As we looked into the sea of dramatic rock formations being illuminated by the lemon chiffon-colored setting sun, our Greek host George asked the five of us to observe two minutes of silence.
Up until then, we’d been oohing and aahing about the beauty of Meteora’s monasteries perched atop the sheer rocks, perpetually clicking our cameras’ shutters, and continuing conversations started earlier in the evening.
Now, the moment was more serene and contemplative. I noticed the birds dancing in the sky high above the monasteries’ terracotta rooftops. My attention was drawn to the contours of the rock formations, and the gentle gusts of wind tickling my cheeks. I was again reminded of how lucky we were to be in such a special place. And, I better appreciated why Meteora (Greek for “suspended in air”) was a fitting name for these structures that appear to be floating above the void.
Our Video of This Experience:
Where in the World?
- Meteora is about 4 hours northwest of Athens. To get there, we traveled by bus from Skopje, North Macedonia. (We departed Skopje before sunrise, then journeyed to Thessaloniki, Trikala, and Kalambaka, all in one day. We bought separate bus tickets for each leg of the journey.)
- It got a bit chilly as the sun began to set during our weeklong May visit. As a result, we were glad to have dressed in layers.
- Be sure to check the opening hours for the monasteries that you’re hoping to visit. A different monastery is closed each day to allow the monks a workday without visitors. Visit Meteora is a useful planning resource, and we also enjoyed stopping by the agency’s office in Kalambaka. With a helpful team of staff members on hand, free Wifi, great reading material about the local attractions, and cozy chairs available to the public, it’s a one-stop shop.
- Visit the Kalambaka Tourist Center website for information about the monasteries, as well as other activities that you can do in Meteora.
- Accommodation wise, we stayed at the cozy Guesthouse Patavalis (affiliate link) in the village of Kastraki. The hotel’s owner, Marina, whom we dubbed our ‘Greek mama’, even surprised us with samples of tasty, home-cooked Greek food like spanakopita, candied figs, and milk custard pie. In total, we spent about a week at the Guesthouse Patavalis, staying in its Purple Room. We enjoyed the property’s terrace views of the surrounding rock formations, and its convenient location. It made a great hub for exploring Meteora’s monasteries.
- Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Greece.
Disclosure & Thanks:
Visit Meteora hosted us for this Meteora-at-sunset excursion.
Many thanks – ευχαριστώ πολύ – to Angelina and George for hosting us on this beautiful evening. We enjoyed meeting fellow travelers, as well as making it out into the countryside to enjoy a delightful glass of wine and conversation. We were also pleased to be taken to more remote spots like the hermit caves and inactive monasteries about which many visitors to Meteora are unaware.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell with the exception of the photographs noted above. All Rights Reserved. The video is a creation of my husband, Shawn.