High above the landscape below, lie the Meteora monasteries in the central Greece. Sixty monks and nuns live in the fabled monasteries perched on top of immense natural rock pillars surrounded by hill-like rounded boulders. In centuries past, this place of worship brought them solitude and peace from unwanted trespassers. Today, the Greek Orthodox monasteries are one of the most revered destinations in all of Greece.
Meteora is in central Greece only a few hours north of Athens. It is the site of six Greek Orthodox monasteries built by monks beginning in the 14th century. Windswept monoliths rise abruptly from the earth, with vertical cliffs forming a dramatic backdrop. The picture-perfect vistas have been the inspiration for films and TV shows, including ‘Game of Thrones’.
The word ’meteora’ means ‘middle of the sky’ and monasteries seem as if they are ‘suspended in air.’ The six monasteries were built by monks beginning in the 14th century providing protection from the warriors below. The monks used a network of ropes, pulleys, baskets and ladders to lift supplies and worshippers to the monasteries. In times of war, these were raised denying access to anyone that posed a threat.
During our tour, Greece & the Greek Islands, September 26 – October 8, we will stay in the nearby village of Kalambaka and hike the area. Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy this unique geological phenomenon and to learn the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Centre. We’ll walk through hidden trails only the locals know. Our guided hike will take us among the gigantic rock pillars of Meteora to visit two monasteries and enjoy the truly breathtaking views.
Note: This hike is rated ‘easy to moderate’. Our guide knows the way!