Meteora is located in Northern Greece about 4 hours from Athens. It has the 2nd most important Eastern Orthodox monasteries after Mount Athos (which doesn’t let women in). It is also a UNESCO heritage site because the 6 remaining monasteries are literally built on rock pillars. After visiting Meteora, I realized that because of faith or belief, men can build and do the impossible.
One of the Monasteries:
Meteora is located in the town of Kalabaka and we took the train from Athens to reach it. Actually we stayed in the town of Kastraki which is about 2km from Kalabaka; it’s closer to the rocks but a bit of a hike uphill and downhill to reach it. We found a guesthouse with a kitchen so it was nice to be able to do some self-catering after eating so many souvlakis and bureks. Our guesthouse was pretty nice with a patio and en suite all for 25 Euros.
The skulls at Great Metetoron:
To see the 6 monasteries, there is now a very nice road that you can just drive up and park your car and hop over to the monasteries. Obviously we didn’t do that. Instead, being champs, we hiked all 22km of the trail. It wasn’t as bad as we thought because we originally thought we would have to hike up one monastery, then back down and then back up again 6 times. Instead once you walk up once, you just follow the nice asphalt road or some small trails to see each separate monastery. We didn’t see many hikers though, most of the tourists just arrived by car or on coach.
How did men build this before the age of machinery?
Each monastery has its own admission fee and they all vary. We only went into the Megalou Meteorou monastery (Great Meteoron) and that cost 3 Euros each. It was very nice with its own museum and lots of history about Greece. We did walk to each of the other 5 monastry and took a bucket load of photos. The rocks and the monastries are so pretty words and photos don’t do them justice.
Amazing how each monastery takes up all available space on the top of the pillars.
We started hiking at 930am and completed the hike at 4pm, we were exhausted! But I think hiking Meteora is well worth it as you appreciate the work it took to build the monasteries even more. Greeks like to have their siestas from 12pm to 530pm and the whole town was closed after we completed the hike but luckily trusty carrefour was open so we could get ice cream and water.
Early the next day at 630am we caught the train to Thessaloniki.
We also tried some planking:
-We took the train from Athens to Meteora, with a student card we got 25% off each ticket and it came to 10.5Euros each. Pre-booked online gives you the cheaper price but you have to do it 24h in advance. I believe the one way bus ticket would have cost 20 Euros. The train takes around 4 hours and the bus takes 3.
– From Meteora to Thessaloniki We took the train again, the cost was $11.5 Euros per person. If you take the bus, it costs 20 Euros but it is about 1h faster.