My husband wants to experience the train ride to Kalambaka from Athens, we also want to see the battlefield of Thermopylae and hopefully Delphi. I want to spend the night in Kalambaka. My thought was to take the train one direction, then either join a tour that would take us to the monasteries and make said stops along the way to/from Athens, or to rent a car for one direction so we can make those stops at our own pace. Does anyone have any suggestions? We are going to be doing this early May 2022. Thank you.
Thermopylae is a big nothing, unless you have a guide or phenomenal local knowledge. We went, pretty well informed, I thought, by car. There is a pullout with a statue of Leonidas, and that's about it. The geography has changed immensely in 3000 years, and the sea is nowhere near as close to the mountains now as it was then.
If you want to see Meteora monasteries AND anything else enroute, I would stay two nights. Otherwise, you're just getting there, getting to your hotel, and getting ready to go back. Its a 4 1/2 hour drive, probably longer by train. And I would stay in Kastraki, not Kalambaka -- prettier, quieter, closer to the monasteries.
Thank you so much for the insight, I will factor this in and decide what would be best for us. I was starting to get that feeling about Thermopylae but didn't want to dismiss it without the opinion of someone who had been there.