Monasteries of Meteora
The meteors are a group of high and cliffy boulders whose peaks are crowned by monasteries and hermitages. Their grottos are acting since 11th century as cells for the orthodox monks.
The Meteors are situated 300 meters upon the valley close to Kalambaka by the river Pinios. This river rises northerly in the Pindos Mountains and leads to the Pindos gorges.
Originally the monks lived in grottos or in small cells. They assembled once per week to attend divine service together in Kyriakon (House of God, common church) in Doubiani.
As a consequence of the increasing numbers of monks they settled down the hermitage of Stagoi.
Already in 12th century a methodical organisation of the hermitage started which was set in charge of the diocese Staoi. In the 14th century Serbian princes who governed Thessalien at this time liberated the hermitage from the diocese Stagoi and charged a primus of the monastery Doubiani with the guidance.
Around the middle of 14th century the monk Athanasios founded the first monastery on the rock of Meteora. Platylithos (huge stone) was his name. This unearthly appearing rock mass 613 m upon sea level and 413 m upon Kalambaka overlaps the whole countryside. Upon this Athanasios built up his monastery. He named the rock Meteoron which means “hover between sky and earth”. From this time on all the rocks with their monasteries were called Meteora.
You have to see this unique experience !
Approximately 3 hours drive to Kalambaka to the monasteries, with a coffee break, visit of 2 monasteries, free time in Kalambaka, back to Thessaloniki with a coffee break