What do you do when you have impressive rock formations out in the middle of nowhere?
Put a monastery on top of them of course. After much online research and all saying you should take a guided tour or you can’t do all six in one day (which is technically true because one is closed out of the six each day), we ended up asking at reception the best way to see the monasteries. She said ‘easy you just drive around the loop like this you can park the car and walk to go see all the Monasteries bar this one as it is shut today, you can still take a photo from the outside‘. She gave us a map and as easy as that we packed up the hire car and were off.
We started the loop made the steep climb in the little car, we saw our first monastery stop only 10 minutes up the road on the left. Got out and started the walk or climb, really awesome how the monks could build these buildings on the edge of a cliff like this. Visually spectacular from the ground and even better at the top. Got to the top and was surprised at how high it actually is, mind you this is the first one. You pay an entrance fee to the monastery, so technically you could do the climb but not enter to get the best viewing points from within the monastery. We all entered the first one and could not believe how intact it all is, really well preserved, walked around to the winch and net set up.
The story is that back in the day this is how they got personnel and supplies to the top, they would never check the rope or netting and it would be gods will if it broke on the way. Looked over the edge, don’t know if I could jump in that netting to be lifted up or returned to the ground and very thankful for the stairs that have been built.
Returned back to the car and continued on the loop. Next one was no more than 5 minutes up the road by car, out we jumped, started the climb up again. Another awesome monastery, this time with a bridge to access it from the top of the stairs of course. We bizarrely ended up entering with a Russian tour group. Had an awesome view over to the first monastery we had entered and we could see the largest of them all, the Great Meteoron Metamorfosis (the big one) Heaps of photos and then returned down to the car.
Drove on to the next, then had a look at the map as there was actually heaps of pedestrians, realised the loop road was only 12km in distance. You would want to be fit to complete the loop as well as the stairs to all 6 in one day. Did the climb to number 3, as we got higher in the mountain range the better the monasteries got.
Views amazing, picturesque, scenic postcard perfect, really worth the 4 hour drive from Athens.
Did number 3 and then it was on to the Great Meteoron Metamorfosis. This one is truly grand just amazing so well preserved and the views over to the other monasteries the best.
Cannot talk this place up enough, really from the little town of Kalampaka around Meteora to this point has been excellent. Went on to the fifth a nunnery that looks over Kalampaka and then the sixth which was shut.
Returned to the car all before 1530. We then had a couple hour drive over to the ancient town of Delphi. Pulled into to Delphi found some accommodation and rested our feet for the night.