Until the 20th century, the monasteries on top of Meteora were unreachable to most of the general public. The only way up the 500 ft cliffs to the monasteries were either by basket or climbing up the wooden ladders. Steps and bridges were built into the rock to allow the public to take a look at the marvelous buildings on the top as well as a remarkable view of Kalabaka, a town at the bottom of Meteora.
They have six monasteries you can still visit today. Four are inhabited by monks, and the other two are inhabited by nuns. It’s 3 euros per monastery you visit and guests are expected to dress conservatively when they visit.
The two most popular ways to get the Kalabaka is by train from either Athens (5 hours) or Thessaloniki (3/4 hours). They have a few tours from Athens that does Meteora in a day, which I choose to do from Viator. I would recommend spending a night or two in Kalabaka or surrounding areas. With the delays in trains I had going to and fro from Athens, I spent about 12 hours just on that train. It was a very long day, plus I felt my tour of the place was rushed since we were running late.
There are a few companies that do two-day Delphi and Meteora tours. They try to help break up the traveling for the initial morning from Delphi to Meteora, which is really smart. I would probably recommend that to anyone who just wants a quick view of Greece.
But whatever amount of time you spend here, it wouldn’t be in vain. I would recommend the place to anyone who is considering a trip to Europe. And tourists are now just becoming aware of its majestic views, so the crowds aren’t that horrid as seen on the Acropolis.
All photographs were taken by Seth Stelly. Like them? Check out more at this website.