The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above") is one of the largest and most important complex of monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.
The monasteries are built on spectacular natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Peneios river and Pindos Mountains, in central Greece.
The Metéora is home to six monasteries and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Although it is unknown when Metéora was established, as early as the 11th century AD hermit monks were believed to be living among the caves and cutouts in the rocks. By the late 11th or early 12th century a rudimentary monastic state had formed called the Skete of Stagoi and was centered around the church of Theotokos (mother of God), which still stands today. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the 14th century but only six remain occupied today.
The Pindos (Greek: Πίνδος) mountain range is located in northern Greece and southern Albania and is approximately 160 km long, with a maximum elevation of 2,637m at the peak of Mount Smolikas. Often called the "spine of Greece", the mountain range stretches from near the Greek-Albanian borders in Northern Epirus runs through the Epirus & Macedonia regions all the way down to the northern edge of the Peloponnese.
The Pindos ecoregion covers a wide range of elevations and habitats, from deep canyons & gorges to steep mountains and the wide range in altitude results in two major forest zones:
A coniferous zone, with trees such as a subspecies of Austrian Pine and the endemic Greek Fir characterizing the highest elevations and Juniper woodlands dominating near the treeline;
A mixed broadleaf forest zone dominates the valleys and gorges of the middle and lower elevations.
Large breeding colonies of herons, spoonbills, egrets and pelicans fish the cool waters of the mountain lakes of the Pindos Mountains and this is one of the few areas in Europe where the rare and endangered Dalmatian Pelican can be found as well as wolves, jackals and bears.
Meteora & Western Pindos
7 day landscape photography workshop
Taking in the breathtaking Byzantine monasteries Meteora for a day or two before moving on across the Pindos range to the western face of the mountain range where we will base ourselves in the beautiful traditional village of Monodendri staying in a lovely little boutique hotel.
From here we will explore various walks and hikes in and around the awesome Vikos Gorge whose butressed towers make it the deepest gorge in Europe and a truly stunning spectacle.
One of the last great European wildernesses where bears, wild boars, roe deer, jackals, wolves and even wild horses still roam free.
My philosophy is a very hands-on approach and it is my belief that "in the field" photography experiences to create professional quality images in some of the most beautiful locations are a far better way of learning. You will build practical experience by applying traditional photo skills that I will teach you as well as advanced techniques that will help you build further on the skills you already have.
There is no better way to learn photography than to be in the field with a professional photographer taking pictures and adjusting your exposures, compositions and creative ideas live and immediately whilst shooting. Our photography workshops will help coalesce two dimensional classroom theories into three dimensional in-the-field realities which will help you produce uniquely beautiful images and give you the tools to develop your own photographic vision.
Our groups are a maximum of 5 allowing us the time to tailor our courses to you personally and to teach you the techniques that you would like to learn.. from long-exposure photography of moving water... to panoramics which we will stitch together in photoshop... to time-lapse videos.
Ideal camera equipment to help you gain the most of your week with us would be a standard digital SLR camera with a wide and a telephoto lens... you will also be needing a tripod and you will also need your laptop to download, store and adjust all your images... but we will give you a complete suggested packing list on confirmation of your booking.
In addition... we can also go through some computer techniques... everything from archiving and cataloguing your photo collection in Lightroom to exporting your raw files using Lightroom and/or Capture One to working on and fine tuning your images in Photoshop... depending on time available and youre energy levels as we will be spending a lot of time out shooting..!
Here’s a sample of what this trip involves from my YouTube Channel… but I can’t wait to take you there in person so you can experience it for yourselves..!
all accommodations for the duration of your stay on a no-share basis with NO single supplement staying in small 3 & 4 star Boutique Hotels
breakfasts, lunches & dinners (lunches will normally be of the "packed" variety so that we don't cut short trips into the lake or mountains by having to return to the hotel or village to eat)...;
refreshments on excursions;
transfers to and from Thessaloniki airport and all “in-tour” transportation;
Flights should be booked to Thessaloniki Airport where you will be met... check out RyanAir or Aegean Airlines for flights direct to Thessaloniki.. or alternatively you can fly to Athens and connect to Thessaloniki.. booked separately internal flights with Olympic or Aegean are usually quite cheap from Athens to Thessaloniki and there are usually more than 5 flights a day to choose from..
We cannot undertake to make any of your travel arrangements to Greece including arranging Visas & Travel Permits for non-EU citizens; Note: All our current trips are within the European Union, so please ensure you have the necessary travel documents & Visas necessary to visit any EU country before booking your flight tickets or your place on one of our trips. We cannot arrange these for you.
What's not included...
Insurance (recommended you have full health, medical, travel and equipment insurance);
alcoholic drinks & other speciality beverages - cappucinos, lattés etc..;
personal expenses - tips/gratuities, snacks etc..
Whilst we try to adapt every tour itinerary to the physical abilities of our guests, these tours do require a reasonable level of fitness in order to undertake some of the walks and hikes which can vary from mild walks through forests to steep hikes up mountain paths.. depending on your fitness level we will either stick to the milder routes or adventure in to the more strenuous routes.... generally if you can walk with your kit for a few hours you will be fine.
25/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
Meteora & Western Pindos
Landscape photography workshop taking in the magical and mystical Byzantine monasteries of the Meteora as well as the rugged country of the western Pindos mountains.