Meteora is a formation of dark coloured sandstone rocks which rise outside Kalabaka, near the mountains of Pindos and Chasia. The monasteries in Meteora, built on the top of some of the rocks, are second in importance only to mount Athos.
Out of the 30 that have existed historically, only six are still functioning. All six of them are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The average altitude is 313 meters.
Studies have shown that the rocks formed approximately 65 million years ago, during the Paleogene Period. The disintegration, the corrosion and the earthquakes formed the rocks into the shape they have today. The name Meteora is attributed to the owner of the Great Meteorou monastery, Saint Athanasios the Meteoritan, who named the Broad Rock “Meteoron” when he climbed it for the first time in 1344.