Athens to Meteora Train, Bus and Car

This guide on how to get to Meteora from Athens, includes Athens to Meteora train, bus, and driving information. Whether you are planning your own Meteora tour from Athens, or want to visit Meteora monasteries on an organized tour, here's everything you need to know.

How to travel from Athens to Meteora in Greece

How to get from Athens to Meteora Quick Glance

There's a few options available when you plan your next trip from Athens to Meteora in Greece:

  • Athens Meteora Day Trip – Easiest way is to take a guided tour. Click here for more details.
  • Train – Public transportation from Athens to Meteora on the trains used to be the quickest way to go. Now, there is a bus involved in the journey and the travel time oen way is 4 hours and 47 minutes
  • Most convenient – Rental car. For local car rental in Greece use Discover Cars
  • Most hassle – Using the buses

Meteora in Greece

Meteora is a popular destination for people visiting the mainland of Greece. Famous for its fantastic looking rock formations and monasteries, its landscape is truly out of this world.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora is the largest archaeological site in Greece, and the closest town is Kalambaka (Kalampaka/ Kalabaka) just one or two kilometres away. 

Which reminds me – I'll be using the words Meteora and Kalambaka interchangeably in this travel guide, but will provide full information so you can plan your trip!

Many people thinking of day trips from Athens like the idea of visiting Meteora. And for good reason – Meteora really is unlike any other place you will visit in Greece, and you’ll remember the landscape and monasteries forever!

dave briggs in meteora greece

How do you get to Meteora in Greece?

You can get from Athens to Meteora by train, bus, car, and even on a day tour. The easiest way to get to Meteora from Athens is via train, and the journey takes around 4 hours and 15 minutes. Traveling by car can be a little slower, and takes between 4 and 5 hours.

If you’re planning on staying in Meteora for a couple of nights, a rental car is certainly worth thinking about. You will more easily be able to travel between the monasteries, and also explore some of the surrounding areas.

I recommend Discover Cars for renting cars in Greece.

How far is Meteora from Athens?

The distance from Athens to Meteora train stations is 265 km. The distance by road between Athens and Meteora is 359.7 km. You can take a look at various Athens to Meteora routes here on this map.

** Click here for more info on Meteora Day Trips from Athens **

How many days do you need in Meteora?

It would be best to spend 2 or 3 days in Meteora if possible, in order to see sunrise, sunset and explore the Meteora Monasteries. If you're short on time, it is possible to visit Meteora on a day trip from Athens.

A guide on getting from Athens to Meteora in Greece by car, bus, and train

How to get to Meteora yourself

You've got three options when it comes to getting to Meteora, which are train, bus, and car. Having your own transport (car) is always going to be the easiest, but driving in Greece is not for everyone.

This means that the most popular way to get to Meteora is by train. The bus from Athens to Meteora loses out because it is not entirely straight forward and takes longer.

I've also written this travel guide on the basis that most people will travel to Meteora from Athens. I think you'll have enough clues in here to plan your own trip to Kalambaka from Thessaloniki or other areas of Greece however.

How to get from Athens to Meteora to see the stunning landscape and monasteries

** Click here for more info on Meteora Day Trips from Athens **

Athens to Meteora Train

Although most people refer to it as the Athens to Meteora train service, in actual fact, it should be described as the Athens to Kalambaka train. The reason being, as you may have guessed, the train terminates at the Kalambaka train station.

The train runs regularly between Athens Railway Station and Kalambaka station, with several services a day.

You're going to want an early start taking the train from Athens, especially if you are trying to visit Meteora in a single day.

Important information for 2024: There used to be a direct train between Athens and Meteora that took 4 hours. Due to track problems, passengers now swap to a bus for part of the journey. This makes travel times for the one-way trip from Athens to Meteora by train around 4 hours and 47 minutes.

taking a tour in Meteora at sunset

Athens to Kalambaka Train Tickets

You can check out the Athens to Meteora train schedule by visiting the official Hellenic Trains website. Up in the top left hand corner of the screen, you can swap the language from Greek to English.

Enter the dates you want to travel, remember, your destination is Kalambaka, and you'll get the train schedule. There is however one problem for people wanting to plan their Athens – Meteora trip: You can only book train tickets a maximum of a month in advance. This is kind of ridiculous when you consider how many tourists use this train service!

What use to be called the 884 Athens to Kalambaka train is for most people the more sensible option. As of writing this post, the train leaves Athens at 07.58 and arrives in Kalambaka at 12.45.

There are 3 other trains during the day as well, but only this first train is of use if you want to make an Athens to Meteora day trip by train yourself.

In 2024, because there is a bus involved in the journey, you have to reserve a seat on both the train and the bus. The website is quite frankly a bit rubbish and not very intuitive, but you’ll get there in the end!

Whilst you can buy train tickets to Meteora from Athens railway station, I'd suggest booking them online. The Athens to Kalambaka train can fill up in the busy season, so it makes sense to get them in advance.

You can buy the tickets through the website after registering. Note – Some people have said that the site has a problem with Visa but accepts MasterCard.

Kalabaka train at the kalabaka station

How much does the Athens to Meteora train cost?

The ticket cost for the train between Athens and Meteora can vary but on last checking it was 34.90 Euros. I have no idea why there isn't a set price, or how the ticket price works! I do know that booking in advance seems to get the better price. If you want to keep the Athens to Meteora train cost low, use the website previously mentioned.

Kalambaka Train Station

Unless you are meeting up with a tour directly on arrival, you'll need to get a taxi from Kalambaka train station to your hotel or to a place in the Meteora area you have already determined. In all honesty, I think visiting the area within one day by yourself is not really a viable option. It's far better to stay at least one night if not two.

** Click here for more info on Meteora Day Trips from Athens **

Athens to Meteora Bus

The bus service in Greece continues to baffle me. Each area is run by a separate KTEL organization, which means there is no central website to check. At least not one that I have found yet!

(Side note: One of my pet projects is going to be to develop a website for KTEL buses in to make public transportation in Greece easier!)

This means that the Athens to Meteora bus route is not an easy one to follow. As at the time of writing this travel guide, the following is the best way to catch the Athens to Meteora Bus. If you have an easier way, please let me know in the comments below!

The Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece

Athens to Meteora Bus Service

The bus station in Athens is located near the Kato Patissia (green line) station. Getting just to this station can be a bit of a mission:

Use the metro system in Athens, and head for Monastiraki station. Swap to the Green line and head towards Kifissia.

When you get to Kato Patisssia station, get off the metro and walk about 1km to the bus station. If you prefer a taxi, it should cost you less than 5 Euro. Make sure you tell the driver you need Liossion Station and not Athens bus station.

Once at the bus station, you then have to travel from Athens by first getting a bus to Trikala. This is the biggest city near Kalambaka / Meteora.

From Trikala you can catch a bus to Kalambaka bus station. It will probably have been a bit of a journey, so get a taxi from Kalambaka bus station to your hotel and crash!

Athens to Meteora by Car

The easiest way to get to Meteora by Athens is by car – if you have one! Not only is the route straight forward, but you then also have the car to use to take you around Meteora.

The most difficult part of the journey is probably getting out of Athens! Once you've done that though, head for route E75 towards Trikala.

Get off at Lamia, and from here, the route becomes a little harder, but I'm sure it's nothing that Google maps can't handle! Head to Trikala and then Kalambaka and you will have arrived.

People planning a road trip around Greece sometimes leave from Athens, stop in Delphi, and then continue to Meteora the next day.

Meteora Tour from Athens

The final option of getting to Meteora from Athens is to take a tour. I describe such a tour in my day trips from Athens blog post, and I'll back up here what I mentioned there.

Whilst it is possible to make a Meteora day trip from Athens, I personally wouldn't do it. It really doesn't leave enough time to enjoy the UNESCO-listed Meteora Monasteries, and it's a LONG day!

Still, seeing something is better than nothing. If you still want to make the Meteora tour from Athens though, take a look at these possibilities which feature an English-speaking tour guide.


All ways to get from Athens to Meteora in Greece

Meteora Unesco World Heritage Site

The Meteora is a rocky formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second only to Mount Athos.

The six monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and boulder-like rocks that dominate the local area. Check out this guide for more information on the monasteries at Meteora.

Where should I stay when visiting Meteora?

If you are visiting Meteora and plan to stay overnight, you can find accommodation in Kalambaka and the smaller village of Kastraki. There's accommodation for all budgets, and also campsites in both places. 

Read more about Meteora

Have any questions on visiting Meteora in Greece? Leave a comment below and I'll do my best to answer them.

Dave Briggs: Writer at Dave’s Travel Pages creating Greece travel guides, Greece travel planning tipsDave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who writes about and lives in Greece. If you enjoyed this guide to visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site of Meteora on a trip from Athens, you might want to spend some more time on the blog looking for itineraries and insights about Greece. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond:

23 thoughts on “Athens to Meteora Train, Bus and Car”

  1. Hi Dave,
    We are going to book a tour that includes train tickets from Athens to Meteora, but they are asking us if we want to upgrade our train tickets to first class for $20 extra. Any idea what first class would give us compared to regular? Thinking it might be worth it if we’re tired and it is a long ride.

    • Hi Sherree,
      You get bigger seats so more space which you might appreciate on the way back as it is a long day!

  2. Hello, I will be heading to Meteora Summer 2023 from Lefkada. Any suggestions of how to do this by private transfer & company names would be much appreciated. I didn’t really want to hire a car as will be travelling by train after.

    • Hi Dee,

      There’s no real easy way to make this trip. Even if you take buses, you have to take three of them and the journey time exceeds 9 hours (that’s if you make each connection). For example:
      Lefkada to Igoumenitsa bus
      Igoumenitsa to Grevena bus
      Grevena to Kalabaka bus

  3. I’ve been on the Trainose site, trying to look into Athens-Kalambaka train tickets for August. The site isn’t showing any ticket options after about a month from now when I use their trip planner. Do they only release their ticket options a month at a time or something?

    • Welcome to travel planning in Greece – fun isn’t it?!?! 😀
      It’s looks like the summer schedule hasn’t been released yet, so it only goes up until the end of April right now.
      There will be trains running, so it’s just a matter of waiting until they go live.
      It plays havoc with trying to sort out itineraries in advance – I’ve been banging my head against a wall with some companies (particularly ferry companies) in Greece for years trying to tell them that rolling 12 month schedules are more helpful for everyone. So far, no one is listening!
      Small rant over – Have a great trip to Greece!

      • Thank you so much! I figured it had something to do with that. It will be great in the end, but that is a little unusual and not very nice to work around.

  4. Hi! I would like to have help on which way to travel from Athens to Meteora . In your travel advise there was a mention that driving in Greece was difficult. Should we take the train instead? Also which is less likely to make one motion sick, since the area is mountainous?

    • Hi Tina,
      If you don’t want to have the hassle of renting a car and driving, the train is the best way to go.
      If you do drive, I would suggest spending a day at Delphi for sightseeing there.
      The route you take driving shouldn’t be a problem for motion sickness – the roads are not too bad like on some islands!
      Driving is overall the best way, as you can drive around the Meteora area more easily on your own schedule.

  5. Hi Dave,

    I am planning my first trip to Athens and I would like to see Meteora and one of the Islands.
    I am flying in from the States. Should I go from the airport to Meteora, then Athens, followed by an island, like Tinos? Or should I go straight to Athens first, rest and then go from there to the islands then Meteora or Meteora then Island.

    Your Thoughts Appreciated,

  6. HI Dave,
    Do you know anyone who has particular knowledge about the icons and frescoes in the monasteries in Meteora? I don’t need a tour to get to the monasteries, but I’m interested in learning more about them from an artistic and religious perspective. Thanks, Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      I’ve got no specific information on the different icons and Frescos. Most have been created over a number of years by the different monks that have lived there. There may be a book available at the monasteries that would tell more. In all honesty, taking a tour wouldn’t help explain them either, as it’s an entire subject in itself.

      • Thanks Dave, that’s what I figured. A book at the monastery is a good idea. One last question. Would I be able to take photos with a digital non-flash camera?

        • Hi,
          Yes the areas where you can and can not take photos are pretty clearly marked. Taking photos of the monks (if you are lucky enough to see one!), is frowned upon.
          I had a thought – if you are in Athens, you might like to check out the Byzantine and Christian museum as well.

  7. Hi,

    I am leaving for Greece next week and had already booked a train ride from Athens to Kalambaka.
    However, I have 2 medium sized luggages. I understand that I can check in the luggages and I am not so concerned about the ride there because it’s a direct train ride. But coming back, there is direct train in the morning and I had to transfer to another train. Will the checked-in luggages be transferred automatically?

  8. Hi Dave
    Appreciate your advice for my 1st time visit to Greece. On my return trip to Athens from Santorini, I plan to stay 2N in Athens before going to either Delphi(2N) and Meteora (3N) before returning to Athens for last 2N.
    Which sequence would you advise from Athens – to delphi then meteora for the other way round. I am travelling solo.

    Looks like there is only 1 bus 930am from Meteora to Delphi and same time return trip from Delphi to Meteora. Does it make sense to go to Meteora 1st from athens, spend 2N there followed by 2N in Delphi, then return to Meteora for 1N before I return to Athens?

    Thank you

    • Hi,
      I’d say from how you describe it, it would make sense to go to Meteora first and then come back on yourself.
      Unless you have specific reasons to stay in Delphi for two nights, I’d suggest looking into staying just one. Whilst one full day at Delphi is a great thing to have, two days is a bit much in my opinion.

  9. Hi,
    I’m planning to travel from Delphi to Meteora around middle October, but am unable to find the bus nor train schedule. When will the schedules be out? And is it more advisable to travel by bus or train? Planning to leave Delphi in the morning and reach Kalambaka in the afternoon and in time of the sunset tour.
    Appreciate your advice!

    • Hi,
      The schedules should be out for trains as they will be the same as now.
      You won’t be able to book a ticket more than two months in advance though for the train.
      As for buses, it depends what site you’ve been looking at, but again they should be out now.

  10. Hello! Thank you for the great articles!

    I had a few questions:

    -Are taxis readily available to take you to from the train station near Meteora to local hotels?

    -Also, aside from the tour company you mentioned, what are your options for touring the historical sites?
    If you’re planning on staying a night or two, will the tour company drop you off at your hotel instead of the train station?

    -Do you know of any other tour companies that operate tours to Meteora from Athens? I assume the one you listed is a reputable company, right?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Justin,
      You’ll find taxis at the train station waiting. You can also contact your hotel when booked and ask them the best way to get there, depending on where you are staying. I’ve a guide here to where to stay in Meteora.
      In terms of completely organised trips to/from Athens, the ones I mentioned are the best of the bunch.
      You could though just get the train yourselves, and then organise your own tours, or even not bother with a tour if you felt so inclined (but you’d need transport of some description).
      The company to keep an eye open for (and you can’t really miss them!) is Meteora Thrones – super professional and great value for money.


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