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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Meteora with other popular and interesting places of Greece, for example: Kos, Mount Athos, Paleokastritsa, Mytilene, Afytos, Andros, Lesbos, Rhodes, Corfu, Patras, Sidari, Pefkos, Kavos, Athens, Mithymna, Faliraki, Rethymno, Poros, Karpathos, Santorini, Lindos, Patmos, Cephalonia, Delphi, Spetses, Peloponnese, Pefkochori, Halkidiki, Zakynthos, Polychrono, Samos, Corinth, Sporades, Lefkada, Laganas, Pythagoreio, Ionian Islands, Naxos, Meteora, Aegina, Samothrace, Thessaloniki, Katerini, Hersonissos, Kalamata, Crete, Agios Gordios, Tingaki, Sithonia, Neos Marmaras, Thasos, Mykonos, Marathokampos, Lemnos, Cyclades, Chania, Kriopigi, Kalavryta, Chios, Kastoria, Kassandra, Syros, Acharavi, Nafplio, Ialysos, Monemvasia, Dassia, Loutraki, Chaniotis, Heraklion, Dodecanese, Afantou, Kokkari, Kefalos, Kardamaina, Arkadia, Sparta, Hydra, Kalymnos, etc.
How to Book a Hotel on Meteora
In order to book an accommodation on Meteora enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Meteora hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Meteora map to estimate the distance from the main Meteora attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Meteora hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search on Meteora is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Meteora is waiting for you!
Hotels of Meteora
A hotel on Meteora is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Meteora hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Meteora are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Meteora hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Meteora hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Meteora have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels on Meteora
An upscale full service hotel facility on Meteora that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Meteora hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels on Meteora
Full service Meteora hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels on Meteora
Boutique hotels of Meteora are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Meteora boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Meteora may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels on Meteora
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Meteora travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Meteora focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels on Meteora
Small to medium-sized Meteora hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Meteora traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Meteora hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs on Meteora
A bed and breakfast on Meteora is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Meteora bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Meteora B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels on Meteora
Meteora hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Meteora hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Meteora
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Meteora hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Meteora lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs on Meteora
Meteora timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Meteora often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Meteora on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels on Meteora
A Meteora motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Meteora for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Meteora motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Travelling and vacation on Meteora
For other uses, see Meteora (disambiguation).
Landscape of Meteora
/ 39.71417; 21.63111 / 39.71417; 21.63111
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name: Meteora
i, ii, iv, v, vii
1988 (12th session)
Location in Greece
The Meteora (pronounced /ˌmɛtɪˈɔːrə/; Greek: Μετέωρα, pronounced [mɛˈtɛoɾɐ]) is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second in importance only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area. It is located near the town of Kalambaka at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains.
Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria I, II, IV, V and VII.
The name means "lofty", "elevated", and is etymologically related to meteor.
Beside the Pindos Mountains, in the western region of Thessaly, these unique and enormous columns of rock rise precipitously from the ground. But their unusual form is not easy to explain geologically. They are not volcanic plugs of hard igneous rock typical elsewhere, but the rocks are composed of a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate.
The conglomerate was formed of deposits of stone, sand and mud from streams flowing into a delta at the edge of a lake, over millions of years. About 60 million years ago during the Paleogene period a series of earth movements pushed the seabed upwards, creating a high plateau and causing many vertical fault lines in the thick layer of sandstone. The huge rock pillars were then formed by weathering by water, wind and extremes of temperature on the vertical faults. It is unusual that this conglomerate formation and type of weathering are confined to a relatively localised area within the surrounding mountain formation.
This type of rock formation and weathering process has happened in many other places locally and throughout the world, but what makes Meteora's appearance special is firstly the uniformity of the sedimentary rock constituents deposited over millions of years leaving few signs of vertical layering, and secondly the localised abrupt vertical weathering.
Meteora: Ancient History
Caves in the vicinity of Meteora were inhabited continuously between 50,000 and 5,000 years ago. The oldest known example of a man-made structure, a stone wall that blocked two-thirds of the entrance to the Theopetra cave, was constructed 23,000 years ago, probably as a barrier against cold winds – the Earth was experiencing an ice age at the time – and many Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts have been found within the caves.
As early as the 11th century, monks occupied the caverns of Meteora. However, monasteries were not built until the 14th century, when the monks sought somewhere to hide in the face of an increasing number of Turkish attacks on Greece. At this time, access to the top was via removable ladders or windlass. Nowadays, getting up is a lot simpler due to steps being carved into the rock during the 1920s. Of the 24 monasteries, only 6 (five male, one female) are still functioning, with each housing less than 10 individuals.
The cave of Theopetra is located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Kalambaka. Its uniqueness from an archeological perspective is that a single site contains records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: the replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans and later, the transition from hunting-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave consists of an immense 500 square metres (5,400 sq ft) rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with an entrance 17 metres (56 ft) wide by 3 metres (9.8 ft) high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Macedonia prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. The small Lithaios River flowing literally on the doorsteps of the cave meant that cave dwellers had always easy access to fresh, clean water without the need to cover daily long distances to find it. Excavations and research and have discovered petrified diatoms, which have contributed to understanding the Palaeo-climate and climate changes. Radiocarbon dating evidences human presence dating back 50,000 years. The cave is open to the public.
In the 9th century AD, an ascetic group of hermit monks moved up to the ancient pinnacles; they were the first people to inhabit Meteora since the Neolithic Era. They lived in hollows and fissures in the rock towers, some as high as 1800 ft (550m) above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors. Initially, the hermits led a life of solitude, meeting only on Sundays and special days to worship and pray in a chapel built at the foot of a rock known as Dhoupiani.
The exact date of the establishment of the monasteries is unknown. By the late 11th and early 12th centuries, a rudimentary monastic state had formed called the Skete of Stagoi and was centered around the still-standing church of Theotokos (mother of God). By the end of the 12th century, an ascetic community had flocked to Meteora.
In 1344, Athanasios Koinovitis from Mount Athos brought a group of followers to Meteora. From 1356 to 1372, he founded the great Meteoron monastery on the Broad Rock, which was perfect for the monks; they were safe from political upheaval and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. The only means of reaching it was by climbing a long ladder, which was drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened.
At the end of the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire's 800-year reign over northern Greece was being increasingly threatened by Turkish raiders who wanted control over the fertile plain of Thessaly. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the 14th century. Six remain today.
In 1517, Nectarios and Theophanes built the monastery of Varlaam, which was reputed to house the finger of St John and the shoulder blade of St Andrew.
Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only "when the Lord let them break". In the words of UNESCO, "The net in which intrepid pilgrims were hoisted up vertically alongside the 373 metres (1,224 ft) cliff where the Varlaam monastery dominates the valley symbolizes the fragility of a traditional way of life that is threatened with extinction."
Until the 17th century, the primary means of conveying goods and people from these eyries was by means of baskets and ropes.
In 1921, Queen Marie of Romania visited Meteora, becoming the first woman ever allowed to enter the Great Meteoron monastery.
In the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau. During World War II the site was bombed. Many art treasures were stolen.
Meteora: List of monasteries
At their peak in the sixteenth century there were 24 monasteries at Meteora in Greece. They were created to serve monks and nuns following the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Much of the architecture of these buildings is Athonite in origin. Today there are six still functioning, while the remainder are in largely in ruin. Perched onto high cliffs, they are now accessible by staircases and pathways cut into the rock formations. Of the six functioning monasteries, the Holy Monastery of St. Stephen and the Holy Monastery of Roussanou are inhabited by nuns while the remainder are inhabited by monks. The total monastic population of the Meteora monasteries in 2015 was 56, comprising 15 monks in four monasteries and 41 nuns in two monasteries. The monasteries are now tourist attractions.
The Monastery of Great Meteoron - This is the largest of the monasteries located at Meteora, though in 2015 there were only 3 monks in residence. It was erected in the mid-14th century and was the subject of restoration and embellishment projects in 1483 and 1552. One building serves as the main museum for tourists. The Katholikon (main church), consecrated in honour of the Transfiguration of Jesus was erected in the middle of the 14th century and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552.
The Monastery of Varlaam – The Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in the Meteora complex, and in 2015 had the largest number of monks (seven) of the male monasteries. It was built in 1541 and embellished in 1548. A church, dedicated to All Saints, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious exonarthex (lite) is surrounded by a dome. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the exonarthex was decorated in 1566. The old refectory is used as a museum while north of the church is the parekklesion of the Three Bishops, built in 1627 and decorated in 1637.
The Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara was founded in the middle of the 16th century and decorated in 1560. Today it is a flourishing nunnery with 13 nuns in residence in 2015.
The Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas, built in the 16th century, has a small church, decorated by the noted Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas, in 1527. There was one monk in residence in 2015.
The Monastery of St. Stephen has a small church built in the 16th century and decorated in 1545. This monastery rests on the plain rather than on a cliff. It was shelled by the Nazis during World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents and was abandoned. The monastery was given over to nuns in 1961 and they have reconstructed it into a flourishing nunnery, with 28 nuns in residence in 2015.
The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is on top of the cliffs. It was built in 1475 and was remodeled in 1684, 1689, 1692, 1741. There were four monks in residence in 2015.
Meteora in the early morning hours.
The Rousanou, the Nikolaos and the Grand Meteora monasteries.
The Rousanou monastery.
Panorama of the Meteora valley
Panoramic view at Meteora valley
Panoramic view at monastery Varlaam
Panoramic view at monastery Roussanou
Panoramic view at monasteries Varlaam and Grand Metereon
Meteora: Cultural references
Meteora, a 2012 Greek film devoted entirely to a story set in the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Meteora.
The monastery of Holy Trinity was a filming location in the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only
Scenes from Tintin and the Golden Fleece were also shot at the Meteora monasteries.
Michina, the main setting of the movie Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life is based on Meteora.
Meteora is the main location in the fiction book The Spook's Sacrifice, by Lancashire author Joseph Delaney
The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas was an inspiration for the monastery of St. Francis Folly, in the first level of Greece in both games Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: Anniversary.
One of the surviving characters in Max Brooks's zombie apocalypse novel, "World War Z" finds refuge and peace of mind in the monasteries during and after the zombie war.
The 2012 film Meteora directed by Spiros Stathoulopoulos is set in the monasteries and scenery of Meteora
Primary location and name of Volume 3 in the comic book series "Le Décalogue" by French author Frank Giroud.
The Eyrie of Vale of the House of Arryn from Game of Thrones is based on Meteora
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 DLC Map "Sanctuary" is set in the monasteries of the Meteora.
The 2003 album by Linkin Park takes its name from the site.
The monasteries were a filming location for the 1976 action movie Sky Riders starring Susannah York, James Coburn and Robert Culp.
In The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "Travels with Father", Indiana and his father visit Meteora.
"Meteora". Oxford Living Dictionaries.
Sofianos, D.Z.: "Metéora". Holy Monastery of Great Meteoro, 1991.
"Meteora". Unesco World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
Henry Holland (7 June 2012). Travels in the Ionian Isles, Albania, Thessaly, Macedonia, Etc.: During the Years 1812 and 1813. Cambridge University Press. pp. 241–. ISBN 978-1-108-05044-9.
"General info about Meteora". Meteora-Greece com.
Y. Facorellis, N. Kyparissi-Apostolika and Y. Maniatis 2001 The cave of Theopetra, Kalambaka: radiocarbon evidence for 50,000 years of human presence. Radiocarbon 43 (2B): 1029-48
 Archived December 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.