Meteora & Orthodox Monasteries Tour

Private tour in Meteora & Orthodox Monasteries

Private tour to Meteora Rocks one of the natural Wonders on Earth and the Orthodox Monasteries... 64 gigantic rocks rise perpendicularly from the ground on the western edge of the plain of Thessaly in the heart of northern Greece.


We visit Meteora & Monasteries as travelers, not as tourists

64 gigantic rocks rise perpendicularly from the ground on the western edge of the plain of Thessaly in the heart of northern Greece.

These ancient pinnacles etched by wind and rain echoed the chants of the ascetic community of Meteora, home of monks who live in monasteries and chapels perched precariously upon the rocks. Meteora stands on the plain of Thessaly beside the village of Kastraki around 26 km (16 m) north of Trikala and 375 km (234 m) northwest of Athens. The grey monolithic rocks stand in front of the Pindos Mountains.

The conglomerate was formed of deposits of stone, sand and mud from streams flowing into a delta at the edge of a lake, over millions of years. About 60 million years ago during the Paleogene Period a series of earth movements pushed the seabed upwards, creating a high plateau and causing many vertical fault lines in the thick layer of sandstone. The huge rock pillars were then formed by weathering by water, wind and extremes of temperature on the vertical faults. It is unusual that this conglomerate formation and type of weathering are confined to a relatively localized area within the surrounding mountain formation.

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Meteora the Rocky Forest: The impressive rocks are composed of a mixture of sandstone and hard gravel called conglomerate. Formed 60 million years ago as the bed of sea, which we now know, as the plain of Thessaly. Seismic movements thrust the sea bed upwards to create a high plateau and split the thick layer of sandstone into innumerable faults. Wind, water and extreme temperatures wore away the fractured sandstone creating the pillars, which are now known as “the rocky forest of Greece”.

As early as the 11th century, monks occupied the caverns of Meteora. However, monasteries were not built until the 14th century, when the monks sought somewhere to hide in the face of an increasing number of Turkish attacks on Greece. At this time, access to the top was via removable ladders or windlass. Nowadays, getting up is a lot simpler due to steps being carved into the rock during the 1922. Of the 24 monasteries, only 6 (four male, two female) are still functioning, with each housing about 15 individuals

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Meteora -this city of Monastic Life of Rocks stands as the most important and the largest centre of Orthodox Monasticism in Greece, after Mt. Athos. This stone forest of rocks constitutes one of the most wonderful and impressive geological phenomena on our planet. The most common theory holds the view, that the formation of the rocks was due to the prior existence of a delta shaped cone comprising of river stones and mud, which poured into the ancient Thessaly basin. After the geological separation of the masses of Olympus as well as Ossa, the waters of the basin found an outlet into the Aegean through the Tempi area. Then the delta shaped mass (by the effect of earthquakes, wind and rain for millions of years) broke-up into stones and huge solid rocks up to 400 meters high.

Meteora Rocks & Monasteries as a destination is on the top list. We tried to include it and combine it with the most popular tours. A list is below

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Of the 24 monasteries that grew up between the 13th and 16th centuries only six are still inhabited:The Great Meteoron, Agia Triada, Agios Nikolaos and Varlaam by monks: Agios Stephanos and Roussanou (St. Barbara) by nuns. Meteora has been recognized as a protected Monument for Humanity by UNESCO

and other international Organizations and that it must be maintained as such for bearing witness  to Christian, historical, architectural, agiographic ( and generally artistic) and geological evidence. The area of Meteora, since October 1995 by civil law( 2531/11.10.95) and in following relative decision by the Synod of the Church of Greece in 1990- was declared: holy ground, unchangeable and an violated, a fact, which secures its Orthodox authenticity and effective protection.

Meteora Rocks & Monasteries Tour / Greece Private Tours

The Monastery of Great Meteoron - This is the largest of the monasteries located at Meteora, though in 2015 there were only 3 monks in residence. It was erected in the mid-14th century and was the subject of restoration and embellishment projects in 1483 and 1552. One building serves as the main museum for tourists.

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is on top of the cliffs. It was built in 1475 and was remodeled in 1684, 1689, 1692, 1741. There were four monks in residence in 2015.

The Monastery of Varlaam – The Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in the Meteora complex, and in 2015 had the largest number of monks (seven) of the male monasteries. It was built in 1541 and embellished in 1548. 

The Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara was founded in the middle of the 16th century and decorated in 1560. Today it is a flourishing nunnery with 13 nuns in residence in 2015.

The Monastery of St. Nikolas Anapausas, built in the 16th century, has a small church, decorated by the noted Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas, in 1527. There was one monk in residence in 2015.

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The Monastery of St. Stephen has a small church built in the 16th century and decorated in 1545. This monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was shelled by the Nazis during World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents and was abandoned. The monastery was given over to nuns in 1961 and they have reconstructed it into a flourishing nunnery, with 28 nuns in residence in 2015.

Visit Meteora

April 1st to October 31st

St. Stephen's Nunnery

Visiting Hours: 9:00 to 13:30 and 15:30 to 17:30.  closed on Mondays.

Great Meteoron Monastery

Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00.

closed on Tuesdays.

Roussanou Monastery

Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00.

closed on Wednesdays.

Holy Trinity Monastery

Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00.

 closed on Thursdays.

Varlaam Monastery

Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 16:00.

 closed on Fridays.

St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery

Visiting Hours: 08:00 to 17:00.

 closed on Fridays.


November 1st to March 31st

Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron 09:00 to 15:00 Tuesdays and Wednesdays closed

Holy Monastery of Varlaam 09:00 to 15:00 Thursdays and Fridays closed

Holy Monastery of Rousanou 09:00 to 14:00 Wednesdays closed

Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas 09:00 to 14:00 Fridays closed

Holy Monastery of St. Stephen 09:30 to 13:0015:00 to 17:00 Mondays closed

Holy Monastery of Holy Trinity10:00 to 16:00 Wednesdays and Thursdays closed.

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