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The hike begins from the foothills of Doupiani rock, beneath the old ruins of Pantokrator monastery. It then crosses through the immense rock formations to reach the northern side of Meteora. Over that side, you’ll discover the hidden monastery of Ypapanti and the ruins of St. Dimitrious. Listen to the stories and the legends behind each place you pass along the trail and the thousand years of history will become alive through the exciting narrative of our local mountain guides. You will get to enter the hidden monastery of Ypapanti (Monday to Friday only) which opened for hikers. Afterward, you will visit the monasteries of Great Meteoron or Varlaam and then you’ll walk down the old footpath the monks used for centuries before the construction of roads for the last part of this marvelous hike.
Departure time: 8:30 am (arrive strictly at 8:20 am) pick-up from your hotel in Kalampaka or Kastraki.
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
Distance: 9 km
Return details: Returns to the original departure point
The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoro (Transfiguration of Jesus) is the biggest and oldest one of all, dating back to the 14th century. It was called the monastery that was “suspended in the air” (meteoro), because of the formation of the gigantic rock on top of which it was built. Once you’ve reached the summit, a rewarding view awaits you and the monastery calls for exploration. The main cathedral in its central courtyard is embellished with beautiful 16th century frescoes. Take time to gaze at the artistic details of some of the best samples of Greek Byzantine art and then rush to the museum, where historical codices and religious icons of high value are on display. Take a look inside the old refectory of the monks, where part of an original 16th century table is preserved, with the original cutleries on it. Don’t forget to take a glance at the monastery’s old kitchen on your way out, still black with smoke, with the original bread oven and soup hearth. If you want to learn more of the myths and history of the first and most important monastery in the Meteora area, why not choose our comprehensive Guided Private Tour. Our guides will ensure that you wont miss a thing!
The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest one and its main cathedral dates to the 16th century. Its inner walls are painted by three different artists, one of them (Francos Katellanos) amongst the most renowned Byzantine artists of his time. This is the monastery where you can visit the tower of the old preserved net, used by the first monks for their ascent and descent from the rock, until it was “God’s will to have it replaced”! A very large and impressive 16th century oak barrel for water storage is also not to be missed. The old refectory has been turned into a museum, where visitors can admire the excellence of religious painted icons – mostly contemporary to the Renaissance period – and precious holy vestments of the priests.