Breathtaking and magical. Six monasteries on top of huge rock pilars that seem so surreal. No words nor pictures can capture the beauty and impressiveness of this Greek landmark where history, spirituality, nature and architecture truly come together. Definitely visit this very unique place! No wonder Meteora is on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Meteora is located in central Greece. The landscape of this area itself is completely unique. Giant rock columns rise from the ground, over a lush green forest. How these rocks are created remains a mystery. Although there are many theories about how nature was able to create the pillars of Meteora, a real scientifically proven one is yet to be found. A true natural wonder.
The impressiveness of Meteora, however, does not stop with just the marvelous nature of this place. In the 14th century, when the Turkish occupation expanded, the monks where looking for a retreat. They found this on top of the rocks of Meteora, only reachable by climbing a ladder. They started building 20 monasteries at the tops of the stone pillars. Six of them still remain standing today.
Tips for visiting
Visiting Meteora today, luckily, you don’t have to climb a small wobbly ladder anymore. A concrete road takes you through the area of Meteora, and from this road, the monasteries are easily accessible by bridges and steps. Even when you’re not able to climb these, due to physical reasons or fear of heights, the area is still worth your visit, you don’t actually have to get inside one to be impressed by this landmark.
Monasteries in Greece often close early and have one day a week on which they do not open at all. When you want to visit one of the six in particular, make sure to check the opening hours before planning your trip.
A tip for visiting in summer is to wear appropriate clothing, covering your shoulders, upper arms and knees. Besides, this region in in the hottest part of Greece. During summer temperatures can easily rise up to 35 or even 40 degrees. Bring enough water and plan your visit early in the morning. Even better is to visit in spring or fall.