Located in central Greece, Meteora literally means “middle of the sky”or “in the heavens above” and is one of the most unique rock formations in the world.  Not as well known as some of Greece’s other famous destinations such Athens or Santorini, this article will be a guide on how to get to Meteora, where to stay and what to do while you are there. 

How to get to Meteora

Most tour companies will have you believe that it is difficult to get to Meteora by yourself but this is not the case. It is a simple train ride that has a maximum of one stop at Paleofarsalos where you change trains, this is not confusing because everyone else on the train will make the same stop and change trains (alternatively, there is a direct line option as well). I have included the timetable below but for the most up to date versions I suggest checking the Getting to Meteroa page of the Meteora Tourism website. 

Train schedules from Athens (Larissa Station) to Kalambaka

TRAIN

EMBARK

DISEMBARK

DEPARTURE

ARRIVAL

DURATION

50
884

Athens
Paleofarsalos

Paleofarsalos
Kalambaka

07:18
11:00

12:22
13:18

6h
Changes: 1

884

Athens

Kalambaka

08:27

13:18

4h 51m
Direct

56
591

Athens
Paleofarsalos

Paleofarsalos
Kalambaka

14:18
18:31

18:05
19:25

5h 07m
Changes: 1

58
888

Athens
Paleofarsalos

Paleofarsalos
Kalambaka

16:16
20:29

19:58
21:23

5h 07m
Changes: 1

500
561

Athens
Paleofarsalos

Paleofarsalos
Kalambaka

23:55
04:38

03:53
05:32

5h 37m
Changes:1

Train schedules from Kalambaka to Athens (Larissa Station)

TRAIN

EMBARK

DISEMBARK

DEPARTURE

ARRIVAL

DURATION

881

51

Kalambaka
Paleofarsalos

Paleofarsalos
Athens

05:42
06:52

06:36
10:23

4h 40m
Changes: 1

590
55

Kalambaka
Paleofarsalos

Paleofarsalos
Athens

08:19
11:45

09:17
15:24

7h 05m
Changes: 1

885

Kalambaka

Athens

17:22

22:12

4h 40m
Direct

Where to stay in Meteora

When visiting Meteora you can base yourself in either Kastraki or Kalambaka. I chose Kalambaka for ease of access to the train station which is located in Kalambaka.

When in Kalambaka I stayed at the lovely Monastiri Guesthouse. This was located a convenient 200 metre stroll from the train station across the tracks. It was not only one of the more affordable accommodation options but it was also absolutely beautiful. There were large clean rooms, amenities provided and so much on offer at breakfast! As usual however, the most defining aspect of this Guesthouse was how lovely the owner Dita was, she was so friendly and made the stay very special 🙂 

Monastiri Guesthouse bedroom

Dita provided me with a map and marked all the details on where to eat and what to do on arrival!  The Guesthouse has gorgeous views of the Meteora rock formations. 

Monastiri Guesthouse view from breakfast

View from my balcony.

You can book the Monastiri Guesthouse here

What to do in Meteora

From the centre of Kalambaka you can get a taxi from The Monastery of Great Meteoron for 10 euros. I chose to do this and then walked back down at the end of the day so that I still got to experience the walk but at a decline not an incline!

The walk from the first monastery (The Monastery of Great Meteoron) to the end of the road (Saint Stephen’s Nunnery) will take you no more than an hour at a leisurely pace.  I think I took about 2 hours because I stopped at many places to take photos. 

Solo Female Travel Meteora Monastries Greece Monastery of Great Meteoron The Monastery of the Holy Trinity 7

There are lots of photo op’s along the way!

If you want to visit inside all of the monasteries and the nunnery it will take you more than a day due to time restraints and the fact that each place has a unique opening time schedule. I was only in Meteora for a day so opted to just see what I could in this time. I have included the opening hours below and for updated versions the Visit Meteora website is a great resource. The entrance fee for all of the monasteries and the nunnery is 3 euros each. 

Monasteries Summer (April 1st to October 31st) Timetable –

St. Stephen’s Nunnery: Visiting Hours: 9:00 to 13:30 and 15:30 to 17:30 – closed on Mondays.

Great Meteoron Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00 – closed on Tuesdays.

Roussanou Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00. – closed on Wednesdays.

Holy Trinity Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 17:00 – closed on Thursdays.

Varlaam Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 16:00 – closed on Fridays.

St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 15:30 – closed on Fridays.

Monasteries Winter (November 1st to March 31st) Timetable –

St. Stephen’s Nunnery: Visiting Hours: 9:30 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 17:00. closed on Mondays.

Great Meteoron Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 15:00 – closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Roussanou Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 14:00 – closed on Wednesdays.

Holy Trinity Monastery: Visiting Hours: 10:00 to 16:00 – closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Varlaam Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 15:00 – The monastery stays closed on Thursdays and Fridays.

St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery: Visiting Hours: 09:00 to 14:00 – closed on Fridays.

Solo Female Travel Meteora Monastries Greece Monastery of Great Meteoron The Monastery of Varlaam The Monastery of St. Stephen The Monastery of the Holy Trinity 2

Meteora is more than just the monasteries though, the landscape in itself is something to behold!

The monastery I began my walk at was the Monastery of Great Meteoron. From this point there was amazing views of my favourite monastery (visually), the Monastery of Varlaam. It also has stunning views down to the Saint Nicholas monastery which is the only monastery that is not directly along the main road. I moved on quite quickly from the Monastery of Great Meteoron only because it was absolutely packed with tours the day I visited. 

Meteora Monasteries Greece Solo Female travel

The Monastery of Varlaam is the second (roadside) monastery and was particularly striking because it is on a standalone pillar.

Solo Female Travel Meteora Monastries Greece Monastery of Great Meteoron The Monastery of Varlaam The Monastery of Rousanou:St. Barbara The Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas

The Monastery of Varlaam (my favourite!).

The next monastery, the Monastery of Rousanou was founded in the middle of the 16th century. The walk to this monastery has spectacular views so make sure to hop off the road when you can and take some photos 🙂 

Solo Female Travel Meteora Monastries Greece Monastery of Great Meteoron The Monastery of Varlaam The Monastery of Rousanou:St. Barbara The Monastery of the Holy Trinity 8

The climb up this rock was worth it for the view!

At about halfway toward the Monastery of Rousanou make sure to look back at how far you have walked because looking back you will have some amazing views of the monasteries you have passed so far all in one shot.

Some vantage points are not for those afraid of heights haha!

Further along, once again in between the Monastery of Rousanou and the Monastery of the Holy Trinity there is another lookout with striking views of the unique rock formations. 

Solo Female Travel Meteora Monastries Greece The Monastery of Rousanou:St. Barbara The Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas The Monastery of St. Stephen The Monastery of the Holy Trinity 3

It felt like something out of Avatar!

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is on top of a cliff and was built in 1475. It was also the filming location for the 1981 James Bond movie ‘For Your Eyes Only.’

Solo Female Travel Meteora Monastries Greece The Monastery of St. Stephen The Monastery of the Holy Trinity 9

The final stop along the road is St. Stephen’s Nunnery which rests on the plain rather than on a cliff and was interestingly shelled by the Nazi’s during World War II who believed it was harbouring insurgents. It was then restored by nuns and is now a nunnery.

Meteora Monasteries Greece Solo Female travel St Stephens Nunnery

St. Stephen’s Nunnery

The Nunnery of St. Stephen is very close to The Monastery of the Holy Trinity so I walked back to The Monastery of the Holy Trinity and took the hiking path back down to Kalambaka from there which took about half an hour. There are plenty of taxi’s along the way though if you would prefer to drive back down.

Meteora Monasteries Greece Solo Female travel walking to Kalambaka

The view walking back down to Kalambaka was out of this world!

Overall, when people think of Greece places like Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Ios probably pop to mind and don’t get me wrong, Santorini is one of my favourite places in the world! But personally, when I think of Greece, the first place I think of is Meteora. It is such a breathtaking area, became one of my favourite travel experiences and I loved every second of my time there. 

If you have any questions or inquiries feel free to comment! 

Suitcase And I was not commissioned to write this article and as always, the opinions in this review are my own.