With more than 3,000 years of history, Athens is the symbol of Western culture and a fascinating city whose wealth of monuments attracts visitors from all corners of the globe.
However, Greece is much more than its capital. During your vacation I recommend you to reserve some time to make an excursion to Delphi and Meteora from Athens, two spectacular sites in the Hellenic country with a long history and beautiful landscapes that will leave you speechless. Don't miss it!
Discover Delphi at the best price with day tour from Athens
Discover Greek history and enjoy touring this wonderful city, full of landscapes and archaeological monuments. Travel back in time to Ancient Greece in the comfort of an excursion.
Considering that Greece is one of the most touristic countries on the planet, the great thing about taking an organized excursion to Delphi from Athens is that you will have the opportunity to discover a UNESCO World Heritage Site without having to worry about anything but enjoying the experience.
You will depart from Athens to Delphi, a charming little tourist village located on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus and one of the most outstanding destinations in Greece. Together with an expert local guide you will visit the archaeological site, monuments such as the Temple of Apollo and the Archaeological Museum of Delphi.
After visiting the museum, one of the most valuable in the country for the collections it houses, you will have free time to explore the places that have attracted your attention before heading back. On the way back, you will make a brief stop in Arachova and Livadiá, two cities that you can also explore at your own pace, while you explore their narrow streets or buy some souvenir handicrafts.
Why I like this option: you will get to know one of the most famous destinations near Athens, with a professional guide and without having to take care of anything.
Recommended if... you want to take advantage of your stay in Athens and get to know one of the cradles of Ancient Greece that gave birth to the current civilization.
Travel to Meteora by train from Athens with an expert guide
If your travel days are limited, this is the fastest (and cheapest) option, which will take you to discover Meteora in one day. You won't regret it!
Meteora, in the region of Thessaly, is a very special place that by its morphology seems to have been created to be close to God. Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, this unique place combines the natural beauty of this territory with the ancient Orthodox monasteries built on the rocks.
The day trip to Meteora from Athens will start with the train to Kalambaka, a small village built at the foot of the majestic gray rocks where the monasteries of Meteora are located. The journey takes about 4 hours but it is short because on the way you will be able to admire the beauty of the Greek countryside. In Kalambaka, a driver will be waiting for you to take you to the Meteora monasteries.
Once here you will have the opportunity to visit the hermit caves of Badovas and three of these almost 700 year old monasteries. In the past there were as many as 24 active monasteries of which today only 6 are inhabited by monks.
At the end of the day, you will return to Kalambaka where before boarding the train back to Athens you will have some free time to explore this charming little town and have lunch if you wish to recharge your batteries.
Why I like this tour: with this option you will be able to optimize more your travel time, taking more advantage of the visit to Meteora and even having time to discover it at your leisure in the afternoon.Recommended if... you do not have much time in Greece but you do not want to miss this unique place in the world in a very comfortable organized tour and at the best price.
Why is a trip to Meteora worthwhile?
Meteora is a beautiful site in the plain of Thessaly and one of the most amazing landscapes in Europe. It is a fascinating place, with large sandstone crags crowned by Byzantine monasteries, more than enough reason to make a trip to Greece.
Meteora means "rocks in the air" and seeing the plain of Thessaly it is understandable why the hermit monks withdrew to this place to cultivate their spirituality, because according to their beliefs these crags seemed sent by God to Earth to be closer to Him.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, in Meteora there were more than twenty active monasteries, of which today only about six survive with small communities of monks. On the day of the excursion you can visit the monasteries of Great Meteora and Varlaám.
Booking the excursion to Meteora iswell worth it, not only to see the interior of these communities and their charming churches, but also to enjoy the unique views from the top of these rocks formed millions of years ago.
Things to keep in mind when visiting Meteora
Something very important to know when making an excursion to Meteora is that to visit the Orthodox monasteries is required to comply with a dress code as they are places of worship. It is not allowed to wear sleeveless shirts or skirts or pants that expose the knees. In other words, shoulders and legs must be properly covered for both men and women as a sign of respect.
Isabel's Traveler Tip
At Meteora, go to the lookout points to take in the scenery. When the mist covers the tops of the rocks it looks as if the monasteries are suspended in mid-air.
Why it's worth a trip to Delphi
Athens is the cradle of Western civilization, however, beyond it there are wonderful places to visit. We usually focus on the capital for its historical and cultural relevance but the Hellenic country hides many other treasures throughout its geography that are well worth visiting.
A good example of this is Delphi, a charming little village on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus with beautiful views of the valley and the sea that for the ancient Greeks was the center of the world and a spiritual retreat. Here you will find the famous Oracle of Delphi! Booking an excursion to Delphi is a must to understand classical Greece.
What to see in Delphi
- The archaeological site of Delphi,
- The theater and the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, to whose oracle pilgrims from all over Greece came to seek advice for important decisions.
- The Stadium, site of the Pythian Games, one of the four Panhellenic Games along with the Isthmian Games, the Nemean Games and the Olympic Games.
- The Archaeological Museum of Delphi, one of the most important in Greece that houses in its collection valuable pieces such as the twins of Argos, the sphinx of Naxos and the statue of Antinous, among others.
Where to eat during your visit to Delphi and Meteora?
If you choose the option of visiting Meteora in one day, lunch is on your own, but don't worry. I leave you here the best options so you won't make a mistake when choosing. Juicy meats, tasty vegetables and rich Hellenic-style cheeses are just some of the delicacies you can try during the excursion. They cook with care and put a lot of passion into their dishes, that's why we all love Greek gastronomy. Bon apetit!
- Taverna to Paramithi: It is a cozy and inexpensive restaurant that stands out for its delicious food and fast service. The owner is very attentive and you feel at home. During the meal, traditional Greek music was playing in the background and the atmosphere was very relaxed. The lamb kebab and the tzatziki should not be missing on the table.
- Meteora Restaurant: This is one of the best restaurants in Kalambaka and one of the oldest as it has been open since 1925. The waiters are very friendly and the atmosphere is very pleasant and quiet. The dishes are plentiful and the desserts are delicious. Highly recommended the moussaka, meatballs, Meteora salad and Greek yogurt with plums.
- Restaurant Panellenion: It is a place in the center of Kalambaka of rustic aesthetics with a great terrace and a very attentive service. The dishes are homemade and plentiful. The peppers stuffed with rice, the lamb and the Greek salad are very good.
- Where to eat when passing through Kalambaka: In this small village you will find many restaurants to enjoy Greek food and to try some local specialties at much more affordable prices than in other parts of the country.
Other places of interest in Greece...
There is no other place like Athens to immerse yourself in the magic of classical culture.
Through a tour of the historic center of the Greek capital you can take a trip back in time to the cradle of Western civilization to learn about its mythology, the majestic buildings and the great temples that have amazed travelers from all over the world for generations.
If you liked this excursion to Delphi and Meteora, in the article The best tours and excursions from Athens you will see other very cool tours to explore the city.