Varlaam (Barlaam) Monastery, Meteora, Greece

Varlaam monastery Meteora Greece

Entry to the Varlaam (Barlaam) Monastery is quite easy. Safe, wide steps have been cut into the rock and it's not as far to climb as the steps to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Meteora. If you're not especially fit, then this is a good monastery to choose. Entry is by ticket; it cost us 2 Euros each at the door. Women have to wear a skirt and cover bare arms, so since I was wearing trousers and a short sleeved T-shirt, had to don an elasticated cotton skirt over my trousers and tie a wrap over my top. Skirts to below the knee seem to be preferred dress for women. Peasant style, I was now deemed appropriately dressed to enter this sacred place. Appropriate dress code for men is long trousers and a long sleeved shirt.

An example of the skirt worn even over trousers for women at the Meteora monasteriesEntry for tourists is restricted to the church, a 2 room museum, and gift shop. The small museum has several historic treasures on display. There is a small collection of hand-written illuminated religious books, a cabinet of beautifully crafted and gold and silver communion goblets, heavily embroidered robes for special occasions, lecterns inlaid with ivory and mother of pearl, plus other religious items.

The adjoining bookshop sells a small selection of books in various common languages, about the history of Meteora, the Byzantine monasteries and the Orthodox faith.