The Rocks between earth and sky. This trip will take you in a land where you will experience the fantastic scenery of the Pindos mountain range and breathtaking views. The Monasteries are built on spectacular natural rock pillars and lie in the north-east region of Greece. Meteora and the impressive monasteries are included in the UNESCO "World Heritage sites" list and without a doubt should be on everyone’s must see list when in Greece.
This trip will take you deep in mainland of Greece to the group of medieval monasteries each one balanced precariously on rock pinnacles rising up from plain. The first Byzantine inhabitants in the area were Hermetic monks starting in the 11th century. They would climb the massive rocks and make sanctuaries high up in caves in order to be alone with and closer to God.They then stayed in these caves their whole lives and were dependent upon pilgrims for food and water which was hoisted up in rope nets. Later, in the 14th and 15th centuries monasteries were made as places of refuge in troubled times and access to them too was extremely difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or a windlass and rope pulling up net, for goods and humans. Things remained much the same until the 1920’s when steps were carved into the rock allowing for easier access. It is difficult to imagine how the monasteries were built on their pinnacles in the first place.There is definitely a very special energy in this place that brings a sense of peace and serenity. Six of the monasteries remain today. Of these six, four are inhabited by men, and two by women.We will visit the Monastery of Grand Meteoro and Saint Stephan Monastery.The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoro is the highest, largest and oldest of the six monasteries of the Meteora. Founded in the 14th century, by a monk from Mount Athos, the Great Meteoron is still impressive and important today. The main cathedral in the central courtyard is embellished with beautiful 16th century frescoes. There is a remarkable and rich collection of manuscripts, icons and holy heirlooms.The monastery Agiou Stephanou was built in 14th century. The monastery suffered much damage in the 20th century: it was bombed during World War II and desecrated during the subsequent Civil War . Currently it is inhabited by nuns only. This is the most accessible monastery, where instead of steps you simply cross a small bridge to reach the entrance.Meteora and the impressive monasteries are included in the UNESCO "World Heritage sites" list and without a doubt should be on everyone’s must see list when in Greece.In the afternoon, visit the nearby village of Kalambaka for lunch at a local restaurant.