This is a rocky place.lol! Kidding aside,Meteora is place where you can see those beautiful,tall,huge rocks where a monastery is build on top of it.Climbing up is fantastic though a little tiring because of those hundreds of steps.Not all the monasteries are open to the public,just some,most famous is GRAND METEORON MONASTERY.Women needs to wear a long skirt,but if you are not wrap-around-skirts are available in the entrance for free! You can inside the old things that they had used before,there is also a small museum inside featuring the uniforms of the soldiers then.
A good reply from the previous poster!
Visit the monasteries at Meteora! They are amazing!
Yes, they are being used for religious purposes still but you can visit some of them.
I looked around two of them over 5 hours (including the drive betweeen those two and the climbing up and down) and I wished that I could have seen some of the others. I would have liked to stay overnight.
The Hotel Meteora would have been my choice. There are lots of black & white photos of the monasteries and the people around them. My favourite was of the priest being placed in a net so that he could be winched up to the top of the rocky outcrop.
Of course, you don't need to use the net ----there are lots of steps up to them. If you have walking problems, this may be a challenge.
Would I return there again? Yes!
Most people traveling to Meteora stop off in Kalambaka before heading up to the monasteries. If you're interested in Eastern Orthodox religion, local art, and souveniers, I recommend stopping off at the Icon Musuem. Here you can view paintings of religious icons from the Easterm Orthodox Church. If you're lucky, you might even get to see a real artist working on one of these icons.
The museum also contains one of the largest gift shops in Greece. You can buy Icons of all sizes, jewelry, pottery, pins, statues, post cards, just about any souvenier you can imagine. Be warned though, the prices there are ridiculously high, so you might not be able to buy much! The only thing I bought was a few post cards, everything else was just too damn expensive.
To me, it wasn't anything special. The actual museum is really small, just a few paintings on the wall, and it can get really crowded in the museum and the store. There's also no guarantee that you'll get to see an artist at work. The only possitive thing is that the museum is free of charge. If you're interested in local art though, it's worth checking out.
The big attractions of the Meteora area are the 14th Century monasteries built on top of the high rock cliffs. Originally there were 20 monasteries, but only 16 remain. They are still in use, although the St. Nikolas monastery only has one monk in residence. The monks used to be hauled up to the monasteries in a basket suspended by ropes, but they later put in stairs. (Now the monks have a cable car and don’t need to climb up, but tourists have to use the stairs.)
The earliest hermits came here in about the 11th Century and lived in caves in the rocks. After the monasteries were built, monks would occasionally spend solitary time in cells in the caves. Scaffolding is still visible in some of the caves.
The frescoes in St. Nikolas were painted by a disciple of El Greco. The Grand Meteora monastery is the oldest one, but it is hard to get to. The Holy Trinity monastery appeared in the James Bond film, “For Your Eyes Only.
I think all of the monasteries can be visited, although we only stopped at 2 of them. Our group visited the Varlaam monastery, but there were about 120 stairs up from the parking lot so I decided to enjoy the scenery from down below.
I was able to go into the St. Stephen convent because it wasn’t nearly as difficult. Thirty sisters live there, from age 30 to 70s. They have a small museum on the premises, with 6th Century parchment manuscripts, silver book covers, a chair with mother of pearl inlay, ikons, etc. Lovely.
NO PHOTOS IN THE MONASTERIES. Admission – 2 euro each.
The rocks and the monasteries have been characterized by UNESCO as a unique phenomenon of natural and cultural heritage and they form one of the most important locations of the cultural map of Greece.
This barrel is obviously very old. Instead of being iron-bound like modern barrels, it is hoped by logs that have been cut in crooked trees and have already the required shape. The same applied to the building of ships. Crooked trees were selected young and were watched for years before they reached the right size.
In the old days, monks, visitors and supplying were hauled inside the monastery in a wicker basket. One or several monks hauled the rope by man’s strength. Later, the hauling was done by a petrol powered engine. The Great Meteoron has on of these engine on display. That does not look very safe but fortunately, visitors can now access by a pedestrian bridge (see previous photo)
The Great Meteoron Monastery (Megalo Meteoro), also known as Monastery of the Transfiguration, is the main monastery of the Meteora complex. It was founded by the monk Athanasius Koinovitis in the mid-fourteenth century.
However the current structures were built by monks from Mount Athos in the 16th century.
Kastraki is located at the west section of the Meteora region, amphitheatrically built in between the huge rocks and constitutes one of the municipal town districts. Its history is fading in the passing of time.
At the eastern part high up, under the rocks you admire the simplicity of the picturesque quarter and further up the rock of Adrachti small but very impressive due to its shape and his erection of the ground.
The town’s Cathedral of Saint Vissarion is built to honour the local Saint, Agios Vissarios, who was the Bishop of Larissa and the founder of the Dousico’s monastery. The church’s religious paintings are made by agiografhos Ioannis Albanis.
It’s a modern church. Its construction lasted 30 years from 1954 till 1984.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Kalambaka-Meteora on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 39º 42' 34.91" N 21º 37' 36.02" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Cathedral church of Saint Vissarion .