Meteora literally means “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” is one of the Gem in Europe.
Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria I, II, IV, V and VII. The word Serene, spiritual, magical, mystical, extraordinary, breathtaking, immense, inspiring, impressive all apply to this beautiful and amazing landscape.
Meteora is an exquisite complex that consists of huge dark stone pillars near the mountains of Pindos. The monasteries that sit on top of these rocks make up the second most important monastic community in Greece, after Mount Athos. Out of the 24 monasteries that were founded throughout the centuries, only six of them are active today and can be visited.
The monasteries of Meteora are perhaps some of the most photographed icons in all of Europe.
The history of Meteora goes many millenniums back. Theories upon the creation of this natural phenomenon are associated with the geological movements that have occurred several geological periods ago. Scientists believe that these pillars were formed about 60 million years ago.
In the Byzantine times, monks had the inspiration to construct monasteries on top of these rocks so that they would be closer to god. The foundation of Meteora monasteries began around the 11th century.
How to reach Meteora:
From Thessaloniki or Athens, You can take buses from KTEL.
I have travelled from Thessaloniki and you can take a day trip to Meteora which costs you 35 Euro and from Athens its 50 Euro. From Thessaloniki bus starts at 8:30 AM(the best one) to Trikala and from Trikala there is a next bus to Kalampaka and from Kalampaka there is a bus to Meteora.
If you are physically fit, I will advise to walk from The Grand Meteora to all other monasteries by walk, Its quite a pain, you can’t visit all monastery in a day by walk. But there are many private tours available from Kalampaka to Meteora. Each monastery has a ticket of 3 Euro per person. For women, they have to cover their leg with skirts which are available in each monastery.
If you are traveling to Greece, I will advise you to visit this place. An amazing place mix of Natural beauty and man-made monasteries.