How To Get From Athens to Meteora

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Written By: Pavlos Inglesis

athens to meteora
The best way to go from Athens to Meteora is by train and, to be more precise, by 2 trains as you have to change in Trikala town and get on another train to Kalambaka (the town closest to Meteora Monasteries and rocks); I highly recommend though you just book a guided tour like this one that also includes all train tickets and tours there

You basically have 4 ways to get from Athens to Meteora:

  • Public Intercity Train from Athens to Trikala (4.5 hours) and then a second train from Trikala to Kalabaka (20 minutes), and then a taxi to actually take you to the monasteries/rocks or just walk for about 1 hour (uphill)
  • Licensed Guided Tour that includes all train tickets from Athens to Trikala and Kalabaka, a tour guide that will explain to you what you are seeing and will also provide a minibus to take you to Kastraki village and the best locations for views on the rocks
  • KTEL Bus from Athens to Kalabaka and then obviously a taxi to the monasteries or just walk (more than 1 hour hike)
  • Rent a car and drive there yourself.

I honestly believe that the Best Way to get from Athens to Meteora is by booking a licensed guided tour. This can also be done as a day trip to Meteora from Athens, but get prepared for a long, tiring, but totally rewarding day because Meteora is deep in mainland Greece, and it’s a 5-hour train trip.

meteora map
In order to get to Meteora rocks and monasteries, you have to get to Kalabaka (or Kalambaka) town, which is a 20 minute train from the city of Trikala in central Greece

A guided tour from Athens to Meteora, like this one, will take you on a train from Athens Train Station (“Larissis Station” or “Larissa Station”) to Trikala Town. From there, you will get another public train to Kalabaka town, which is next to the rocks. A licensed guide will escort you anywhere during the train trips. Once you get to Kalabaka, private minibuses will pick you up and drive you to the best places on the monasteries and the local museums on the rocks. They will explain everything to you, along with many stops to the best spots for photos and views.

However, you have a few other options to get to Meteora from Athens, if you want to explore the area by yourself. These are all the options:

How Long It TakesCost*
Licensed Bus Guided Tour
(by public train or bus and then a private van)
this can be a 14-hour day trip from Athens to Meteora with a train (or bus) that departs from central Athens Larissis Train Station, takes you with a minibus to the Meteora Monasteries and return back to Athens in the eveningfrom 40 euros to 150 euros (check here)
By Public Train
(Athens to Trikala and then Trikala to Kalabaka)
– 4.5 hours from Athens to Trikala
– 20 minutes from Trikala to Kalabaka
– then taxi to the monasteries (10 minutes) or walk (1 hour)
30 euros
KTEL Bus
(KTEL Trikalon bus Company)
– 4.5 hours drive from Athens to Trikala
(the bus departs from Liosion Bus Station in Athens)
– 1 hour from Trikala to Kalabaka
29 euros
Rent a Car
renting a car from Athens can cost 40 euros per day renting a car from Athens can cost from 40 euros per day
*Obviously, the cost fluctuates a lot and may differ; always check the official KTEL Trikalon Bus website , Hellenic Trains Website for trains and Rentalcars for renting a car
train to meteora
Inside a train to Meteora (Trikala and Kalabaka towns)
meteora train
The train to Trikala and then to Kalabaka goes through some of the most scenic places in mainland Greece

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It goes without saying that whatever I am detailing in this post also applies to the return trip from Meteora to Athens.

kalabaka train station
Kalabaka train station is literally on the outskirts of the famous Meteora rocks but the monasteries are closer to Kastraki village so you have to get a taxi from there or walk if you are brave enough (more than 1 hour hike to the rocks)
meteora tour from athens
If you book a private guided tour, then a minibus with a guide will pick you up from Kalabaka train station and will get you to the best spots on the monasteries; totally worth it in my opinion

Keep reading…

ATHENS TO METEORA TIPS:

  • Best way To get From Athens to Meteora: by a licensed guided bus/train tour (like this one)
  • There are no flights to Meteora; the only way to get there is by bus, car or train. The place is up on the mountains in a remote area of mainland central Greece.
  • Bus from Athens to Meteora: you have to take it from the Liosion KTEL Bus Station (on Google Maps), which is unfortunately the worst in the country and really dated without any modern facilities
  • Meteora’s name obviously comes from the way these billion years old rocks are standing like “meteors”
  • Between April-October, there are usually 6 KTEL Buses from Athens to Meteora and from Meteora to Athens
  • How long is the bus ride from Athens to Meteora: the bus ride takes about 5 hours
  • How long is the train ride from Athens to Meteora: the train ride takes about 5 hours in total (to Kalabaka town)
  • Where to Get the bus from Athens to Meteora: you have to go to the Liosion Bus Station in Athens (NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the Kifisos Bus Station; it is a different Bus Station)
  • Where to Get the train from Athens to Meteora: you have to go to the “Larissis Train Station” in Athens (or “Larissa Station”)
  • Best Way to Get From Athens Airport to KTEL Liosion Bus Station is by taking the Express Bus X93 (see its route here)
  • Best Way to Get From Athens Airport to Athens Train Station (Larissis Station) is by taking the “Proastiakos Train – Suburban Train” (see its route and timetables here) ; it’s a 45 minutes train from the airport
meteora tour from athens
The private guides in Meteora will even take you to secret caves that the monks of Meteora monasteries used to hide or just used for storage of food in the past
meteora tour guide
A guided tour in Meteora will even take you to the best spots for photos with the most stunning views
meteora sunset
Yes, the sunsets at Meteora can be as mesmerizing as the ones in Santorini

Ok, so let’s see all the options from Athens to Meteora (that also apply to the return trip from Meteora to Athens):

ATHENS TO METEORA BUS (KTEL)

You can certainly take the Ktel bus to Trikala from Athens instead of the train (and then another bus to Kalabaka town).

ktel bus meteora from athens
There are lots of KTEL Buses per day from Athens to Trikala and Kalabaka. You can book your ticket here.

In order to get the KTEL Trikalon Bus to Meteora you have to go to Liosion Bus St Station in Athens (on Google Maps). This is not the same station as Kifissos Bus Station and it’s in a different location.

liosion bus satation ktel athens
The KTEL Buses from Athens to Meteora (Trikala and Kalabaka) depart from Liosion Bus Station in Athens.
liosion ktel bus station
Liosion Bus Station for KTEL Buses in Athens is probably the worst in the country and it’s better if you avoid it
ktel bus trikala meteora
The KTEL Buses from Athens to Meteora stop at Trikala first and then go to Kalabaka town

HOW TO GET TO “LARISSA” ATHENS TRAIN STATION (ALSO CALLED “LARISSIS”)

Larissis train Station (just “Athens” stop on train routes is very easilly accesible from the airport with the suburban train (“Proastiakos”) and you can check the timetables here.

You can also get to the Larissa Train Staion by metro line 2.

larissis metro station train athens
The metro stop at Larissa Station is literally just outside of the Train Station

HOW TO GET TO LIOSION BUS STATION

You can reach the Liosion Bus Terminal in Athens either with a bus or Metro Line 2 from Syntgmuare.

x93 liosion bus station athens airport
This is the route of the express bus X93 from Athens Airport to Liosion Bus Station (it’s a 1 hour ride and the ticket costs 6 euros)

You can also see the details of X93 Route and timetables on the official website of Athens Buses.

  • From Syntgma Square to Kifissos Bus Station: you have to take the Metro Line 2 (M2) and then walk for about 15-20 mins
liosion bus stop from syntagma
This is the best way to get to Liosion Bus Station from Syntagma Square: Metro Line to Attiki stop and then walk for about 15-20 minutes
liosion bus station from syntagma square map
This is how to get from Syntagma Square to Liosion bus station in Athens

CONCLUSION

You basically have 4 options to get from Athens to Meteora: by a guided tour or by a KTEL bus or by the public train or by renting a car and driving there. I recommend taking the guided tour because you will experience the whole trip in a much better way.

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AUTHOR
Pavlos Inglesis
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.

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