Meteora Valley is a location in 80 Days. It is the site of one of the largest Greek Orthodox monasteries in Greece. Despite it being a valley, the monasteries are built upon great stone pillars that stretch high into the sky; indeed, it is said that pilgrims come from all over because it is a site that is so close to heaven.
In one of monasteries Phileas Fogg and Passepartout can meet the Levitating Atheists of Varlaam, named after the rock on which their holy site rests. The monks of this order use the chimney-stacks and canvas parachutes, powered by the plume of the boiler below the monastery, to rise swiftly into the air and descend gracefully to the ground, all without divine protection. One monk will offer Passepartout a chance, if he wishes, to try this experience out for himself; to see the world as it truly is and hopefully make an atheist out of him yet. The feel of soaring through the air leaves Passepartout with a sense of wonder and breathlessness, and even if he does not see any possible ways onward while in the air it will still be a remarkable experience for him, though Fogg will see it as a waste.