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The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, located at Meteora-Greece, is the biggest and oldest one of all. It was called the monastery which remains “suspended in the air” (meteoro), because of the cliff formation of a gigantic rock on top of which it was built. The Great Meteoro Monastery or “Megalo Meteoron” was founded in the 14th century by Saint Athanasios the Meteorite.

Athanasios is celebrated as the first founder of the monastery and the organizer of systematic monasticism for the whole region of Meteora. For this reason, the foundation of this monastery is considered to be a turning point, or even better, the beginning of organized monasticism for the region of Meteora.

Athanasios was born around 1302 in the medieval town of New Patras, today’s Hypati, and his lay name was Andronikos. After he became a monk he lived for a few years in Athos before finally settling on the cliffs of Meteora.

Useful info

  • Summer timetable
    Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 15:00. The monastery stays closed on Tuesdays.

  • Winter timetable
    Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 14:00. The monastery stays closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

  • Contact Number
    +30 24320 22278

  • Appropriate clothing for everyone is required to enter the monastery. Sleeveless clothing and shorts over the knee for men are prohibited and you‘ll be denied access if dressed that way. For ladies skirts and shawls are available at the entrance in case they don’t have such clothing to cover themselves.

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The monastery celebrates as its second founder a Greek-Serbian Prince named John Uresis Paleologos. At the age of 22, he denounced all his royal titles and followed Athanassios to became a monk receiving the name Joasaph! Joasaph was responsible for building a church during the second half of the 14th century in the newly founded monastery. A small part of its wall which is embedded with the later 16th-century church is still visible to the visitors.

The main church of the monastery was made in the mid 16th century. It is dedicated to the transfiguration of our Lord and Savior decorated with beautiful 16th-century frescoes. Take time to gaze at the artistic details of some of the best samples of post-Byzantine art of Greece, found inside the church.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the museum of the monastery, where historical codices and religious icons of high value are on display. The monastery of Great Meteoron offers amazing views to the surrounding landscape.

If you want to enjoy captivating views and learn more for the history of one of the most important monasteries in Meteora, join now our Meteora Half-Day Tour. We will ensure that you won’t miss a thing!

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Meteora The Monasteries

The opening hours often change from year to year, so beware when relying on information provided in guidebooks or general web sites. We will try to do our best in keeping the timetable of visiting times and days of monasteries up-to-date. Check the opening hours of Meteora monasteries here.

Before we answer this question we have to specify that everything should be taken into account. It depends on how fit you are, the transportation and time available, weather conditions ect. Most people are able to visit between 2 to 4 monasteries per day. The few visitors who visit all 6 of them within one day are missing out a magical, more slow-paced adventure. We recommend at least 2 days stay in Meteora.

Appropriate clothing for everyone is required to enter the monasteries. Sleeveless clothing and shorts over the knee for men are prohibited and you‘ll be denied access if dressed that way. For ladies skirts and shawls are available to borrow or buy at the entrance of monasteries in case they don’t have such clothing to cover themselves.

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity and Great Meteoro are the less accessible (over 300 steps). Rousanou, Varlaam and Saint Nicolaos have an average number of 140. Some of the monasteries apart the staircases requires uphill walking in paved paths. The Holy Monastery of St Stephen is connected with a walking bridge, thus making it more accessible than any other monastery.

In each monastery there is an entrance fee of 3 euro per person. Kids up to 12 years old they don’t pay entrance fees in the monasteries.

There are many reasons not to want to drive while exploring Meteora — like if you’re not confident driving on the opposite side of the road, your spouse is a terrible copilot and you just want to have fun instead of arguing; or if you want to enjoy the scenic road and not to feel stress about the narrow and curvy roads. Lack of parking space outside the monasteries is especially frequent phenomenon during the pick period in the summer. So by joining one of our tours might save you a lot of headaches and unwanted distractions.

Location of Great Meteoron Monastery on the Map

Check More Monasteries of Meteora

The Monastery of Holy Trinity
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The Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada) at Meteora is one of the most photographed monuments in the area. At the same time, it’s the most difficult to reach.

The Monastery of Roussanou
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The Holy Monastery of Roussanou, located at Meteora was first established in the 14th century. It received the name… 

The Monastery of St. Stephen
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The monastery of Agios Stefanos is by far the most accessible monastery, where instead of steps you simply cross a small bridge to reach the entrance.

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam
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The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery of Meteora. Located very close to Great Meteoro Monastery.

The Monastery of St. Nikolaos
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The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas or Agios Nikolaos is the first active Monastery we encounter on our way to Meteora

Old Hermitages Around Meteora
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Today the area is filled with many Meteora ruins and hidden gems, of a past period when at the height of the monastic community the site had close to 24 active

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