Things to do in Meteora
Being fully committed to this blog to lift all the veils of ignorance for those who wish to visit Meteora, we have prepared below a list of things to do in Meteora you would never think of. If you are searching to experience a different side of Meteora, you’re certainly in the right place! Most of Meteora’s visitors will come here to pay a visit to the 6 active monasteries and to enjoy some of the marvelous views of our area. But is Meteora just about a hasty visit to the monasteries and a couple of viewpoints? Most certainly not!
Locals like ourselves always have the advantage of maintaining the best possible insight into the area they live in. And truth is that if you are not one of the rare specimens of people who go to great lengths to dig out every last bit of information posted on the web, in tourist guides and books for each area they intend to visit, then the chances are to be a regular tourist like the vast majority, completely unaware of the hidden gems in each place they visit.
Well, fear not and read the list of 9 things to do in Meteora to gain fresh insight on a side unknown to most tourists:
1. Take a Hiking and Scramble Tour of the Great Saint.
Conquer the Great Saint via Ferrata: Great Saint – or Agia (Saint) as the locals call it – isn’t just the highest peak of Meteora, it’s also the end-point of the most epic ascent available to the more active visitors. The Great Saint via Ferrata hiking and scrambling route rises some 430m above the town of Kalambaka, following a hidden trail through rock pillars, cracks, and crevices that require a guide and specialist equipment. It’s an exhilarating adventure activity, stopping at a stronghold of an ancient city and enjoying breathtaking 360 views of the area, including the village of Kastraki, Kalampaka town, and the plain of Thessaly. Very few people know the way or the history of that place. Once you reach the top you will enjoy unparalleled breathtaking views that you will remember forever! Undoubtedly, one of the most adrenaline-filled things to do in Meteora.
2. Experience a sunset you will never forget.
As incredible as they look, photographs of Meteora come nowhere near to matching the real thing. You truly have to experience it with your own eyes to fully appreciate it. But for the ultimate visual treat, you have to witness the rocks and monasteries of Meteora at sunset. Sitting on the edges of cliffs you will feel the evening cool breeze blowing through giant cliffs rising above the valley. Allow your senses to explore moment by moment the dimming of the light as the sun sinks behind the mountains. It will be a perfect way to end a beautiful day at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Meteora with an awe-inspiring Sunset tour to be remembered forever!
3. Have fun with a rafting adventure here at Meteora
I bet you wouldn’t ever think of that, but it is true! Yes, you can now do rafting at Meteora. Whether you are a water sports fan or novice to rafting this is truly an adventure of great fun, to enjoy yourselves on river rafting just a 40 min drive from Meteora. The easy-going river makes this activity suitable even for families and kids from 7 years old. This trip is a great way to enjoy fun and adventurous moments in the heart of the lush nature of Northern Greece. The river-rafting route takes place in Venetikos and Aliakmonas river located close to Meteora. It has a medium grade of difficulty in winter and spring and a low grade of difficulty in summer and autumn making it suitable for fun-loving adventurers and families.
Enjoy the wonderful countryside and have a fun day by the river before being gifted yet more views of those wondrous rock formations. Our Rafting tour is lasting the whole day and includes riverbank picnics and the chance to swim in the river.
4. Go truffle-hunting and enjoy a forest meal
Join a truffle hunting tour and take your foodie experience to the next level… the dense forests around Meteora are famous for their seasonal truffles and mushrooms, giving you the opportunity not just to hunt for them but also to enjoy a meal cooked on-site with the fruits of your labor. There are expeditions with truffle dogs and their trainers, who will teach you the art of spotting and retrieving valuable fungi. A chef will then help you prepare a truffle-and mushroom-based meal right in the forest. To round off your day, there’s also a wealth of information in the Meteora Natural History and Mushroom Museum in Kalambaka.
5. Max out on the awe factor on a mountain-biking tour
Whether you’re a first-time mountain biker or a skilled thrill-seeker, Meteora offers an incredible landscape to explore by bike. There are road and off-road trails that take you past monasteries and into the countryside, especially if you join a guided tour. A great tip is to visit the Ypapanti Monastery, no longer inhabited by monks but one of the oldest in Meteora and literally carved into the rock. This northern side of Meteora has a beautiful oak tree forest you can cycle through if you join this amazing mountain bike tour.
6. Drink, eat and… philosophize like a true Greek!
Certainly, most of you must have heard of retsina or ouzo. Well, forget all about that. Tsipouro is the real deal and if you choose to taste it you will indulge yourself in what is known among the Greeks as the “tsipouro culture”. Tsipouro is locally produced, homemade on most occasions, prepared out of local varieties of twice distilled grapes. Each time you order a shot they will always serve it with a small side dish of traditional recipes. Take your time and drink it slowly, it’s really dynamite. Mix it with ice and some water, and taste the different side dishes of local flavors they will bring you each time. Best enjoy tsipouro with a good company of friends at a cost of no more than 2 Euro per shot including the side dish.
7. Attend a Sunday service on a monastery
How about seizing the chance to take a trip back in time to trace some of the splendor and majesty of the Byzantine Empire? The best way to do that is to attend a Sunday service on a monastery of Meteora and immediately within the liturgy you will realize that you have just taken a trip back into the Byzantine period of the Middle Ages. Keep in mind that a lot of the monasteries were originally founded when the Byzantine Empire was reigning still. The beautiful Byzantine hymns, the absence of artificial lighting, the priests dressed with elegantly decorated byzantine cloths, the walls of the church with centuries-old frescoes, the candles and the smell of incense, all that create an imposing mystical atmosphere full of the centuries-old Byzantine tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Make sure to arrive at the monastery of your choice early in the morning because the service will begin roughly at 05:30 am and will end at 08:30 am.
7. Revel in a food & wine tour
Meteora isn’t just an amazing UNESCO World Heritage site; it’s also the perfect destination for foodies. If you are interested in tasting local flavors away from tourist places, eating lunch where locals eat, visiting local wineries, and learning about Meteora wines then this is the perfect tour for you. Escape on the scenic countryside around Meteora with an English-speaking guide to walk you through the rich local flavors, the long history, and the culture of Meteora.
Join this amazing, private food & wine tour and discover the scenic region of Gavros Village above and beyond Meteora.
8. Follow the footsteps of the hermit monks
This is the ultimate hiking tour for those who want to explore the hidden gems and avoid the crowds. You will walk in the footsteps of those first hermit monks of Meteora; see the caves where those faithful people chose to live centuries ago. Learn all the stories and the legends through the narrative of our guides. This afternoon hiking starts from the central square of Kastraki, on the foothills of Aghio Pnevma rock. It guides on top of the rock pillar of Agio Pnevma, and then you get the chance to visit the prison cave of the monks, located on the northern side of Aghio Pnevma. The hike will then pass below the cave of St. George and it will finish back at the central square of the Kastraki village.
9. Go rock climbing … just like the original monks
The most famous rock climbers in Meteora were the original monks. But they weren’t the first rock climbers in Meteora. The monks learned their rock-climbing skills from the locals, who helped them scale the peaks and establish the monasteries we admire today. So it is fitting that today, Meteora has become a world-famous rock-climbing site. And not just for experts. Even if you’re a beginner, join this rock climbing tour and you’ll be provided with all the expertise and gear needed to get started in one of the most awesome rock-climbing sites.