The name “meteora” comes from the Greek for “suspended in the sky;” take a look at the Meteora monastery complex in northern Greece and you’ll see the name is well-deserved.
Improbably perched atop pinnacles of rock over 1,300 feet in the air, the place looks like something out of a fantasy. Indeed, it served as the real-life inspiration for the Eyrie in George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.
While cave-dwelling monks inhabited the cliffs since the 11th century, the stone monasteries were constructed between the 14th and 16th centuries. Originally, there were twenty -four separate structures, but today six monasteries remain.
Located around four hours from Athens, Meteora is a lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path destination for travelers to Greece. All six monasteries are open to the public, and the area is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Whether you are captivated by history, adventure, spiritual contemplation, or a combination of all three, a visit here is well worth the journey.