star Ananti City Resort is located within a 15-minute distance from Meteora. The hotel is the finest choice for accommodation in Meteora, as it offers luxury, excellent service and many benefits, at an affordable price.👉 Divani Meteora Hotel (Kalambaka): It is the first hotel of the well-known Divani chain hotels. Its renovated rooms, large pool and polite staff have established it as a standard choice for accommodation for many years.

👉 Grand Meteora Hotel (Kastraki): The newly-constructed hotel has the best view in Meteora. Its beautiful rooms and clean areas ideally complete the scenery.

Monastery Guesthouse (Kalambaka): It is an affordable accommodation site with a traditional look and modern touches.

Vavitsas Guesthouse (Kastraki): Built with stone and wood, it will leave you satisfied, if you keep your requirements low.


Transportation Meteora 🚡

You will reach Meteora by train from Thessaloniki (duration 3 hours, transfer at Paleofarsalos), by KTEL-long distance public transport (duration 3 hours, transfer at Trikala) or by car (duration 2.5 hours). From Athens by train (duration 5 hours, transfer at Paleofarsalos), by KTEL-long distance public transport (duration 4.5 hours, transfer at Trikala) or by car (duration 3.5 hours).

In Kalambaka and Kastraki you can move around by car or on foot, if you are staying at a central spot. If you use a car to move around during the summer months you should be especially careful, as both transport and parking in central locations are difficult. You can reach Meteora from both locations (the best route is from Kastraki), and the road includes a lot of openings to admire the rocks.


Food Meteora  🍖

Meteora is the joy of meat-lovers. The fresh air of the countryside is blended with the smells of kokoretsi, kontosouvli and sausage with leek. But the kind of meat that first gets on the spit is mutton. Before the main course, the table is filled with green pies (with the specialty being nettlepie), batsina and kassata. The meal is, of course, accompanied by tsipouro of the finest quality or some local wine. Keep some room for dessert, as their spoon sweets and pecan pie with cream and almonds (spatula) are distinctly honored. A two-person meal in the area costs around 30-40€.

👉 Oltre Bar Restaurant (Trikala): Another reason to visit the Ananti City Resort is its exquisite cuisine. The Oltre Bar Restaurant serves wonderful dishes with a view of the flatlands of Thessaly. Also try some of their super cocktails.👉 Valia Calda (Kalambaka): This restaurant is a pleasant surprise for local cuisine. It serves traditional dishes –which you will find nowhere else- with a careful look! Wonderful service and good prices are two more of its advantages.Thymios Chophouse (Dipotamos): Thymios is the best option for freshly-cooked meat-based dishes. The things that stand out are the delicious mutton chops and excellent prices! It is open only on evenings (all day on weekends).

Gousios Tavern (road to Milotopos): Within a 20-minute distance from Kalambaka, you will find one of the best patty recipes in the area. The low prices, large servings and endless quiet are some extra features.

Skaros (Kalambaka): Mr. Kostas is famous for his clean meats, with the crown jewel being the mutton kebab. People visit him from all corners of Trikala and he leaves everyone satisfied with his flavors and prices! Must-eat..

Mikro Nychterino (Diava): Kokoretsi, kebab, sausage and frozen beer are the restaurant’s characteristics. Prices are pretty low and portions satisfactory. It is located just 10 minutes away from Kalambaka.

Food & Wine Tour: The tour, apart from knowledge on the local cuisine also offers tastes like sausage, cheeses, sweets, yoghurt with honey, mushrooms and many more non-local flavors. Local wine, of course, could not be missing from the table.

Palia Istoria – Ladofanaro: The two restaurants are located on one of Trikala’s most central pedestrian walkways and serve tasty dishes in reasonable prices.

Spitiki Yefsi (Kalambaka): It serves tasty hand-made pies and other breakfast delicacies inside a pretty space in the city center.

Entertainment Meteora 🍹

Cafe Diverso: For quality coffee in Kalambaka’s central square.

Άρωμα μέντας: Beautifully decorated space, ideal for coffee, dessert and good company.

Αέρινο: Beautiful space, decorated in stone, ideal for relaxation.


Useful Tips Meteora 💡

  • The best season to visit it is Autumn (late October). Accommodation is up to 60% cheaper, there are fewer people and more beauty, due to the colors of nature.
  • Do not try rock-climbing when it is raining or after it has rained. The rocks are extremely slippery.
  • When rock-climbing, you must always wear a helmet, as there is danger of rocks falling by wild goats!
  • During the summer months hotels, streets and restaurants are flooded with tourists.
  • The Cave of Theopetra closes regularly for safety reasons (rock fall).
  • Do not park on Trikalon Street (Kalambaka). The traffic police are constantly writing tickets. Prefer the streets intersecting Trikalon Street.
  • The village of Kastraki offers more peace and quiet, in comparison with the bustling Kalambaka.
  • Do not miss the chance to have an evening car ride in Meteora. The dark figure of the rocks emerges from the night scenery and offers a unique spectacle!
  • About 300m before you reach the road that leads to the Stone Bridge of Paleokarya, you will find the steps to cross it (there is an hexagonal kiosk).
  • The ideal time to stay in the area is three days.
  • You will find the best spot to admire the sunset, away from the hordes of visitors HERE.
  • SOS: Most taverns outside of Kalambaka open only for the evening (on weekends they remain open all day & night).

  • Do not trust “the internet” for your choice of food. It is misleading. Ask the locals where you can eat well. (Avoid the tavern “Gardenia” in Kastraki.)
  • In the villages around Kalambaka and Kastraki you will find taverns with great dishes, in excellent prices.
  • The area’s must-eat dish is Mutton (in the forms of kebab or chops).

Monasteries

    • Entrance to the monasteries is prohibited to those wearing shorts, skirts above the knee, sleeveless shirts and tights.
    • At the entrance, clothing is provided only to women.
    • Inside every monastery there is at least one fountain with cold running water.
    • Men are not allowed to enter the monasteries if they are wearing shorts above the knee and/or sleeveless shirts.
    • Entrance to the monasteries for Greeks-Cypriots is free.

St. Stefanos Monastery: Winter schedule 09:30-13:00 & 15:00-17:00. Summer schedule 09:00-13:30 & 15:30-17:30. Closed Monday.

Grand Meteoro: Winter schedule 09:00-15:00. Summer schedule 09:00-16:00. Closed Tuesday-Wednesday.
Roussanou Monastery: Winter schedule 09:00-14:00. Summer schedule 09:00-17:00. Closed Wednesday.
Varlaam Monastery:: Winter schedule 09:00-15:00. Summer schedule 09:00-16:00. Closed Thursday-Friday.
Monastery of the Holy Trinity (Ayias Triadas): Winter schedule 09:00-16:00. Summer schedule 09:00-17:00. Closed Thursday.
Monastery of Ayios Nikolaos Anapafsa: Winter schedule 09:00-16:00. Summer schedule 08:00-16:00. Closed Friday.

Walking the line across God’s creation..

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