Map of Meteora, near Kalambaka, Greece
The map below shows the monasteries to visit in Meteora. Hold your mouse over any monastery icon to find out more about that particular monastery.
About Meteora and the Monasteries
Meteora monasteries grew out of the need to avoid Turkish persecution during the occupation in the 14th century. Monks had inhabited caves in Meteora since the 11th century, but the inaccessible peaks provided relative safety for Greek Orthodox monks. Until recently, access to the monasteries was by rope ladders and baskets. Today the monasteries are all connected by a series of paths and roads, the major ones shown on the map (there are many more footpaths than are shown).
As with monastic work in other times and other places, the monasteries of Meteora kept alive the artistic and religious culture of the Greeks during foreign occupation, and that's why there is so much of interest to see here.
Visiting the Meteora Monasteries: First off, there is a strict dress code if you want to visit the monasteries. Men must wear long pants and women long skirts. Sleeveless shirts are not allowed.
There are small fees for visiting. Each monastery is closed at least one day a week in summer, sometimes more in the winter. If you have a specific monastery you wish to visit, make sure to visit the tourist office in Kalambaka (in the main square with the fountain) and check the times. The web is notoriously lax about keeping up with schedule changes, so I have not attempted to give you closing days. Be aware that every monastery that is open closes at lunch time, 1-3pm.
To see all the monasteries shown on the map, you'll have traveled over 20km.
Most tourists stay in Kalambaka, some in Kastraki. Kalambaka is very"touristy" but not without its own charm. There is a train station in Kalambaka linking the area to Volos and Athens, and there are frequent buses to many destinations. Both methods of public transportation take about 8 hours from Athens to Kalambaka. You can hire a taxi to take you to the monasteries; some drivers can even act as guides.
See Meteora from Above: See our annotated Google map of Kalambaka and Meteora.
How to get from Athens to Kalambaka.