Meteora is the name for a group of huge and almost inaccessible rock pinnacles with monasteries built on their top, near the town of Kalampaka. Suspended in the air’ (the meaning of Meteora in Greek), these monasteries have been for many centuries a significant place of retreat. From 1988 the site is included in the world heritage list of UNESCO. It is worth visiting the monasteries with the splendid frescoes. However, there are also amazing trails that penetrate deep into the bizarre landscape leading to forgotten hermitages, caves and abandoned monasteries. And of course Meteora is an internationally renowned rock climbing site.


To experience the magic of Meteora one must follow the hiking trails. Best time for hiking is spring and autumn. The proposed paths are obvious and passable. You will come across some intersections that don't appear on the map, these are mostly paths used by climbers to approach the rocks.

1) Kastraki - Megalo Meteoro - M. Varlaam | 2.2 km | Ascent 250 m 

One of the classic routes in Meteora, starts from the central square of Kastraki heading east, passes near the rock church of Agios Georgios that stands out high on the rock. We pass the intersection for the Prisons of the Monks, cross the asphalt road and by going uphill on an old stone-paved path we arrive below the Drakospilia. Soon the path divides, the northern branch leads to the Great Meteoron and the eastern branch to Varlaam Monastery.

2) M. Agia Triada - Kalambaka - Kastraki, 13.8 km | Ascent 200m., Descent 440m.

We start from the parking lot of Agia Triada and follow a stone-paved path to the monastery. At the base of the rock on the right is the beginning of the well-marked path to Kalambaka. The route passes by the edge of the city, south of the "Alissos" and "Agia" rocks and the Byzantine Church of the Dormition. In a northwesterly direction, we pass between the "Agioi Apostoloi" and "Badava" rocks. From the Byzantine church of Panagia, following the path at the base of the rocks to the north we reach Kastraki in 20 minutes,

3) Kastraki - Church of the Holy Spirit | 1 km | Ascent 130 m | 451 Technical difficulty at the end!

Short but difficult route due to the steep incline. Caution! the path to the end of the route is exposed. It starts from the center of the settlement in an easterly direction, south of the "Holy Spirit" rock. It follows an old well-marked path to the base of the "Kumaria" Rock. At this point it makes a sharp turn to the west and crosses the southern side of the rock. After 10 minutes you reach the plateau of the Holy Spirit with the chapel of the same name. Admire the trees that have grown on the rock. The view towards Kastraki and the valley of Pinios is impressive,

4) Doubiani - Kreni Petra - M. Ypapantis - Megalo Meteoro | 4 km | Ascent 200m. Descent 50m. 

 We start from the country road immediately after the rock of "Doumbiani" and just before Agios Nikolaos ton Anapafsa. We pass by the Rock of "Krini Petra", where there are various hermitages, as well as some stables. Before the Ypapanti Monastery we meet a road which we follow until just before the rock of "Ftelia. An obvious path leads to the Great Meteora after about 30 minutes. Can be combined with route 1 for the return.

5) Megalo Meteoro - Agios Stefanos Monastery | 5 km | Ascent 160m. Descent 250m.

The longest proposed route connects the Megalo Meteoro with the Monastery of Agios Stefanos. It starts from the parking area opposite "Platy Lithos" and follows a wooded battle to the provincial road of Vlachava. From there it descends in a southerly direction to the intersection of the road that leads to Agia Triada. A final climb up the hill of the Tower" and you will reach the Monastery of Agios Stefanos. It can be combined with the first part of route 2 for the return.

Kalambaka Town and Koziakas Range as seen from Agia Triada Monastery


In total, there are 24 monasteries in Meteora, but only 6 are operational and can be visited.

Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapausa: The canonization of the monastery's catholicon was done by Theofani Strelitza in 1527. The monk-artist, Cretan by origin, is one of the founders of the Cretan School.

Monastery of Megalou Meteorou: It is one of the oldest and largest monasteries of Meteora, founded in the middle of the 14th century by Saint Athanasios the Meteorite. Initially it existed as an ascetic, however, over time it functioned as a monastic community. Later, Athanasios built another church in honor of Christ the Savior, which became the monastery's catholicon and gave it the current name of the Transfiguration.

Varlaam Monastery: It owes its name to the ascetic Varlaam, who lived on the rock in the 14th century. The history of the Monastery, however, begins in the 16th century when the brothers Nektarios and Theofanis organized their community. The monastery's catholicon is dedicated to Saint All Saints and the icon painting was done by the famous icon painter Frago Catalano. The old bank functions as a museum.

Rousanou Monastery: The monastery was inhabited from the beginning of the 16th century when the ruined 14th century catholicon dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Savior was restored. Since the 1980s, it has been operating as a nunnery. The three-story complex covers the entire top of the cliff. The ascent to the monastery was originally done by wind stairs, while today it is done with the help of a ladder and two bridges.

Monastery of Agia Triada: It was built in the 150th century and painted in the 18th century. Access to the monastery is via 145 steps carved into the rock.To the left of the entrance is the chapel of Timios Prodromos, also carved into the rock. From the highest point you can admire the view towards the rest of the monasteries.

Agios Stefanos Monastery: Located right above the town of Kalambaka. It was founded in the 14th century. but its construction was completed in the 16th century. The first catholicon was dedicated to Agios Stefanos, the work of the second founder of the monastery, monk Philotheos. In 1798, a new catholicon was built, dedicated to Agios Charalambos, the second patron of the monastery. Since 1961 it has hosted a women's fraternity.


In relation to the other hiking maps of the publication, the map of Meteora is the only 3D map not only of the publication but also of the whole of Greece. The map includes 3D glasses so you can see the impressive Meteora rocks in 3D on the reverse side of the map. At the same time you will also find a map with 5 suggested routes as well as all the monasteries and churches.

Photographs: Antonis Romanos (Anavasi)