Selected destinations to visit on the Greek mainland
EuropeGreece4 days / June 2022
Highs & Lows
The sunset on top of the mointains of Meteora!
The sun is super intense!
Last summer I was traveling in Greece with my backpack for a total of three months. I like to take things slow so did not choose to visit plenty of destinations. But the places I discovered were amazing. I travel on a budget so I like to stay in hostels which is also a great opportunity to find out about places to visit. I started my journey in Athens which is an exciting and beautiful city surrounded by mountains. But in this report I want to focus on my four-day trip from Athens to Kalambaka/Meteora and Delphi. I took the train and the bus to get around which was convenient and easy to organize. I stayed three nights in Kalambaka to go hiking in Meteora which contains impressive stone mountains with monasteries at the top. Most people just refer to Meteora as the destination but the actual town where you take the train to and spend the night is called Kalambaka. From Kalambaka I took the bus to Delphi to stay another night and discover the ancient sites which are UNESCO world heritage.
When I started my research about traveling to Greece I was convinced immediately that I wanted to go to Meteora. The moment I got there I knew this was a great decision. The train arrived during sunset and it was the most beautiful scenery!! The huge stones pointing up to the sky are just impressive. After the first night I did a hike up to the monasteries. In total there are six monasteries and they are open to visit in exchange for an entrance fee. I decided to just go inside one since I believe the experience at another one would be similar. I recommend to start the hike early in the morning because (at least in June) it gets super hot and dry during the day. Other than that the way up the stones is beautiful. After I had a look at the Monastery of Great Meteoron from the inside and the Monastery of Varlaam from the outside I made my way back down and came across a cave which I explored with a lot of excitement and of course caution. Unfortunately I can’t explain you the exact way to the cave but pay attention on your way down from Varlaam: Nearly at the foot of the mountain on your left close to the path there will be a big entrance to the cave. The next day I took it easy, relaxed at the hostel and strolled around in Kalambaka. In the afternoon I walked up to a sunset viewpoint (“Main observation deck in Meteora” on google maps) - what a beautiful view! After the third night I made my way to Delphi. I believe three nights is the perfect amount to spend in Kalambaka. Many travelers decide to stay just two nights.
Delphi is situated in the mountains and the view from the little town is immaculate. I started off with visiting the Tholos of Athena Pronaia and the Ionian Treasury of the Massalians which are right next to each other and the furthest but reachable by foot from the town. You could easily explore the site in half an hour but I nearly spend one and a half hours there absorbing the special energy. After I made my way to the historical Delphi back into the direction of town where among other things you can see the Ancient Theatre of Delphi and where the famous Oracle of Delphi was once located. Don’t forget to refill your water bottle at the Katalia Spring. At the very top of the archeological site the Ancient Stadium of Delphi can be visited. In the evening I was driven around by a greek guy on a motorcycle and got to see even more stunning views. The next morning I went to the Archeological Museum Delphi. There they show a lot of preserved statues and columns as well as jewelry. All in all very interesting and worth a visit. If you are a European student you get to visit the archeological sites and the museum for free!
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I can't think of anything that I would have changed!
Anything go wrong during the trip?
No issues at all.
I recommend Phileo Cafe Bar in Delphi! I had a salad and vegan cake.
Tips you would give a friend?
There are a few vegan substitutes at Galaxis supermarket in Kalambaka!
Sunscreen and a hat! To visit the monasteries one needs to cover their shoulders and legs. It is typical to bring a long scarf to wear as a skirt. The Holy Rock Hostel provides scarves.
Take the train from Athens to Kalambaka. It takes around four hours.
No (bad) surprises for me.
Compare Hostelworld and Booking.com for the cheapest hostel price.