Metéora, Greece

We flew from Crete to Athens, picked up another rental car, and headed northwest to Kastraki. My husband had found a great deal on a hotel there, but because we had so many places to visit, we only stayed for one night, which was a shame for a couple of reasons.

First of all, the hotel, Pyrgos Adrachti, was fantastic; we paid just 50 euros for a large, ground floor room with a phenomenal view, one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in (the only other contender was at the Luxor Hotel Las Vegas), and a great breakfast. As an added bonus, the owner is an amazing photographer – we spent ages admiring photos on his computer.

View from Pyrgos Adrachti
View from our room ↑
Monastery in Metéora ↓
Monastery in Metéora

In addition, the area was even more spectacular than we’d imagined or seen in photos. Kastraki is home to Metéora (which means “suspended in mid-air”), an area full of extremely tall, sandstone rock pillars that wouldn’t look out of place in a movie about an alien planet. There are monasteries built on top of six of these pillars, which just adds to the slightly surreal but stunning quality of the whole region. We visited one of the monasteries (I was obliged to tie a floor-length skirt around my waist to hide my pants, a painless but nonetheless bizarre concession to the monks’ traditions) and drove around the area, looking for the best view of the other monasteries.

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