A Meteora hiking tour is the ideal way to appreciate the incredible rock formations and landscape of this part of Greece. Be guided along Meteora hiking trails that will take you around monasteries, through valleys, and over hills. Here's my experiences of hiking in Meteora, Greece.
About Meteora in Greece
Some parts of the world have an ambience and feel to them that is hard to put into words. They just feel ‘right', and more often than not, man creates spiritual temples or refuges in these places. Stonehenge and Machu Picchu are great examples of this. Meteora in Greece is another.
Situated almost in the centre of mainland Greece, Meteora has acted as a place of refuge and as a religious centre for centuries. Monasteries have been built on top of awe-inspiring rock formations, and the entire area one of the 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Greece.
The Monasteries of Meteora
Whilst the monasteries of Meteora are still in operation, only a handful of monks live in them nowadays. This is in part, because Meteora has become a bit of a victim of its own success.
Whilst opening up the Meteora area and monasteries to the public has provided the income required to maintain them, the peace, quiet and serenity that the monks yearn for is compromised. You can still see monks when visiting Meteora, you might consider it a rare sighting!
Meteora Hiking Tour
I've been fortunate to visit Meteora monasteries on a couple of occasions, and on one trip took a hiking tour offered by Meteora Thrones.
The Meteora hiking tour was an opportunity to experience the surroundings as the original monks would have done before cars, motorbikes, and tourist coaches discovered the area. The perfect way to enjoy the fantastic landscape!
Hiking in Meteora, Greece
The hiking tour around Meteora started with a hotel pick-up (in a luxury mini-van no less!), which took us to the Great Meteoron Monastery.
This is the largest monastery in the area. Whilst it is technically still in use as a monastery by a handful of Christian Eastern Orthodox Monks, in reality, it is more like a museum open to tourists.
Most of the areas are open to see (unlike other monasteries in Meteora), and walking around gives you a peak into how life must have been ‘back in the day' for the monks. For me though, it was the magnificent views which most appealed.
Hiking in Meteora
On leaving the monastery, the Meteora hiking tour proper began. Accompanied by our guide Christos, we started to descend down into a valley on part of the western hiking trail.
Although it was spring, there were still autumn leaves on the ground, and the small wooded area had an almost ancient feel to it.
Our hiking guide would stop occasionally, and point out edible plants, different types of trees, and other things of interest. Without him, we would just have walked by. Always pays to have a local guide to point out things sometimes!
Hiking around Meteora
Walking around the rock formations and monasteries along the Meteora hiking trails was a lovely experience. The way that nature seemed to be in perfect harmony gave the Meteora hiking tour another dimension. I highly recommend it!
Meteora is famed for its fantastic landscape. It is always tempting to try and imagine images in the shapes of the rocks. The one below reminded me of the statues I had seen on Easter Island!