Category Archive : Explore Meteora

VISIT METEORA and follow the monks’ paths to the monasteries.

Meteora is a complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries built on natural sandstone pillars.
Today four monasteries and two nunneries are open to the public. Certain days each one is closed for meditation.

Meteora today

If there is one place that you must visit during your visit to Greece this is the Meteora in central Greece. This vast Eastern Orthodox monastic complex is not found anywhere else in the world. Despite how overused the word amazing is, at Meteora it means the exact picture. If the unearthly landscape of massive pillar-like mountains and columns weren’t striking enough, monks, 800 years ago built huge monasteries on top of them.

The view from Meteora is spectacular no matter where you stand, and it will make even the most experienced traveller to say “wow”. Greece is full of spectacular sites, but it will be difficult to find one more unique and with so many fabulous views as in Meteora. The UNESCO monasteries of Meteora, are one of the most extraordinary sights.

Meteora map

Meteora map

Built on top of the huge pinnacles of smooth rocks, the monasteries provided monks with peaceful havens from the bloodshed as the Byzantine Empire waned at the end of the 14th c. The monasteries were reached by climbing removable ladders. Later, windlasses were used so monks could be hauled up in nets, a method used until the 1920s. Apprehensive visitors enquiring how often the ropes were replaced were told ‘When the Lord lets them break’.

These days access to the monasteries is by steps hewn into the rocks and the windlasses are used only for hauling up provisions.

Do not miss visiting this unique place at this special prices!

Monasticism at Meteora


The Monasticism at the Holy Meteora over the centuries
The monks’ love of God, monasticism and asceticism for this miraculous way of life on the rugged spires of the plain of Thessaly. Monasticism is the highest calling and the path that leads directly to holiness. It is the complete devotion of the human person to the tribune God. It is the imitation of the angels in divine love, chant, obedience and the ministry of souls, which is why it was called ‘equal to the angels’ and an ‘angelic state’. The entire life of a monk consists in opening the heart to God and keeping His commandments, in constantly striving for sanctification and praying continually. Whether working, studying or in the stillness of prayer, the monk is unceasingly crying out to the Lord in the heart with the brief prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us”.

Over the centuries the Meteora monasteries were seed-beds of holiness for a multitude of monks, a bastion of faith and civilization, treasuries of the values and virtues of the Greek Orthodox spirit. Here, the unparalleled natural wealth of Meteora coexists in absolute harmony with discreet human intervention; intense spiritual striving and devotion to God is juxtaposed with a love of beauty and culture; the harsh ascetic way of life stands side by side with the refinement of art and artistic creativity, with the sole purpose of glorifying the Creator.

The monks’ ascetic struggles were characterised by heroism, their spirituality by a spirit of self-sacrifice, self-denial and support to the troubled souls who sought refuge in these strongholds of Orthodoxy. Thus the monasteries of Meteora became the watchful custodians and guardians of tradition: they became schools for the Greek children under Turkish rule and a refuge for the persecuted, they offered provisions to the freedom fighters and at the same time gave an education in holiness and salvation.

The valuable ascetic tradition of Meteora, the large number of saints who have lived on the hallowed spires, its rich liturgical life and many relics, which are its most precious treasures, together make the monasteries vital centres of Orthodox spirituality.

Meteora is a holy land, a sacred space created and guarded by God, its cliffs and caves and ravines sanctified by the host of holy ascetics and martyrs of the Greek Thebaid who have inhabited them. A contemporary saint, St Porphyrios, used to say: “I speak with the rocks, for they have so much to tell of the ascetic life of earlier fathers”.

Over the last fifty years a remarkable programme of restoration has been carried out to the monasteries of Meteora, as a result of the hard work and tireless efforts of the energetic and worthy abbots and monks, the watchful care and blessing of Metropolitan Seraphim of Stagoi and Meteora and the excellent collaboration of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Larissa (formerly of Trikala). This major undertaking includes extensive reconstruction work, the preservation of frescoes and treasures in the monasteries’ collections and improvements to the surrounding space, making Meteora one of the most spiritual and attractive destinations in the world.

The monastic communities of Meteora participate in liturgical life and attend to the many visitors with love and sensitivity. In addition they preserve and maintain the sites, paint icons, embroider with gold thread, create miniatures, produce beeswax candles, incense and small icons, cultivate the monastery gardens and keep bees. Their publications include studies in history, theology and hymnography. However, their primary purpose is to offer a living witness of Christ in an age which is spiritually barren, when people have lost their sense of national and religious identity and are experiencing a crisis that is not only economic but also spiritual. The monks strive to preserve the precious legacy of their faith and rich tradition and to highlight their inestimable value in modern times.

The monastic community


Perched high atop spires of conglomerated Calcerous and sandstone rock, the monasteries of Meteora are one of the world’s most spectacular sacred sites. Located in the Thessaly region of North Central Greece and overlooking the valley of Pinios, the towering rocks of Meteora, meaning ‘rocks in the air’, have long evoked awe in human beings. Paleolithic remains indicate settlements around the stones from between 100,000 to 40,000 BC, and hermits and ascetics have lived in the area since long before the Christian era. The arrival of Christianity began in the 8th century, organized monastic communities had developed by the 12th century, and by the mid 1500’s twenty-four Greek Orthodox monasteries had been constructed upon the spires of stone. The monasteries, 200-600 meters high (and some accessible only by baskets lowered by ropes and winches), became a center of scholarship and art until the mid 18th century when popular interest in monasticism declined. Most of these meteorisa monastiria (‘hanging monasteries’) were abandoned and today only six survive, of which four can be visited by way of bridges and rock-cut steps. Previously a remote area, the construction of a highway in the early 1960’s made the monasteries accessible to pilgrims and tourists. This influx of visitors, however, has discouraged new monks from joining the monasteries and compelled others to move to Mt. Athos in search of solitude and privacy.
Orthodox Monks started to populate the area of Meteora over 1200 years ago, initially searching for quietness, peace and the perfect environment

Lifting system with ropes in Meteora to pray and meditate. They were living in caves like hermits, with little human relations. Beginning of the 12th c. they started to congregate and create the first monasteries. To make things more difficult, they decided to build their communities on top of rocky peaks, apparently inhospitable places to live in, but with more protection from the outside world, and amazing views to enjoy daily.
Approching Meteora the visitor wonders how could they manage at that time to climb these steep peaks with very little equipment and later to carry the materials to build the monasteries. The cliffs are as high as 600m (1800 feet) from the plain level, and hardly accessible even today to equipped rock climbers. Originally entrance to the monasteries was possible only with ladders, or ropes connected to nets, used to lift goods and people. Not only it was adventurous, but also really dangerous, since the legend say that the ropes were changed only “when the Lord let them break”. The advantage of such an access system was that the ropes could easily be lifted to protect the monks from external threats. The biggest expansion of the monasteries had place at the end of the 14th c, when Greece was threatened by Turkish invaders, and monks from other areas of Greece took refugee in Meteora, building a total of 24 monasteries, progressively abandoned in the last two centuries.

While walking in Meteora we saw buses packed with tourists going from one monastery to the other without even stopping on the way to enjoy the amazing views. This means to miss all of the magic of this place, the fusion of the human-made monasteries perfectly integrated on top of incredible rock formations. We advise you not to do the same mistake and enjoy the route in between the monasteries!

Contact us

Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

A well marked path in the rocks of Meteora

Description


For real pleasure and nice memories, combine touring with walking and hiking. The sight of the Meteora is a unique experience, but walking on the well marked paths, is breathtaking. Experience and observe the beautiful local flora and fauna between the huge rocks.

Step off the tourist trail and discover the little-known routes that most visitors do not get to see. On this morning hiking trip, you follow your leader-guide on a leisurely hike in the narrow well marked path that leads into the valleys set on the foothill of the great rocks all the way to the Grand Meteoro Monastery. Along the way, you pass from the out of the way Ypapanti monastery and some of the smaller rock monasteries, and listen to fascinating commentary about the formation and history of this unique site.

There is a number of hiking paths in the area, some are more difficult than others. The routes chosen to follow are not too difficult. Wear the proper shoes and be careful where you step, other than that it is a great experience to become one with the nature.

“Go hiking in Meteora” and see this unique geological phenomenon walking. Experience a unique convergence of nature and spirituality unlike any other place in Greece. Discover and follow the paths of the monks. This is the opportunity to see the monasteries and landscape from a different perspective.
The views of the town of Kalampaka at the base of the rocks and the valley of Pineios river are stunning. Plus a visit to a monastery (Great Meteoron or Varlaam) is included.
The Professional Hiking Guide will be with you to give you all the information you need about the area and wherever is needed, transport is organized on a minibus.

Distance: 8 km | Duration: 4 hrs | Difficulty: Easy. If you are an active person you should join this tour.

Included

Visit One monastery,
Certified Hiking Guide,
Hotel Pick up / Drop off,
Free Meteora Map

EXCLUDED:
Entrance fees to the Monastery (3.00 €),
Meals and soft drinks.

Useful advice


The best season for walking at Meteora is Spring and Autumn. If you are walking in the Summer, you will need to have a lot of water with you. You should avoid walking in the heat of the day (11.00 – 4.00 pm).
In the Winter you should also avoid areas that are very wet and slippery.
You should wear shoes, correct for such sports.
Please respect the holiness of the site and maintain the proper dress and behaviour.

More info


Witness nature at its best and admire the historic monasteries on this morning escapade. The views are majestic and our tour guides will make sure you enjoy them through the most efficient paths, all while informing you about the history and tales of the area.

The hiking tour of Meteora is best possible way to experience this historic site and geological mystery. On this tour you will walk through paths less traveled by the masses, which only locals are able to guide you through. Follow the trails taken by the first hermits and monks to settle in Meteora in the 9th Century AD, enjoy views which most visitors do not get the opportunity to see!

The tour begins from the Doupiani rock, right under the remains of Pantokrator monastery. We continue through the imposing sandstone mountains and move to the north side of Meteora. There we visit the concealed monastery of Ypapanti and the remains of St. Dimitrious Monastery. While visiting these landmarks, you will hear the history, legends and dark tales associated with the area and each site as told by the locals.

Visit the Ypapanti monastery from the inside (it is open until October), and then the monasteries of Great Meteoron or Varlaam. After filling your soul and absorbing history, we begin the last leg of this one of a kind tour by taking the original paths monks used before more modern road construction began.

Contact us


Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

Take the 4 hour morning tour and explore Meteora.

Many centuries ago, an important monastic community was formed on these gigantic rocks in Greece.

Description


The Meteora Morning Tour from Kalampaka is the perfect choice to explore the Meteora Monasteries. History, science and mythology alike have attempted to explain the formation of the sandstone mountain, but it is still a mystery which makes it one of the most unique places in the world and places it in the UNESCO list. Its deep religious history offers many tales and legends. It is estimated that the first hermit monks settled on the Meteora rocks around the 10th c. AD. It has since been a Christian sanctuary with a very complicated history. 24 monasteries were built during its history, 6 remain open today.

Go on a daytime tour of 3 of the 6 remaining monasteries in Meteora, learn the history and hear dark tales of the area from your local guide. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take photos from secrets positions. Give yourself the privilege of absorbing some of the most breathtaking sights, views and colors nature has to offer. Combine that with learning the history of the area and hearing impressive tales about the first hermits and monks who settled in Meteora, and you have a complete day of body and soul fulfilling activity.

Discover the natural beauty and the cultural heritage of this area. Many visitors never learn or hear that just few km away from Kalampaka there is one of the most important prehistoric caves not only for Greece but for the entire world, with archaeological findings dating back to 130,000 BC!

Best tour at best price: 25.00 €

Included


Transportation by modern air-conditioned bus
Stops for beautiful photos
Learn the traditions, myths and history
See all 6 monasteries, Visit 3 of them
English speaking tour leader
Hotel Pick up / Drop off
Free WI FI
Meteora Map

Upon request French,Italian,Russian,Spanish (extra cost)
Certified guide (optional, extra cost)

NOT INCLUDED

3.00 € per person, entrance fee at each monastery
Visit the Grand Meteoro and the nunnery of St Stephen’s
(If the Grand Meteoro is closed, the Varlaam is visited instead).

Useful information


Wear proper shoes.
Do not forget to bring your camera.
The monasteries have a strict dress code. Wrappings are provided.

Contact us

Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

Enjoy a beautiful sunset from the Meteora rocks.

Description


If you happen to be at Meteora on a tour, finish the day with a Sunset Tour on the rocks watching the sun hiding behind the mountains. Meteora is a unique site, a complex of sandstone rocks listed in UNESCO’s Sites. It is the second largest monastic site in Greece. 6 of the original 24 monasteries are still open to the public. The history and myths are endless, as are the paths to explore this unique area. Visit sites which tell the 27-century old story of the region like the Badovas and the surrounding caves.

You have the chance to combine the Sunset Tour with the Morning Tour or the Meteora Hiking Tour for a full day experience. The leaders are local guys willing to offer their knowledge. Walk on well paved paths and hear the history and legends of the area.

In the 3.30 hour afternoon SUNSET TOUR, organized by our partner in Kalampaka, you visit either the ROUSSANOU, or, the St. STEPHEN’S nunneries, the old Byzantine church of Mother Mary in Kalambaka, and the 1,000 years old hermitages and cave dwellings of Badova.

Experience a beautiful sunset, and capture beautiful photos.

Best tour at best price: 25.00 €

Program


Starting at +/- 16.00 the tour will take you to places that only the locals know. Enjoy amazing views, learn about the history, and traditions of the place. High up on the rocks, you will see the 1,000 years old Bandovas’, the cave dwellings on the rocks, and learn the history of the very old Byzantine church, built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to god Apollo. The Dormition of Mother Mary in Kalampaka is one of the oldest churches in Greece, a real monument of special Byzantine architecture.

Driving on the rocks, the driver will stop on a flat opening, from where you will take dozens of photos of a beautiful sunset. When the sun touches the mountains at the background, a complete silence is all you hear, and that is the moment that you understand why Meteora was chosen by the monks to build the monasteries here. It’s the moment that you also feel the need to meditate on the beauty of the creation.

Included


Transportation by modern air-conditioned bus
Pick up and drop off from your Hotel in Kalampaka or Kastraki
Stop at the right spot for taking the sunset photos.
Learn about the local customs, legends and history
Visit the nunnery of Roussanou, or, the nunnery of St. Stephen’s,
Visit the Byzantine church of Virgin Mary in Kalampaka and
the cave dwellings at Badovas

Not included
– 3.00 € per person, the entrance fee to the nunnery, and
– 2.00 € per person, the entrance fee to the Byzantine church of Mother Mary.

Useful information

– Wear the proper shoes and proper dress. Men wearing long trousers, and women long skirts. However at the entrance of the monasteries you are provided with wrappings to follow the dress code and show your respect.

Contact us

Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

sunset tour in Kalambaka

This tour is organized, between April and October, ON Mondays.

Description


Visit Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora.
Spend 2 nights in Kalambaka and explore the Meteora rocks & monasteries

The Amazing open THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. On the ground of the sanctuary, the administration of the Asclipieion, in order to entertain the patients, decided to build a theatre. Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests, excellent surgeons, to perform even brain operations.

NAFPLION – the “Venice” of Greece
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. Nafplion was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

MYCENAE – “City in gold” Mycenae, the city that controlled both the land and sea routes, was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period to contemporary literary and artistic creations. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the impressive Lions’ Gate.

OLYMPIA & the OLYMPIC GAMES The site of Olympia, was the location of the ancient Olympic Games, with the first recorded win in 776 BC. In addition to the numerous temples and sanctuaries, there are remains of sporting structures, such as the ancient Stadium, the Gymnasium, the Palaestra and others.

DELPHI – The famous “temple bank”. The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of the oracle of Apollo in Delphi, was the spiritual centre of the Greek world. Situated in a spectacular natural setting on the mountain of Parnassus, it was the symbol of Greek cultural unity from the 8th c. BC onwards.

Driving from Delphi to Kalambaka you take a short stop at Thermopyllae, the place where Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fought the Persians. Overnight in kalambaka.

KALAMBAKA – The unique “ART OF NATURE”. Travel on the rocks of Meteora and with the tour guide, visit 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you come to Meteora. Return to Kalambaka for lunch and after lunch start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

Prices and discounts


The hotel pick up service starts at 07:30 and the bus departs from the terminal at 08:30, and returns at +/- 19:30

HOTELS at Olympia: (3*) NEDA, KRONION, or similar | (4*) OLYMPIC VILLAGE, EUROPA, ARTY GRAND
HOTELS in Delphi: (3*) FEDRIADES, HERMES, PARNASSOS and (4*) AMALIA
HOTELS in Kalambaka: (3*) KOSTA FAMISI, ORFEAS, or similar | (4*) AMALIA, or similar

PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more? Our discounted prices, per adult, for this tour are:

Two choices Double room Single room Details
Option 1: 3* hotel with breakfast 380.00 + entrance fees 450.00 + entrance fees 15.00 € extra per dinner
Option 2: 4* hotel with half board 520.00 + entrance fees 640.00 + entrance fees Includes free arrival transfer

ENTRANCE FEES: Juniors <19 and E.U. students, JANUARY - DECEMBER, are free of charge.
Students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65, JANUARY – DECEMBER, pay 24.00 €
Everybody else, NOVEMBER – MARCH, pay 24.00 €, while, from APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pays 48.00 € extra.

If you visit Greece on the following dates, you are allowed to walk in Greek sites and museums, free of charge:
March 6, April 18, May 18, June 5, September 27, Last weekend of September, First Sunday from November 01 – to March 31st, October 28.

Avoid planning visits to Archaeological sites & museums on the following dates. You will find them closed:
December 25 + 26, January 01, March 25, May 01, Greek Easter Day(April or May) & Greek Good Friday sites/museums open at 01:00pm

Special discounts: (One option of 5% discount is applicable).
* Persuade a friend, share a triple room with your friend and save 5%
* Persuade your friends, make a team of 5 or more adults and save 5%
* Take advantage of our PAY IN ADVANCE 5% discount (see in the footer)
* Combine it with the 1 day cruise and pay a special price for the package.
* Upgrade your 3* hotel with breakfast at Olympia to the 4* OLYMPIAN VILLAGE by paying 14.00 € p.p. extra

In the footer, find the the “4 steps 2 make a booking” and if you find our offer interesting, please, start the communication. Let us be your host.

Highlights

Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
With the tour guide, visit 2 of the Meteora monasteries that are open on the day you visit Meteora
On Thursday, in Kalambaka, join a “sunset tour” and watch a beautiful sunset from the top of the rocks.
Short stop at the romantic town of Nafplion. The Venetians had it for 200 yrs and they left their mark.
1 night hotel accommodation at Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
2 nights hotel accommodation in Kalambaka
4 breakfasts (the dinners are optional and depend on the price that you choose to pay).
Services of the Professional guide except on Thursday.
Transport by modern air-conditioned coach
Pick up / drop off service from central hotels in Athens (See the list in the footer)
All taxes except the hotel overnight tax (0.50-3.00 €/ room/ night)

Not included: The entrances to museums, sites, and the 3.00 € entrance during the SUNSET tour
Juniors under 19, and E.U. students are free to enter sites & museums.

More info & Map


* Explore the town of Kalampaka and don’t miss the 9th century church at Kalampaka. The church is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel.

* Start the communication by sending us a message.

* Read the 4 steps 2 book that you find in the footer and we look forward to receive your request.
* When we receive the message from the bank that the money have been deposited, we’ll send you the voucher.

MAP – ROUTE OF THE TOUR

Contact us

Astoria Travel, (Est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message


In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks 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.

 

Meteora by train

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

Tour details


Take this independent tour and visit the 2 well known UNESCO sites of Meteora, and Delphi, at your own pace.
Travel from Athens and back in a combination of train, private taxi, and public bus.
It took us a long time to make a team of partners and offer a reliable service at a reasonable price.
Enjoy unique landscapes, and visit monuments of great historical importance. Join the local tours organised by our local partner a) the Meteora Sunset Tour, and b) either the morning Half-Day Tour or c) the Meteora Hiking Tour and learn the history and culture of the unique area 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 small groups.

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 €
5 days guided classical tour of Greece staying an extra day in Kalambaka.

Itinerary


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

* You collect your tickets and settle the account, any day before departure
* Be at the LARISA railway station at 07:50 and find your platform.
* 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 17.30 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 2-3 monasteries for ONLY 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.
* 17.20 – 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 – Visit the nearby archaeological museum.
* 11.00 – Explore the sanctuary of Apollo, and the temple of Athena Pronaia.
* 13.30 – 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.

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:
* 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

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>
# Services of a professional tour guide can be arranged at extra cost.

The tours in Kalampaka are optional and are offered, at discounted rates.
———————————————————————–
EXTRAS:
# Extra night in double bedroom: € 24.00 p.p., per hotel. (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 and see all the options to visit Meteora, guided tours and independent trips.

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.

contact us

Astoria Travel (Est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

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.

 

Caves in the Meteora rocks

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

For real pleasure, combine walking and touring between the monasteries. Give yourselves an extra day to explore Meteora on your own. The sight of the Meteora is a unique spectacle and experience, but walking on the well marked paths, between the rocks, is breathtaking. One morning in Kalambaka is not enough. Spend an extra night there, wake up early and go for a walk. Experience and observe the local flora and fauna, join the optional “sunset” tour and you will remember Meteora for the rest of your life.

Days & Prices


Unfortunately this guided tour operates ONLY between April-October,
You depart on Wednesday with a group and a tour guide, you visit the ancient site in Delphi and spend the night in Kalambaka. Thursday in Kalambaka, you are free to explore Meteora on your own – (take the optional morning hiking tour and in the afternoon join the optional “sunset tour”). Finally, Friday, with a group and a professional tour guide, you visit 2 monasteries that are open on Fridays and return to Athens at +/- 19:30
It can be combined and offered with other day departures but the return from Kalambaka to Athens is by train for extra 20.00 €.

***CLICK & SEE the alternative 3 days/2 nights independent tour, that we organize daily by train.

PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more? Our discounted prices, per adult, for this tour are:

1) Sharing a double room with your partner, 2 nights with 2 BREAKFASTS: 148.00 €
2) For single travellers, 2 nights in single room, with 2 BREAKFASTS: 188.00 €

The hotel that we use in Kalampaka for this tour is the 3* “Hotel KOSTA FAMISI”.
The prices include:
– transportation on modern air conditioned buses
– Pickup / drop off from or near your lodging. (See the list of hotels in the footer of this page).
(This service is from hotels in Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens).
– The services of the professional tour guide on Wed & Friday. Thursday you are on your own.
– Hotel accommodation in single / double rooms including BREAKFAST, ONLY.
– The entrance tickets to the 2 monasteries visited on Friday.

Not included:
– SINCE 2018, a hotel accommodation tax is applied and paid by clients to the hotels as follows: 3* hotels=1.50 € per room/per night.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the higher one):
a) 5% TRIPLE ROOM DISCOUNT: Share a room with another 2 of your friends and gain 5%.
a) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%.
b) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save 5%.
# SUBMIT your booking request form at least 4 months before the scheduled departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 € p.p.
# 2 MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full and save 5%.

– Read the details in the “4 Steps 2 book” link in the footer of this page and start the booking steps.
– In the footer of the website you also see our location, contact information, and working hours.

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Copied from a client’s blogspot:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (30% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a scam. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL.

Useful links: 4 STEPS 2 BOOK / booking-form / Send us a message

Highlights


DELPHI-the centre of the universe
Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims, from kings and philosophers to common people, came to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics, that were organized in Delphi. The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed on the slopes of Mt Parnassus, makes Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. It is a 2.30 hr drive from Athens.

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary.
The archaeological site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, AND the stadium, while the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia consists of the best known landmark – the “tholos”, a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored, the gymnasium and the sports fascilities, used for training during the “Pythian Games”.
Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started 1892. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the two “kouros” statues, the “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

METEORA-the art of nature
In a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” from the 10th c. onwards. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. frescoes mark a key stage in the development of the post-Byzantine painting.
More than a million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.
The huge rocks of Meteora were formed millions of years ago, a mixture of sandstone, pebbles and hard gravel. These mountain pillars are extraordinary, with horizontal stripes and strange shapes, reaching 600 m tall. The art of Nature; a rocky forest. Meteora have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and since 1995 the Hellenic government declared it a ” sacred area”, belonging to everybody and protected from any change or interference. What makes them even more remarkable are the exquisite monasteries, built by hermits during the 9th c. AD, at the pinnacles of the rocks. For centuries these towers of sandstone provided cliff-top retreats for the monks.

Useful links: 4 STEPS 2 BOOK / booking-form / Send us a message

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR

1st DAY: Depart at 08.30 from Athens and driving via THEBES (the town connected with legendary Oedipus), LEVADIA (short stop) and ARACHOVA, the group arrives in DELPHI 11.30am. With the tour guide you visit the sanctuary of Apollo, and the archaeological museum, located near the site.
13.30 break up for lunch at a restaurand outside the modern Delphi town, and at 15.00 proceed after a short stop at THERMOPYLAE, the area where the Spartan king LEONIDAS and his 300 soldiers fought the Persians in 480 BC you arrive in Kalampaka, at +/- 19.00. Overnight in Hotel KOSTA FAMISI.

2nd DAY: Today you are free to explore the area of Meteora. Start in the morning hiking on the path towards Holy Trinity and St. Stephen. When you get up there, sit at the edge of one of the rocks, and let your mind travel million years back. Imagine that you wet your foot in the water of a huge lake. A lake covering the whole valley. Look at the horizon and imagine the lake drying gradually, recovering all this natural beauty in front of you. This is the most probable option of how all these were created. You are in front of a geological phenomenon universally unique, where words like admire, unexplainable, impressing which we usually find in many writings can describe it’s size only to one point.
Follow the same path for your return or walk on the asphalt road back to Kalampaka. Relax in one of the cafeterias and when you recover, walk to Kastraki and find the cave dwellings at Badovas. Here is where everything started. Here, you will see old hermitages, original cloisters, and monasteries built in the caves.
You haven’t finished yet. Walk inside the old town of Kalampaka and find the old Byzantine church. It’s the most important monument of Kalampaka. Another “must do” is to take the optional “Sunset tour”, visit one monastery (usually the Rousanou) and capture beautiful sunset photos. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Local tours: “Afternoon Sunset tour”, “Morning 4 hour tour” or “4 hours hiking tour”. Special price 20.00 € either one.

3rd DAY: After breakfast, meet and join the group and on the bus this time, drive to the METEORA and visit 2 of the monasteries that are open on that day. One of them is the St. Stephen (the only with easy access).
Return to Kalampaka for lunch, and after lunch you say farewell to mystical Meteora and start the return to Athens. Arrive in Athens, +/- 19.30.

itinerary

DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY: The bus departs from the terminal at +/- 08.30
Passing from THEBES, LEVADIA (short stop) and the village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI,
the famous “Temple-Bank”, at 11.30. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks and the Romans as the “the centre of the universe”.
With the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle band the nearby archaeological museum.
13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 15,00 departs via THERMOPYLAE, the place where the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers against the huge Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place (Short stop), LAMIA(stop for rest room), KARDITSA and TRIKALA for KALAMBAKA. Arrival at +/- 19:00, and overnight in hotel KOSTA FAMISSI.

DAY 2 – THURSDAY: This is the extra day. You are free to explore the area.
Wake up early to experience the surrounding terrace, the flora and fauna of the area.
We suggest that in the morning you explore the area on your own, using to local bus (May-October), to visit the monasteries, or, hire our taxi driver, or do an easy hiking trip.
In the afternoon, take the optional “SUNSET TOUR”. Our pre-booked price is 20.00 euro per person. The tour bus will pick you up from the hotel at +/- 15.30 and you will be back at +/- 20.00.

DAY 3 – FRIDAY: After breakfast, at +/- 08:15, meet the bus behind your hotel, join a new group, drive to the METEORA, and visit two of the monasteries that are open on Fridays. One of them is the monastery of St. Stephen, the only monastery easily accessible.
+/- 12:00 Return to Kalampaka for lunch and after lunch you start the return to Athens arriving at +/- 19.30.

Time Tour Plan & Services
08:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30 Depart from the terminal in Athens at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break near Levadia, arrive in modern Delphi village
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit the ancient sanctuary site. Entrance fees included.
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant, outside the modern village of Delphi.(Optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae (short stop), Lamia (stop), Karditsa & Trikala, you proceed to Kalambaka
18:30 Arrive in Kalambaka and at 19:30 check-in the hotel of your choice.
09:00 Today you are free to explore Meteora. Do your hiking excercise and visit GRAND METEORO.
16:00 Take the optional “Sunset Tour”, and capture beautiful sunset memories. (Optional tour)
09:00 After breakfast, with a new group, visit 2 monasteries. Entrance fees included.
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price).
14:00 Start the return to Athens and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00

contact us


Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

All options

 

GUIDED TOURS IN SHARED BUSES

 

Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
Guided tour in shared bus
Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
1 night Delphi, 1 night Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora 160.00 €
Guided tour in shared bus
2 nights in Kalambaka
4 day classical tour & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
5 day Monday Special & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
Guided tour
 
 
 

 

INDEPENDENT TRIPS TO METEORA BY TRAIN

 
Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
1 day Meteora by train from…62.00 €
Independent trip and private taxi
Train ticket & taxi hire
1 day Meteora, train & shared bus
Independent train trip
Train & tour of Meteora in shared bus
2 days trip train package
Independent train trip
Train ticket & hotel
2 days by train – “Meteora special”
Train ticket, hotel, Sunset & morning tour
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

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

Following the paths of monks to Meteora

Meteora is a complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries built on natural sandstone pillars. Today four monasteries and two nunneries are open to the public.

Meteora today

If there is one place that you must visit is Meteora in central Greece. This huge Eastern Orthodox monastic complex is unlike anywhere else in the world – and despite how overused this phrase is nowadays, at Meteora it means the exact picture. If the unearthly landscape of massive pillar-like mountains and columns weren’t striking enough, monks went ahead and built huge monasteries ON TOP of them 800 years ago. 6 of them are still working monasteries nowadays and are open to the public if you are willing to make the trek up to them.

A view from Meteora is spectacular no matter where you stand, and it will make even the most seasoned traveler to say “wow”. Greece is full of spectacular sites, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one more unique and with so many fabulous views as in Meteora. The World Heritage monasteries of Meteora, in the middle of Greece, are one of the most extraordinary sights.

Meteora map

Meteora map

Built on top of huge pinnacles of smooth rocks, the monasteries provided monks with peaceful havens from increasing bloodshed as the Byzantine Empire waned at the end of the 14th c. The earliest monasteries were reached by climbing removable ladders. Later, windlasses were used so monks could be hauled up in nets, a method used until the 1920s. Apprehensive visitors enquiring how often the ropes were replaced were told ‘When the Lord lets them break’.

These days access to the monasteries is by steps hewn into the rocks and the windlasses are used only for hauling up provisions.

Don’t miss this unique place at this special price!

Monasticism at Meteora


The Monasticism at the Holy Meteora and its living witness over the centuries
The monks’ love of God and of monasticism and asceticism formed the impetus for this miraculous way of life on the rugged spires of the plain of Thessaly. Monasticism is the highest calling and the path that leads most directly to holiness. It is the complete devotion of the human person to the triune God. It is the imitation of the angels in divine love, chant, obedience and the ministry of souls, which is why it was called ‘equal to the angels’ and an ‘angelic state’. The entire life of a monk consists in fully opening the heart to God and keeping His commandments, in constantly striving for sanctification and praying continually. Whether working, studying or in the stillness of prayer, the monk is unceasingly crying out to the Lord in the heart with the brief prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us”.

Over the centuries the Meteora monasteries were seed-beds of holiness for a multitude of monks, a bastion of faith and civilization, treasuries of the values and virtues of the Greek Orthodox spirit. Here, the unparalleled natural wealth of Meteora coexists in absolute harmony with discreet human intervention; intense spiritual striving and devotion to God is juxtaposed with a love of beauty and culture; the harsh ascetic way of life stands side by side with the refinement of art and artistic creativity, with the sole purpose of glorifying the Creator.

The monks’ ascetic struggles were characterised by heroism, their spirituality by a spirit of self-sacrifice, self-denial and support to the troubled souls who sought refuge in these strongholds of Orthodoxy. Thus the monasteries of Meteora became the watchful custodians and guardians of tradition: they became schools for the Greek children under Turkish rule and a refuge for the persecuted, they offered provisions to the freedom fighters and at the same time gave an education in holiness and salvation.

The valuable ascetic tradition of Meteora, the large number of saints who have lived on the hallowed spires, its rich liturgical life and many relics, which are its most precious treasures, together make the monasteries vital centres of Orthodox spirituality.

Meteora is a holy land, a sacred space created and guarded by God, its cliffs and caves and ravines sanctified by the host of holy ascetics and martyrs of the Greek Thebaid who have inhabited them. A contemporary saint, St Porphyrios, used to say: “I speak with the rocks, for they have so much to tell of the ascetic life of earlier fathers”.

Over the last fifty years a remarkable programme of restoration has been carried out to the monasteries of Meteora, as a result of the hard work and tireless efforts of the energetic and worthy abbots and monks, the watchful care and blessing of Metropolitan Seraphim of Stagoi and Meteora and the excellent collaboration of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Larissa (formerly of Trikala). This major undertaking includes extensive reconstruction work, the preservation of frescoes and treasures in the monasteries’ collections and improvements to the surrounding space, making Meteora one of the most spiritual and attractive destinations in the world.

The monastic communities of Meteora participate in liturgical life and attend to the many visitors with love and sensitivity. In addition they preserve and maintain the sites, paint icons, embroider with gold thread, create miniatures, produce beeswax candles, incense and small icons, cultivate the monastery gardens and keep bees. Their publications include studies in history, theology and hymnography. However, their primary purpose is to offer a living witness of Christ in an age which is spiritually barren, when people have lost their sense of national and religious identity and are experiencing a crisis that is not only economic but also spiritual. The monks strive to preserve the precious legacy of their faith and rich tradition and to highlight their inestimable value in modern times.

The origin of the monastic community


Perched high atop spires of conglomerated Calcerous and sandstone rock, the monasteries of Meteora are one of the world’s most spectacular sacred sites. Located in the Thessaly region of North Central Greece and overlooking the valley of Pinios, the towering rocks of Meteora, meaning ‘rocks in the air’, have long evoked awe in human beings. Paleolithic remains indicate settlements around the stones from between 100,000 to 40,000 BC, and hermits and ascetics have lived in the area since long before the Christian era. The arrival of Christianity began in the 8th century, organized monastic communities had developed by the 12th century, and by the mid 1500’s twenty-four Greek Orthodox monasteries had been constructed upon the spires of stone. The monasteries, 200-600 meters high (and some accessible only by baskets lowered by ropes and winches), became a center of scholarship and art until the mid 18th century when popular interest in monasticism declined. Most of these meteorisa monastiria (‘hanging monasteries’) were abandoned and today only six survive, of which four can be visited by way of bridges and rock-cut steps. Previously a remote area, the construction of a highway in the early 1960’s made the monasteries accessible to pilgrims and tourists. This influx of visitors, however, has discouraged new monks from joining the monasteries and compelled others to move to Mt. Athos in search of solitude and privacy.
Orthodox Monks started to populate the area of Meteora over 1200 years ago, initially searching for quietness, peace and the perfect environment

Lifting system with ropes in Meteora to pray and meditate. They were living in caves like hermits, with little human relations. Beginning of the 12th c. they started to congregate and create the first monasteries. To make things more difficult, they decided to build their communities on top of rocky peaks, apparently inhospitable places to live in, but with more protection from the outside world, and amazing views to enjoy daily.
Approching Meteora the visitor wonders how could they manage at that time to climb these steep peaks with very little equipment and later to carry the materials to build the monasteries. The cliffs are as high as 600m (1800 feet) from the plain level, and hardly accessible even today to equipped rock climbers. Originally entrance to the monasteries was possible only with ladders, or ropes connected to nets, used to lift goods and people. Not only it was adventurous, but also really dangerous, since the legend say that the ropes were changed only “when the Lord let them break”. The advantage of such an access system was that the ropes could easily be lifted to protect the monks from external threats. The biggest expansion of the monasteries had place at the end of the 14th c, when Greece was threatened by Turkish invaders, and monks from other areas of Greece took refugee in Meteora, building a total of 24 monasteries, progressively abandoned in the last two centuries.

While walking in Meteora we saw buses packed with tourists going from one monastery to the other without even stopping on the way to enjoy the amazing views. This means to miss all of the magic of this place, the fusion of the human-made monasteries perfectly integrated on top of incredible rock formations. We advise you not to do the same mistake and enjoy the route in between the monasteries!