Hiking in Meteora – A lifetime Experience
The ideal way to experience Meteora’s unique beauty is by walking. Following the words of an author of a local guide, “the slow pace of the walker gives him the chance to experience the surrounding world, where a flower, a rock or a monk standing on a high balcony are perceived quite differently. Only by following the footsteps of holy men as far in the past as the 11th century – well away from the milling crowds of tourists – is one able to experience a different aspect of Meteora”.
The sheer blocks of rock may look intimidating, but in reality walking around the area is not a difficult task. Walking is the only way to observe impressive rock formations and the shaping of strange patterns from a closer distance. Choose a pathway, like the one from the old town of Kalambaka to the monastery of Holy Trinity, or the one leading you to the ruins of old monasteries as you enter the village of Kastraki. Avoid the crowds, choose the track of your style, wear a pair of good trainers and grab your camera for an unforgettable experience!
If you are looking for ways to enhance your experience, why not walk along with a local, experienced guide? As most paths remain unmapped and, unfortunately, poorly marked, we wouldn’t like to see visitors discouraged or lost! For that reason, we believe that you should take advantage of our local guides, who will be your enthusiastic leaders and hosts in such ventures. Check out our recommended hiking tours and share the adventure with a local guide!
A climber’s paradise
The first people to have climbed up the rocks were the shepherds who sought protection for their sheep. Consequently, the first individual monks found shelter and spiritual isolation in their caves. In 1958 a tobacco advertisement caught the eye of Diertich Hasse, a German physicist and alpine climber, who was intrigued by the stunning rocks used as the advertisement’s background.
Upon his visit to Meteora in 1975 in the company of the photographer Heinz Lothaz Stutte and other German climbers, he found out that he would become the first professional climber on the rocks. Along with his fellow climbers, they reached the peaks of all rocks except the ones where the monasteries are located. Small notebooks inside metal boxes were placed on the peaks of all rocks where the achievements of the first climbers were recorded, including the sketching of all major routes.
Following this tradition, successive climbers have ever since been recording their names and the dates of their climbing missions.
Tips for climbers
Most Greek climbers show up in the Meteora area around Easter time. However, Mediterranean weather allows for two major climbing seasons which are most popular; from April till June and from September till November (always depending on weather conditions).
In the summertime you could always choose climbing routes in the most shaded rocks. To avoid the heat, the northern and western parts of the rocks are usually ideal from 5 am until 11 am and from 4 pm until 8 pm, around sunset time. Double-checking on the weather forecast will always save you from trouble! Finally, please bear in mind that there are no climbing routes to the rocks where monasteries are located, following an agreement between the local monks and the very first climbers, for respecting the privacy of the monastic community.