Meteora, the name reminds us of one of the largest and most attractive complexes of Greek Orthodox monasteries. Strangely positioned on the rocky pinnacles of Thessaly. The Meteora monasteries are among the most exquisite tourist spots of Greece. The name Meteora in Greek, suggests “suspended in the air,” and these six remarkable monasteries are built in close conformity with its name. These monasteries are now judged as world Heritage site by UNESCO and have been given special attention as common heritage of the humanity.Of late these monasteries have became one of the most sought after tourist attractions of Greece.
In 14th century when Byzantine Empire was on its way of decline, the monastic communities of the Athos were pathetically harassed by the Turkish pirates. During that time after an encounter with these pirates, three monks, Gregory, Moses and Athanasius left the Monastery of Iviron in search of a new place of isolation and ultimately they built a hesychasterion or wooden hut on the top of the rock called Stylos or the Pillar. In the later time Athanasius took the initiatives to construct the chapel and few cells to build up a small community there.
When to visit: Though this famous holiday destination of Greece can be visited any time of the year, but the weather remains far more comfortable during winter (December- March). And during 1st July to 15th October due to the presence of huge number of visitors the seasonal rates remain high. Therefore, to enjoy this place at lowest possible rate with comfortable weather, one must visit it in the months of May and June.
Means of Transport: The nearest major town is Kalambaka, visitors are allowed to avail buses to Kalampaka from Ioannina, Trikala, Thessaloniki and Athens. Train journey is also possible from Thessaloniki or Athens with a switch at Larissa.
Fashion and Clothing: It is mandatory to maintain proper dress code to visit these Greek monasteries. Any kind of sleeveless clothing and shorts are prohibited for both men and women.
Six Monasteries to visit are:
- The Monastery of Great Mateoron
- Holy Monastery of Varlaam
- Holy Monastery of Rousanou
- Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas
- Holy Monastery of St. Stephen
- Monastery of Holy Trinity
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