Meteoric views of Agias Varvaras Rousanou monastery and other more distant religious refuges. In the centre the village of Kastraki is just visible. The pinnacle centre-left is popular with climbers.
One of the most outstanding sights in Greece has to be the cluster of monasteries perched on geologically peculiar rock pinnacles on the Greek mainland northwest of the capital city, Athens.
Built around the 14th century as a defensive measure, they are easy to visit from Athens via asphalt roads and a bit of a climb in some cases. You have to pay to enter each monastery (extra for photos sometimes) and may well find groups of tourists clattering and chattering around the more popular ones such as Megalou Meteorou (Grand Meteora).
Agiou Nikolaou Anapafsa monastery lower centre with Grand Meteora barely visible above it.
Most of the monasteries house good frescoes and great views, but wealthy Grand Meteora offers a lot more than that – a refectory full of ancient art and monk’s culinary equipment, a mini-museum of traditional costumes, a pile of skulls and the best, bloodiest frescoes of them all.
If you want to see Meteora in a hurry, one night in Kastraki town and hiring a vehicle will do it; or hiking is a good option if you are very fit or have lots of time.