Category Archive : Meteora by train

Visit Meteora and Delphi, two important Greek sites, independently and on your own pace.
For more details on this tour, click and see description and other details. Read about the tour itinerary and prices.
If you wish to modify this tour according to your own needs, feel free to contact us.

Why book with us?

Daily departures, travelling on your own or in a small group. Travelling by train is scenic and smooth.

So, let us do the organizing for you.

In Kalambaka you will go to well hidden spots that other travellers will never experience. You will learn about the culture and history of the place from a local’s perspective.

INCLUSIONS
2 day Meteora Special tour: Stay in the 3-star hotel KOSTA FAMISI, B class Train tickets from Athens to Kalambaka and back to Athens, Pick-up from the Kalampaka train station to your hotel, the Meteora Sunset Tour led by a knowledgeable English speaking tour leader, Free Map and Bottle of water provided on the tours, Free wifi on board the tour bus, Taxes & service fees.
Excluded: Lunch and Dinner, Entrance fees to the monasteries.

3 day Meteora-Delphi tour: Stay in the hotels KOSTA FAMISI and Hotel LEFAS, B class Train tickets from Athens to Kalambaka and on to Levadia, the Taxi transfer from Levadia railway station to Delphi, the Intercity Bus tickets from Delphi to Athens.
Excluded: Lunches and dinners, Entrance fees to the monasteries and the archaeological site.

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

This 3 Days Tour from Athens to Meteora and Delphi gives you the chance to visit two important greek sites, Meteora, and Delphi, independently and onyourownpace! For more details on this tour, check the above section and read about the tour itinerary, see photos and videos or read the FAQ! If you wish to modify this tour according to your own needs, like adding an extra overnight, feel free to contact us! Why book with us Daily tour departures any day you want, 365 days a year whether you are travelling on your own or in a small group. Traveling by train is incredibly scenic. Save time and effort. Organizing your own holiday can be a stressful task. Let us do the work for you! Trains are more energy-efficient per passenger mile than planes or cars, making them one of the most eco-friendly transportation. You will go to secret local spots that the vast majority of other travellers will never experience. You will learn about the culture and history of the place on a deeper level and from a local’s perspective. Inclusions 3-days/2 nights stay at a 3-star hotel at Meteora Train tickets from Athens to Meteora Train tickets from Meteora to Livadia Taxi transfer from Livadia to Delphi Bus tickets from Delphi to Athens Join the Meteora Sunset Tour Choose the second day’s tour Pick-up and drop off from Kalampaka train station to your hotel English speaking tour leader on the tours Free Map and Bottle of water provided on the tours Free wifi on board the tour bus Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Romanian on request Taxes & service fees Optional: Audio guide in Delphi Exclusions Gratuities (optional) Lunch and Dinner Entrance fees to the monasteries and the archeological site Guide in Delphi archeological site

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

Description

The 2 Days package to Meteora by train is organized daily.
It’s your chance to explore the unique natural phenomenon in central Greece. METEORA are listed as UNESCO World Heritage monuments.
It’s a rocky forest with huge Byzantine Monasteries, built for protection at the top of the rocks.
The tour includes the train tickets, 1 night stay, Sunset, Morning, Hiking Tour!

Meteora is a natural landmark nowhere to be found around the world. The imposing vertical rocks standing as pillars reaching the sky, host on their plateaus ancient monasteries with a vast cultural significance for the whole Christianity.

Join a 3.30 hrs tour at Meteora, see all six monasteries of the monastic community and visit 2 of them to experience the everyday life of the monks and nuns.

You deposit 40.00 € to help us buy your train tickets and you collect tickets and vouchers in Athens.

Tour program

Be at the Railway Station of Athens (Larissa station) at 07:50. Board the train to Kalambaka and depart at 08:20. Travelling by train is the most comfortable and efficient way to travel. It’s a smooth and scenic ride through the fertile plain of Thessaly.

You arrive in kalambaka at +/- 13:40 and an unforgetable experience starts. Enjoy the tour.

Itinerary


Day 1: Travel by train to Kalampaka, and visit Meteora in the afternoon.
* Be at LARISA railway station 07:50, and find platform 08.
* 08:20 – The train departs from Athens straight for Kalampaka (+/- 12 stops).
* +/- 13:40 – Arrive in Kalambaka. Meet our driver and go to the hotel. Check in and have lunch in a nearby restaurant.
* Return to the hotel and 16:00 be ready at the lobby of the hotel for the “afternoon sunset tour”. (CLICK and read details of the tour).
(The pick up time for the “sunset tour” varies, following the time that the sun sets).

Second day.

* 08.00 – Have an early breakfast, take a walk, enjoy the local faun & flora and at 09.00 you are picked up for the morning tour of Meteora. You drive up he rocks, stop in a couple of openings for beautiful photos, visit at least 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you visit the area, and
* 13.30 – return to Kalampaka. Have lunch, and, return to the hotel to take your luggage and walk 400 m. to the train station.
* 17.20 – Board the train and depart for Athens. Arrival at Larissa Rail station at +/- 22.40. End of the tour.

On day 2 you may take the hiking tour to the Meteora rocks instead of the morning tour. This decision is yours.

Prices

The price p.p. is:
115.00 € p.p. in a double bedroom with breakfast, 134.00 € in single room & 110.00 € p.p. in triple room.
The price INCLUDES:

  • Train ticket (B class),
  • accommodation with breakfast in hotel Kosta Famissi,
  • the arrival transfer from the train station to the hotel,
  • the 3.30 hours afternoon “Sunset” tour tour, and
  • on the second day,either the 4 hours morning tour or, the hiking tour, organized by our local partner.
  • NOT INCLUDED:

  • 3.00 € p.p., the entrance fee to every monastery, and
  • Your meals and drinks in the train & in Kalampaka.
  • The 1.50 € per room, per night “city tax”
  • Extra night in single = 38.00 euro, in double = 24.00 euro, in triple = 20.00 euro,
    Extra for upgrading your train ticket from B class to A class = 12.00 euro per person,

    To secure your booking, read the terms and conditions and deposit 40.00 euro per person in ….read more…

    Click here and see the terms and conditions to make and secure your bookings

    CLICK and see all the options to visit Meteora, guided tours and independent trips.

    Meteora by train

    CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

    In our tour you plan and organize everything yourself. You choose what monasteries to visit and how long to stay in each one.

    Question: Is it possible to visit Meteora, see the monasteries, and return to Athens all in one day? The answer is: A lot depends on what you want to get out of the visit. In Kalambaka you have 3 hours to drive quickly on the rocks and visit 2-3 monasteries at the maximum. We shall do whatever you decide.

    If your visit to Greece is too short, this is your chance to visit Meteora.

    Visit Meteora and realize why the first hermits chose this location to create their monastic community and seek to communicate with God. See the 4 monasteries and the 2 nunneries, and visit two of them. Learn about the everyday life of the monks, admire their architecture and gaze at the priceless relics and treasures of the monasteries, a cultural heritage to all Christian religions.

    When you finish with your sightseeing return to Kalambaka, have a light lunch, and board the train for your return to Athens. Arrive in Athens at 22:45

    Itinerary


    * You collect your tickets from us and settle the account, at least a day before departure.
    * Be at the LARISA railway station in Athens at least 30 minutes before the train departure.
    * Find platform 8. Your train comes at 08:10 am. The difficult thing is to find your coach and seat.
    * 08:20 – The train departs and following a scenic route it travels straight from Athens to Kalampaka(last stop).
    * 13:30 – Arrive in Kalampaka and meet our English speaking driver outside the railway station.
    * 13:45 – Drive to Meteora. Visit up to 3 monasteries. See old hermitages and cloisters in the caves.
    CLICK here and see the monasteries that are open on your day, and make your plan.
    * 16:45 – Return to Kalampaka. Stop at a local restaurant for a light meal (not included in the price).
    * 17:30 – The train departs from Kalampaka and arrives in Athens (LARISA station) at +/- 22.45.

    Price


    The price for the 3.30 hours private tour of Meteora includes your return B class train ticket and the taxi hire from the momntthatyou arrive until the moment that you tell the driver that you have seen enough and want to get back to kalambaka and have something to eat:

    – 2 passengers: Train ticket (B class), 54.00 + 25.00 taxi hire = 79.00 € p.p.
    – 3 passengers: Train ticket (B class), 54.00 + 20.00 taxi hire = 74.00 € p.p.
    – 4 passengers: Train ticket (B class), 54.00 + 15.00 taxi hire = 69.00 € p.p.

    Pay 54.00 € p.p. plus, the money for hiring the taxi, paid in cash to the driver in Kalampaka.

    To secure your booking, please, read the terms and conditions, and, deposit 40.00 € p.p. in ….read more…

    In our tour you are totally independent. You choose which monasteries to visit, how long to spend in every monastery visited, plus, you add a couple of stops to take photos, and have a light meal whenever you feel hungry.

    Click and see our BEST SELLER 3 days/2 nights Meteora and Delphi, independent trip by train.

    Price includes

    – Return B class, train ticket. Pay 12.00 euro, and upgrade the train ticket to A class (recommended).
    Upon arrival and for 3 hours, visit up to 3 monasteries & places that a foreigner does not visit.
    Visit hidden beauties & explore the area with a local, English speaking driver.

    NOT INCLUDED in the price:
    * No professional tour guide service is included. It’s you and the taxi driver.
    * 3.00 euro per person, being the entrance ticket to each monastery, and
    * Your lunch and drinks in the train and while you are in Kalampaka.

    Options to visit

    CLICK here and see all the options to visit the area of Meteora

    If you decide to spend more time in this unique area, there are packages organized for 2 or 3 days. During the extra day, join a Hiking Tour and explore the natural beauty, first hand. Follow the hiking guide and discover the trails that the first monks used centuries ago. Discover the geology of the region. Hiking down (always easier) on the well paved paths from the monastery of Grand Meteoron or the monastery of Varlaam all the way to the village of Kastraki and Kalambaka.

    If you think that the hiking tour is a difficult exercise, join the 4 hour morning tour and learn more regarding the spirituality of Meteora. Discover their cultural wealth and have a personal experience of the second most important monastic community, after the Mount Athens, located in Chalkidiki, near Thessaloniki.

    Last minute bookings are difficult to work out. Plan in advance and get the best seats in the train.

    Testimonials


    KSL13, Level 6 Contributor, TripAdvisor member since 2005, From USA
    Kosta is an all service travel agent
    I booked a tour to Meteora via train with Astoria travel at a significant discount from other agencies. Kosta also picked us up from the cruise port and took us to our Airbnb. He also gave us lots of advice about life in Greece. He knows so much! And he truly loves his job and he is proud of his country. I hope that lots of people use his services! I did not feel that he was exploiting tourist dollars, like most guys did. He is honest and reliable.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    Travelling to Meteora by train is the most comfortable and efficient way. A smooth and scenic ride.

    CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

    Description

    The 2 Days package to Meteora by train is your chance to explore a unique natural phenomenon in central Greece. The rocky forest with the Byzantine Monasteries, built for protection at the top of the rocks, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage monuments.
    The tour includes the train tickets, and 1 night stay with breakfast in the 3 star hotel Kosta Famissi.
    You can add to it the local tours organized by our partner, METEORA THRONES at special price (the Sunset Tour, and either the Meteora morning tour or the Meteora Hiking Tour! or,
    After checking in the hotel, you can explore Kalampaka. Don’t miss the 9th c church about 15 min. walk from the hotel.

    The Byzantine church Assumption of the Virgin Mary
    The most important monument of Kalambaka is the glorious byzantine church Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Vasiliki in style. It is found in the old city of Kalambaka at the base of the holy Meteora rocks. For many years it was the main church of Kalambaka.

    This byzantine church is one of the oldest monuments in all the district. The special feature of the church is the large and tall pulpit uniquely found in the middle of the church.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CAVE OF THEOPETRA.
    The oldest technical work in Greece, possibly in the world, is the Prehistorical Cave at Theopetra dated 23.000 years old. A stone wall at the entrance of the cave blocks 2/3 of the opening.
    The cave is found 4 Km from kalambaka. It is one of the most interesting Archaeological sites worth seeing in all of the Thessalian plain. It is of world-wide interest due to the discovery of rich and unique findings for two of the most important changes in human prehistory: the replacement of Neaderdal from the contempory human and the transition of the human hunter in the agricultural revolution.
    In small distance from the cave you can find the Documentation and education center of Theopetra cave.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    TO MAKE AND SECURE A BOOKING You deposit 40.00 € to help us buy your train tickets. You collect tickets and vouchers, any day before your departure for Kalambaka.

    Tour program


    Day 1: Travel by train to Kalampaka, and visit Meteora in the afternoon.
    * Be at LARISA railway station 07:50, and find platform 08.
    * 08:20 – The train departs from Athens straight for Kalampaka (+/- 12 stops).
    * +/- 13:40 – Arrive in Kalambaka and check in the hotel KOSTA FAMISSI.
    * 14:30 – Optional “sunset tour”of the Meteora (costs 25.00 euro p.p.)
    * 18:00 – Return to Kalampaka. Evening free.

    Day 2: A day to explore Meteora before returning to Athens.
    * 09:00 – Take the bus or our taxi and visit the highest monastery open on the day of your visit.
    * 13:00 – After you finish your visits, hike down on the well paved paths, or, take the bus to Kalampaka.
    Explore the old town of Kalampaka, visit the Byzantine church of the dormition of Mother Mary,
    find a nice restaurant, have lunch, and return to the hotel to take your luggage and
    walk to the railway station.
    * 05.30pm – Board the train and depart for Athens. Arrival +/- 22.40.

    To secure your booking, please, read the terms and conditions and deposit 40.00 € p.p. in …. (more…)

    CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

    Tour details


    Take this efficient and well organized independent tour and visit the 2 well known UNESCO sites, Meteora, and Delphi, on your own pace.
    Travel on a combination of train, bus and private taxi from Athens and back in an easy and efficient way. This trip depends on a lot of small details and it took us a long time to make a team of reliable partners to organize and offer a reliable service at a reasonable price.
    Enjoy unique landscapes, and visit monuments of great historical importance. Join top local tours,
    a) Meteora Sunset Tour, and b) either the morning Half-Day Tour or the Meteora Hiking Tour and learn the history and culture of Meteora.

    The train tickets are offered in B class. Upgrading to A class costs 12.00 € p.p. extra

    Departures daily, travelling on your own or in a small group.

    See also our alternative tours:
    1 day Meteora by train and private taxi tour from… 69.00 €
    2 days Meteora package by train from 73.00 €
    2 days Meteora “special” by train from 115.00 €
    2 days guided tour to Delphi and Meteora from…120.00 €
    3 days guided tour to Delphi and an extra day in Kalambaka for 148.00 €

    Itinerary


    Day 1. Travel from Athens to Kalampaka. In the afternoon, visit Meteora.

    * You collect your tickets and settle the account, at least a day before departure
    * Be at the LARISA railway station at 07:50 and find platform 08.
    * 08.20 – The train departs from Athens and travels straight to Kalampaka.
    * +/- 13.40 – Arrive in Kalambaka and check in the Hotel KOSTA FAMISSI.
    * 16.30 – Optional Sunset tour for extra 20.00 euro p.p..
    * 20.30 – After dinner, return to the hotel for overnight.

    Day 2. Explore Meteora and at 17.20 depart for Delphi.

    * Wake up early go for a walk and experience the surrounding terrace, the flora and fauna of the area.
    * 08.00 – Have a good breakfast at Hotel Kosta Famissi. You will need a lot of energy this morning.
    * 09.00 – Optional 4 hrs tour. Visit 3 monasteries for 20.00 euro p.p. extra
    * 13.00 – After the tour, take a walk in the old town, see the Byzantine church of the dormition of Mother Mary,
    have a light lunch, and return to the hotel to take your luggage and walk to the train station.
    * 17.30 – Get on board the train and travel to Levadia, via Tithorea.
    * 21.10 – Get off at Levadia, meet, Apollo, our driver, and drive to Delphi.
    * 22.00 – Arrive in Delphi and check in the Hotel LEFAS.

    Day 3. In the morning, explore Delphi and return to Athens.

    * 08.00 – After breakfast walk to the bus ticket office and validate your bus ticket.
    * 08.30 – Start your sightseeing with the archaeological museum.
    * 11.00 – Explore the sanctuary of Apollo, and the temple of Athena Pronaia, on your own.
    * 13.30 – Finish with your sightseeing, return to the town of modern Delphi and have lunch.
    * 16.00 – Board the bus and depart for Athens. Arrive in Athens at +/- 19.15. (Liossion street terminal).

    To secure a booking, please, read the terms and conditions and deposit 40.00 € p.p. in ….read more…

    Price


    Our price is: € 138.00, per person in double rooms.
    Persuade a friend, share a triple room and save 5%
    (The trip is not organized for single travellers).

    INCLUDED:The B class Train ticket, Athens-Kalampaka-Levadia,
    – 1 night in Hotel KOSTA FAMISSI-Kalampaka, and 1 night in Hotel LEFAS-Delphi,
    – the taxi transfer from the railway station in Levadia to the hotel in Delphi, and
    – the Intercity bus ticket from Delphi to Athens.
    ———————————————————————–
    EXTRAS:
    # Extra night in double bedroom: € 24.00 p.p. (The trip is not organized for single travellers).
    # Upgrade your train ticket to A class: € 12.00,
    # 4 hours morning tour of Meteora: Only 20.00 € p.p.,
    # 3.30 hours Sunset tour of Meteora:Only 20.00 € p.p.
    # 4 hours morning hiking tour: Only 20.00 € p.p.

    Click here and see all the options to visit Meteora by train…

    NOT INCLUDED:
    # The € 3.00 p.p. to each monastery, and the entrance to the museum and site of Delphi.
    # All meals and drinks, except the 2 breakfasts.
    # The overnight tax of 1.50 EUR per room, per night./li>
    # The services of a professional tour guide.

    The tours in Kalampaka are optional and are offered, at discounted rates.

    CLICK and see all the options to visit Meteora, guided tours and independent trips.

    Included in the price

    * Train ticket from Athens to Kalambaka
    * Train ticket from Kalambaka to Levadia
    * 1 night stay in Hotel Kosta FAMISI, in Kalambaka
    * Taxi transfer from Levadia to Delphi
    * 1 night stay in Hotel LEFAS, in Delphi
    * Intercity Bus tickets from Delphi to Athens
    * Join the Meteora Sunset Tour (optional)
    * Choose the second day’s tour (optional)
    * English speaking tour leader on the tours
    * Taxes & service fees

    * Meals, and entrance fees to the monasteries and the archaeological site/museum in Delphi are not included.

    Testimonials


    Client’s comments about the tour and our services
    Yan_RN, Houston, Texas, Dec 15,
    I booked 2 trips, One day Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus and the 3 DAYS/2 NIGHTS – METEORA & DELPHI TRIP (no guide), from Astoria travel and was very satisfied with their service. Kosta, a very reliable gentleman, tried his best to arrange every detail for our trips. He accompanied us until we seated on the train at departure. He booked the same seat number for our departure and return train for us to be convenient to remember. Important is that I don’t think I paid more for this 5 star service. I paid less for the one day tour and for the train ticket comparing with what others paid. I highly recommend Astoria travel for Greece travel.

    In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds interesting, please, send us the booking form.

    CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

     

    The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

    CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

    The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

    The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

    If you have two days to spare this is one of the most impressive places you will ever visit. Meteora is a flat plain where God in his great wisdom placed these giant rocks where monks could climb to the top to escape the world. These monks built impressive monasteries, some which could only be reached by ropes and pulleys, built and supplied by hauling material up in baskets. Today, Meteora, is one of the top tourist destinations in Greece. Doing a Delphi-Meteora trip is one of the most popular journeys.

    Spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, the Meteora monasteries are among the most striking sights in Greece. The name Meteora (Μετεωρα) is Greek for “suspended in the air,” which perfectly describes these six remarkable Greek Orthodox monasteries. The sandstone peaks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, who clambered up the rocks to be alone with God. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability and revival of the hermit ideal; the first was Great Meteoron (c.1340) and there were 24 monasteries by 1500. They flourished until the 17th century but only six survive today; four of these still host monastic communities.

    The nearest major town is Kalambaka (from the Turkish word for “pinnacle”), at the base of the Meteora, which has accommodation for overnight visitors as well as some medieval churches. Neighboring Kastraki has some accommodation as well. Alternatively, a guided day tour from Athens is a popular and easy way to visit. To visit all six in one day without joining a tour, begin with Ayiou Nikolaou Anapavsa, Varlaam and Great Meteoron before 1pm, break for lunch while the monasteries are closed, then see Roussanou, Ayias Triadhos and Ayiou Stefanou in the afternoon. A strict dress code is enforced: all shoulders must be covered, men must wear long trousers and women must wear long skirts.

    The Meteora are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Six monasteries, open to the public today, built on natural sandstone rocks, over the town of Kalambaka. The 64 gigantic rocks, made of conglomerate, create a spectacle, unique worldwide.

    There are several theories regarding the creation of these rocks. The prevailing theory is that one of the German geologist Philipson. According to Philipson, million of years ago the area was a huge lake and 3 rivers had their estuaries in this area. The rivers brought, stones and material, from central Europe. From the accumulation of these materials deltaic cones were formed.

    About 30 million years ago, after geological changes that took place, the central part of today’s Europe was lifted the Alpes and the valley of Tempi were formed and an outlet for these waters to the Aegean Sea was created. During the time of the alpine mountain orogenesie, solid volumes of “rocks” were cut off from the mountain chain of Pindus and as the centuries went by, the plain of the river of Pinios was formed between them. Orogenesis refers to severe structural deformation of the Earth’s crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. The word “orogenesis” comes from the Greek (oros that means “mountain” and genesis for “creation” or “origin”). It is the mechanism by which mountains are built on continents. Orogenie develops while a continental plate is crumpled and thickened to form mountain ranges, and involve a great range of geological processes collectively called orogenesis.

    Following the continuous corrosion by the wind, rain and other geological changes these rocks took their present form. A spectacle “unique” worldwide. At the cavities, fissures and peaks of these rock towers people found protection from enemies that invaded from time to time the area.

    Some of these rocks reach 1800 ft or 550m above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors.

    Hermits and anchorites found shelter on these rocks, seeking mental calmness and tranquillity, while praying and seeking for Christian perfection. According to the existing scripts monk hood is present from the 1st millennium. Initially the hermits were isolated, meeting on Sundays and special days to worship and pray not only for their salvation but also for the salvation of all people, in a small chapel that was built at the foot of a rock known as Doupiani. Their life was simple and the work hard.

    According to scripts, Barnabas, the monk who established the cloister of the Holy Ghost is mentioned as the first hermit at 950-970 AD, followed by the monk Andronikos from Crete, who established the cloister of the Transfiguration of Jesus in the early 1000 AD. Later and around 1150-1160 AD the Cloister of Doupiani was established. Except the aforementioned cloisters others also existed in several cavities around the rock of Doupiani.

    At the beginning of the 12th c. in the area of the Meteora a small ascetic state was formed, having as centre of worship the church of Mother of God extant until today at the north part of the rock of Doupiani. The hermits were flowing to this small church from their hermitages in order to perform their common worship, to discuss the several problems that concerned them and to ask for the help from other hermits in order to carry out the hard work. The leading man of the cloister of Doupiani had the title of the “first”.

    Almost 200 years later, in the middle of the 14th c. the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mount was established by Holy Athanassios, who gave the big rock the name Meteoro. Since then all the rocks have this name.

    During the 14th and 15th c. a time of great prosperity for the monk hood in the Meteora we have the creation of many more Monasteries and their number reaches 24. In the middle of the 14th c. monk Neilos, founded the Holy Monastery of Ascension (the Holy Monastery of Ypapanti-Candle Mass, today), and in 1517, Nectarios and Theophanes built the monastery of Varlaam, which was reputed to house the finger of St John and the shoulder blade of St Andrew.
    Access to the monasteries was deliberately difficult.

    The first hermits climbed up the rocks using scaffolds wedged in holes of the rocks. They felt safe from political upheaval and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. Later on, the only means of reaching the monasteries was by climbing ropes, windlass and long ladders, which were drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened.

    The monastery of Varlaam has an extensive net and pulley system, from which rope nets are let down several hundred feet by a windlass, today used for lifting up provisions.

    The ropes were replaced, as the monks say, only “when the Lord let them break”. In the 1920s the first steps were carved in the rocks. There is a common belief that St. Athanasius (founder of the first monastery) did not scale the rock, but was carried there by an eagle.

    As years went by, under several difficulties, conquerors of the area, thieves’ raids and other factors, many of the flourishing Monasteries were abandoned (period of decline after the 17th c) and during World War II the site was bombed and many art treasures were stolen by the Germans.

    Today, the tradition continues for over 600 years, uninterrupted in 6 monasteries, 4 inhabited by monks and 2 by nuns. According to popularity they are: the Monastery of the Great Meteoro, the Varlaam Monastery, the St Stephen Monastery, the Holy Trinity Monastery, the St Nicolas Anapafsas Monastery and the Roussanou Monastery. Each of them has fewer than 10 inhabitants.

    Furthermore, with the generous efforts of the monks, the local Bishop Serafim and the contribution of the state, the E.U. and several citizens, more monasteries have been restored and maintained, such as:
    1) The monastery of St Nicolas Badovas (dependent on the Holy Trinity monastery), and
    2) Of Ypapanti-Candle Mass (dependent on the monastery of the Transfiguration or Great Meteoro).

    We feel that the Meteora belong to everybody. This is your chance to see the “unique” spectacle and visit the monasteries.