Meteora had almost 20 monasteries by the 14th century. Only six monasteries remain, and they are all available to the public. There are several options for getting from Athens to Meteora. There are a variety of one-day to multi-day trips accessible from Athens and other major towns in the country to the Meteora monasteries. These include bus tours that stop at various points while driving between Athens and Thessaloniki, or longer excursions that include side trips to other parts of Greece.
The first thing you will want to do when visiting Meteora is find out what time of day it is. Some of the monasteries offer night visits where you can see inside their churches well after the sun has set. If you have only a few hours, then this is not a good option for you. Night visits are available at some of the larger monasteries, including Pissouri, Kalamaria, and Agia Filotheis.
You should plan on spending a full day when visiting the monasteries. This gives you time to see everything and also takes into account any delays with your tour group. Start off by going to Pissouri monastery, which is the most accessible of the monasteries. It is only about an hour's drive from Athens and does not require a special appointment. Then visit Kalamaria, which is an additional hour away and requires an appointment.
The highland monasteries of Meteora, Greece, are a work of art. That is precisely what happened centuries ago, and you can still visit the monasteries that are still inhabited by 60 monks and nuns today. There were once 24 monasteries, but only six exist now. The other eighteen collapsed due to damage caused by an earthquake or because they were abandoned.
In addition to being a place of worship, each monastery was also a small town that had its own government, police force, and court system. They were self-sufficient communities that managed their own affairs. Even though the monks had to obey certain rules, they could decide what role they wanted to play in society. Some stayed away from all worldly matters while others engaged in scientific research or taught at the universities of their time.
Today, visitors can travel to Meteora for both religious and cultural purposes. The ancient buildings are considered important relics of Greek culture and history, so it's recommended that you take a tour guide with you when visiting them. The monks built their monasteries between the 11th and 14th centuries AD, so there is plenty to see in each one.
All six monasteries are found in central Greece and can be visited on organized tours that usually last around five hours. It is not easy to get to these sites, as they are far away from cities and towns.
Greek Monasteries in Unlikely Locations Greek monks erected 20 monasteries atop the cliffs during the 14th and 16th centuries. Access was difficult—they utilized long ladders linked together and baskets hooked to ropes to move themselves and their products up the cliffs. The monks lived in simple cells with little furniture other than a bed, table, and chest for storing their belongings. They kept clocks and calendars to know what time it was where they were located without a window or outside light.
Monastery architecture was based on that of a church with an addition of living quarters for the monks. There were no kitchens or bathrooms within the monastery walls. However, the Greeks had developed a way to collect rainwater and use it for drinking and other purposes. This is how they managed to survive with out any form of electricity or running water inside the monasteries.
Many people believe that these monasteries were used for hiding money from the Turks because they were inaccessible locations with no village nearby. But this is not true. The reason the Greeks chose these locations is because they were far away from people so there would be no danger of them returning to haunt them. Also, there are no gold or silver coins found within any of the monasteries. All they had was parchment with writing on it which would not help anyone if you were being chased by someone angry with you for stealing their food._