Take in the breathtaking views and the rich culture of Meteora
One of the most important religious sites in Greece are the Meteora. Situated in the prefecture of Thessaly, Meteora is a place of unique beauty. A vast complex of giant rock pillars with monasteries made on the picks of the sandstone cliffs centuries ago creates a truly surreal landscape found nowhere else in the world! The height of the rocks and its impressive views were the reason why many monks believed that these monasteries were the best place to meditate. Nowadays, thirteen monasteries, out of the initial twenty-four, are still standing. Six of these are open to the public.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an archeological site and an officially declared holy place! At the foothills of the rocks, there are 2 settlements, the town of Kalabaka and the village of Kastraki.
The first ones who arrived in the area to use the cliffs of Meteora for spiritual reasons were Orthodox Christian hermit-monks. They came to this place between the 9th and the 10th century to find quiet and to isolate themselves in the many caves found scattered among the cliffs. In the 14th Century the first monastery of Meteora, the Great Meteoron was established. By the 16th century, at the height of Meteora’s monastic community, the number of monasteries existing in the site had reached a total of 24.
The Great Meteoron, also known as the Holy Monastery of the Metamorfossis (Transfiguration of Christ), is a male monastery and is the oldest and largest of all the monasteries of Meteora. It is built on the greatest rock of the complex, the Platys Lithos or Playtlithos.
The Varlaam Monastery is named after the first monk who built the first church on the rock. This was in 1350 and Varlaan built three churches, a room for himself and a water tank.
The Rousanou Monastery was built in 1545 by Maximos and Ioasaph of Ioannina, it is unclear who the actual monastery is named after, but it is dedicated to St.Barbara. Like other monasteries at Meteora the Roussanou monastery was looted during the Second World War.
St. Nicholas Anapafsas monastery was founded in the 14th century and nobody is quite sure who the monastery is named after. This Monastery is most famous for its frescoes which include the passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary praying.
The 14th century St. Stephen monastery is the closest monastery in Meteora to the main town of Kalabaka, and so the easiest to visit. It is dedicated to St. Charalambos who’s head it contains, as it is believed to prevent illnesses.
Out of all the monasteries of Meteora Holy Trinity has the most dramatic location, the rock face is a sheer drop and the rock itself is a lot slenderer. The monastery was built in 1458 and had many treasures, but most of these were looted by the Germans during the Second World War.
ifly’s Travel Tip:
Depending on which of our helicopters is chartered, the flight time from Athens varies between 1 hour & 10 minutes to 1 hour & 30 minutes. With one of our VIP limousines the driving time lasts about 4 hours.
Enjoy a comfortable and safe flight to Meteora.
With ifly’s modern fleet, we can provide you with the latest aircraft models to ensure luxury, safety and an overall exclusive flight experience. Our base of Operations is located in Athens but we can literally take off from any desired destination in Greece. Explore our fleet here.