The monastery of Saint Stephan in Meteora

Meteora is a complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries built the into natural sandstone pillars on the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly. It is believed that the original monasteries built in the 11th and 12th centuries were used by hermit monks seeking isolation. During the Turkish occupation of Greece between the 15th and 19th centuries, the monasteries’ difficult location made them a shelter from the influence of the foreign rulers.

Meteora is a very pleasant break from a stay in Athens, only a three hour drive away. The trip out winds through pastoral countrysides and quiet little villages. Kalambaka, the town at the base of the cliffs, has ample amenities for visitors. Restaurants, souvenir shops, and hotels can all be found there.

(Text and Picture by Rachel Portele)