Metéora consists of six monasteries, all built on sandstone rock pillars and it is one of the largest and most important monasteries in Greece. The monasteries are all built between the 14th and mid 16th century.
In the Bond movie “For your eyes only” the monastery acts as a hiding place for Kristatos who has disappeared with the A.T.A.C. transmitter to sell it to the Russians. Bonds friend Columbo takes Bond to the Greek mainland and this ''abandoned'' monastery called S:t Cyrils. Bond makes a dramatic climb up the cliff to get the transmitter and sends it back to Columbo in a basket.
The monks of the monastery were not very excited about the filmings at Meteora. In fact they tried to sabotage the shootings in every way they could. During the filming they stayed inside the monastery and put up big pieces of plastic and bed sheets on the roofs, hung their laundry from the windows, put up flags and rolled barrels to the yard to prevent helicopters from landing. The film crew had to use the adjacent cliff and create a replica of the monastery to finish the exterior scenes of the film.
The monasteries on top of the pillars are simply magnificent and it makes you wonder how they even managed to build them around 700 years ago. And even with no monasteries, the views from the top of the steep cliffs are breathtaking and definitely worth the hikes.
It is possible to visit all the six monasteries and you can find the visiting hours here: http://www.visitmeteora.travel/en/monasteries-visiting-hours The cost to enter each monastery is around 3€.
The easiest to visit is the monastery of St. Stephen that has a parking lot nearby and bridge to access the entrance. The other monasteries are accessible through stairs, some longer than others some steeper than others. It takes some efforts to visit the monasteries but is not overly difficult. The Monastery of the Holy Trinity has the maximum number of steps, 140.
We don´t recommend visiting all 6 monasteries during one day, you would have to rush a little and would miss the slow paced adventure that the magnificent setting offers. Depending on your condition and plans, 2-4 monasteries per day is fine.
Note also that there are certain requirements for clothing. Sleeveless clothing and shorts are prohibited.
From Athens to Meteora takes about 5 hours by train or bus.
The cost to enter each monastery is around 3€. To hire a taxi to take you from the train station to all the monasteries is about €40.
5 hours guided hiking tour is 35€