Visit Meteora with KIDS – Getting There From Athens
Visit Meteora with KIDS – How to Get there from Athens
The Meteora mountains and the monasteries on top are something right out of story books. Sheer rocks rise up out of the landscape above the lovely town of Kalambaka. I was so excited to see this fascinating place and it was even more magical than I hoped! You will definitely want to add this to the long list of places you need to see when you visit Greece.
We stayed at the fantastic Alsos House run by Yannis and highly recommend it. Read about this great hotel choice here!
Most trips to Greece start in Athens, and that is exactly how ours started. Who goes to Greece and misses out on the Acropolis and Parthenon? No one, of course which is why the ‘how to get there’ is from Athens.
Visit Meteora with KIDS – Getting there from Athens – Train
We just love to take a regional train when we get a chance. This way everyone gets to enjoy the view without worries about reading the signs and paying attention to the rules of the road – especially when those rules are different from the ones at home. You can stretch out your legs, use the restroom, and visit the dining car which makes the journey relaxing for everyone.
Meteora is about 4 1/2 hours from Athens. I say ‘about’ because schedules in Greece are a little lax. Our train left a little late..the stops on the way were a little longer/shorter than on the schedule so our trip was a little longer than 4 1/2 hours. This wasn’t a problem in the least because the train was comfortable and the scenery beautiful. Take a deep breath and relax – do like the Greeks do and slow down!
When you travel by train – go for the highest class of ticket you can afford. Unilke airline tickets, where first class tickets are almost twice the cost of coach, the price difference between train ticket classes isn’t as much as you might think. At least check out the cost to see if you can swing it.
Why? First class seats are only 6 in a separate room which allows you to have some peace and quiet. AND the seats extend so you can stretch out like you do in a Lazy Boy recliner like at home. If you know the person across from us as we did you can extend the seats to meet in the middle and really stretch out.
Also in the first class section was a padded play room for kids. I have never seen this on a train and it is a perfectly brilliant idea. If you travel with a crawling or toddling little one – this is worth the price of a first class ticket alone! On this trip a family with three young girls passed the time in this car. As we walked back and forth just stretching our legs, I saw all the littles playing happily and stretching out. Then, one by one they all fell asleep. The last time I passed by it looked like nap time in a preschool.
The dining car had a small menu for food and a large menu for drinks. Coffees, sodas, water, and juice of all sorts were available and the dining car was full of business men sipping coffee and typing on lap tops.
Buy your tickets online ahead of time for peace of mind. The easiest way to buy tickets is to use the information on THIS link from Visit Meteora. Considering some of the train ticket website is in Greek you’ll need help if you aren’t a native speaker.
Visit Meteora with KIDS – Getting there from Athens – Bus
The KTEL bus company has 108 buses with all the modern amenities like ac and bathrooms. Round trip tickets for one person in a group of at least 3 cost 40 euros each. This link gives all the information you need to buy online bus tickets from Athens to Kalambaka.
Visit Meteora with KIDS – Getting there from Athens – Rental Car
You can easily drive from Athens to Kalambaka. The roads are great and modern. People drive on the right side of the road so if you are comfortable with driving on a freeway in the US then you’ll do fine here. BUT…driving in the heart of Athens can be so crazy with traffic, etc. that some rental car companies take you to the edge of Athens and then let you take the rental car from there.
Pick up your rental car from the airport when you arrive. These companies might look familiar! Consider going through a site like Hotwire or Expedia to compare prices and make sure you get the best one.
We rented a convertible in Santorini! It was great to take our time exploring the island and stopping whenever we wanted to get a better look at the gorgeous views.
Visit Meteora with KIDS – Getting there from Athens – Private Car
Another great way to get around when you travel is by private car. This gives you the ultimate flexibility and it is often else expensive than you might guess. Always look into all of your options to be sure you are choosing the best one.
We chose a private car to take us from Kalambaka, where the Meteora mountains are located, through Delphi and then back to Athens. The private car cost $150 more than taking the train.
What did we get for that extra $150 we paid for the private car?
Firstly, we were able to choose when we left Kalambaka. We are not super early birds so we left at 9:30.
Hiring a private car allowed us to leave the more decent hour than catching the train which left at 5:30 am. Remember, if the train leaves at 5:30, you have to be up, dressed, packed and at the train station before that. WAY too early for us.
Secondly, we were able to spend as much or as little time in Delphi as we wanted. You never know about a new place. Will you love it and want to stay and savor? Will it not be your favorite and you are ready to leave after a short time?
Thirdly, hiring a car allowed us to stop for coffee and potty breaks on the way.
Fourthly, we left our bags in the car.
When you take the train to a place to visit, like Delphi, you have to consider what you will do with your bags. Hiring a car allows you to leave the bags safely while you see the sights.
We chose Visit Meteora for our tours of the monasteries and for our private car to Delphi. We had a great experience!
Visiting Greece? You’ll enjoy these related posts:
Natalie, The Educational Tourist