The Monastseries are linked by asphalt roads, but the area is best explored on foot on the old paths (where they still exist). You could walk around all the monasteries in one day, but you would need an early start and plan, at least a two hour break from 1pm to 3pm when most monasteries are closed. They are only open at the same times and closure days do vary from season to season. Walking and climbing around the rocks can be thirsty work, but there are mobile canteens selling drinks and snacks at most monastery car parks.
Entry to all monasteries is currently EURO 1,5 uless you are Greek, or can convince the ticket seller that you are, in which case antry is free. Strict dress codes are enforced. Women must wear skirts below their knees, men must wear long trousers and arms must be covered. Skirts, which you can wear over your trousers, are often provided for women upon entering the monastery.
Monasteries Tour Instructions
The Moni Agiou Nikolaou Anapafsa (24320-22375) opens at 9 am until 5 pm and is 15 - minutes walk from kastraki Village. From Kastraki's main square walk north, passing Villa San Giorgio. This road peters out to a dirt track. After about 10 minutes the track crosses a stream (which may be dry the summer time). Almost immediately after the stream, scramble up a steep slope towards the monastery which you will see perched on a rock high up on your left. You will come out on the main road just to the right of the path leading to the monastery. A slightly longer but more straightforward route is to follow the main road from Kastraki.
On leaving the Monastery, turn left onto the road and five minutes along, just before it begins to wind, take a path off to the left. The start of the bath is not marked, so look out for a white chevron road sign on the bend, indicating the start. After about five minutes turn left onto a cobbled path. Soon you will come to a fork at the base of the rocks. Take the right fork (keeping on the cobbled path) and after a steep, zigzagging climb of about 20 minutes you will reach the Moni Megalou Meteorou.
From Megalo Meteoro make a sharp right turn to reach nearby Moni Varlaam. It has fine late-Byzantine frescoes by Frangos Kastellanos.
On leaving Varlaam Monastery walk back to the main road and veer right. In about 15 minutes you will come to a fork: the right path has a signpost to Rousanou and the left path to the Agiou Stefanous Nannery. The best approach is to take the left fork and in about 10 minutes you will come across a signpost pointing right to the Rousanou Monastery. A 10-minutes walk along a path will lead to the Moni Agias Varvaras Rousanou.
After Moni Rousanou you can either take a short walk down the steps to the Agios Nikolaos Metamorphosis road or go back along the path and continue along the road to Moni Agias Triados. If you do the latter you will reach the Agia Triada monastery in about 45 minutes. A path leads down to Kalambaka City from the Monastery. If you want to take this path it is better to visit the Agiou Stefanou Monastery first and then backtrack to Agia Triada.
Moni Agiou Stefanou is another 10-minutes walk farther along the road. After Agia Triada monastery it feels like returning to civilization, with business - like nuns selling souvenirs and even videotapes, cd and dvd's of Meteora. Among the exhibits in the Monastery's museum is an exquisite embroidered Epitaphios.
To find the path to Kalambaka City from Agia Triados monastery, walk straight ahead when you leave the monastery; the path is off to the left. The first part is a dirt path but it soon becomes baved. The monks will tell you this walk takes about 10 minutes, but unless you are James Bond or have the agility of a mountain goat, it will take you around 30 minutes.
We hope to help you have a nice walking day in Meteora and below you can read useful information about the history of each minastsery. This is the way to understand what you will see there!