18Oct/19
Athens city morning sightseeing

Athens morning sightseeing, 38.00 €

Tour details

 Acropolis & Lycabetus hill.

Acropolis & Lycabetus hill.

Acropolis

Acropolis recontructed

Join a morning guided sightseeing tour of this magical city that was worshiped by gods and people. The bus will pass through the centre of the modern city where the must-see places are located, and when you finish you will feel that you have seen the best of Athens, including the Acropolis and the New Acropolis museum.

Home of the first modern Olympics in 1896, Athens has been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and it had a great impact on the European continent. It is the birthplace and the cradle of democracy and western civilization. It is also the birth-place of most of the wise men in western philosophy, western literature, and significant mathematical principles.

prices

PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more? Our discounted price, per adult, for this tour is: 38.00 € + applicable entrance fees.
Applicable entrance fees:
JANUARY – DECEMBER, Juniors under 19 and European Union students are free of charge.
JANUARY – DECEMBER, Other students plus E.U. seniors over 65 pay 15.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pays 15.00 €, while from
APRIL – OCTOBER, everybody else pays 30.00 €

The tour services include:
– transportation in modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website), and
– the services of the professional tour guide.

Acropolis

Acropolis

Top attractions

The tour combines modern Athens with the city’s ancient sites. See the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Constitution Square, The old palace of the Bavarian King, Otto, that today is the Parliament of the Hellenic Republic, and the all marble Panathenaic Stadium. Drive in front of the huge Temple of Olympian Zeus and learn about the glory of ancient Athens. Finally, climb to the top of the Acropolis hill and see the world-famous Pantheon temple, the Parthenon, while you listen to the expert guide, about all its incredible features.

ACROPOLIS

At the top of the list of all Athens attractions, the greatest and finest sanctuary, dedicated to goddess Athena, the city’s patron, dominates the center of the modern city from the rocky hill known as the Acropolis. The Acropolis of the 5th c.BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendor, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, “the golden age of Pericles”.

The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. It was also known as Kekropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Kekrops, the first Athenian king. The Acropolis and its magnificent monuments: the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens.

It is the symbol of Athens, the sacred rock, the connection between ancient and contemporary civilizations. The monuments that stand today on the Sacred Rock date from the prehistoric period up to ancient times. There is not even one person (Greek or foreign visitor) that does not want to pay due honour to this sacred rock and see its beauty and glory.

Visit also of the New Acropolis Museum, and see the original statues which decorated the Acropolis of the 5th c. B.C. A visit to the sacred rock of the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum is a must and an unforgettable experience.

PARTHENON
Dominating the Athenian skyline, this beautiful monument is dedicated to Goddess Athena, the patron of Athens. The consequences of the Persian invasion at 480 BC, lead Athenians to the desire of constructing a memorable temple in 438 B.C. by the architects Ictinus & Kallicrates, under the supervision of sculptor Phedias, which is considered to be the most important surviving monument of the ancient world. Parthenon which is the most brilliant construction during the Golden Age (5th BC) of Pericles, stands as a symbol of Ancient Greece & the Athenian Democracy. Its’ metopes & pediments representations depict scenes from Greek mythology; Parthenon is regarded to be the landmark of Greek history & culture.

Monuments at the top of the Acropolis hill:
The Propylaia, The Parthenon, The temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, The Temple of Athena Nike, The Old Temple, The Pandrosion, The Arrephorion, The Chalkotheke, The Vravroneion, The Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, The Pandion Sanctuary, and more…

A plan to undertake large-scale conservation and restoration on the Acropolis, is still in progress.

Itinerary

The tour :

Depart for PANATHINAIKO STADIUM, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 (short stop).
Pass by the Prime Minister’s residence and the Ex Royal Palace (guarded by colourful Evzones),
the Zappeion Conference and Exhibition Hall and the National Gardens,
The temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, St. Paul’s Church,
The Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier,
Schlieman’s House (today Nomismatic Museum), the Catholic Cathedral,
The ACADEMY, the University and the National Library,
the Old Parliament, Constitution Square, the Russian Orthodox Church, proceed to the
ACROPOLIS (visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, PARTHENON and Erechtheion, and finish the tour at about 01.30pm, with a visit to the New Acropolis museum.

More details:
07:30am The pickup service bus starts from central hotels and brings everybody to the terminal.
From here, near Syntagma square area, your tour of Athens begins at about 08:45am.
As the bus passes the top Athens’ attractions, the professional tour guide talks about the historical importance of this glorious city. You pass by the Greek Parliament building with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (this was the first palace of Greek King Otto in 1834), the all marble Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 were held followed by driving on Panepistimiou Avenue and the so called trilogy of Athens: The old University, the National Library and the Academy, 3 beautiful neoclassical buildings, built by the Bavarian architects that Otto’s father, king Ludwig of Bavaria, (1825-1848), brought with him to Greece. See the gigantic temple of Olympian Zeus — completed in the 2nd c, AD, and Emperor Hadrian’s Arch, before you arrive at the masterpiece that everybody admires: the Acropolis with its monuments.
Stroll up to the site that served as the citadel, and walk around the buildings as you hear about its glorious days during the 5th c. BC. Explore the Acropolis on foot, see the glorious Parthenon and the other highlights, such as, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion with the Karyatides.
 Take advantage of the free time and explore the rest of the site independently.
Continue your tour with a visit to the New Acropolis museum, one of the world’s finest museums. Your ticket lets you stay as long as you wish inside the museum.
So, after the end of the guided tour you are allowed to stay and explore the museum on your own. Walk around the spectacular Parthenon Hall with the incredible sculptures. See its incredible friezes, and the other archaeological exhibits. Wander around in the galleries. There are more than 4,000 ancient objects to view and admire.

Read more about Parthenon in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

17Oct/19
TOUR TO DELPHI & METEORA - Visit the Delphi site

(1) One day tour to Delphi from 49.00 €

We want you to have a memorable time in Greece! Let a local tour expert organise your tours and make your dream come true.

Delphi is one of Greece’s premier tourist attractions all year round.

The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strikes you. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains, provides breathtaking views from any location within the site. Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. and housed the Oracle of Delphi, the greatest source of income for a thousand years. Delphi became a religious centre. Kings and common people, came to consult the priestess called PYTHIA. In a secret room below the tripod of the Pythia, the priests of Apollo, interpreted her vague and wild cries, and put them into ordered language. The idea was: build a treasury house for your city state, bring your valuables and we shall keep them for you in it.

The archaeological site today with the treasuries, the ancient temples and the shrines, is one of the best in Greece, making Delphi one of Greece’s premier tourist attractions all year round. It is a 2.30 hour drive from Athens making the visit to Delphi a comfortable 1-day trip.

The museum in Delphi houses impressive statues, jewelry and other wares that have been unearthed from the site. There are free admission days for everyone throughout the year. See the dates in our Home page.

Unless you are a history guy you need a full hour to explore the ancient site. The Sacred Way starts at the ticket booth. It winds up past a number of Treasuries and leads to the Temple of Apollo, where the Oracle was sitting.

Days & prices

NOVEMBER – MARCH the tour operates 4 times per week; every Monday-Wednesday-Friday & Sunday

PRICES: Our discounted prices are not matched. We offer the best price in the market.

The price of the tour services without lunch are:
1) Nov-Mar: The adult price for the tour = 59.00 € + 6.00 € entrance fees = 65.00 €
2) The child’s price for the tour = 45.00 € (no entrance fees apply)
3) The Student enabler price (ONLY for ISI card holders) = 49.00 €. CLICK and see what we call “Student Enabler” price
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price.

Lunch(3 course menu) is served in a restaurant outside modern Delphi and costs 10.00 € extra for everybody.
Fill the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back asap.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– the services of the professional tour guide all along
– entrance fees to the sanctuary of Apollo and the archaeological museum in Delphi, and
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
– Short stop in the picturesque village of Arachova , a popular winter destination in Greece.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 full paying or more passengers and gain 5%
b) DELPHI & the 1 day CRUISE Combine the Delphi tour with the One day cruise to the 3 islands and pay 135.00 € for both

The ONE DAY DELPHI TOUR can be organised as a private excursion (cost shared between the passengers):
– Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 € (5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person).
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Delphi at an extra cost.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blogspot:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a scam. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL.

 

POPULAR TOURS: 1 day Argolis | 2 days Delphi-Meteora | 3 day explore Meteora | 4 day classical & Meteora | 5 day explore Meteora | 1 day cruise

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Itinerary

Time Tour Plan Services
7:30 Start the pick up service and come to the terminal Depart from the terminal at 08.30
11:30 Arrival in modern Delphi village On the way, 20 mins break near Levadia
11:45 Visit the ancient site & the museum Entrance fees – See the price you paid
14:30 Drive to a local restaurant 3 km from Delphi Lunch, is optional – See the price you paid.
15:30 Start the return towards Athens Stop at the village of Arachova
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Hotel drop off by 19.30

History

If there is a site to visit in Greece then Delphi is this place. The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strikes you. God Apollo had chosen the best spot to build his temple. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains, provides breathtaking views from any location within the site.

Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honour Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon.

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. The one flew east and the other one flew west. They both met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The Temple of Apollo housed the great Oracle of Delphi, the world’s greatest source of income for a thousand years. The Oracle was the most eminent feature of Delphi, and some of the most important people from all over Greece—including demigods, according to Greek mythology—visited her to seek advice. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult “Pythia”, the priestess of the sanctuary. In a room, below the Pythia, the priests listened and interpreted her vague and wild cries, and put them into ordered language.

Above the entrance to the temple the visitor reads ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Nothing in Excess’. These sayings were read and pondered upon by all of the great kings, warriors and noblemen who came here for advice. The true wisdom of the Oracle lies not within the words of the Oracle’s priestess, but within the walls of the temple itself.

The Pythian Games held in Delphi were one of four Panhellenic games held in ancient Greece, and they attracted competitors from all over the Greek world. Founded in the 6th c. BC and held in honour of Apollo the Games originally centered around the talents the god exemplified – music and poetry. However soon, athletic competitions were added as well. The best known was a great chariot race, held in the stadium of Delphi. The winners of the Pythian Games received a laurel wreath.

The 6th c. BC saw the political rise of Delphi ushering in a golden age that lasted until the arrival of the Romans in 191 BC. Numerous treasuries were built in the Sanctuary of Apollo to house votive offerings of grateful pilgrims. In the 4th century BC, a theater accommodating 5,000 spectators was constructed nearby. It was restored in 159 by king Eumenes II and later by the Romans.

The oracle of Delphi was abolished in 393 AD by Theodosius of Byzantium, the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. No longer used, the temples fell into disrepair and their materials were plundered for new buildings.

Site & Museum

Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims visited here, from kings and philosophers to common people to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the ancient games held here, the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics.
The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed along the sacred way, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. The site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses of the City States, the ancient theatre, the stadium at the top of the hill, the gymnasium, and hippodrome. The sanctuary was built in an imposing location, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. The Temple of Apollo, the treasury house of the Athenians, the Polygonal wall, the treasury houses of the different city States — where treasures from all over Greece were kept, and the Theatre are some of the most important building.

The remaining part of the ancient site, bellow the road, with the temple of Athena Pronaia, the Tholos (a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored), the gymnasium and the sports facilities, used for training for the athletes that took part in the “Pythian or Delphian Games”, is not visited in the guided tours. Choose the tour without lunch and when the group is having lunch you can visit them on your own, without the tour guide.

Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started 1892, masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the famous athlete Aghias, the two “kouros” statues, the Roman “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

When you finish with the sightseeing, you proceed to a local restaurant for lunch (optional), and after lunch the driver stops for 40 minutes at the nearby traditional village of Arachova. The bus arrives in the centre of Athens at +/- 18.30.

Testimonials

By Provoensis, United States, 11 posts, 38 reviews. Re: Astoria Travel, Jul 31

My experiences with Astoria Travel have been varied in scope, but ALWAYS extraordinarily positive. I cannot praise Kosta and his team highly enough. From small-scale arrangements for my wife and me to multi-day academic tours for groups of 30+ university students, our experience has always been top notch.
I regularly travel with a university group to Greece, and other colleagues from my university (in USA) have been booking arrangements through Astoria Travel since 2003, sometimes 2 – 3 groups per year. Kosta’s heartfelt inclination to provide a high quality academic experience for our students really shows. Above all, his reliability and his determination to help us provide an affordable program for them is apparent from beginning to end. On each program he has been constantly calculating how we can shave down costs to the students’ advantage. He really tends to the smallest details.
Trustworthiness may be the most important aspect of a travel agent’s involvement with a group. In the many facets of our several tours arranged by Astoria, I have yet to be surprised by any bill or expenditure. Everything has been transparent and anticipated.
I recommend to all my colleagues at my university to work their Greek travel arrangements through Astoria Travel. For us Greece means Kosta.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Re: Astoria Travel Meteora trip Reviews.
Hi SomeGirl111. All the bus tours in Greece are organized by three Tour operators. The travel agents do not organize, they sell these guided tours at discounted rates. So, whoever you decide to buy your tour from, you will end up sitting in one of the T.O. buses. All three T.Os. use modern, air conditioned buses., and knowledgeable professional tour guides. You travel in the same bus with visitors that paid the full brochure price. Astoria Travel was established 1958 and is still operating and prospering. So, your question should be: is the price that they sell the tours organized by G.O.Tours, CHAT or KEY Tours, good? What differs between the travel agents, is how fast they reply to you, and the way they answer to your request. Being in the travel trade for such a long time, I am sure that they know the way to satisfy their clients.

Booking request

[booking startmonth=’2019-3′]
In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

16Oct/19
Meteora - St Stephan nunnery

DELPHI & METEORA 2 days from 120.00€

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

Departures & prices

From November – March this tour operates ONLY on Wednesdays.

CLICK HERE and see our 3day/ 2nights tour by train, spending 1 night in Kalambaka and 1 in Delphi.

PRICES:

HOTEL
DOUBLE ROOM per person
SINGLE ROOM
3* Kosta FAMISSI – with breakfast
120.00 + 6.00 entrance fees = 126.00 €
137.00 + 6.00 entrance fees = 143.00 €
3* ORFEAS – half board
134.00 + 6.00 entrance fees = 140.00 €
164.00 + 6.00 entrance fees = 170.00 €
4* AMALIA or GRAND METEORA – half board
170.00 + 6.00 entrance fees = 176.00
includes complimentary arrival transfer
214.00 + 6.00 entrance fees = 220.00 €
includes complimentary arrival transfer

* The hotels we use are: 3* Hotel KOSTA FAMISI or 3* Hotel ORFEAS and 4* hotel AMALIA(Thu & Sat) or Hotel GRAND METEORA(Mon & Wed)
* If our offers sound interesting read the “4 steps to book” in the footer.
* Fill the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back to you asap.

THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE:
– transportation in modern, air conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near it (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
(This service is from hotels in central Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not included).
– Entrance fees to Delphi site and the 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you visit Meteora.
– Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour.
– 1 night hotel accommodation in the hotel of your choice.
– All taxes except the hotel tax of 1.50 €(in 3*) & 3.00 € (in 4*star) per room, per night.
– Complimentary arrival transfer if you book and pay the tour in 4* star hotel

NB:Lunches on both days are not included. The bus stops at local restaurants, but the lunches are extra. In Kalambaka the bus stops at the central square where you have lots of restaurants to choose from.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) Share a triple room with a friend and save 5% on the double room rate.
b) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%, or
c) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save.
# SUBMIT your booking request form 4 months before the tour departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 €, p.p.
# TWO MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full.
d) Pay 78.00 euro p.p. and join the One day cruise to HYDRA. The transfer to and from the port is 10.00 € extra.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blog:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price compared to the other travel companies. Is this a scam? Well, it was not a scam and the complimentary arrival transfer was true. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa in Syntagma at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL. Read more in the testimonials section…

 

POPULAR TOURS: 1 day Delphi | 1 day Argolis | 3 day explore Meteora | 4 day classical & Meteora | 5 day explore Meteora | 1 day cruise

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Places visited

This tour includes two of the most important sites, on mainland Greece. It presents a picture of ancient Greek civilisation beginning with the Mycenaeans, the Greek Bronze Age, and continuing through Archaic, Classical and, to a lesser extent, Hellenistic and Roman Greece. It provides a glimpse of the spiritual splendour of Byzantine art and architecture.
It is a full itinerary, but the pace is manageable. Plenty of time is available on the sites, allowing time for adequate exposition by the tour guide and time for further exploration on your own.

* The traditional village of Arachova.
* The modern Village of Delphi.
* The sanctuary with the temple of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi.
* The monument of Leonidas, the Spartan King, in Thermopylae.
* 2 monasteries are visited. One of them is the nunnery of St. Stephen.

* NB.The archaeological museum in Delphi is not visited in this tour. The museum is visited in the 3 days Delphi – Meteora tour.

ORACLE OF APOLLO in DELPHI-the centre of the universe

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary.
The ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, and the stadium.

METEORA-THE ART OF NATURE

Beautiful rocks from another world embrace Kalambaka. The monuments are under the protection of UNESCO and are recorded as the second largest Monastic community after the Holy Mountain.
It’s a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks where the monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” since the 10th c. AD. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. frescoes mark a key stage in the development of the post-Byzantine painting.
The monasteries at Meteora grew out of the need to avoid Turkish persecution during the occupation in the 14th c. Monks lived in caves in the rocks of Meteora since the 11th c. but the inaccessible peaks provided safety for Greek Orthodox monks. Over time a large number of hermitages and monasteries were built on these rocks, making Meteora the second largest monastic complex in Greece after Mount Athos.
Seeing the beautiful stone structure, surrounded by mist, is enough to make you understand why the monks and nuns selected this area for unceasing prayer. Today, from the many monasteries that existed, only six are open to the public: The monasteries of St. Nicholas Anapafsas, Grand Meteoron, Varlaam, Roussanou, Holy Trinity and St. Stephan. The Holy Meteora is the most visited religious monument in Greece.

“Here at these barren rocks thousands of orthodox monks learned wisdom, humility and morals“

Over a million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.

Itinerary

DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30am and, traffic allowing, it departs from the terminal in the centre of Athens at 08.30am.
Passing by THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short rest room stop) and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI at +/- 11.30am.
Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks to be “the centre of the universe”. With the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.

13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA for Kalampaka with a short photo stop at THERMOPYLAE, the site of the famous battle between the 300 Spartans against the huge Persian army in 480 B.C. took place. Arrival at your hotel in Kalampaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight in Kalambaka.

DAY 2: 08.15 After breakfast you start with a local art studio where you learn about the technique of painting of the icons.
You continue and visit two of the monasteries that are open on that day.
12:30 Return to Kalambaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return and arrive in Athens 19.30.

Time Tour Plan & Services
8:30 Depart from the terminal at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break outside Levadia you arrive in Delphi
11:45 With the professional tour guide you visit the sanctuary
13:45 Proceed for lunch at a local restaurant (not included in price).
15:00 Continue to Kalanbaka via Thermopylae(photo stop) & Trikala.
19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Check-in the hotel and (optional) dinner at 19.30
08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS, and visit the icon exhibition
09:00 Drive to Meteora and visit 2 monasteries (entrance fees included).
12:00 Have lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price)
14:00 Start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00

4 STEPS TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE

Tour options

Meteora is one of the most beautiful areas of mainland Greece and the monasteries are one of the country’s most unique attractions. Join one of the following tours and visit Meteora.

CLICK HERE and see all the different options (guided tours and independent tours by train) to visit Meteora.

FAQs

QUESTION: How many hours do we stay at the ancient site in Delphi. ANSWER: You spend 1.30 hour in the ancient site of Delphi.
QUESTION: Is there any free time, or is it all guided? ANSWER: There is free time but I suggest you break from the group as early as possible. The tour doesn’t go to the top of the mountain to see the Delphi stadium.
AT METEORA: You spend about 1 hour in each monastery but there is no need to break early.
Appropriate clothing is required to visit the Monasteries and nunneries. Skirts below the knees for ladies and long trousers for gentlemen.
The monasteries/nunneries provide wrappings that the visitors can wear them over their clothing before entering.
FREE TIME: After the guide takes you around, you have enough time to see whatever is left to see.
AT DELPHI, the 2 day tour to Meteora meets the 3 day classical tour, and the tour company usually moves guests travelling to Meteora onto another bus and they proceed to Kalambaka and visit Meteora together.
For the 2 day tour to Delphi and Meteora clients: The restaurant in Delphi is 3 km after the modern Delphi village.

CANCELATIONS Please see the Terms of use in the footer.
Read more about Athens to Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Trip 2019 – https://www.viator.com/tours/Athens/2-Day-Trip-to-Delphi-and-Meteora-from-Athens/d496-31408A?mcid=56757

Testimonials

littlebluekingfisher, Bangalore, Re: Astoria Travel, Jan 14
My family and I are just back from a wonderful trip to Greece. I’d done some research and bookings before I ran into a brick wall trying to book train tickets to Meteora. Searching around I found a note by another traveller on Tripadvisor, who’d had exactly the same problem and stumbled on Astoria Travel. He’d had a great experience with them and recommended them highly. So I contacted Kosta at Astoria, and am blessing my stars that I did so!
If we had a good, sensibly planned trip in which we saw as much as we could without being run ragged, it was thanks to Kosta. Over the course of several emails he helped refine my plans; even to the extent of arranging to hire a taxi from Delphi to Levadia railway station to catch the train from there to Kalampaka and not lose a day.
He also arranged our train and ferry tickets (to Santorini) — getting the latter at a cheaper rate than that quoted on the web! I wish we’d done our hotel bookings through him too, as according to people that we met in Greece, he got them good rooms at the hotel that we all stayed at lower than the rates that we were found through www.booking.com

I visited them at their office in Athens. It was impressive to see that Astoria Travel has been in business since 1958, and through experience have been able to attune their services and offerings to a very wide range of traveller needs. Their list of contacts is vast, which worked helpfully in our favour: Kosta just picked up the phone and got a taxi to pick us up at Kalampaka station (paying no more than the normal rates, despite being booked ahead).
Moreover, they are a family-run concern, so their levels of friendliness, personalisation of services and traveller support is several notches higher than what a more impersonal agency could provide.
I would highly recommend Astoria Travel not just for booking tickets, tours and hotels, but for help and advice in planning your holiday as well. He graduated from a University in South Africa, his English is excellent and he is highly knowledgeable and courteous.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From: https://travelbunny8.blogspot.com/2016/07/greece-4-days-classical-greece-tour.html
(Visit the excellent blog site, read the description and comments)

If you wish to see the major sights of mainland Ancient Greece including UNESCO listed ancient site of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora monasteries, then I recommend you to join a 4 Day Classical Greece Tour.
The tour departs from Athens and returns to Athens.

5 UNESCO World Heritage Site in 4 days. I have to warn you that 4 out of the 5 World Heritage Site are in ruins. The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/

However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL http://www.astoria.gr/price-tours-classical-4day.html that can be contacted at athens@astoriatravel.gr. I e-mailed Mr. Kosta and since I booked the tour through him in 4 star hotels, I got a free arrival transfer offer to my hotel. Actually, Kosta himself, came to the airport and took us to the hotel.

After browsing through the web, I found that Astoria Travel offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! I even book my first two night in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (very near Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through Astoria Travel.

I took the First Class package as the price difference was not much compared to the Tourist Class package and the complimentary airport transfer sounded attractive. During the tour, some of my fellow travelers took the Tourist Class package. Frankly, I don’t think there was much of a difference compared to the First Class hotels. In fact, the Tourist Class hotels were located nearer to the town centre while the First Class hotels were located at quieter locations outside the towns providing small luxuries (swimming pools, good dinners and breakfasts, etc.)

After checking in the hotel, you can actually explore the town of Kalampaka and don’t miss the 9th century church at Kalampaka. The church is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel.

The tour includes visits to two of the six monasteries of Meteora.

As the tour group was small, we got to know each other pretty quickly.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
tinghq, melbourne, posts 60, reviews 8. Re: Astoria Travel

Just came back from 2 days Delphi and Meteora tour arranged by Kosta. He gives such good service with fast replies and issuing of vouchers. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring and courteous.ery trust worthy. There were 6 of us going on the tour and on the morning of the tour, he personally came by and make sure we got on the tour! Great discount for the tour and we did save €’s by booking with him rather than direct with tour company or Viator. On the bus we met and became good friends with a couple that bought their tour from Viator and we could compare prices and services for the same tour in the same hotel. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring and courteous. His English is excellent, he is very experienced, extremely helpful and proud of Greek history and Greek culture.

contact us

Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds interesting, send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information is included.

 

19May/19

One day trip

If your visit to Greece is too short, this is your chance to visit Meteora.

You realize why the first hermits chose this location to create their monastic community and seek communication with God. See the 4 monasteries and the 2 nunneries, and visit two of them. Learn about the everyday life of the monks, admire their architecture and gaze at the priceless relics and treasures of the monasteries, a cultural heritage to all Christian religions.

Finish your sightseeing return to Kalambaka, have a light lunch, board the train and return to Athens at 21:30

Itinerary

* You collect your tickets from us and settle the account anyday before departure.
* Be at the LARISA railway station in Athens at least 30 minutes before the train departure.
* Your train comes at 07:10 am. Find your carriage and seat.
* 07:20 – The train departs and following a scenic route it travels straight from Athens to Kalampaka(last stop).
* 11:30 – Arrive in Kalampaka and meet our English speaking driver outside the railway station.
* 11:45 – Drive to Meteora. Visit up to 3 monasteries. See old hermitages and cloisters in the caves.
* 16:45 – Return to Kalampaka. Stop at a local restaurant for a light meal (not included in the price).
* 17:00 – The train departs from Kalampaka and arrives in Athens (LARISA station) at +/- 22.45.

To make a booking you deposit 40.00 euro per person and you settle the balance when we meet in Athens.

CANCELLATION POLICY: 15.00 € p.p. is not refundable. In case of a strike the full amount is refunded.

Price & Inclussions

The price for the 3.30 hours private tour of Meteora includes your return B class train ticket and the taxi hire from the moment that you arrive until the moment that you tell the driver that you have seen enough and want to get back to Kalambaka and have something to eat.

– 1 passenger: Train ticket (B class), 86.00 € p.p.
– 1 passenger: Train ticket (A class), 98.00 € p.p.
– 2 passengers: Train ticket (B class), 82.00 € p.p.
– 2 passengers: Train ticket (A class), 94.00 € p.p.
– 3 passengers: Train ticket (B class), 76.00 € p.p.
– 3 passengers: Train ticket (A class), 88.00 € p.p.
– 4 passengers: Train ticket (B class), 69.00 € p.p.
– 4 passengers: Train ticket (A class), 81.00 € p.p.

To secure your booking, please, click and see the terms, find the pay on line link in the footer, and, deposit 40.00 € p.p.

THE PRICE INCLUDES:

* Return train ticket. Pay 12.00 euro, and upgrade the train ticket to A class (recommended).
* Upon arrival you meet our taxi driver and for 3 hours, you visit up to 3 monasteries.
* Visit hidden beauties & explore the area with a local, English speaking taxi driver.

NOT INCLUDED in the price:
* No professional tour guide service is included. It’s you and the taxi driver.
* 3.00 euro per person, being the entrance ticket to each monastery, and
* Your lunch and drinks in the train and while you are in Kalampaka.

17May/19

AA

Itinerary

* You collect your tickets from us and settle the account any day before departure.
* Be at the LARISA railway station in Athens 30 minutes before the train departure.
* Your train comes to the railway station at 07:10 am. Find your carriage and seat.
* 07:20 – The train departs and following a scenic route it travels to Kalampaka(last stop).
* 11:30 – Upon arrival in Kalampaka meet our English speaking driver outside the railway station.
* 11:45 – Drive to Meteora. Visit at least 3 monasteries. See old hermitages in the caves.
CLICK here and see the monasteries that are open on your day, and make your plan.
* 16:45 – Return to Kalampaka. Stop at a local restaurant for a light meal (not included in the price).
* 17:15 – The train departs from Kalampaka and arrives in Athens (LARISA station) at +/- 21.30

20Apr/19

Explore Meteora in a 3 day tour

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

For real pleasure, combine walking and touring between the monasteries. Give yourselves an extra day to explore Meteora on your own. The sight of the Meteora is a unique spectacle and experience, but walking on the well marked paths, between the rocks, is breathtaking. One morning in Kalambaka is not enough. Spend an extra night there, wake up early and go for a walk. Experience and observe the local flora and fauna, join the optional “sunset” tour and you will remember Meteora for the rest of your life.

Days & Prices

Unfortunately this guided tour operates ONLY between April-October,
You depart on Wednesday with a group and a tour guide, you visit the ancient site in Delphi and spend the night in Kalambaka. Thursday in Kalambaka, you are free to explore Meteora on your own – (take the optional morning hiking tour and in the afternoon join the optional “sunset tour”). Finally, Friday, with a group and a professional tour guide, you visit 2 monasteries that are open on Fridays and return to Athens at +/- 19:30
It can be combined and offered with other day departures but the return from Kalambaka to Athens is by train for extra 20.00 €.

***CLICK & SEE the alternative 3 days/2 nights independent tour, that we organize daily by train.

PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more? Our discounted prices, per adult, for this tour are:

1) Sharing a double room with your partner, 2 nights with 2 BREAKFASTS: 148.00 €
2) For single travellers, 2 nights in single room, with 2 BREAKFASTS: 188.00 €

The hotel that we use in Kalampaka for this tour is the 3* “Hotel KOSTA FAMISI”.
The prices include:
– transportation on modern air conditioned buses
– Pickup / drop off from or near your lodging. (See the list of hotels in the footer of this page).
(This service is from hotels in Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens).
– The services of the professional tour guide on Wed & Friday. Thursday you are on your own.
– Hotel accommodation in single / double rooms including BREAKFAST, ONLY.
– The entrance tickets to the 2 monasteries visited on Friday.

Not included:
– SINCE 2018, a hotel accommodation tax is applied and paid by clients to the hotels as follows: 3* hotels=1.50 € per room/per night.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the higher one):
a) 5% TRIPLE ROOM DISCOUNT: Share a room with another 2 of your friends and gain 5%.
a) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%.
b) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save 5%.
# SUBMIT your booking request form at least 4 months before the scheduled departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 € p.p.
# 2 MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full and save 5%.

– Read the details in the “4 Steps 2 book” link in the footer of this page and start the booking steps.
– In the footer of the website you also see our location, contact information, and working hours.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blogspot:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (30% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a scam. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL.

Useful links: 4 STEPS 2 BOOK / booking-form / Send us a message

Highlights

DELPHI-the centre of the universe
Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims, from kings and philosophers to common people, came to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics, that were organized in Delphi. The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed on the slopes of Mt Parnassus, makes Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. It is a 2.30 hr drive from Athens.

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary.
The archaeological site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, AND the stadium, while the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia consists of the best known landmark – the “tholos”, a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored, the gymnasium and the sports fascilities, used for training during the “Pythian Games”.
Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started 1892. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the two “kouros” statues, the “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

METEORA-the art of nature
In a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” from the 10th c. onwards. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. frescoes mark a key stage in the development of the post-Byzantine painting.
More than a million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.
The huge rocks of Meteora were formed millions of years ago, a mixture of sandstone, pebbles and hard gravel. These mountain pillars are extraordinary, with horizontal stripes and strange shapes, reaching 600 m tall. The art of Nature; a rocky forest. Meteora have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and since 1995 the Hellenic government declared it a ” sacred area”, belonging to everybody and protected from any change or interference. What makes them even more remarkable are the exquisite monasteries, built by hermits during the 9th c. AD, at the pinnacles of the rocks. For centuries these towers of sandstone provided cliff-top retreats for the monks.

Useful links: 4 STEPS 2 BOOK / booking-form / Send us a message

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR

1st DAY: Depart at 08.30 from Athens and driving via THEBES (the town connected with legendary Oedipus), LEVADIA (short stop) and ARACHOVA, the group arrives in DELPHI 11.30am. With the tour guide you visit the sanctuary of Apollo, and the archaeological museum, located near the site.
13.30 break up for lunch at a restaurand outside the modern Delphi town, and at 15.00 proceed after a short stop at THERMOPYLAE, the area where the Spartan king LEONIDAS and his 300 soldiers fought the Persians in 480 BC you arrive in Kalampaka, at +/- 19.00. Overnight in Hotel KOSTA FAMISI.

2nd DAY: Today you are free to explore the area of Meteora. Start in the morning hiking on the path towards Holy Trinity and St. Stephen. When you get up there, sit at the edge of one of the rocks, and let your mind travel million years back. Imagine that you wet your foot in the water of a huge lake. A lake covering the whole valley. Look at the horizon and imagine the lake drying gradually, recovering all this natural beauty in front of you. This is the most probable option of how all these were created. You are in front of a geological phenomenon universally unique, where words like admire, unexplainable, impressing which we usually find in many writings can describe it’s size only to one point.
Follow the same path for your return or walk on the asphalt road back to Kalampaka. Relax in one of the cafeterias and when you recover, walk to Kastraki and find the cave dwellings at Badovas. Here is where everything started. Here, you will see old hermitages, original cloisters, and monasteries built in the caves.
You haven’t finished yet. Walk inside the old town of Kalampaka and find the old Byzantine church. It’s the most important monument of Kalampaka. Another “must do” is to take the optional “Sunset tour”, visit one monastery (usually the Rousanou) and capture beautiful sunset photos. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Local tours: “Afternoon Sunset tour”, “Morning 4 hour tour” or “4 hours hiking tour”. Special price 20.00 € either one.

3rd DAY: After breakfast, meet and join the group and on the bus this time, drive to the METEORA and visit 2 of the monasteries that are open on that day. One of them is the St. Stephen (the only with easy access).
Return to Kalampaka for lunch, and after lunch you say farewell to mystical Meteora and start the return to Athens. Arrive in Athens, +/- 19.30.

itinerary

DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY: The bus departs from the terminal at +/- 08.30
Passing from THEBES, LEVADIA (short stop) and the village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI,
the famous “Temple-Bank”, at 11.30. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks and the Romans as the “the centre of the universe”.
With the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle band the nearby archaeological museum.
13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 15,00 departs via THERMOPYLAE, the place where the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers against the huge Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place (Short stop), LAMIA(stop for rest room), KARDITSA and TRIKALA for KALAMBAKA. Arrival at +/- 19:00, and overnight in hotel KOSTA FAMISSI.

DAY 2 – THURSDAY: This is the extra day. You are free to explore the area.
Wake up early to experience the surrounding terrace, the flora and fauna of the area.
We suggest that in the morning you explore the area on your own, using to local bus (May-October), to visit the monasteries, or, hire our taxi driver, or do an easy hiking trip.
In the afternoon, take the optional “SUNSET TOUR”. Our pre-booked price is 20.00 euro per person. The tour bus will pick you up from the hotel at +/- 15.30 and you will be back at +/- 20.00.

DAY 3 – FRIDAY: After breakfast, at +/- 08:15, meet the bus behind your hotel, join a new group, drive to the METEORA, and visit two of the monasteries that are open on Fridays. One of them is the monastery of St. Stephen, the only monastery easily accessible.
+/- 12:00 Return to Kalampaka for lunch and after lunch you start the return to Athens arriving at +/- 19.30.

Time Tour Plan & Services
08:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30 Depart from the terminal in Athens at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break near Levadia, arrive in modern Delphi village
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit the ancient sanctuary site. Entrance fees included.
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant, outside the modern village of Delphi.(Optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae (short stop), Lamia (stop), Karditsa & Trikala, you proceed to Kalambaka
18:30 Arrive in Kalambaka and at 19:30 check-in the hotel of your choice.
09:00 Today you are free to explore Meteora. Do your hiking excercise and visit GRAND METEORO.
16:00 Take the optional “Sunset Tour”, and capture beautiful sunset memories. (Optional tour)
09:00 After breakfast, with a new group, visit 2 monasteries. Entrance fees included.
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price).
14:00 Start the return to Athens and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00

contact us

Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

All options

 

GUIDED TOURS IN SHARED BUSES

 

Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
Guided tour in shared bus
Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
1 night Delphi, 1 night Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora 160.00 €
Guided tour in shared bus
2 nights in Kalambaka
4 day classical tour & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
5 day Monday Special & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
Guided tour
 
 
 

 

INDEPENDENT TRIPS TO METEORA BY TRAIN

 
Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
1 day Meteora by train from…62.00 €
Independent trip and private taxi
Train ticket & taxi hire
1 day Meteora, train & shared bus
Independent train trip
Train & tour of Meteora in shared bus
2 days trip train package
Independent train trip
Train ticket & hotel
2 days by train – “Meteora special”
Train ticket, hotel, Sunset & morning tour
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking” and the booking forms. If our offer looks interesting, please, send us the booking form.

11Apr/19

Meteora – History and monastic life

VISIT METEORA and follow the monks’ paths to the monasteries.

Meteora is a complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries built on natural sandstone pillars.
Today four monasteries and two nunneries are open to the public. Certain days each one is closed for meditation.

Meteora today

If there is one place that you must visit during your visit to Greece this is the Meteora in central Greece. This vast Eastern Orthodox monastic complex is not found anywhere else in the world. Despite how overused the word amazing is, at Meteora it means the exact picture. If the unearthly landscape of massive pillar-like mountains and columns weren’t striking enough, monks, 800 years ago built huge monasteries on top of them.

The view from Meteora is spectacular no matter where you stand, and it will make even the most experienced traveller to say “wow”. Greece is full of spectacular sites, but it will be difficult to find one more unique and with so many fabulous views as in Meteora. The UNESCO monasteries of Meteora, are one of the most extraordinary sights.

Meteora map

Meteora map

Built on top of the huge pinnacles of smooth rocks, the monasteries provided monks with peaceful havens from the bloodshed as the Byzantine Empire waned at the end of the 14th c. The monasteries were reached by climbing removable ladders. Later, windlasses were used so monks could be hauled up in nets, a method used until the 1920s. Apprehensive visitors enquiring how often the ropes were replaced were told ‘When the Lord lets them break’.

These days access to the monasteries is by steps hewn into the rocks and the windlasses are used only for hauling up provisions.

Do not miss visiting this unique place at this special prices!

Monasticism at Meteora

The Monasticism at the Holy Meteora over the centuries
The monks’ love of God, monasticism and asceticism for this miraculous way of life on the rugged spires of the plain of Thessaly. Monasticism is the highest calling and the path that leads directly to holiness. It is the complete devotion of the human person to the tribune God. It is the imitation of the angels in divine love, chant, obedience and the ministry of souls, which is why it was called ‘equal to the angels’ and an ‘angelic state’. The entire life of a monk consists in opening the heart to God and keeping His commandments, in constantly striving for sanctification and praying continually. Whether working, studying or in the stillness of prayer, the monk is unceasingly crying out to the Lord in the heart with the brief prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us”.

Over the centuries the Meteora monasteries were seed-beds of holiness for a multitude of monks, a bastion of faith and civilization, treasuries of the values and virtues of the Greek Orthodox spirit. Here, the unparalleled natural wealth of Meteora coexists in absolute harmony with discreet human intervention; intense spiritual striving and devotion to God is juxtaposed with a love of beauty and culture; the harsh ascetic way of life stands side by side with the refinement of art and artistic creativity, with the sole purpose of glorifying the Creator.

The monks’ ascetic struggles were characterised by heroism, their spirituality by a spirit of self-sacrifice, self-denial and support to the troubled souls who sought refuge in these strongholds of Orthodoxy. Thus the monasteries of Meteora became the watchful custodians and guardians of tradition: they became schools for the Greek children under Turkish rule and a refuge for the persecuted, they offered provisions to the freedom fighters and at the same time gave an education in holiness and salvation.

The valuable ascetic tradition of Meteora, the large number of saints who have lived on the hallowed spires, its rich liturgical life and many relics, which are its most precious treasures, together make the monasteries vital centres of Orthodox spirituality.

Meteora is a holy land, a sacred space created and guarded by God, its cliffs and caves and ravines sanctified by the host of holy ascetics and martyrs of the Greek Thebaid who have inhabited them. A contemporary saint, St Porphyrios, used to say: “I speak with the rocks, for they have so much to tell of the ascetic life of earlier fathers”.

Over the last fifty years a remarkable programme of restoration has been carried out to the monasteries of Meteora, as a result of the hard work and tireless efforts of the energetic and worthy abbots and monks, the watchful care and blessing of Metropolitan Seraphim of Stagoi and Meteora and the excellent collaboration of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Larissa (formerly of Trikala). This major undertaking includes extensive reconstruction work, the preservation of frescoes and treasures in the monasteries’ collections and improvements to the surrounding space, making Meteora one of the most spiritual and attractive destinations in the world.

The monastic communities of Meteora participate in liturgical life and attend to the many visitors with love and sensitivity. In addition they preserve and maintain the sites, paint icons, embroider with gold thread, create miniatures, produce beeswax candles, incense and small icons, cultivate the monastery gardens and keep bees. Their publications include studies in history, theology and hymnography. However, their primary purpose is to offer a living witness of Christ in an age which is spiritually barren, when people have lost their sense of national and religious identity and are experiencing a crisis that is not only economic but also spiritual. The monks strive to preserve the precious legacy of their faith and rich tradition and to highlight their inestimable value in modern times.

The monastic community

Perched high atop spires of conglomerated Calcerous and sandstone rock, the monasteries of Meteora are one of the world’s most spectacular sacred sites. Located in the Thessaly region of North Central Greece and overlooking the valley of Pinios, the towering rocks of Meteora, meaning ‘rocks in the air’, have long evoked awe in human beings. Paleolithic remains indicate settlements around the stones from between 100,000 to 40,000 BC, and hermits and ascetics have lived in the area since long before the Christian era. The arrival of Christianity began in the 8th century, organized monastic communities had developed by the 12th century, and by the mid 1500’s twenty-four Greek Orthodox monasteries had been constructed upon the spires of stone. The monasteries, 200-600 meters high (and some accessible only by baskets lowered by ropes and winches), became a center of scholarship and art until the mid 18th century when popular interest in monasticism declined. Most of these meteorisa monastiria (‘hanging monasteries’) were abandoned and today only six survive, of which four can be visited by way of bridges and rock-cut steps. Previously a remote area, the construction of a highway in the early 1960’s made the monasteries accessible to pilgrims and tourists. This influx of visitors, however, has discouraged new monks from joining the monasteries and compelled others to move to Mt. Athos in search of solitude and privacy.
Orthodox Monks started to populate the area of Meteora over 1200 years ago, initially searching for quietness, peace and the perfect environment

Lifting system with ropes in Meteora to pray and meditate. They were living in caves like hermits, with little human relations. Beginning of the 12th c. they started to congregate and create the first monasteries. To make things more difficult, they decided to build their communities on top of rocky peaks, apparently inhospitable places to live in, but with more protection from the outside world, and amazing views to enjoy daily.
Approching Meteora the visitor wonders how could they manage at that time to climb these steep peaks with very little equipment and later to carry the materials to build the monasteries. The cliffs are as high as 600m (1800 feet) from the plain level, and hardly accessible even today to equipped rock climbers. Originally entrance to the monasteries was possible only with ladders, or ropes connected to nets, used to lift goods and people. Not only it was adventurous, but also really dangerous, since the legend say that the ropes were changed only “when the Lord let them break”. The advantage of such an access system was that the ropes could easily be lifted to protect the monks from external threats. The biggest expansion of the monasteries had place at the end of the 14th c, when Greece was threatened by Turkish invaders, and monks from other areas of Greece took refugee in Meteora, building a total of 24 monasteries, progressively abandoned in the last two centuries.

While walking in Meteora we saw buses packed with tourists going from one monastery to the other without even stopping on the way to enjoy the amazing views. This means to miss all of the magic of this place, the fusion of the human-made monasteries perfectly integrated on top of incredible rock formations. We advise you not to do the same mistake and enjoy the route in between the monasteries!

Contact us

Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

06Mar/19

Cruises – 3 day Iconic cruise

The Iconic Aegean Greek islands cruise is the classic experience for those encountering Greece for the first time. Embark on a journey of a lifetime as you cruise along emerald waters through a series of enchanting destinations, and watch postcard images come to life. Swaying windmills, striking cliffs and legendary ancient cities greet you at every destination, inviting you to explore the islands and all that’s hidden within them.

Itinerary
Day Port Arrive Depart
Fri Piraeus (Greece) – 11.30
Fri Mykonos (Greece) 18.00 23.00
Sat Kusadasi (Turkey) 07.30 13.00
Sat Patmos (Greece) 17.45 21.30
Sun Heraklion (Greece) 07.00 12.00
Sun Santorini (Greece) 16.30 21.30
Mon Piraeus (Greece) 07.00