Meteora Greece with Kids

Date
Jun, 16, 2017

Meteora is the name for the famous Greek monasteries built on high rock pillars in Central Greece. Wind and water erosion have formed breathtaking rock formations that are extremely difficult to access. Meteora with kids may, therefore, sound like a challenge. But even with young children, it is possible to visit this very special place in Greece. Here are my insiders’ tips for visiting Meteora with kids!

Meteora Greece with kids

A beautiful mixture of nature and culture made by human hands. High on the special rock formations of Meteora, you will find the Orthodox monasteries of Meteora. Built by monks who wanted to the escape persecution of the Turkish occupiers and who found the perfect shelter on the tops of Meteora. Of the 24 monasteries, 6 are still inhabited and they are also on display, some are closed to the public and the rest are left behind as ruins. The name Meteora literally means “float” and in the winter months, you can see the mountain tops above the low-hanging fog. Since 1988, the entire area has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You will understand why when you visit this special place in Greece.

The monasteries are built and occupied in a world without fixed stairs, elevator or other modern conveniences. Through a special system, the building material was lifted up in a basket, therefore the construction process took many years. Everything was done manually. Monks who lived there went up and down through narrow, collapsible, ladders and ropes. A strenuous method that was not without risk. You may think that Meteora Greece with kids is an impossible destination. Many steep climbs and lots of stairs do make this place a challenge for young children and impossible to access with a stroller. Yet, there are ways to see the monasteries. Here are my tips for visiting Meteora with your family.

Where to stay in Meteora with Kids

There are two places from which you can visit the monasteries of Meteora and the surrounding areas. First, there is the small, quiet village of Kastraki. Here you will find several hotels and a few restaurants. In fall and winter it is quiet here, say almost extinct, so I would recommend the town only if you like it quiet. For campers, there is a camping called Vrachos Kastraki at the edge of the village.

The second place to stay is Kalambaka. Here you will find an abundance of hotels, hostels, and other accommodation options. Kalambaka has a large main street (Trikalon) and a few cozy squares, various shops and plenty of restaurants. In the late season, we think this is a nice option, pleasantly busy but not too much. In Kalambaka, you will also find the tourist office, the train station, car/bicycle rental, a few small museums, and supermarkets. If you visit Meteora with kids in the summer months, you will need to make a reservation beforehand.

We stayed at the 4-star Divani Meteora Hotel. The renovated rooms have a beautiful view over the mountains and the spa with indoor pool is great for relaxing after a long day outdoors. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool offering breathtaking views of the rocks of Meteora. The pool is operating only during summer season. The hotel has family rooms and very convenient parking.

Click here for more information and booking at Divani Meteora Hotel

What to do in Meteora with Kids

Monasteries

All children will be amazed by the view over the monasteries on top of the strangely shaped mountains. Most of the six monasteries are open six days a week and great to visit with older children. Some of the monasteries have their own museums. The monastery of Megalou Meteorou is located on the highest and longest rock. Its Folklore Museum shows old tools and appliances, clothing and more. The Agia Triada monastery also hosts a Folklore Museum and in the museum of the Agios Stefanos monastery, you will find an impressive display of church items such as scripts, icons, silverware and fabrics. The climb up the stairs and the paths to the monasteries are not suitable for young kids and not stroller accessible. 

All monasteries of Meteora can be viewed by car. From Kalambaka or Kastraki there is a ring road of about 14 kilometres that you can easily drive yourself. Each monastery has its own parking space, after which it is a short walk to the entrance. Sometimes you have to climb before you reach the entrance. This is only recommended for older children.

Note that all monasteries close one day a week so please inquire in advance if the monastery you want to view is open.

If you want to visit the mountains and monasteries in Meteora with your family consider an organized family tour by private minibus. It will give your family a taste of the natural beauty and history of Meteora by making stops at the most important lookout points. Kids will not get tired and parents will feel relaxed. For families with young kids I would recommend the Half-Day Morning Tour from Kalampaka. You will move by a comfortable bus and visit 3 monasteries. Click here for more information and to book this tour.

Natural History Museum of Meteora

Monasteries are not the only things to do in Meteora. An absolute must visit in Meteora Greece with kids is the modern Natural History Museum of Meteora in Kalabaka. The museum also hosts a unique mushroom collection. The museum explains the geological and natural history of the area with a large fauna exhibition of 350 species of birds and mammals. These are exhibited in their natural environment and makes you travel you back in time. The museum organizes activities for children and family workshops.

For up to date information about opening hours, please follow this link: https://meteoramuseum.gr/en/ If you want to book ahead, buy your e-ticket for the Natural History Museum of Meteora and Mushroom Museum here.

Hiking in Meteora

The impressive character of the Meteora mountains and its astonishing nature makes it very suitable for hiking tours. Many local tour agencies organize accompanied walks for families. I recommend the Easy Hiking Adventure with kids. Your family gets to explore the beautiful landscape filled with history stories by the guide and the impressive monasteries hidden in the mountains. For more information, click here.

Sunsets

A great activity for everyone in Meteora is watching the beautiful sunset. The rocks in the area of Agios Stefanos are at the perfect place for this. Special Sunset Tours are available for families with older children. These tours take you along a few beautiful viewpoints and you visit even more special places along the way. Click here for more information about Sunset Tours in Meteora.

Best time to visit

Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Meteora Greece with kids. In the summer months, the temperature can easily rise to or even above 40 degrees. The temperatures outside the high season are wonderful and there is less pressure. In the winter it can be quite cold. Low hanging fog in the morning and snow makes the area regularly fairytale beautiful. Even the autumn colours, of which we already had a glimpse in mid-October, are spectacular.

Family Hotels in Meteora

There are several 4* hotels in Kalabaka and many smaller accommodations and guesthouses.

We stayed at the luxury 4*  Divani Meteora Hotel. The hotel has a small spa and a beautiful view of the monasteries and mountains. There are family rooms and an in – and an outdoor swimming pool.  There were many families at the hotel when we visited. 

Divani Meteora

Find more information and prices for Divani Meteora Hotel here.

Another 4* family suitable hotel is the Amalia Hotel Kalampaka. The hotel has family rooms, lots of green areas and an outdoor swimming pool. 

Amalia Hotel

Find more information and prices for Amalia Hotel Kalabaka here. 

Grand Meteora Hotel does not have family rooms but spacious suites with separate living rooms. The hotel is the latest addition to the area and offers a very rich breakfast and dining options.

Grand Meteora

Find more information and prices for Grand Meteora Hotel here.

Further away but an excellent and unique mountain family resort is Montanema HandMade Village near Lake Plastira. I have visited the resort in 2015 and I wrote about it in my post Montanema Handmade Village.

Have you already been to Meteora? If you liked this post, pin it for later!

Celeste

I am Celeste and this is my Family Travel Blog. The first and only one about Greece in English and Dutch with real stories. This is where I share my experiences on family travel and activities in Greece and tips on how to make wonderful family memories.

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Jennifer

    March 1, 2019

    Hi,
    Thanks for those tips !
    We are going to Meteora this summer with our kids (3 and 6). We carry the younger and the older is a good climber / walker. Are some of the monasteries easiest than others ? We won’t have our own car.
    We hesitate between Kalambaka and Trikala to book our hotel, is Kalambaka busy enough for the kids ? You know, play park area and other stuff they will like when they get bored of the churches and gromwn-up stuff !
    Thanks for answer,
    Jennifer

    • Reply

      Celeste

      March 1, 2019

      It’s great that you are visiting Meteora with kids! Some monasteries are easier to visit than others. Some have steep steps, some are wider and easier. Unfortunately, I do not remember the names of all individual monasteries but all of them are worth visiting. You can pick out the ones on the lower side of the mountains and with easier steps when you are there. But all are ok because young and old climb the steps there. Kalambaka is right there, Trikala is a bit further away. I would choose to stay in Kalambaka. There is an amazing natural history museum there and a mushroom museum that are excellent for children. There are paths to walk, to cycle and open spaces to play. I don’t remember seeing any playgrounds but I think you have more options in Kalambaka than in Trikala. Let me know if you need any further info! Celeste

  2. Reply

    eleni

    July 2, 2019

    Fantastic blog Celeste!

    With limited time and budget, can I ask whether you think one day will be enough when travelling with a 4 and 6 year old? And should that sway in selecting to stay in either Kastraki or Kalabaka? We are hoping to visit late August. Thank you so very much. Regards, Eleni

    • Reply

      Celeste

      July 2, 2019

      Hello Eleni, thank you very much for your kind feedback! I think you can definitely just feel the vibe and see the mountains and monasteries in one day in Meteora. August is hot thus you need to take it slow. The surroundings are so impressive, even without climbing the stairs to the monasteries, it is worth a visit. Both locations are fine, Kalabaka would be my first choice but as you said, it depends of the hotel prices and August is expensive. Will you have a car?

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I am Celeste, a mom of two (ages 7 and 10) who loves to travel. I live in Athens for 20 years and have travelled all over the mainland and islands of Greece. I did not stop that journey when I became a mother. I love to be out and about and to discover with my children. It became my passion to find unique family vacation destinations and experiences. I created Family Experiences Blog to inspire and to share remarkable places, quality activities and things to do with kids. Join me as I explore Greece with my family.

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