Meteora, when translated from greek, means «soaring in the skies». It is a mountain monastery complex located at the edge of the thessalian plain, founded by st. Athanasios meteorites in the 14th century in the monastic state of the holy mountain. It is a globally renowned spot, and is an essential part of the greece excursion route, alongside the acropolis of athens. Every visitor, even chinese tourists with cameras, can feel like a pilgrim at meteora, for it is a place which preserves the spiritual wealth of the orthodox byzantium in its full glory.
These monasteries are not only a reminder of the past, but are living, actively practicing monastic life. They enlighten and strengthen their visitors, and promote the continuation of the byzantine devotional art. There are several large icon workshops in meteora, and out of the more than twenty monasteries that existed at one point, only six are still in operation: four friaries and two nunneries.
In the past, accessing the monasteries of Thessaly was only possible for those who had great skill and used wooden and rope ladders. Because of the hermetic life of the monks and their isolation from the outside world, these structures had managed to survive through centuries of difficult and troubled history.
In the first half of the 20th century, stone stairs and roads were built to reach these monolithic giants and allowed travelers to experience the spiritual power of the ancient monks and saints. Nowadays, modern mountain-climbing expeditions offer tourists a chance to have a glimpse into the icon-paintings, ancient manuscripts, books, and unique history and architecture of cathedrals — all without too much physical effort.
After fulfilling one’s spiritual needs while exploring the rock formations of meteora, travelers can find solace and refreshment at one of the small and picturesque taverns of kalambaka below the cliffs.
On the route from meteora to thessaloniki, there is a small temple dedicated to st. Parasceve, martyr, also known as «friday», located in the tembi gorge. The cavern temple features a small icon of st. Parasceve and is a relatively recent discovery. It has become well-known for its water, which is said to have curative properties for those suffering from eye ailments.
Transfer to Meteora with a coffee stop at the foot of Mount Olympus. The time may differ depending on the departure point.
Visit to the Iconpainting Workshop at the foot of the Meteora Cliffs
We visit two or more of the six Meteora monasteries opened for tourists, as well as several historical churches and monasteries, which are closed to visitors, the existence of which is not suspected not only by the numerous tourists, but also by most guides visiting Meteora
in one of the traditional taverns in the town of Kalambaka at the foot of the Meteor Cliffs
Transfer to the winery, located close to Meteora (optional)
Acquaintance with the winemaking traditions of Northern Greece and the tasting of local wines (optional)
Return to Halkidiki
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Drinking water, money for souvenirs, your lunch, entrance tickets to monasteries, positive thinking, and desire to be enriched spiritually.:)
You need rational footwear and headwear. Please, be rightly dressed when visiting monasteries. - Women have to wear below the knee skirts or dresses. - Trousers, shorts, open shoulders, and high slits are inadmissible for women. - Men must be in trouser