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Varlaam Monastery – Sitting on Top of a Rock Pillar While Being Beautiful

Varlaam Monastery was the first monastery we’ve seen when the driver dropped us off at the parking lot in Meteora. Though the parking space was just opposite the Great Monastery of Meteoron, Varlaam demanded our attention first. And why not? She sits on top of a rock pillar while being spectacularly gorgeous! Wait until the first rays of the sun and see what a beauty she is!

Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.
Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.

Looking up and down Varlaam Monastery, you will really wonder, how on earth it was built? And how many years it took the monk, Hosios Varlaam, to finish this? Oh, imagine that it was the 14th century and all he had must be primitive tools only! Don’t even mention the stressful climb to the top with such height!

Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.
Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.

Today, we’re so lucky that we don’t have to climb as the monk did. The monastery is connected with a bridge, and it even has a small parking space on its own. Looking up from below, scaling the rock pillar to the top seems impossible, but I guess, men of God, like Hosios Varlaam, must have strength as indefatigable as his faith.

Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.
Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.

Note: You might be wondering why all the photos of Varlaam here are taken outside. That is because Varlaam Monastery is closed on Fridays.

Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece. Travel Blog
Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece.

Varlaam Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest monastery in Meteora and one of the 6 monasteries (out of 20) that are open for visitation.

Monasteries in Meteora Travel Blog Hotel in Meteora
Out of 20 known monasteries in Meteora, 6 are open to the public.

From where it stands/sits, the views are as grand as the one you see from The Great Monastery of Meteoron.

Hotels in Meteora
Out of 20 known monasteries in Meteora, 6 are open to the public.
Remember, there is no elevator here. In order to make it easier for people to climb to the monastery, they cut up 195 steps (or 160 steps – depending on who you ask or counted) all the way to the top. It can be a challenge.
Things to do in Meteora Travel Blog Greece
Out of 20 known monasteries in Meteora, 6 are open to the public.

Both men and women are asked to cover up whatever flesh they expose. Women are obliged to wear long skirts and men have to don long pants. But, don’t worry, the monastery can loan you something to wrap around your waist.

Things to do in Meteora Travel Greece Blog
Out of 20 known monasteries in Meteora, 6 are open to the public.

Inside, a glimpse of history is on cards. The museum in the monastery is home to hidden treasures, relics, and carved wooden crosses.

Things to do in Meteora Greece Travel Blog
Out of 20 known monasteries in Meteora, 6 are open to the public.

The museum in the monastery is home to hidden treasures, relics, and carved wooden crosses.

Travel Blog Things to do in Greece Meteora
Out of 20 known monasteries in Meteora, 6 are open to the public.

The Byzantine frescoes will dazzle your eyes as your mind travels back to centuries ago.

Rocks in Meteora Travel Blog
Nature in Meteora is incredible!

It is so fascinating for me how monks led an ascetic life on top of a rock pillar.

Hostel in Meteora Travel Blog Greece
Nature in Meteora is incredible!

Before you go, step out into the garden – and you might be lucky to meet a monk who is willing to open up a conversation with you.

Hostels in Meteora Greece Travel Blog
Nature in Meteora is incredible!

HOTELS IN METEORA

While it is possible to see Meteora in one day, I’d still recommend a night stay here. Especially if you’re taking sightseeing slowly. Stay in Kalabaka town where you can find a few hotels and guesthouses. Some of these hotels have tour buses which take you to all monasteries. These two accommodations are a good start: Dellas Boutique Hotel and Hotel Doupiani House.

Is Meteora possible in one day? Yes, it is. See our one day itinerary here.

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