Visit Meteora Greece: Your Guide to a Stunning Historical Trek

Visit Meteora Greece: Your Guide to a Stunning Historical Trek © Pack a Sandwich

Discover Meteora, the wonder of Greece!

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit destination for lovers of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes.

Located in central Greece, Meteora is famous for its monasteries perched on enormous rocks, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

During my 3-month road trip in the Balkans, I had the opportunity to visit this place which turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my trip in Greece. In this guide, I reveal everything you need to know to plan your own adventure in Meteora.

What to do and see in Kalambaka?

Visit the monasteries of Meteora

Among the six still-active monasteries, be sure to visit:

  • Monastery of the Great Meteoron (Méga Metéoron): the largest and oldest one
  • Monastery of Varlaam: famous for its frescoes and church dedicated to the saints
  • Monastery of the Holy Trinity (Agia Triada): famous for its spectacular views and appearance in the James Bond film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'.

To avoid crowds, visit the monasteries of Meteora early in the morning. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing: shoulders and knees must be covered.

Visiting Meteora on foot

Enjoy picturesque hiking trails to explore the rocks, monasteries, and panoramic views of Meteora. Popular trails include:

  • Holy Trinity Trail
  • Kalambaka to Kastraki Trail

The duration of exploring Meteora on foot depends on the itinerary. In general, it is possible to visit the main monasteries in one or two days. A typical guided hike lasts about 4 hours, with moderately difficult stairs and rocky paths. The trails are well-maintained and suitable for all levels of hikers.

Rock Climbing in Meteora

The place is a paradise for climbers, offering routes suitable for all levels. The rock formations provide a unique setting for climbing, with panoramic views of the monasteries. Remember to check local regulations regarding climbing and to respect the protected areas.

Where to eat? The best restaurants near Meteora

Don't miss the chance to taste Greek cuisine during your stay in Meteora in the small town of Kalambaka and the village of Kastraki!

In Kalambaka

  • Meteora Restaurant: traditional Greek cuisine with stunning views
  • Taverna Gardenia: for meat lovers and local dishes
  • Panellinio: for vegetarians and vegans

In the village of Kastraki

  • Taverna Paradisos: for an authentic meal in a welcoming and warm setting
  • To Kanoni: a charming tavern offering local specialties

Greek dishes and specialties

Enjoy mezzes, assortments of small plates to share, with tzatziki, tarama, olives, and feta cheese. Also, try moussaka, a delicious dish of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel, as well as tasty skewers of grilled meat, souvlakis.

Finish your meal beautifully with a slice of galaktoboureko, a layered pastry filled with creamy lemon and drizzled with sweet syrup, for a typically Greek culinary experience.

Where to stay in Kalambaka?

If you want to fully enjoy your visit, it is essential to find comfortable and convenient accommodation for your stay. Here is a list of the best places to stay near Meteora:

Budget (Backpackers)

  • The Holy Rock Hostel: dorms starting from €15/night
  • Meteora Centrale Hostel: dorms starting from €19/night

Comfort

  • Spartacus House: rooms starting from €30/night
  • Zoras Rooms (Kastraki): rooms starting from €40/night

Luxury

  • Divani Meteora Hotel: rooms starting from €120/night
  • Dellas Boutique Hotel (Kastraki): rooms starting from €80/night

When to visit Meteora and travel to Greece?

For a trip to Meteora, the best months depend on your preferences. May, June, and September are ideal if you want to avoid crowds. July and August are more crowded but offer sunshine and liveliness.

If you are looking for a cooler climate and a quieter atmosphere, opt for October to April. However, some tourist facilities may be closed off-season.

How to get to Meteora (Kalambaka)

  • By plane: The nearest airport is Thessaloniki (SKG). From there, you can take a train or bus to Kalambaka.
  • By train: Regular rail connections link Athens and Thessaloniki to Kalambaka.
  • By bus: Frequent buses depart from Athens and Thessaloniki to Kalambaka.

Getting around in Kalambaka

  • On foot: The distances between the monasteries are short, and hiking trails are an excellent option for getting around.
  • By car: Car rental is a convenient option for exploring Meteora and its surroundings at your own pace.
  • By tourist bus: Buses regularly circulate between Kalambaka, Kastraki, and the monasteries.

Budget and Prices for a Trip to Greece

  • Backpacker: Expect a budget of around 30-50€ per day for hostels, cheap meals, and monastery visits.
  • Comfort: With a budget of 50-100€ per day, you can enjoy mid-range accommodation, meals at local restaurants, and additional activities.
  • Luxury: For a high-end trip, plan a budget of 150-200€ per day, including luxury accommodation, gourmet meals, and private guided tours.

Safety in Meteora

This destination is generally considered safe for travelers. However, as with any trip, it is important to take basic precautions to ensure your safety:

  • Keep an eye on your belongings in areas frequented by tourists and on public transportation.
  • Keep your valuables and important documents in a safe place.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and slippery surfaces when visiting monasteries and hiking trails.
  • Follow safety rules when engaging in outdoor activities such as climbing.

A Jewel of Greece to Discover

This complete guide to Meteora is your gateway to an enchanting destination where history, culture, and spectacular landscapes come together. From hiking to exploring historical sites, you'll be amazed at every turn. Get ready for a unique and memorable travel experience at Meteora!

FAQs

What are the must-see attractions in Greece?

Greece is a country rich in history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Among the must-see attractions are:

  • Acropolis of Athens: This iconic historical site is home to the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena.
  • Ancient site of Delphi: A former sanctuary dedicated to Apollo, famous for its oracle and temple.
  • Sanctuary of Olympia: Site of the first Olympic Games and home to the Temple of Zeus.
  • Meteora monasteries: Monasteries perched on impressive rock formations, offering a spectacular view of the valley.
  • Cyclades Islands: These picturesque islands, such as Santorini and Mykonos, are famous for their white-washed villages, beautiful beaches, and lively nightlife.

When planning your trip, be sure to include a mix of history, culture, relaxation, and adventure to fully experience everything Greece has to offer.

What is the best time to visit Greece?

The best time to visit Greece depends on your preferences in terms of climate and activities. Generally, the period between April and October offers warm and sunny weather, perfect for enjoying the beaches and tourist sites. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the seasons:

  • Spring (April-May): The climate is mild and pleasant, with lush vegetation and flowers in full bloom. This is an excellent time for hiking, biking, and discovering archaeological sites.
  • Summer (June-August): Temperatures are high, which is perfect for beach activities and water sports. However, this period is the busiest and prices may be higher.
  • Autumn (September-October): Like spring, autumn offers a mild climate and fewer crowds. This is a good time to visit historical sites and participate in outdoor activities.
  • Winter (November-March): Although the weather is cooler and wetter, especially on the mainland, winter is a quiet time to visit Greece. Prices are often lower and sites are less crowded.

Do I need a visa to travel to Greece?

Visa requirements for traveling to Greece vary depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay. Nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland do not need a visa for stays of less than 90 days. Citizens of many other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, are also exempt from visas for short stays. Check the requirements for your nationality before leaving. For stays of more than 90 days or for specific reasons, such as work or study, a visa may be required.

It is important to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned return date. Additionally, keep in mind the regulations regarding travel in the Schengen area, which limit visa-free stays to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Maxime Boudrias

About the author Maxime Boudrias

Max is a seasoned web developer, entrepreneur, and musician from Montreal. For the past five years, he has been a digital nomad, traveling to 56 countries. Passionate about authentic and off-the-beaten-path travel experiences, he shares his adventures to inspire others to pursue their travel dreams affordably and with ease.

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