Greece: Saint Nikolas Monastery Meteora Greece

360° panorama by Mark Fink.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

The irony of Meteora is that in the 9th century, hermit monks came to the area and moved to these lofty peaks for serenity, peacefulness, and seclusion. Over the centuries, the number of monks increased, and more and more elaborate monasteries were built. Now, each day in the high season brings bus loads of tourists to these once secluded places, but a balance seems to have been struck, meeting the desires of both groups.To wander around the spires of Meteora is to be amazed at the uniqueness of these rock formations. They rise out of a valley miles from the nearest mountains, forming a cluster of magnificent cliffs in a relatively small place.If you make the trek to this part of Greece, plan on spending at least three days to do it any justice. Just doing a quick drive-by of the monasteries misses the opportunity to see them at different times of day, and the light here can be truly fantastic. Spend some time in Meteora or Kalambaka, enjoy the great food and hospitality. Wake up to see the sun glowing on one face of the spires, then see it light up the other face while dining out side in the evening. Slow down, relax, enjoy.

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