2 Awesome Day Trips From Athens: Ancient Delphi And Meteora

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Greece is full to the brim of tourist attractions, incredible historic sites, and countless gorgeous beaches and islands. With so many things to see and do in Greece, it can be daunting deciding where to go. Many visitors stick to visiting the likes of Athens or Corfu, or they decide to go island-hopping in the South, but did you know that there are some amazing places to visit in Central Greece as well?

Even with financial troubles, Greece's tourism industry is still booming. Holiday-makers flock to the country in the summer months, and the number of visitors each year continues to grow. If you're visiting Athens for anything longer than a weekend, it couldn't be easier to spend the day visiting a new region or famous historical site. There are multiple tour companies offering day trips, or you could even organise a trip yourself using public transport.

Here are two awesome day trip ideas from Athens!



1. The archaeological site of Delphi

One of the most popular day trips from Athens is visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ancient Delphi. This ancient town is one of the most important sites in Greece as it was once considered to be the centre of the world, where heaven and earth met. In Ancient Greek Mythology it's believed that Zeus released two eagles sent in opposite directions, and when they met in Delphi this suggested the centre of the earth. 

We visited Delphi on an organised tour through Viator. We were picked up from our hotel at around 8:30am where we met our guide for the day. After picking up all of the other guests we then had a three hour coach journey to the ancient site. Along the way we drove through some beautiful areas of Greece, passing through the countryside, mountains and valleys. Our tour guide also filled the journey by telling fascinating stories of Greek mythology, history and culture. 





When we arrived at the site we then had the option of walking around with our guide, or exploring the ruins independently. At first we opted to stay with the guide to hear about the importance of Delphi, but we eventually went off separately to explore and take photographs.

After visiting Delphi, travellers can grab some lunch before getting back in the coach to Athens. You have the option of including lunch in your tour, or getting something yourself. If you pick lunch to be included, you're taken to a hotel for a buffet. However, we were some of the few people that didn't want lunch included, and so were dropped off in the nearby town to do our own thing. We found a lovely little restaurant, had a great lunch, and still had some time leftover to explore the town before being picked up again by the coach. We then had another three hour journey back to Athens! Don't worry though, there are pit stops for breaks along the way to stretch your legs!

The tour cost around £80 per person. It included hotel pickup and drop off, the coach journey, the professional guide, and the entrance fee into the site. 



2. Meteora

Slightly further away but equally as impressive are the Meteora monasteries. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is once a place where monks built their monasteries on the top of natural rock pillars. This was done so that the monks could live without interruption and reduce the chance of them being attacked. When building the monasteries it took two decades just to get the supplies to the top! In total there were 24 monasteries built, six of which are still active today.

At the time when all of the monasteries were in use, access to the top was only via removable ladders. However, nowadays they're much easier for people to come and go as there are bridges and steps carved into the rock. 




To visit Meteora from Athens you must get the train to the town of Kalambaka. We visited Meteora through Viator and got the train from Athens at 8:30am, and didn't arrive back till gone 11pm. It takes roughly five hours to get there, but it's definitely worth it though! We received our train tickets via email, and then met our guide and driver at the train station in Kalambaka. 

We spent three hours driving through the town and visiting two of the monasteries. Both the guide and the driver were really knowledgeable and friendly, and they even offered to take photos for us. They took us to amazing viewing spots for photographs, and even recommended a restaurant for us to pick up some dinner to take back for the train journey home. If you go being prepared for a long day, you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself.

This tour cost around £95 per person which included a return economy train ticket (you could opt to spend more and travel first class), and the guide and driver. The entrance fees to the monasteries weren't included, but this was only around 3 Euro per monastery. 




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1 comments

  1. i think i have already feel in love with the place through your article and now i wonder what happens when i actually get there. i really want to join the trip but i hardly have any holiday coming up

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