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5 Essential Tips for Visiting Metéora Monasteries

5 Essential Tips for Visiting Metéora Monasteries

Metéora monasteries are located in the northwest corner of Thessaly near the towns Kalampaka and Kastraki. This is  one of the most spectacular places to visit in Greece. Metéora means ‘suspended in air’ and it is a name for entire rock community of 24 monasteries on the top of almost inaccessible sandstone cliffs. The area of Meteora was originally settled by monks who lived in caves within the rocks during the 11th Century. It is a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage. The most important monasteries of Metéora are The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, The Holy Monastery of Varlaam, The Holy Monastery of Rousanou, The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas, The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen and The Monastery of Holy Trinity. All these monasteries are on the top of Metéora rocks.

If you are looking for more in-deep tips, try our Metéora travel photo guide.


Basic facts about Metéora Monasteries

Country: Greece, Prefecture of Trikala, Region of Thessaly
Area: 271.87 ha
Language: Greek
Entrance fee: The entrance fee for all monasteries is 3 Euro per person.


Best Time of Year to Visit

Visit Meteora during shoulder season or off season if you want to make the most of your trip. Otherwise you will be  overrun by herds of tourists. Off season starts November and ends in March and during this time, you should have the park for yourself, although it can get a little foggy during fall. Spring might be the best option if you want to get the amazing views without the crowds.

Photo by Brendan Van Son


 Getting to and around Metéora

Kalambaka is the town at the base of Metéora offers exceptional connectivity and relative short distances to most of Greece’s major population centers, touristic places and transportation hubs. It can be reached by direct train or bus from Athens.

For getting around Metéora, you have 4 options – you can either rent a bicycle, scooter or car or go by bus. Getting around in car can be comfortable, but parking might be a challenge since you can only park in certain areas inside the park. The best option might be the scooter as it is cheap to rent, easy to park and definitely more comfortable for the climb up to the monasteries than bicycle.


Where to Stay and Eat

The nearest town of Kalambaka is the best choice and there are many hotels available. The town offers also many really nice restaurants, the region is well known around Greece for its traditional cuisine and especially the quality of its meats. The nearby village of Kastraki also offers a wide range of restaurants and taverns to choose from for lunch or dinner made with locally produced ingredients.

Meteora Monasteries
Photo by Brendan Van Son

How Much Time to Spend 

Plan to spend at least a full day at Metéora Monasteries, a full weekend is our recommendation. You will delight in the play of light on the rocks and their changing moods. On sunny mornings, the red roof tiles of the monasteries glisten in sharp contrast to the weather-stained grayness of the rocks. The late afternoon sun bathes the landscape with a golden glow. At nighttime, the rocks are dramatically illuminated by spotlights.


Visiting the Monasteries

Most of the monasteries are open to public from 10am to 4pm, depending on the season. The entrance fee to each is 3 Euro per person. To enter the monasteries you must respect a special dress code: long sleeves, covered shoulders, long sleeves, long pants or skirts.  Find out more attire tips here. Remember to carry bottled water, especially if you are visiting the monasteries by foot. There are refreshment vendors along the road by the monasteries but their prices are excessive.

Meteora Monasteries
Photo by Brendan Van Son



Are you looking for more travel tips for Meteora? Download our Fripito app for free to iPhone or Android phone and explore more than 30 photo spots selected by Brendan Van Son!


Fripito travel guide for Metéora

How to Choose the Best Travel Tripod for your photo trip

How to Choose the Best Travel Tripod for your photo trip

Choosing the right travel tripod for your photo trip is essential. Biggest concerns of most travelers are size and weight. The smaller the better, right? But buying the smallest tripod necessarily doesn’t have to be the best idea. We will try to help you choose the right tripod which will cause you minimal transportation problems while keeping the best abilities to do what is its job, keep your camera steady.


Ideal size

Tripods have two different and important sizes (height). The maximum height after being fully retracted, which helps you with your vantage points when shooting and the carrying height, which makes the tripod as small as possible when you don’t need it.

The maximum height should be at least 165cm (65“) so you can shoot from eye-level height in order to keep natural vantage point. If possible, keep an eye on the center column, if a tripod can reach desired height without overextending the center column. It affects the stability.

Minimum height – travel size should be less than 50cm (20“) so a tripod could qualify as a travel tripod and fit your luggage.

Tip: Check out extra small Gitzo traveler tripods.


Weight of travel tripod

Travel tripod should be around 1,5kg (3.3 pounds), including a tripod head. However, most travel tripods come with preinstalled or fixed head. Choosing a carbon fiber, magnesium or titanium tripod instead of aluminum helps to save the weight, but comes with a higher cost. Some tripods can be secured with a bag of sand or water, in case of strong wind.

Tip: Look for extra lightweight carbon fiber tripods with magnesium ball heads.

Travel tripod


There are couple types of tripod construction. Some are better for stability, some are better for portability and ease of use. Choose tripods which are small when retracted and do not have too many moving parts. Also focus on the head mechanism. Three-way heads have handles for each axis, they take more space, but can support heavier cameras. Ball heads are more compact and fast to adjust, but cheaper ones do not offer enough friction to support a camera with heavy telephoto lens, for example.

If possible, try how easy you can adjust leg height. Some tripods have sturdy handles and require some effort to extend them to maximum height. That is also affected by how many sections tripod legs have, which is usually between 2 to 4 sections.

Tip: Check tripods at BH Photo Video for price levels.


Mini alternatives of travel tripod

If your space is limited or you simply don’t or can’t carry a tripod around, there are still couple options for you. There are plenty of “tabletop” tripods, in case you have an even surface to put tripod on, or special kind of tripods with bendable legs. Most famous of these tripods is line of Joby Gorillapods, which can stand on a surface or its legs could be bent and wrapped around objects like poles, railings etc.

Now you are equipped so go outside and explore. You can download our app to see travel destination inspirations and guides made by photographers for photographers.

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