The Meteora is the second, to Mount Athos, largest complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. All six monasteries are built on natural stone rock pillars located in central Greece, close to Pindus Mountains and Pineios River. The nearest town – Kalambaka – is full of hotels and restaurants. Meteora’s monasteries are accessible by stairs cut into rock formations, originally made for nuns and monks. Two monasteries are still inhabited by nuns (Monastery Roussanou and the Holy Monastery of St. Stephen).
The largest monastery, called “The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron”, was erected as the first monastery in 14th century. Other monasteries comprise: The Holy Monastery of Rousanou, The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas, The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen, The Holy Monastery of Varlaam, The Monastery of the Holy Trinity.
If you are based in Athens it is better to book a room for one night in Kalambaka. One day trip from Athens can be exhausting. There is a direct train, leaving daily in the morning from Athens and a one way trip takes about 5 hours. You can also take a bus which is two times more expensive and the trip is not much shorter, it takes about 4,5 hours. The most comfortable way to get to Meteora from Athens is for sure renting a car (the trip takes about 4 hours, of course depending on the traffic). If you want to rent a car we recommend smaller rent-a-car companies which are cheaper than the big ones such as Hertz, Budget, Avis or Sixt. For example cost of one day rental of an economy (class B) car in a small rental office was about 35 EUR per day (including full insurance).
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