Question Regarding your Meteora Visit
What are the visiting hours and days of the monasteries?
The opening hours often change from year to year, so beware when relying on information provided in guidebooks or general web sites. We will try to do our best in keeping the timetable of visiting times and days of monasteries up-to-date. Check the opening hours of Meteora monasteries here.
What is the best way to explore Meteora and how much time to I need?
Meteora is an area of few square km, encompassing a rock forest with over 100 giant rock pillars of different shapes and sizes, some of the 400 meters above the ground. The monasteries are built on top of those pillars like a natural extension. The best way to explore such a unique site is by spending quality time here and by combining walking and driving. That will allow you to explore deeper the region and get out the most of your visit here. Make sure to allocate at least 2 days here for to have the best experience.
If you don’t have much time and you are here for couple of days only then a knowledgeable local guide can lend a laser focus to any sightseeing visit, and this may never be as valuable as when you have very little time in one place like Meteora. Meteora is a site which is exceptionally rich in historical or cultural significance; an educated tour guide can offer a depth of experience and knowledge that goes beyond guidebook snippets or plaque-reading. A good tour guide will always know the best hours to visit attractions, which places you can skip, how to avoid rush hour, what is closed or under construction, and any number of tricks and tactics that will help you get the most out of a heavily visited location.
What’s the best way to travel to Meteora?
Kalambaka is fairly easy to reach by train or bus. There are two convenient direct trains from Athens, as well as several trains connecting with the main Athens-Thessaloniki line at Palaiopharsala. You may find buses for Athens, or Metsovo and Ioannina, two beautiful areas towards the Pindos mountains. There are frequent local buses from Kalambaka to Kastraki and to Trikala, which is the principal town of the area, 20 minutes from Kalambaka. Trikala also has a big bus station for a wider range of bus connections. Find more info on how to get to Meteora here.
Follow a guided hiking tour or go independent?
Apart the circle road route which is 20 km there is a network of different hiking trails 40 km in total. Not all of them are well marked. Some of the trails are in a very poor condition in terms of navigation while some other trails will end up in a serious drop off. So please be extremely careful when you decide to explore those trails on your own. While these walks can be done independently, a knowledgeable guide can greatly enhance your safety and experience and can choose your path carefully. If you don’t trust your sense of direction, then let us guide you by joining one of our hiking tours!
Should I follow a guided tour or go independently?
While these walks can be done independently, a knowledgeable guide can greatly enhance your experience and can choose your path carefully. You may become lost for a while following less well signposted paths, but it will be a much richer experience. If you don’t trust your sense of direction, then let us guide you by joining one of our hiking tours!
Should I take the car to drive to monasteries or is better using other means?
There are many reasons not to want to drive while exploring Meteora — like if you’re not confident driving on the opposite side of the road, your spouse is a terrible copilot and you just want to have fun instead of arguing. Lack of parking space outside the monasteries is especially during the pick period in the summer; or if you want to enjoy the scenic road and not to feel stress about the narrow and curvy roads. So by joining one of our tours might save you a lot of headaches and unwanted distractions.
What is the Best period to Visit the Monasteries?
The Monasteries of Meteora may be visited all year round, but the weather is wet and cool from December to March. Crowds and high season rates begin from July 1st to October 15th . April, May and June are the best months for comfortable weather, low season rates and the opportunity to explore the area in peace.
Is there any public bus from Kalabaka to Meteora
There are public buses between April and October starting from Kalambaka at 09:00 in the morning and every 2 hours till 17:00 in the evening. So it’s not very convenient if you wish to use it from monastery to monastery like a hop-on, hop-off bus. Mostly serves as a one way trip to reach the monasteries and then you will be on your own. You can check the buses timetable to Meteora here.
What is the Entrance fee for the monasteries?
In each monastery there is an entrance fee of 3 euro per person. Kids up to 12 years old they don’t pay entrance fees in the monasteries.
How many stairs for each monastery?
The Monastery of the Holy Trinity and Great Meteoro are the less accessible (over 300 steps). Rousanou, Varlaam and Saint Nicolaos have an average number of 140. Some of the monasteries apart the staircases requires uphill walking in paved paths. The Holy Monastery of St Stephen is connected with a walking bridge, thus making it more accessible than any other monastery.
Is there a dress code to enter a monastery?
Appropriate clothing for everyone is required to enter the monasteries. Sleeveless clothing and shorts over the knee for men are prohibited and you‘ll be denied access if dressed that way. For ladies skirts and shawls are available at the entrance in case they don’t have such clothing to cover themselves.
How many monasteries can I see in one day?
Before we answer this question we have to specify that everything should be taken into account. It depends on how fit you are, the transportation and time available, weather conditions ect. Most people are able to visit between 2 to 4 monasteries per day. The few visitors who visit all 6 of them within one day are missing out a magical, more slow-paced adventure. We recommend at least 2 days stay in Meteora.
What about the climate of the area?
The mountain range to the east and north of the site experiences a wide climatic variation from very hot summers to cold winters with heavy snowfall. Summer is the driest time, storms occurring all year round especially at higher altitudes.
What should I pack with me when sightseeing the Meteora monasteries?
Around the monasteries, there are no restaurants or cafes, only canteens that serve few quick snacks and beverages, so it is always a good idea to take some snacks and a bottle of water or refreshments with you. Don’t forget the appropriate clothing and your camera!