In case you haven’t asked yourselves yet; why this question? Because they are the two important & popular sites that are farthest from Athens.
(i) METEORA monasteries (at Kalabaka town) is a good four-hour drive (or less) by a private car/tour.
Here are your options; all of them!!!
- Rent a car and pay attention to the GPS and the Greek drivers. It is doable but with the obvious disadvantages or safety, anxiety, not enjoying the tour but concentrating to where you go, where you park your car, where you stop and eat, bla, bla, bla!
- A tour bus will take about 5 hours each way plus the pick-up and drop off of all the passengers from their Athens hotels or pick up locations. They will usually do it as a 2-day or multiday tour since the obvious tour bus delays would make a day tour almost impossible or extremely looooong!
- The train is a solution offered by some agencies and will also take a similar time to travel plus your taxi to and from your Athens hotel and the local transfer to the Meteora monasteries. Long long day with issues such as two trains to change, air conditioning not working, etc.
The previous options are cheaper (than the ones below) and you are not supposed to complain in your review for the obvious issues of such tours!
- Of course, you can do the day tour to Meteora privately with several agencies like ourselves.
- We also suggest that you do the tour as a 2day/1night tour to Delphi & Meteora since they are in the same direction. This will split the distance and make the experience easier in terms of driving distances which includes several stops. Delphi will not only be the stepping stone to Meteora but it is a UNESCO site that is at the top of the list of visitors to Athens and Greece.
Both of our tours include lunch and accommodation. And yes, you’ve guessed well, we suggest you do it privately and as a 2day tour with Delphi!
(ii) ANCIENT OLYMPIA is a shorter -more manageable- 3.5 hour (or less) drive by a private car/tour.
The options are similar to visiting Meteora but with some differences.
(1) There is no train or easy/decent public transport!
(2) Many tour buses as part of their multiday tours.
(3) Just like Meteora, you can also do it as a full-day tour and back to your base in Athens. A little bit easier than Delphi!
(4) Since you are on the Mythical Peloponnese region which is full of ancient sites and amazing things to see and do, there are several “stepping stones” to “invest” in a 2-day (at least!) tour and visit Ancient Olympia, like:
- The mountain villages and cliff-hanging monasteries of Arcadia.
- Sparta/Mystras, Mani, Monemvasia, Nafplio/Mycenae/Epidaurus, and more.
- Ancient Corinth and canal, the Cave of Lakes, the Odontotos rack railway.