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Delphi and/or Meteora

We are traveling to Greece on May 2020.
This is what we are planning:
1/first night in Athens,
3 nights in Naxos,
3 Nights in Santorini
3 nights Athens

Are Delphi and/or Meteoras worth adding 2 more nights to our trip?
Or do you have any suggestions on adding one more day and what day trip we could do from Athens.

Thanks so much for your advice!

Posted by
2414 posts

If you have such a short trip, every hour matters & going in to Athens 2x uses up precious time. For trip-lengths like yours... and even longer ... old hands always suggest on arrival day to fly immediately to the farthest destination & work your way back. Santorini has the most flights ... if you fly a nonstop from N. America, those 4 always arrive between 9 & 10 am --- allow a couple hours to deplane, get thru passport control, pick up baggage, get a few Euros from an ATM .. It's all one big building so u just walk from the international-airline end to the domestic end. Piece o'cake. If you arrive by 10 you can get a noon flight to Santorini (only 50 mins vs 6-9 hours on ferry), and can be sitting on y our balcony admiring the view by 2 pm... You may be able to save a few bucks by a flight plan that changes planes in Europe, but then u likely will not arrive until 2pm earliest, and latest, by 5 pm. On a brief trip, because u can't spend time, often u must spend money. It's a trade-off.

We'd be able to suggest better, if we knew your motives for each destination. Are u mainly goig to Santorini because it is famous? Is swimming part of your plan there?? When u do homework you will see that beaches are definitely so-so there (black grit) and the Main Attraction is the Famous Caldera View. Splurge on a cliffedge hotel for that --, and unless u want to do splurge-y add on s like caldera cruise... maybe shorten your stay by 1 night.... leave on 3:15 Blue Star Ferry (2+ hrs) to Naxos. then u could have 4 nights on Naxos --- which has the most variety of sights & activities (beach, hiking, ruins, landscapes, food tours etc). Fly from Naxos back to Athens (45 mins vs 6 hrs ferry). Do Athens last... after being in Greece awhile the famous capital landmarks resonate so much more, and museums as well.

Meteora is too far out of he way for such a short & First trip... save it for another year. If you fly from Naxos and arrive by noon or early afternoon it would be SO easy to add a good Delphi experience. Pick up a rental car, and drive straight to Delphi arrive late afternoon... y ou can check into a modest hotel with view down the mountain... and visit the museum at 6 or so, when No One is there (very good signage easy to understand), have a sunset terrace dinner with a glorious view. Rise early and be at the ruins site by 8 am and y ou'll have 2 hours before all he bus tours arrive, & by that time you'll be high up on the hillside, ahead of the throng.

Drive back noon-ish, drop the car at Airport & taxi or express bus to a central Athens hotel.

NOTE: if you have no ancient-greece background & don't plan doing any "homework" before trip, you might get the most of Delphi using a licensed guide (but they are pricey). There are many many excellent websites to study & print out as an alternative.

Posted by
741 posts

Listen to Janet she has been there many times and knows what she is talking about.

Fly to Santorini on arrival. Getting over jet lag on Santorini is way better than doing it in Athens.
Ferry to Naxos. Three nights Naxos is the bare minimum it has so much to see and do. If you have flexibility to add a few more days to your trip Naxos is the place to do it.

Now fly back to Athens. Again if you have an ability to add more days then Delphi and Meteora are definitely worth adding. Both are world class sites. 2 days will mean a lot of time just driving so we spent three days in doing that side trip. Rent the car from the airport. Return it at the airport and now begin your Athens experienced.
Here is your trip.

Naxos Town

Trip around Naxos

Delphi and Meteora


Posted by
2 posts

Thank you both for the replies!

I am changing our itinerary to start in Santorini then going to Naxos for 4 nights, keeping Athens last and will try to add another night so we can rent a car to go to Delphi and stay there overnight.

Thanks again!

Posted by
3 posts

I love the idea of staying in Delphi and enjoying the sites before and after those there only for the day. Do you have a recommendation of a hotel conveniently located with the mountain views you describe? Thanks for the help.

Posted by
2414 posts

I went overnight to Delphi by bus, the last day of May. A friend of mine who's in the greek hospitality industry recommended her uncle's hotel PAN, on the main street right near the final bus stop. It's on the Downhill side of the street, so the rooms with views are at the back. We were asked if we wanted rooms on the street-level floor, and we hesitantly said, can we see them first. As we walked along the corridor & opened the door, a breeze flowed in. We walked out to the balcony... and hawks were circling 10 yards BELOW our feet!!, one could see down the mountain to a valley full of olive trees, out to the silvery sea.

The next morning we wanted to get to the museum early, but he served simple continental breakfast @ 7 am. Our rooms were about 35E for a single, but probably more by now.

Posted by
408 posts

If you are not that interested in historical sites, and given your only 10 nights total, you probably will not be disappointed if you skip Delphi. I spent one night and parts of two days in Delphi, in October 2018. My trip was 14 nights total. I took the bus to from Athens to Delphi and back. I suggest you read a little about Delphi and see how appealing it is to versus Naxos and Santorini. In Delphi, one night and parts of 2 days is plenty of time to see the archaeological museum, the main sight, and a smaller area of rubble of old Greek temples. The picture on my copy of Rick Steve's Greece 2018 book was taken in Delphi.

Posted by
78 posts

I wouldn't do the single-day trip from Athens to Meteora and back, just too long of a day for a reasonable day trip. You'll spend most of it driving or on the train or bus. I'd recommend staying at least the night in Kalabaka if you do decide to go to Meteora. I don't think it's possible for you, but I took the train from Athens and spent 3 nights in Trikala (a wonderful little city about 20km from Kalabaka), using it as my base for the area.

Posted by
4 posts

If you have an interest in history & the sites Delphi is one of the best to see, even better with some reading on it before visiting.
If the interest is not so great & spectacular scenery & dramatic locations of the monasteries appeals more then you will love Meteora. We enjoyed Meteora! We had 7 days in Greece. It was the highlight of our trip. We stopped in Delphi on the way up from Athens and stopped in Olympia on the way back to Athens. Not an easy area without a car. You can book kalambaka taxi or rent a car. Can't imagine Greece without going to Meteora!

Posted by
2414 posts

rafimondo, you do not say where y ou are from, but I'm guessing somewhere in the US near a good library... so trot right over there and get the BLUE GUIDE to Greece: Mainland or the Michelin Green Guide ... another Good one is The Traveler's Guide to Ancient Greece. Just photocopy the pertinent pages.

If books are not your thing, here are a few links I've collected for appreciation of Delphi:
Best Maps of site! (Printable maps of Museum, Sacred Precinct, Wider area)
• Sacred Destinations
Lots of ads, but also good info; see menu on side
Dr J's Delphi
NOTE: click items in SIDE MENU for complete photos & explanatory text. SUPER!
Surprisingly good & succinct for Wikipedia ---