During your stay in Thessaloniki, take a train journey to Meteora and explore their historic monasteries. With round-trip train tickets, you will relax on your way there to meet your guide. Then, take a tour of the beautiful monasteries, and enter two of them (own expense), as you learn the stories behind them. • Daily departures depart any day you want, 365 days a year. • Traveling by train can is incredibly scenic. • Trains are more energy-efficient per passenger mile than planes or cars, making them one of the most eco-friendly transportation. • You will go to secret local spots that the vast majority of other travelers will never experience. • Small size groups. • You will learn about the culture and history of the place on a deeper level and from a local’s perspective.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Meteora, Kastraki, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyKalampaka (also spelled Kalambaka or Kalabaka) is a town of 12,000 citizens and is situated on the foot of the most extraordinary Meteora rocks. It is at times underestimated as merely sharing the glory of the Meteora pinnacles that spectacularly rise at the near background. However, it is a town with a very rich and long history in itself.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Meteora, Kastraki, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyKastraki is indeed a most picturesque place with an authentic, local character. Feeling closer to the local lifestyle in the Greek province, enjoying the proximity to nature and finding peace of mind are some of the major assets of this place that urge visitors to book accommodation in this traditional, beautiful village.Duration: 30 minutesPass By: Agios Nikolaos Anapaphsas, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyThe Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas is the first Monastery that we encounter on our way to the Holy Meteora and was founded at the end of the 14th century.For the name Anapafsas there are numerous interpretations two of which are the most popular. The first one is that the name Anapafsas was attributed by one of the monastery’s benefactors, while the second explanation has to do with the monastery’s position being the first to be encountered on the way up and probably served to the pilgrims and other visitors as a resting place before continuing on. Pass By: Roussanou Monastery, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyThe Holy Monastery of Roussanou has received the name of the first probable hermit who settled on the rock. The main cathedral was founded at the end of the 16th century and was decorated thirty years later.Compared to other rocks where monasteries were built, the one of Roussanou has a lower elevation, which makes it more accessible. The monastery was initially founded by monks and it suffered severe damage during World War II. It became a convent in 1988.Stop At: Great Meteoron Monastery, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyThe Great Meteoron Monastery is the biggest and oldest one of all. It was called the monastery that was “suspended in the air” (meteoro), because of the formation of the gigantic rock on top of which it was built.The Great Meteoro Monastery was founded by Saint Athanasios the Meteorite who was the first founder of the monastery and the organizer of the systematic koenovion. For this reason, the foundation of this monastery is considered to be a turning point, or even better, the beginning of the organized monastisicm in Holy Meteora.Duration: 10 minutesStop At: Varlaam Monastery, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyThe Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery. It is located opposite of the Great Meteoro Monastery and it was founded in the mid 14th century by the exercitant Hosios Varlaam.The elegant monastery Catholicon was built in the honour of Agioi Pantes in 1541-42, by two brothers from Ioannina, the priest-monks Hosioi Theophanes and Nectarios the Apsarades. The main church was decorated in 1548. Based on stylistic criteria, this magnificent wall-painting is attributed to the famous hagiographer from Thebes, Frago Catelano.Duration: 45 minutesPass By: Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada), Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyThe Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada) is the most difficult to reach, but once you get to the very top the panoramic view of the surroundings is simply captivating!This Monastery is very close to the Saint Stephen’s Nunnery and it is perched on a steep and magnificent rock. It had already been organized Monastery since the year 1362 as indicated in a document by Symeon Uressis Palaeologos. Visitors have to follow a pathway that directs them initially to the foot of the rock, before they start walking up about 140 steps.Stop At: Agios Stefanos, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, ThessalyThis is the most accessible monastery, where instead of steps you simply cross a small bridge to reach the entrance. It is ideal for visitors who cannot use the steps and yet they wish to have a real experience of a Meteora monastery.The beginning of monastic life on the rock of Agios Stephanos dates back to early in the 12th century. Hosios Antonios, in the first half of the 15th century, and Hosios Philotheos, who renovated or rather rebuilt from its foundations the old small and elegant Catholicon, the present church of Agios Stephanos, in 1545 are mentioned as its founders.St. Stephen’s Monastery includes two cathedrals; the old 16th century chapel which was severely damaged during WWII and the consequent Greek Civil War, and the 18th century main cathedral that is dedicated to Saint Charalambos and includes his holy relics.Duration: 30 minutes