The Varlaam monastery on its rock pedestal
The Meteora are monasteries in north-east Greece, built on spectacular natural rock pillars. They were started in the 15th century as places of refuge in troubled times and access to them was extremely difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or a windlass and rope pulling up a net, for goods and humans.
Steps up to the Varlaam monastery
In about the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut in the rock that could be reached by rather flimsy bridges from the nearest solid rock. It is difficult to imagine how the monasteries were built on their pinnacles in the first place. Only a few of them are left now, tended by a few monks and nuns and visited by many tourists.
The Agia Triada or Holy Trinity monastery was used in the final scenes of the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
The monastery Agiou Stephanou (Holy Stephen's) is inhabited by nuns only.