1 - 2 Hours
One Per Person
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Varlaam Monastery Tour
Discover a world of faith and serenity with this self-guided walking tour of the Monastery of Varlaam in Greece! This majestic monastery perched high atop a cliff holds tons of fascinating history dating back centuries. Learn about the saints who built it against the odds, discover the meaning behind the monastery’s icons, and marvel at awe-inspiring art and architecture. This tour immerses you in history, Orthodox traditions, Byzantine artistry, plus spectacular views and peaceful contemplation.
About the Tour
Your tour begins at the Monastery of Varlaam parking area. From there, you’ll embark on a spiritual journey to the Monastery of Varlaam, a celestial haven nestled amidst the towering sandstone cliffs of Meteora, Greece. Delve deep into the remarkable Byzantine history, Orthodox traditions, and exquisite artistry that resonate within its ancient walls.
As you navigate through this timeless sanctuary, you’ll unravel fascinating facets of its origins. Discover the intriguing tales of the ascetic hermit who first sought refuge here and after whom the Monastery is named. Learn about the arduous process of constructing this architectural marvel atop this formidable pillar of rock, and how it transformed from a solitary hermitage to a revered Monastery.
As you step into the outer courtyard, be prepared to marvel at the grandeur of the sprawling monastery complex. The tour then guides you to the pro-narthex, adorned with intricate frescoes depicting biblical scenes and Orthodox saints, offering a preview of the artistic magnificence within.
Experience a moment of quiet contemplation in the candle lighting area before you step into the narthex, a spiritual haven filled with stunning frescoes. Don’t miss the niche, an alcove adorned with sacred icons and offerings, where you’ll find the church’s most famous relics.
Your journey continues into the nave, the heart of the Monastery, where religious ceremonies and liturgical chants fill the air. See the talandon and the simandron, traditional Orthodox instruments used to summon monks to prayer, and find out why such tools were invented.
As you ascend to the tower balcony, prepare to be rewarded with panoramic views of the Thessalian plains. Pause at the cemetery, an intimate space dedicated to the monks who dedicated their lives to this divine retreat.
Your next stop, the Monastery Museum, houses a rich collection of religious relics, manuscripts, and artifacts that provide insights into the Monastery’s fascinating past. Spend a moment in the Chapel of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, a quaint sanctuary that exudes tranquility.
Before ending your tour, don’t forget to visit the Monastery gift shop. Take home a piece of Varlaam’s spiritual legacy and remember your journey from ancient times to the modern day. This immersive experience is filled with captivating narratives that spring to life as you navigate through the Monastery, offering you the liberty to discover Varlaam’s wonders at your own pace. Even better, it has been approved by the Monastery’s Abbot himself!
Where to start?
Start tour tour from Monastery of Varlaam, Meteora, Kalambaka 422 00, Greece
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
Preview The Tour
The Monastery of Varlaam in Greece is known for its stunning location atop sandstone cliffs in Meteora, its rich Byzantine history, Orthodox traditions, and exquisite artistry.
The Monastery of Varlaam was originally built by an ascetic hermit. Its construction began centuries ago and evolved from a solitary hermitage to a revered Monastery.
In the narthex of the Monastery, you can expect to see stunning frescoes depicting biblical scenes and Orthodox saints, providing a preview of the artistic magnificence within.
The Monastery Museum houses a rich collection of religious relics, manuscripts, and artifacts that offer insights into the Monastery’s fascinating history and past.
The niche in the Monastery is an alcove adorned with sacred icons and offerings, including the church’s most famous relics, making it a place of reverence.
Traditional Orthodox instruments called “talandon” and “simandron” are used to summon monks to prayer in the Monastery. Learn about their significance during your tour.
Yes, as you ascend to the tower balcony, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Thessalian plains, offering a breathtaking vista.
St. Cosmas and St. Damian are saints, and their chapel in the Monastery exudes tranquility. Learn about their significance and the chapel’s role during your visit.
Yes, the Monastery gift shop offers souvenirs that allow you to take home a piece of Varlaam’s spiritual legacy and remember your journey.
The Monastery of Varlaam in Meteora is accessible by car, you can easilly access the tour from Action Tour Guide.
The best time to visit the Monastery of Varlaam for favorable weather is during the spring and fall when temperatures are milder and the skies are clear.
Visitors to the Monastery of Varlaam are advised to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees. This is out of respect for the religious setting.
Photography policies may vary, but generally, photography is allowed in certain areas of the Monastery. Respect any signage and guidelines.
The duration of the self-guided tour can vary based on your pace and interest level, but it typically takes around 1 to 2 hours to explore the Monastery thoroughly.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.