Mesmerized by enormous sandstone cliffs extending to the sky, tourists visiting Kalambaka will be enchanted by the view of Meteora. This astonishing town is a must-visit place in Thessaly, Greece. Known for its unique beauty, it embraces multiple important and historical monasteries situated on the top of the mountains. Back in the 9th century AD, a community of monks moved to the area and lived in rock pillar caves. From the 11th to the 12th centuries AD, a priesthood was established in Meteora. By the 14th century, the region had more than 20 monasteries.

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Currently, only 6 have endured, and they are open to visitors. These lofty architectural masterpieces offer unforgettable views. Their interior is just as impressive; their ceilings and walls are decorated with medieval frescoes. Additionally, tourists would be amazed to know that Meteora is the second most sacred Greek place after Mount Athos in Khalkidhiki. Many also wonder what is the closest they can get to these mesmerizing monasteries in the marvelous Greek region.

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Here's How To Get To The Marvelous Monasteries In Meteora

After walking 1 Kilometer from Kastraki village, the first religious site tourists come across is the Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas, where an inbuilt staircase must be climbed to visit the three-floor monastery. Its beautiful murals are the best in Meteora, making the monastery a real gem with vivacity, freshness, plasticity, and bright colors.

  • Entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Opening days and hours: Between April and October: The Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except for Fridays and Sundays | Between November and March: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM except for Fridays.

Moving forward, tourists will encounter a fascinating tunnel dug in the rock, and 300 steps await the visitors of the incredible oldest and the largest shrine of Meteora, the Monastery of Great Meteoron, also named the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Tourists will have the opportunity to visit a museum in this monument that shows Meteora's history and gilded frescos of saints. This monastery also features magnificent scenery all around.

  • Entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Opening days and hours: Between April and October: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM except for Tuesdays | Between November and March: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM except for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

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The Easiest Vs. The Most Difficult Monasteries To Reach In Meteora

With no stairs to climb and just a bridge to cross, the Monastery of Saint Stephen is the easiest religious place to visit in Meteora. This holy shrine is the only one seen from Kalampaka and has been a distinctive stop on the pilgrimage since the 14th century. Besides, this monastery offers tourists spectacular panoramas of the immense valley of Thessaly, the streaming Pinios river, and the Pindos mountains, the largest range in Greece.

  • Entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Opening days and hours: Between April and October: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM and from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. On Sundays, tourists are allowed to visit the monastery from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM; then from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. However, the holy place is closed on Mondays | Between November and March: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM; then from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The monastery is closed on Mondays.

While Saint Stephen's Monastery is the easiest to get to, the Holy Trinity Monastery is the most difficult. Until 1925, the rope ladder was the unique way to access the most known monastery, due to the James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only," and baskets were the only way to transfer supplies to the monks living there. Nowadays, tourists have to go down 140 steps and climb another 140 stairs to reach the complex. However, the efforts are rewarded with an unforgettable experience and some of the region's most breathtaking views.

  • Entrance fee: 3 Euros
  • Opening days and hours: Between April and October: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Nevertheless, the holy place is closed on Thursdays | Between November and March: It opens its doors for visitors daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The monastery is closed on Thursdays.

Here Are Some Tips For Touring The Monasteries in Meteora

Tourists are recommended to check the different opening hours and days of the monasteries so that they can plan their trip appropriately.

Additionally, they have to be aware of the clothing etiquette, which means that they are advised to wear conservative clothes covering their shoulders and knees during their visits. However, most shrines have long skirts and trousers available to be borrowed whenever needed. Another point to take into consideration is that visitors shall expect to pay a symbolic entrance fee to the main monasteries.

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