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Meteora is one of the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those on Mount Athos. The first traces of the history of the Meteora monasteries date from the 11th century when the first hermits settled there. The rock monasteries have been characterized by Unesco as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage.

The most important monasteries of Meteora are: The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron. It is the biggest of the Meteorite monasteries. The church katholikon, honoured to the 'Transfiguration' was built in the middle of 14th century (1387/88) and decorated in 1483 and 1552. Today, the monastery is used as a museum.

The Holy Monastery of VarlaamThe Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second, after the Great Meteoro, big in size monastery. The church, honoured to the three Bishops, is of the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious esonarthex (an entrance covered by a roof outside the front door of the church) surrounded by dome. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the esonarthex was decorated in 1566. The old refectory is now used as a museum. North of the church is the parekklesion (side chapel) of the Three (Bishops) built in 1627 an decorated in 1637 AD.The Holy Monastery of Rousanou

The Holy Monastery of Rousanou. It is dedicated to 'The Transfiguration' but honoured to Saint Barbara. The katholikon (main church), in the Athonite type, was founded in the middle of 16th century and decorated in 1560. Both, the katholikon and the reception halls are on the ground floor while the 'archontariki' (main waiting area), cells and subsidiary rooms are scattered in the basement and the first floor.

The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapausas

The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapausas is the first monastery you will see on the way from Kastraki to Meteora. The katholikon, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, is a single-nave church with small dome built in the beginning of 16th century. It was decorated by the Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas or Bathas in 1527.

Monastery of Saint StephenThe Holy Monastery of Saint Stephen. It is one of the most attainable as you don't have to cope with innumerable stairs to reach it. The small single-nave church of Saint Stephen was built in the middle of 16th century and decorated around 1545. The katholikon, honoured to Saint Charalambos, was built in the Athonite type in 1798. The old refectory of the convent is used as a museum nowadays.<The Monastery of Holy Trinity

The Monastery of Holy Trinity is very difficult to reach. Visitors have to cross the valley and continue high up through the rock before arriving outside the entrance. The church is in the cross-in-square type with the dome based on two columns. It was built in 1475-76 and decorated in 1741. The spacious esonarthex was built in 1689 and decorated in 1692. A small skeuophylakeion was added next to the church in 1684.

A great part of the monasteries (katholika, cells, other buildings) has been restored while the rest is being restored. In many of them, the conservation of the wall paintings has been finished.

Info and booking this tour Info and booking an excursion to Meteora
Opening hours Opening hours and admission
See our Greek glossary for explanation of typical words.

By car: From Athens the distance to Meteora is 357 km. You drive north following the signs for Trikala then Kalambaka - Meteora. The distance between Kalambaka and Kastraki is 2 Km.
By bus: From Athens get to the main bus (KTEL) station at 260 Liosion street in Athens (tel 210 8311434). A one way ticket costs about 20 Euro.
By organized tour: see our Excursions and Travel Agents pages.



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