Meteora is a stunning destination located in central Greece, famous for its unique rock formations and the impressive monasteries perched on top of them. The name “Meteora” translates to “suspended in the air,” and it’s not hard to see why. The towering rock pillars seem to defy gravity, and the monasteries that sit on top of them look like they were placed there by magic.
One of the best ways to explore Meteora is on foot. There are several hiking trails that take you through the stunning landscape, giving you an up-close view of the rock formations and the monasteries. The trails vary in difficulty, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker.
One of the most popular hiking trails is the Path of the Gods, which takes you through the heart of Meteora, past several monasteries and incredible viewpoints.This hike takes around three hours, and you should wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water.
For the more adventurous travelers, rock climbing in Meteora is an incredible experience. The towering rock formations provide a unique and challenging climbing environment, and there are several companies that offer guided climbing tours. One of the best climbing areas is the Grand Canyon, a deep gorge that’s home to some of the most challenging climbs in Meteora. The canyon has over 60 routes, ranging in difficulty from easy to extremely difficult.
The monasteries are the main attraction in Meteora, and they’re definitely worth a visit. There are six active monasteries in Meteora, and they’re all perched on top of towering rock pillars, offering incredible views of the surrounding landscape. Each monastery has its own unique history and architecture, and you can easily spend a whole day exploring them all. The most famous monasteries are the Great Meteoron, the Holy Trinity, and the Varlaam monastery, but they’re all worth a visit.
The Natural Beauty
Meteora is not just about the monasteries; the natural beauty of the area is breathtaking. The rock formations, which are millions of years old, are incredibly unique and provide a stunning backdrop to the monasteries. One of the best viewpoints is the Panorama viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of the entire area. You can also visit the Roussanou Monastery, which is built on a smaller rock formation and provides a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.
Visit the Mushroom Museum
One of the most unusual attractions in Meteora is the Mushroom Museum, located in the nearby town of Kalambaka. The museum is dedicated to the mushrooms that grow in the region and provides a fascinating insight into their medicinal and culinary properties. The museum has a collection of over 200 species of mushrooms, including some that are unique to the area. You can also try some mushroom-based snacks and drinks in the museum’s cafe.
The Monastery of Agia Triada
The Holy Trinity Monastery is one of the most iconic sites in Meteora, perched atop a narrow rocky pinnacle that rises over 400 meters above the surrounding landscape. The monastery was built in the early 15th century, and is famous for its dramatic appearance and stunning views. The monastery is accessible via a steep staircase with 140 steps, but the effort is worth it for the incredible views from the top.
The Natural History Museum of Meteora
As well as the Mushroom Museum mentioned above, there’s also a Natural History Museum in the town of Kalambaka that’s worth a visit. The museum has a collection of fossils, minerals, and rare plants, as well as exhibits on the area’s wildlife and ecosystem. The museum also features an impressive collection of taxidermied birds and mammals, including a rare white buffalo. The museum is located in a restored 19th-century mansion, which is worth exploring in its own right.
The Tsikeli Hotel is a great budget option for those looking to explore Meteora without breaking the bank. The hotel is located in the town of Kastraki, just a few minutes’ drive from the monasteries. The rooms are clean and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves traditional Greek cuisine, and a terrace with views of the surrounding landscape.
The Dellas Boutique Hotel is a great mid-range option, located in the town of Kalambaka. The hotel is just a short drive from the monasteries and offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves breakfast and traditional Greek cuisine, as well as a bar and lounge area.
The Divani Meteora Hotel is a luxurious option that’s perfect for those looking to splurge. The hotel is located in the town of Kalambaka, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and flat-screen TVs. The hotel also has a spa and wellness center, a restaurant serving gourmet cuisine, and an outdoor swimming pool.
The Guesthouse Sotiriou is a unique accommodation option that’s located in the town of Kastraki. The guesthouse is a traditional stone building that has been beautifully restored, with rooms that feature hand-carved wooden furniture and traditional Greek textiles. The guesthouse has a restaurant that serves homemade Greek dishes, as well as a garden and terrace with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. This option is perfect for travelers who want an authentic and unique experience.
In conclusion, Meteora, Greece is a destination that has something to offer every traveler, from natural beauty and outdoor activities to historic landmarks and unique cultural experiences. With our ultimate travel guide, you’ll be able to explore the best that Meteora has to offer, including two outdoor activities, two must-see places, and two off-the-beaten-path destinations recommended by Atlas Obscura. Additionally, we’ve provided accommodation suggestions across various budgets, ensuring that there’s a place to stay for every type of traveler. We hope this guide has inspired you to visit Meteora and that it helps you plan an unforgettable trip to this stunning destination.