Meteora: What to See

Meteora Greece is a place of immense beauty located at the center of the Greek peninsula.  How could anyone describe this astonishing geological phenomenon and the breathtaking landscape of the surrounding Meteora region? The inspiration and spirituality felt, the awe of man’s achievements to express his religious drive by building monasteries on the picks of these sandstone cliffs.

 

Location of Meteora region on the map of Greece

Those are only a few of the emotions travelers experience when visiting this phenomenal land! Take a moment to skim through our website and find out what there is to see in Meteora! Let us convince you why you shouldn’t miss out on a visit to Greece’s most unique and spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Meteora’s rare geological formation process

These immense, solid rocks, split by earthquakes, weathered by water and wind over millions of years, are nature’s authentic masterpiece. Around 50 million years ago, the whole area of modern-day Meteora Greece was on the bottom of a great ocean called Tethys. Around 30 million years ago, at the present-day region of Meteora, it was the shores of that ancient ocean with long sandy beaches stretching for tens of km! In this long shoreline, a river delta had formed accumulating vast quantities of sentiments.

 

Present-day location of Meteora in relation to earth’s map as it was 50 million years ago.

 

This river delta had formed on an area of the Tethys shores were a basin hundreds of meters used to exist. This deep basin over time became completely filled with the river deposits of gobbles, mud, sand, and small rocks. The water of the river was dissolving limestone from the mountains deposing it with the rest of the river deposits in the basin of the delta. Roughly 11 million years ago during the Miocene Period, tectonic movements and earthquakes began to push the whole area to an upward movement raising the earth.

As the ground kept elevating erosion started to take place, washing away the soft materials and gradually exposing the cemented river depositions that used to be buried deep down on the bottom of the ancient sea. The mass of deposits became cemented because of the dissolved limestone that rivers brought along with the rest of the materials. That allowed for a chemical reaction to take place creating a matrix of deposits resembling a natural type of cement.

 

The rock pillars of Meteora, shaped and exposed by erosion stand roughly 200 to 400 meters above sea level, creating this unique geological feature.

 

This conglomerate type of rock that formed in the area, as the earth kept rising it was able over time to withstand erosion, gradually becoming exposed hundreds of meters above the earth’s surface. It’s hard to imagine today that the highest picks of Meteora cliffs 20 million years ago they used to be the bottom of the ancient ocean. This means that during this long period the earth rose more than a thousand meters creating this unique geological phenomenon of immense rock pillars we call Meteora.

 

 

What to See around Meteora Greece

How could anyone describe this astonishing geological phenomenon, the breathtaking landscape, the inspiration and spirituality felt, the awe for man’s achievements in an effort to express his religious drive, when these are only some of the many things a traveler experiences when visiting this phenomenal land!

Serene, spiritual, magical, mystical, extraordinary, breathtaking, immense, inspiring, impressive. These are only some of the words people very often use in an effort to describe the Meteora phenomenon. Visit Meteora, even if your interests are not deeply religious. It is the only way to enrich your feelings of spirituality that this area already exudes, no matter how long or brief your sojourn in our beautiful land.

Today at Meteora Greece, apart from the well-known 6 monasteries, a number of hermitages and small abandoned monasteries have also been restored. Our goal and wish is to try and acquaint visitors with some of these less popular – but not at all less interesting – historical and religious monuments.

The first hermit-monks arrived in this area to seek spiritual isolation and inhabited the caves on the cliffs, with the sole aid of ropes and ladders. Common existential needs and strong religious faith compelled them to live united in the first monastic communities, their common drive of faith guiding them towards the unrepeated construction of monasteries of highest architectural and artistic value.

 

The monasteries of Meteora are filled with treasures of Byzantine art

 

The 24 monasteries emerged on the countless summits of the rocks from the 14th until the 16th century, today 6 of them remain open to be explored and admired by all. These monasteries became the centers of the Orthodox creed in the Byzantine Epoch, having produced some of the best pieces of religious art and craft and still possessing a collection of precious manuscripts, which today are on display in their museums. The monasteries of Meteora Greece have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Meteora-Antichassia region has been officially declared a Natura 2000 Ecological Zone by the Greek Ministry of Environment, for the protection of rare species of birds and flowers.

 

The map of Meteora Greece site, the 6 active monasteries perched on the cliffs with Kalabaka town (right) and Kastraki village (left)

Tours to explore Meteora Greece