Monasteries of Central Greece Drone Flying Experience
Meteora is a magical place, where a thousand years ago monks started building monasteries perched atop extraordinary rock formations several hundred metres tall. The name means “suspended in the air”, which is what the monasteries appear to do. The opportunities to capture spell-binding images and video here are boundless.
Deep in the heart of Central Greece, this is a part of Greece much less visited by tourists than the better-known coastal areas. The scenery everywhere is stunning. The landscape largely unspoiled. The people incredibly hospitable, and the food incredibly good.
We are delighted to have as our guide the award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer George Blonsky. He knows this area inside-out, being half-Greek, and having brought traditional photography tours here for several years.
As well as the monasteries of Meteora (where because of a recent change in the law we will be shooting with traditional cameras and flying some distance from the monasteries themselves, outside the newly introduced No Fly Zone), we will also visit the stunning, unique, deserted, post-Byzantine “Church of the Holy Cross” high in the mountains North of Meteora, and Metsovo, a beautiful mountain-top village, and the spectacular lake next to it, where the Autumn colours in the trees are achingly beautiful at the time of year we will be visiting. Also the monastery at Proussos, set high on a vertical rock face, the mountains of Pertouli, and the lake at Kremaston.
At a Glance
- Day 1
Arrive at Thessaloniki Airport to be greeted by George Blonsky and Alan Proto. There are plenty of flight options to choose from, from all the Urs major airports. The majority of flights from the UK arrive early evening into Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, so we head to a local taverna for a hearty dinner before staying overnight in a hotel here.
- Day 2
It’s a scenic approximately 3 hours drive in our comfortable air-conditioned minibus to Meteora. Driving first through an enormous river delta known locally as “Gala” meaning milk. This was the bread-basket that fed the army of Alexander the Great, who was born here. An area so fertile it is said that if you put a dead stick in the ground, you will have fruit in a year. Then climbing high into the hills, watching the sky going a deeper and deeper blue as we climb. Eat lunch at a local taverna, and then check into our hotel for the next three nights. Our home is the Hotel Doupiani, the best hotel in the area. Set in spacious well-tended grounds, with lovely views of the spectacular local rock formations, plenty of places to sit and unwind indoors and outdoors, comfortable ensuite rooms, and an excellent cooked breakfast. As the sun sets, we make our first drone flights near the Meteora Monasteries.
- Day 3
In the morning, drive an hour up into the mountains to visit the deserted post-Byzantine Church of the Cross near Doliana. Lunch at a tiny taverna in Doliana where the locals are all drinking Retsina with their lunch – in October 2018 I ate the most tender chicken I have ever eaten here. In the afternoon, experiment with taking hyper-lapse video of the clouds skirting the mountain tops, and the snaking road as it goes over a high mountain pass. Dinner at the best restaurant in Kalambaka, featuring cross-over dishes featuring a modern twist on Greek classics.
- Day 4
An early start for the drive South to Lake Kremaston and the Proussos Monastery, set high on a vertical cliff face. The Autumn colours are incredible, the sense of peace in these places spectacular.
- Day 5
Rest day. Enjoy a lie-in, before reviewing photographs and video, and comparing them with your companions. Lunch in the main square in the nearby bustling town of Kalambaka. Take a look at post-production using Lightroom (Photos) and iMovie (Video) in the afternoon. Return to the monasteries at dusk if we think the light is better than on previous evenings.
- Day 6
It’s a two hour drive to the picture-box pretty mountain village of Metsovo for lunch. In the afternoon, we will fly at two different locations around the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Lake Aoos. Return to Metsovo to spend our last night in a comfortable hotel in the village.
- Day 7
Return to Thessaloniki, arriving at the airport at 11am, for flights back to the UK. Note that you can extend your trip if you would like to in a number of ways. There are 5***** hotels and resorts all along this coastline if you fancy chilling for a couple of days. Or you can retain George and head back inland to another of his favourite places, Lake Kerkini, to photograph the wildlife. Talk to us about these and other options, we are here to help.
Images of Monasteries of Central Greece
The first night is at a hotel in Thessaloniki. The following three nights are at Hotel Doupiani near the Meteora Monasteries and the final two nights are at a hotel in Metsovo.
- Single occupancy
- Breakfast included
For tours outside of the UK, we will select a recommended flight which will depart from a London airport to the destination. In most cases (unless stated otherwise), the tour leaders will greet you at the destination airport from this flight and return you to the airport at the end of the tour.
Please DO NOT book your flights until advised to do so by the office. Tours have to become viable before we select the recommended flight.
Once a tour has enough bookings to make it viable, you will receive an email to alert you that the recommended flights have been uploaded to your client area on the website.
You are welcome to make alternative travel arrangements. If doing so, please ensure you are at the destination airport for the arrival time of the recommended flight to ensure you can take the transfer to the hotel. Alternatively, you can arrange your own transfers and meet the group at the hotel on the first night.
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