Tag Archive : Meteora

Meteora - St Stephan nunnery

Operating days & prices


This 2 day between April – October is organized: Mon, Wed, Thu and selected Sat.
From November – March this tour is organized ONLY on Wednesdays.
Languages: Mon & Wed=English + French. Thursdays and Saturdays=English

CLICK HERE and see our alternative 3 days/2 nights Kalambaka and Delphi, independent tour, by train.

OUR PRICES are: (if they suit your budget, read the “4 steps 2 book” link in the footer and proceed).

Option 1: 3* hotel – (breakfast only): Double room = 120.00 p.p., single=142.00 (dinner costs + 15.00 € extra p.p.).
Option 2: 4* hotel – (dinner & breakfast): Double room = 170.00 p.p., single=215.00 (Includes free arrival transfer).

Hotels: 3* Hotel KOSTA FAMISI or Hotel ORFEAS and 4* hotel AMALIA(Thu & Sat) or Hotel DIVANI(Mon & Wed)

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) Share with a friend a triple room and save 5% on the double room rate.
b) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%, or
c) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save.
# SUBMIT your booking request form 4 months before the tour departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 €, p.p.
# TWO MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full.

THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE:
– transportation on modern, air conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near it (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
(This service is from hotels in central Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens.)
– Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour.
– Entrance tickets to 2 of the monasteries open on the day that you visit Meteora.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
– Entrance fees to the ancient site of Delphi, is not included.

JANUARY-DECEMBER: <19 and E.U. students enter free. Other students and E.U. senior citizens pay 6.00 € For other adults: NOVEMBER - MARCH pay 6.00 €, while, APRIL-OCTOBER pay 12.00 € p.p. - Lunches on both days. The bus parks at a local restaurants, but the meal costs 10.00 € extra. - This tour allows you time to visit only the ancient site, the museum is not included.

Places visited


Oracle of Apollo in DELPHI-the centre of the universe
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 rest of 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 OMFALOS, 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.

Itinerary

DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30am and traffic allowing it departs from the terminal in the centre of Athens at 08.30am.
Passing from THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short rest room stop) and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI, the famous “Temple-Bank”, at +/- 11.30am. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks, “the centre of the universe”. Here, with the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.

13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA for Kalampaka with a short photo stop at 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. Arrival at your hotel in Kalampaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight in Kalambaka.(Dinner is optional).

DAY 2: 08.15 After breakfast drive to METEORA, and visit 2 of the monasteries open on that day.
12:00 Return to Kalampaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return to Athens. Final arrival in Athens between 19.30 – 20.00.

Time Tour Plan & Services
8:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30am. Depart from the terminal in Athens
11:30 Arrive in modern Delphi village after a short break near Levadia
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit of the ancient sanctuary site
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant (optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae(photo stop), Lamia, Karditsa & Trikala, proceed to Kalambaka
19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Hotel check-in and optional dinner at 19.30
08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS, and visit an icon exhibition
09:00 On the way to Meteora, visit 2 of them. Entrance fees included
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price)
14:00 Start the return to Athens – 19:30 Arrival in Athens – Hotel drop off by 20:00

4 STEPS TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE

Video & Route map

All options to visit Meteora

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
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, train & taxi
Independent train trip and taxi tour
Train trip Athens-Kalambaka-Athens & private taxi tour
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
 
 
 
 
 
 

Description
Day 1: Departure for Delphi via Thebes, Levadia and the picturesque village of Arachova and arrive in Delphi.

Visit the famous oracle of the ancient times, the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum where you will see Greek sculptures as the Sphinx, the famous athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.

Day 2: The morning is free in Delphi. Leave for Kalambaka through the town of Lamia. On the way, a short stop in Thermopylae, the place where the 300 Spartans (fought against the Persians) is in the plan, to see Leonidas Monument. Arrive in Kalambaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight.

Day 3: Visit Meteora, meaning “hanging from the sky”, since it seems to be “suspended in the air”. You will visit ageless Monasteries and you will see unique specimens of Byzantine art.
Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

The tour includes:

-1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalambaka in double room.
-2 breakfasts & 2 dinners
-The services of the professional Guide
-The entrance fees to Delphi site and the archaelogical museum are not included.
-Pick-up service from your hotel (see the list of hotels in the footer)
-Transportation with modern air-conditioned coach
-Taxes, except the hotel overnight tax.

Operating days & prices


The 2 days guided tour to Delphi and Meteora between April – October is organized: Mon, Wed, Thu and selected Sat.
Languages: Mon & Wed=English + French. Thursdays and Saturdays=English

From November – March this tour is organized ONLY on Wednesdays.
During the last week of the year the tour departs on Sundays December 23 and 30 instead of Dec 26 and January 02

CLICK HERE and see our alternative 3 days/2 nights Kalambaka and Delphi, independent tour, by train.

OUR PRICES are: (if they suit your budget, read the “4 steps 2 book” link in the footer and proceed).

Option 1: 3* hotel – (breakfast only): Double room = 120.00 p.p., single=142.00 (dinner costs + 15.00 € extra p.p.).
Option 2: 4* hotel – (dinner & breakfast): Double room = 170.00 p.p., single=215.00 (Includes free arrival transfer).

Hotels: 3* Hotel KOSTA FAMISI or Hotel ORFEAS and 4* hotel AMALIA(Thu & Sat) or Hotel DIVANI(Mon & Wed)

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) Share with a friend a triple room and save 5% on the double room rate.
b) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%, or
c) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save.
# SUBMIT your booking request form 4 months before the tour departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 €, p.p.
# TWO MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full.

THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE:
– transportation on modern, air conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near it (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
(This service is from hotels in central Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens.
– Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour.
– Entrance tickets to 2 of the monasteries open on the day that you visit Meteora.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
– The overnight charge of 1.50 €(3* hotel) – 3.00 € per night(4*star hotel)
– Entrance fees to the ancient site of Delphi, are not included.
We offer the tours excluding the entrance fees since we have met visitors that due to age, Nationality, or, profession are allowed to discounted entrance fees.

JANUARY – DECEMBER: <19 and E.U. students enter free. Other students and E.U. senior citizens pay 6.00 € For other adults: NOVEMBER - MARCH pay 6.00 €, while, APRIL-OCTOBER pay 12.00 € p.p. - Lunches on both days. The bus parks at a local restaurants, but the meal costs 10.00 € extra. - This tour allows you time to visit only the ancient site of Delphi, the museum is not included.

Places visited


Oracle of Apollo in DELPHI-the centre of the universe
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 rest of 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 OMFALOS, 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.

Itinerary

DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30am and traffic allowing it departs from the terminal in the centre of Athens at 08.30am.
Passing from THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short rest room stop) and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI, the famous “Temple-Bank”, at +/- 11.30am. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks, “the centre of the universe”. Here, with the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.

13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA for Kalampaka with a short photo stop at 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. Arrival at your hotel in Kalampaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight in Kalambaka.(Dinner is optional).

DAY 2: 08.15 After breakfast drive to METEORA, and visit 2 of the monasteries open on that day.
12:00 Return to Kalampaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return to Athens. Final arrival in Athens between 19.30 – 20.00.

Time Tour Plan & Services
8:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30am. Depart from the terminal in Athens
11:30 Arrive in modern Delphi village after a short break near Levadia
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit of the ancient sanctuary site
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant (optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae(photo stop), Lamia, Karditsa & Trikala, proceed to Kalambaka
19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Hotel check-in and optional dinner at 19.30
08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS, and visit an icon exhibition
09:00 On the way to Meteora, visit 2 of them. Entrance fees included
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price)
14:00 Start the return to Athens – 19:30 Arrival in Athens – Hotel drop off by 20:00

4 STEPS TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE

Video & Route map

all options to visit Meteora

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
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, train & taxi
Independent train trip and taxi tour
Train trip Athens-Kalambaka-Athens & private taxi tour
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
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

METEORA

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.

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.

Following the paths of monks to Meteora

The Meteora is a complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries built on natural sandstone pillars. The sandstone pillars are beautiful. Today six are open to the public. Four monasteries and two nunneries.

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 say “wow” out loud. In fact, While Greece is full of beautiful vistas and spectacular sites, you’d be hard-pressed to find one more unique and with so many fabulous views as you get in Meteora.

The World Heritage monasteries of Meteora, in the middle of Greece, are one of the most extraordinary sights.
Built on top of huge pinnacles of smooth rocks, the monasteries

Meteora map

Meteora map

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!