Walks in the countryside and wildlife around Meteora, Greece


We enjoyed several walks in the countryside around Meteora rocks. A dirt track leads downhill from the Pension Arsenis, which we followed this for a short distance. Pretty, flower strewn grass verges lead down into grey-green olive groves. The gentle tinkling of bells brought us across a flock of goats and sheep also enjoying the spring weather. Sheep dogs responsible for the flock very efficiently led them away from us and down the hillside. We saw a couple of birds of prey circling in the sky. A little further along, more dogs started barking loudly as we approached a farm. This was sufficient to stop us in our tracks and cause us to turn back.

Small flocks of goats and sheep wander around the countryside in MeteoraThere were a few interesting experiences with Greek sheep dogs. We were amazed one evening to see a string of cows returning to the farm down in the valley from the high meadows. They were escorted by dogs alone, without any human supervision. These were then followed by a large herd of sheep and goats. The dogs amazed us with their cleverness except when they tried to round up the car. One dog kept jumping in front of it to try to get us to stop. Naturally we didn't want to hurt it, and drove at a careful speed for several hundred metres before it gave up the chase.

One of the sad things about driving in Greece is the number of dead dogs seen by the roadside. People unfortunately allow their dogs to wander at will and care has to be taken when approaching a town or village. However, people are also able to wander at will. Fences are rare around Meteora which makes it a pleasure to be able to walk anywhere you wish and fully appreciate the countryside.

We're not especially knowledgeable about birds, but recognised jays, finches, sparrows, grey and black jackdaws, and eagles. A few butterflies fluttered past on occasion. There were several large and grotesque black beetles. Lizards were just beginning to emerge from their winter sleep. We noticed a small spotted variety and a plain brown, but didn't see any snakes or tortoises at all (snakes are common in rural areas of Greece).