The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas
The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas or Agios Nikolaos is the first active Monastery we encounter on our way to Meteora and was founded at the end of the 14th century.
For the name Anapafsas there are numerous interpretations two of which are the most popular. The first one is that the name Anapafsas was attributed by one of the monastery’s benefactors, while the second explanation has to do with the monastery’s position being the first on the way and probably served to the pilgrims as a resting place before continuing on. Resting translates into Greek anapafsis, so Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas literally means Saint Nicholas the one who rests you.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00. The monastery stays closed on Fridays.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00, Sundays: 09:30 to 16:00. The monastery is open every day.
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- 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.
The limited surface of the rock forced the builders of the monastery to build it vertically on floors, one level on top of the other! Access to all the different floors is achieved through an inbuilt staircase. At the entrance of the Monastery lies the Church of St. Anthony and the crypt where the codes and the monastery’s heirlooms were previously stored. On the walls, paintings of the 14th Century can be seen.
The Catholicon, where St. Nicholas is honored, is on the second floor and it is elongated and stuck on to the south side of the wall of the monastery. The dome of the church is low and has no windows. The Holy Table rests on the third floor, decorated with murals. The Table, recently restored, is used as a reception area for the visitors. There is even the ossuary, the cells of the monks, and the chapel of St. John Prodromos. Since space is restricted and there is no courtyard, the monks could only gather in the narthex, which was roomy, when there were no liturgies in the nave.
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 The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas on the Map
Check More Monasteries of Meteora
The Monastery of Holy Trinity
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 Holy Monastery of Varlaam
The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery of Meteora. Located very close to Great Meteoro Monastery.
The Monastery of Roussanou
The Holy Monastery of Roussanou, located at Meteora was first established in the 14th century. It received the name…
The 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
The Monastery of St. Stephen
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.
Old Hermitages Around Meteora
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