Would you like to see some breathtaking scenery filled with towering rock formations and monasteries nested on the top?
The enormous pillar-like rock formations of Meteora are a marvellous wonder of nature that has solely unveiled itself throughout the centuries. The geological phenomenon of unique beauty stands as an important monument for Orthodoxy. Meteora is also included in the UNESCO world heritage list.
Visitors are fascinated by the immense sacred rocks and their magnificence. The various huts found around the rock formation bore witness to the first monks who devoted their lives to God in this place. In the 14th century, the first monasteries were built through exceptional craftsmanship and diligence. Over the passage of time, some were rebuilt, others underwent repair thus giving the final architectural form as seen today. Now they constitute the natural ending on the top of the gigantic rocks.
In the past, monks used wooden beams wedged inside the rocks in order to ascend to the monasteries. Eventually, the beams were replaced nets and ladders. Nowadays, both visitors and pilgrims use stairwells carved on the walls, which ensure safe and convenient access to monasteries. Out of the 24 monasteries in total, only 6 are open today. The rest of them are ruinous or uninhibited.
Hiking is the best way to enjoy the unique geophysical phenomenon of Meteora. Let us learn the story of this place by following the footsteps of the first monks that lived in this place for more than 15 centuries.
The starting point of our hike is the chapel of the Virgin Mary Doupianis beneath the so called rock. Walking among the immense rocks we will end up on the northern part of Meteora where we will find the hidden monastery of Ipapantis as well as the ruins of the chapel of Saint Dimitrios. The holy monastery of Ipapantis will serve as a temporary resting place. In the meanwhile we are going to be informed about the history of that sacred place. Our next stop would be the monasteries of Megalo Meteoro or Varlaam. For our descend we are going to take the old path that was used for centuries in the past before roads were paved. In the last part of our hike we will be impressed by the breathtaking view before setting off for the next adventure.