The Best Photo Locations in Meteora, Greece

by | Apr 11, 2017 | Europe, Greece, Latest Posts, Photo Locations, Photography | 14 comments

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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.

Click here for the best Meteora Hotel Prices

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.

 Map of the best photo locations in Meteora

Map of our best photo locations in Meteora

 

You can check out a link to a detailed Google Map of the locations here.

 

 1 | Sunset Rock

The two best viewing areas in Meteora are up top and have panoramic views of 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 monasteries 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

 

 

Our Photography Gear

 

My main camera is a Nikon D7200 with the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lenses. Elaine uses the compact Fuji XT-10 for all her shots.

 Check out our gear page to see whats in our bag.

We also use Adobe Lightroom for editing all our photos and highly recommend it The combination of Lightroom and Photoshop for a small monthly fee is a fantastic deal – Check prices now!

Click here for the best Adobe Lightroom prices

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.

Want to improve your photos? We use Adobe Lightroom (the best photo cataloging and editing program out there) to edit all our photos and highly recommend it. The photography package also includes Photoshop for less than €13/$10 a month. Take your photos to the next level now, plus it includes Photoshop

Buy Lightroom now

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 | 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.

Roussanou

6 | 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

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.

Check out our post for tips on travelling with your drone here

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!

14 Comments

  1. Nicolae

    Hello from Romania and thanks for your generous and helpfull tips about Meteora. Please can you locate in google maps the first of the parking lots which does not have a monastery!

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Nicolae, glad you liked the tips. I’ve added a map of the locations to the article and a link to the google map where you can save the exact locations to your Google Maps account for when you visit. Have fun!

      Reply
  2. Jan

    Thanks a lot for the tips and great map!

    Reply
  3. Josue

    Wow! Great article and gorgeous photos. It will be very helpful for my visit in October.
    I wanted to ask you, do you think is possible to move around this spots in a few hours? I know, I know… but, sadly, that’s all I got in Meteora; a few hours in the afternoon. Besides hoping for clear skies and good weather, any recommendations?
    And about the Holy Trinity Monastery photo location, where did you park? Can you give a little more details on where to enter the hike? Was it short and easy?
    *Please take a look at numbers 5 and 6 in the map. I think they are switched in relation to the article.
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Josue. Glad you liked the article and photos. Thanks for the heads up – I’ve changed the order of 5 and 6 so they match the map. Hope it’s useful for your trip. If you have a car it is very easy to hit all these spots in a few hours. The locations are not far apart, however the elevation difference is a lot so it’s tough if you’re hiking. Not impossible by foot but it’ll be hard work and you wouldnt get into all of the monasteries. If you’re walking get a taxi to the furthest monestary (Stefanou) and hike back. This way you’ll get everything in one direction.

      For the Holy Trinity spot park along the straight road which leads up towards the monestary. Park along the right side at the first pull in. Then walk back down the hill to the sharp bend. Continue around the bend and just past it (the monestary will be on your left in the distance) there is a clearing . Hop the wall here and walk towards the monastery. Be careful to stay on open ground. If you enter bush you’ve gone wrong. And be careful hiking. If you’re not experienced don’t attempt this as there are sheer drops in places all around the paths of Meteora. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Josue

        Thank you very much, David. You are the best!
        Warmest regards.

        Reply
        • David Murray

          More than welcome Josue – have fun!

          Reply
  4. Np

    Wow,this is an awesome guide and I’ll definitely use it for next month. How long were you in Meteora? Did you go on any tours or did you find all of these spots on your own? Amazing photos, by the way!

    Reply
    • Elaine McArdle

      We spent two nights in Meteora. We had a rental car so didn’t do any tours, just drove around ourselves. It took a lot of research to find all the spots but they are all easily accessed! I saw a few people on scooters so think it’s also possible to rent one while there.

      Elaine

      Reply
      • Lisa L

        Hello Elaine,
        Beautiful photos and detail guide. Thank you. I was planning to just go for the basic half day monastery and sunset tours until I came across your article. I will be going to Kalambaka by train. Did you rent car at Kalambaka? If yes, can you please advise name & contact of car rental company? Thanks again.
        Regards
        Lisa

        Reply
        • Elaine McArdle

          Hi Lisa

          Glad it’s useful! We rented at Athens airport as we were driving around all of Greece. I don’t remember seeing any car rentals as Kalambaka wasn’t too big but we met some people who had hired scooters. For a car, I think you’d need to take the train to Larissa and pick up a car there – it’s about one hour drive from Meteora. Or from Kalambaka you could look into hiring a taxi with driver for the day. There were also some local buses that went around the Meteora monasteries but I’m not sure of the frequency.

          Elaine

          Reply
  5. Erica

    Hello and thank you for all your helpful tips. I will be traveling to Greece in May with a DJI drone. I read your article about traveling with a drone but was wondering how your experience was in Greece?

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Erica, when we travelled to Greece (April 2017) we had no problem with flying our DJI Mavic Pro. The exceptions being Athens city and Santorini where there were restrictions. Otherwise it was probably the best place we’ve flown the drone. These laws are constantly changing since so it’s worth checking out more up to date information. From what I can tell recreational use is permitted but for commercial shooting you’ll now need a licence, but do check the forums for more info

      Reply

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