I love to hike around natural landscapes and when you combine them with Unesco World Heritage Sites, it becomes an even better personal experience. When George Kourelis, the president of Travel Meteora offered to take us on an off the beaten path hike through a lesser known area of Meteora, I was excited to visit a less trafficked area, especially during the off-season which is perfect for the type of travel experience I love to do visiting a new location. There are so many cool areas hiking Meteora, Greece, below are some of the popular spots to visit.
Fun Meteora hikes and scenic vistas
It was a beautiful morning and we started just a little past sunrise, the morning frost on the ground would eventually clear up and considering our uphill trek, it was good to start early before it gets hotter in the higher elevation. We walked through a relatively easy path through a canyon area to a clearing less than half a mile with a view of a sheer mountain and our first monastery, mostly ruined with just some stone walls remaining in a shallow cave that was now overrun with tall shrubs and weeds.
Continuing on uphill we hike for a few hundred yards to another clearing and immediately see an intact monastery in another hill with sheer walls and the monastery looks like it is still in use or at least in better condition than the previous monastery. This particular monastery is a little more contemporary and had a pulley system to enable provisions to be easily hauled up to the landing without extra effort. The images below show more details of the real facades of the monastery with a seasonal fall to the right of it in black outline.
A close up detail of the façade
Along our hike uphill we see a few more ruined buildings, this one was set up more as a fortress which had seen some battles from a siege and was eventually overtaken and eventually ruined. Continuing upwards and around the canyon, you get a different perspective of these monasteries from above with the images below.
Another view looking out into the valley at Meteora
Just a few more hundred yards and we finally make it up to the grassy peak and clearing and the panoramic views of the area are simply magnificent. Just beyond in the distance you can see snow-capped mountains which received a dusting of snow just the night before. It’s amazing to have stunning views like this considering the day before, the area was socked in with thick clouds, so we were treated to a spectacular show of the entire area.
The views in another direction of the valley
At the top of the plateau, George points out a small altar with a cross that a family friend had made in the early 1930’s and it is still intact with candles and small icons located inside the brick cavity, he tells us more about finding a lot of these small altar tributes dotting the mountains for families to come and bring offerings and enjoy a family excursion to the area.
We start our descent to the valley and enter this forest of very thin scraggly trees, some filled with layers of moss which I’m sure on wet days keeps this forest nice and damp. After the gorgeous views from the peak, this forested grove felt very mysterious and a little eerie to come across on the way to the valley floor.
The area around this wooded grove was filled with these strange and fantasy like mushrooms, making the area feel a little more surreal in its landscape.
Finally we are at one more clearing before we make it to our van, it was a fun 4 mile hike around the western rim of Meteora, Greece and we get this last view of the valley and village below, beautiful, don’t you think?
Meteora Hiking & Tour advise
There are many fantastic trails to explore in Meteora that you can do on your own if you have plenty of time. If you are interested in doing it yourself check out some of these popular Meteora hikes here.
But if you only have a few days and want to see a lot of this unique area, I would advise taking a guided tour which combines driving, short hikes and time visiting a variety of monasteries. Here are a few recommended tours below.
Meteora all day tour of all the main monasteries – this private tour is all day long and lets you see the major monasteries (6 of them) and enter 5 of them. It’s a great tour if you have limited time in the area.
Meteora Sunset tour – a fantastic time to see the monuments in the late afternoon to sunset with ideal spots that you can take some amazing shots of the various landscapes and monasteries.
Panoramic Meteora tour – an affordable 4 hour visit with a guide in a small group tour to key scenic spots and visits to some of the monasteries in the area.
Where to stay in Meteora
There are hotel accommodations to fit all budget needs from inexpensive, moderate to luxury resorts, following the best rated hotels in the area.
Orizontes Tzoumerkon Hotel – a nice modern resort with spacious and comfortable rooms some with great views and fantastic breakfast service
Dellas Boutique Hotel – A fantastic location with excellent service, beautiful and comfortable rooms with views and excellent breakfast service.
Theatro Hotel Odysseon – located in Kalambaka and a newer hotel centrally located with spacious rooms, clean and nice design with local dishes service for breakfast
Check out these other reviews from TripAdvisor here for current prices and availability.
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Thanks to Visit Meteora Travel for the tour and participating in some of their fantastic hikes and photo tours. All opinions and thoughts are my own and they are a fantastic outfit to work with.