My traveling companion has an injured foot. He's been getting around OK with wrapping and padding but finds stairs easier than inclines. We're trying to decide between Delphi and Meteora... we need to decide between the two, so I'd be really interested in feedback on visiting/navigating those sites and also how bearable each is as a day trip from Athens (we don't have a car, unfortunately, and Meteora looks like a long day... is it doable?).
Meteora is a four hour drive--too far for a day trip. Delphi is a popular day trip from Athens, though at two hours, still far for me personally but there are many guided tours you could take. So, an easy decision I think.
Meteora is really far from Athens. It took us about 6 hours by rental car from the Athens airport with one quick stop for lunch on the way. To visit the individual monasteries (with one exception that I recall) would mean a quite a bit of walking uphill otherwise you will be confined to seeing them from the road. And not all of the monasteries are open on the same day. We were there for a couple of full days as we wanted to visit all of the monasteries. Delphi will also require some walking up and down an incline and some stairs as well but not as much as Meteora. It seems Delphi might be the better choice.
Delphi is nothing but a huge incline. I do not recall many steps and I was just there.
The museum of course has no incline and is quite lovely.
The entire town is an incline-you are always going up or down.
Frankly, given the effort, I would not do Delphi either. There is much to see in Athens.
If your choice is only these two, and someone can’t walk, and you only have one day, I would do as Beth and skip them both.
Delphi would be extremely difficult. You could easily see much at Meteora, but only with a car or transportation. With an overnight, you could drive the loop and see enough to enjoy the amazing scenery and construction, sit at dinner in Kastraki and gaze up, all without having to walk down to and up into the monasteries themselves. Some people have taken a tour from Athens, but I have not so can’t speak to that.
I agree with the other posts. Delphi is built against a hill/mountain. It’s has both steps and inclines. I can’t imagine getting around the site with an injured foot.
Meteora is more flat, but it’s a very long drive from Athens. It will take at least 5:30, but probably closer to 6 hours just to get from Athens to Meteora. Even if there are day trips that do this, it means you’ll spend at least 12 hours on the bus.
I don't know how the people drive who say Meteora is 6 hours from Athens, but we did it in 4.5 hours WITH stops at Thermopylae Pass and somewhere for lunch. According to Google Maps, its 4 hours. Most of the highway is a brand new EU-funded motorway now.
But even still, I agree Meteora is not a day trip from Athens.
It took us 6 hours because we rented the car at the Athens airport and ran into rush hour stop and go traffic on the highway around Athens. And Meteora is not flat. To visit most of the monasteries requires a hill climb with one exception that I recall.
Good info, Mary. It took me about 4 hrs like darrenblois from Meteora back to the airport, plus an hour for lunch along the way. Planning for traffic is really useful and I wouldn’t have thought about adding 2 hours for that. I guess it helps for us to include more details for future readers.
Meteora is indeed way too far from Athens for a day trip and it really doesn't do it justice anyway. But I honestly cannot imagine doing either of those with an injured foot. Every day in these places we've done more than 20,000 steps and it's all up and down inclines and stairs. Hang out in Athens or split up for the day if possible.
In my opinion you need to stay overnight in Meteora. Only the Agios Stefanos monastery has an easy access. All the others require at least some stair walking. The viewpoints can be easy accessed by car but the best sunset views require just a little bit of climbing on a rock. It is absolutely beautiful over there.
I was in Delphi a few weeks ago and the site is uphill so there are quite a few steps and uphill walking to do. The town itself also has lots of steps to navigate as it’s comprised of an upper and lower road with hotels, restaurants and shops lining both roads. There are a lot of steps that connect both roads. I have not been to Meteora but the monasteries are built on top of the mountains so I imagine that is also alot of steps. If you’re looking for a daytrip maybe Olympia would be possible? The site itself is mostly flat and it was my favorite ancient ruin stop on the RS tour.