The Best Photo Locations in Meteora, Greece

by | Apr 11, 2017 | Europe, Greece, Latest Posts, Photography

Meteora is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places we’ve ever visited and it quickly took its place as the highlight of our Greece road trip. The iconic monasteries precariously balanced on the top of limestone rock pillars are just as spectacular in person as the photos portray. We’ve put together a list of our best photo spots in Meteora: it’s our guide on where to take the best pictures in Meteora. Enjoy!

Meteora photography tip: Our biggest tip for photographing Meteora is to stay in the area for a few days as capturing Meteora at its finest requires some good weather to bring the all important clear skies at sunrise and sunset. Fog hits Meteora quite frequently so it’s good to allow a time buffer. Hotels in Meteora are reasonably priced so it’s easy to extend a stay to a few days: we stayed in the Hotel Doupiani House a boutique size hotel close to the monasteries with great views, lovely rooms and a delicious breakfast. We also loved the Grand Hotel Meteora for its stunning views and the Hotel Meteora for both its views and the gorgeous swimming pool situated under the backdrop of the monasteries.

Remember: Meteora has lots of uneven ground, steep drops and dense undergrowth. All the locations we’ve mentioned are well trodden routes but do be aware of where you are walking and don’t get distracted by photography.

1 | Sunset Rock

The two best viewing areas in Meteora are up top and have panoramic views over the valley and its monasteries. They are marked by parking signs where there are no monasteries nearby: the first is known locally as Sunset Rock, arguably the best location for sunset in Meteora, and the second doesn’t have a name but we’ve nicknamed it Sunrise Rock, check out number 2 for more details.

We visited Sunset Rock a number of times during our time in Meteora as it has the best view of the valley and monasteries and the Meteora rock formations and is ideal sunset viewpoint. From here you can see the sunset casting a soft light across the valley and lighting up the monastaries with a golden glow.

Photo Location: Sunset Rock is located at the top of Meteora in the first of the parking lots which does not have a monastery.

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Sunset from the front of Sunset Rock

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The monasteries basking in the golden sunset glow

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Sunset rock and its awesome views

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Sunset over the valley

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‘You keep me safe, I’ll keep you wild’. Sunset Rock is also a great option for sunrise

2 | Sunrise Rock

Our favourite Meteora viewpoint doesn’t have a name so we’ve nicknamed it Sunrise Rock as it is an amazing spot from which to capture the sunrise! Due to the high rock columns and deep valley of Meteora the morning rays take a long time to illuminate the valley resulting in strong contrasting shadows which can be difficult to photograph. Sunrise Rock has the highest elevation and hence the high vantage point which makes for the best sunrise opportunities and helps avoid the dark shadows cast by the rock formations.

Photo Location: Sunrise Point is located behind the next car park along the road after passing Sunset Rock.

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The Meteora valley awakening at sunrise

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The vastness of the valley makes for some great pics. Captured on our drone.

3 | St Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery

The St Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery, perched atop a tiny rock, is other worldly and a true Meteora icon.

Photo Location: pull in opposite the entrance to the Roussanou Monastery.

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St Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery at sunset

4 | Varlaam Monastery

The second biggest monastery in Meteora was built during the 14th Century and has a stunning setting surrounded by the hills of Meteora with Roussanou in the background. It’s also a great location for sunrise.

Photo Location: park at the Great Metereon car park and walk back down the road towards Varlaam. Turn right out onto the grassy verge which lies between Varlaam and Great Metereon and walk down the path below.

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Varlaam Monastery

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Perfect for some selfie action!

Another great angle is Varlaam from the Great Metereon monastery where there are some really great natural frames of Varlaam.

Photo location: Both the steps up to Great Metereon and from inside Metereon itself have good angles.

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Varlaam from Great Metereon

5 | Holy Trinity Monastery

One of the most iconic images of Meteora is that of Holy Trinity Monastery sitting perched upon a vertical column of rock. It’s the least visited of the monasteries, likely due to the difficulty of accessing it!

Photo Location: We found the best location required a little hiking and a scramble down the bank from the road to an elevated stretch of rock located in front of the monastery. To access the rock hike down from the apex of the bend, across the open grassy area and along the hiking path to the elevated rock.

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Holy Trinity Monastery

6 | Roussanou Monastery 

There are a number of good photo locations for Roussanou. The first is from the roadside as you approach Sunset Rock where the angle is great to capture the contrast of the monastery against the backdrop of the Meteora hills.

Our second favourite location was from Sunset Point, where you can get great shots of Roussanou with Nicholas and Great Metereon on the background.

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Roussanou

Meteora by Drone  

Meteora is a stunning location to capture by drone and, with no flying restrictions in place yet, it’s the perfect spot to focus on some aerial photography. We used our awesome travel companion, the DJI Mavic drone, to get some unforgettable shots of Meteora that we’ll never forget.

Photo location: the best locations were around Great Metereon/ Varlaam and from Sunset Rock.

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Meteora from the sky

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Other worldly

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Sunrise flying

Where To Stay in Meteora

Hotels in Meteora are reasonably priced so it’s easy to extend a stay to a few days. Our favourite hotels were:

  • Hotel Doupiani House: We stayed in this boutique size hotel close to the monasteries with great views, lovely rooms and a delicious breakfast. Check the prices here.
  • Hotel Meteora: for both its views and gorgeous swimming pool situated under the backdrop of the monasteries. There’s nothing better than jumping into a pool after a hard day hiking! Check the latest prices here.
  • Grand Hotel Meteora: We loved the very new Grand Hotel Meteora for its stunning views. Check the prices here.
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The view from our room at the Hotel Doupiani House

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Our three faves

Photography Gear: what we used to shoot Meteora

My main camera is currently a Nikon D7200 with the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. Elaine uses a Fuji XT 10 for all her shots. We use Adobe Lightroom for editing all our photos and highly recommend (we pay €12.29 a month for a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop which is a fantastic deal).

Meteora photography tip: Check out our photography gear page to see what else is in our bag.

 Tips for Photographing Meteora

  • As always one of the key considerations when photographing Meteora is the light and time of day. The Greek sunlight is extremely harsh during the day and as a result most of the day time photos will look washed out unless you try for high contrast black and white images.
  • During our visit the light was best during the golden hour before sunset when the golden tones flooded the valley and lit up the entire area. Light is also good during sunrise with the early morning light casting large shadows through the valley.
  • As above, be careful and don’t go off piste!

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