The Great Monastery of Meteoron in Meteora

The Great Monastery of Meteoron is the highest of all monasteries built in Meteora. These monasteries sit on top of towering rocks that were impossible to climb. As they say, it is a herculean task to get up in these monasteries that look like they’re “suspended in the air.” But, nowadays, stairs and bridges are built to connect these monasteries from the “mainland” road.

Great Monastery of Meteoron - The Grandest in Meteora (Greece)
The Great Monastery of Meteoron – The Grandest in Meteora (Greece)

There are around 20 monasteries in Meteora.

The Great Monastery of Meteoron - The Grandest in Meteora (Greece) Travel Blog
The Great Monastery of Meteoron – The Grandest in Meteora (Greece).

Unfortunately, only 6 are accessible – and as I was told, the others are still unreachable.

The Great Monastery of Meteoron - The Grandest in Meteora (Greece) Travel Blog
The Great Monastery of Meteoron – The Grandest in Meteora (Greece)

The Grand Monastery of Meteoron is the biggest of all monasteries.

The religious frescoes inside the Grand Monastery (Meteora, Greece).
The religious frescoes inside the Grand Monastery (Meteora, Greece).

It stands tall on Platýs Líthos rock which is 615 meters above the sea level.

The Great Monastery of Meteoron (Meteora, Greece).
The Great Monastery of Meteoron (Meteora, Greece).

In ancient times, the monks commuted by using a rope connected to the mountain across it. Then, they got into a huge basket and pull themselves, crossing a deep ravine below. It’s like our modern cable car nowadays, but more perilous.

The Great Monastery of Meteoron (Meteora, Greece).
The Great Monastery of Meteoron (Meteora, Greece).

Today, this monastery is accessible via a small bridge and series of 320 steps.

The Grand Monastery of Meteora (Greece). Travel Blog
The Grand Monastery of Meteora (Greece).

Turn your back as you climb the steps – and you will see the wondrous, breathtaking beauty of Varlaam Monastery.

Varlaam Monastery Meteora Greece Travel
The view of Varlaam from the steps of Grand Monastery (Meteora, Greece)
Going inside the Great Monastery of Meteoron is your window to how the monks lived their simple life.
An ancient manuscript at the museum inside travel  (Meteora, Greece).
An ancient manuscript at the museum inside the monastery (Meteora, Greece).

In one room, you can find primitive tools they used to build their refuge.

At this workshop, you'll the tools the monks used in the past.
At this workshop, you’ll the tools the monks used in the past.

Don’t miss seeing the blackened kitchen (from smoke), and take a closer look at the tools they used for cooking, like the unique bread oven, wine barrels, and a cellar.

The blackened kitchen inside the monastery (Meteora, Greece).
The blackened kitchen inside the Grand Monastery (Meteora, Greece).
Of course, the 16th-century frescoes adorning the main cathedral of the central courtyard is another level of beauty that you have to see.
The frescoes inside the Grand Monastery (Meteora, Greece).
The frescoes inside the Grand Monastery (Meteora, Greece).

This cathedral might be tiny but its historical significance is important in the Greek Orthodox Church.

The frescoes and ancient chandeliers in the Cathedral inside the Great Monastery (Meteora, Greece).
The frescoes and ancient chandeliers in the Cathedral inside the Great Monastery (Meteora, Greece).

Inside, you can find a museum, too.

Museum inside Meteora Greece
Check out the museum inside (Meteora, Greece).

It is at the northern part and has some of the beautiful wood-carved crosses and some of the old and significant religious manuscripts.

Check out the museum inside (Meteora, Greece).
Check out the museum inside (Meteora, Greece).
Before you exit, have a rest at the little courtyard and enjoy the spectacular and gratifying view of the valley. I’m hoping you don’t have vertigo.
The breathtaking and gratifying view of the valley below (Meteora, Greece).
The breathtaking and gratifying view of the valley below (Meteora, Greece).

Interestingly, find the sacristy where the skulls and bones of old-time residents have been neatly placed here.

Where to Stay in Meteora

While it is possible to see Meteora in one day, I’d still recommend a night stay here. Especially if you’re taking sightseeing slowly. Stay in Kalabaka town where you can find a few hotels and guesthouses. Some of these hotels have tour buses which take you to all monasteries. These two accommodations are a good start: Dellas Boutique Hotel and Hotel Doupiani House.

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