Meteora is home to the incredible “suspended” monasteries which attract hordes of tourists every year. The best time to visit the monasteries is, without a doubt, spring . Allow for at least a day to visit the monasteries.
The nearest town is Kalampaka* and both trains and buses stop there. The tranquil city is located right under the imposing rocks. From here, you can either take a bus or embark on a long hike to get to the monasteries.
There are direct trains between Athens and Kalampaka/Kalambaka. All are InterCity, high-speed trains. There are several departures a day (earliest at 6:50 a.m. and latest at 11:59 p.m.). The OSE website (Greek railways) is a bit hard to navigate, but switch to English and you’ll get the hang of it
There is a direct train, leaving daily at 8:27 a.m. It takes about 5 h and the web price starts at 16.50 euros (the full price starts at 18.30 euros).
There are also indirect trains via Palaeofarsaros. The travel duration is between 5 h and 9 h, depending on the connections. Prices (web) range between 13 euros and 23.90 euros.
Pay attention that most trains are delayed (due to weather, for example). So pay attention when you choose a connecting train.
The buses to Kalampaka/Meteora depart from Terminal B (Liosson Street). There are departures daily starting from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. (here’s a schedule ; look for Trikala/Meteora) . The journey takes 4 h 30 min to Trikala. Allow another 3 1/2 h to get to Meteora. The price is about €30 per person one way.**
If you have a driver’s license and are comfortable driving on the rather hectic Greek roads, then renting a car is the probably the best way to get from Athens to Meteora.
The driving distance between Athens and Meteora is 357 km. Follow the road to Trikala and then to Meteora. The route is as follows: Athens – Lamia – Domokos – Karditsa – Trikala- Kalampaka. You should be able to get to Meteora in about 4 hours (of course it depends on the traffic).
Here’s a map to help with the directions:
>>Getting from Athens to Thessaloniki
>>Getting from Athens to Piraeus
>> Getting from Athens to Santorini
>>Getting to Halkidiki
>>Getting from Athens to Istanbul
>>Getting from Athens to Corfu
>>Getting from Hydra to Santorini (and return)
>>Getting from Thessaloniki to Kavala
*the correct name of the city is Kalampaka not Kalambaka, although you will find it spelled both ways.
The article was first published in May 2009 and updated in August 2012.