The Meteora Monasteries
Duration: 7 3/4 hours
Tour Code: VOL-002
Marvel at the Meteora Monasteries, which were built more than 600 years ago atop some of the highest, hardest-to-reach pinnacles in the Greek countryside.
Traveling by coach from the pier, you will head northwest through the fertile plain of Thessaly, past the provincial capital of Larissa and beyond. Near the town of Kalambaka, numerous outcroppings of sandstone jut straight up above the plain, creating one of the most striking natural sights in all of Greece. Even more remarkable, several of the rocky pinnacles are topped with Greek Orthodox monasteries built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Known as the Meteora (Greek for ""suspended in air"") Monasteries, they flourished for hundreds of years. However, of the 24 original monasteries, only six remain.
Depending on the day of the tour, you may see the Agios Stephanos, now a nunnery. While damaged during World War II and again during the Greek Civil War, it is still stunning. The nearby Varlaam Monastery is named after the first monk to occupy its soaring promontory in 1350. It contains an exquisite collection of crosses and icons, complemented by hundreds of religious manuscripts housed in the sacristy.
Following your visits at the monasteries, you will drive down to the plain by a different route and then dine on a luncheon of traditional Greek dishes such as spinach pie, moussaka and oven-baked salad. After a relaxing lunch, you will re-board your coach and drive directly back to the pier in Volos.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hour of moderate to strenuous walking and there are a significant number of steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Guests should be in good physical condition. Conservative attire is required (shoulders and knees must be covered) and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole. A hat and sunglasses are recommended.