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Private Car or Rent a Car? 2 Day trip to Delphi & Meteora?

In late March 2024, my husband and I (both in our early 50s) will be visiting Athens with our healthy and agile mothers in their early 70s. We're planning a 2-day trip to Delphi and Meteora and are seeking advice on whether it's better to hire a car or drive ourselves with a rental. While we are experienced world travelers accustomed to driving in foreign countries, our main priorities for this trip are to (1) minimize stress, (2) have an enjoyable experience, and (3) explore some incredible sights. We would greatly appreciate any insights. Thank you!

Posted by
40 posts

Bear in mind that Meteora is a 5+ hour drive...... so plan on being the car for 10 hours at least during those two days. I would skip Meteora and spend two days ( one night) in Delphi. It is magic to be there before and after the tour busses.

Posted by
1070 posts

hire a car or drive ourselves with a rental
"Hire" and "rent" both mean the same thing. By hire, do you mean get a car with driver? Must be very expensive to hire a driver for two days.

We rented a car and drove from Athens to Meteora. It was not at all difficult. The rental company (Swift/Avanti) picked us up at our hotel, drove us to their office to do the paperwork, and pointed us straight onto the highway out of town. The drive to Meteora was 4 1/2 hours, and very enjoyable. You get to see REAL non-touristy Greece. The road goes right by Thermopylae if that part of Greek history interests you, as it did me. Plus, you'll have the freedom of a car when you get to Kalambaka (or Kastraki, where we stayed, highly recommended). We took a fantastic minibus tour for the monasteries themselves but were glad to have to car to (a) get into town for meals; and (b) tour up into the hills around the area.

Posted by
1380 posts

Having a rental car gives you the best option to do Meteora and Delphi. We rented the car from the airport and drove to Delphi first about a 5 hour drive including a stop at Corinth to see Acrocorinth a massive fortress with 360 degree views over the countryside. We spent the spent the night in Delphi, there saw the museum enjoyed staying in the village and were at the gate at opening. The tour bus crowds arrived around 10 but by then we were high up in the site and had the place pretty much to ourselves.
We departed Delphi by noon and drove through lovely countryside quite hilly with lots of ski resorts. We got to Meteroa 5 hours later and stayed a Kastraki (Lovely village nestled under the Moanastary mountian) We drove up to the Monastaries to see the sunset, That is not to be missed. There were people around also enjoying the sunset, but not nearly the number the next morning when hoards of tour buses arrived around 10 am.
We visited as many of the monasteries as we could before they were so crowded we had to leave for the 5 hour drive back to Athens.

All that to say we took 3 days thats 2 nights to do the trip. One other thing its a good idea to have a paper map to confirm where the GPS is taking you. There are 5 places called Meteora in Greece

For fun this is what we saw.
Delphi and Meteora https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157698930270992

Corinth Area. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157711755443483

Posted by
564 posts

We rented a car and drove to meteora. It’s about a 5 hour drive, so plan on one day up and one day back. You will need at least one day to see the monasteries. So minimum of 3 days. We spent 4 days.
Even though we had a rental car. Once we got to the hotel divani, we toured with a company -their website visitmeteora.com. We did a morning tour. They did the driving around the mountain in a small van, so it was worth it for us to enjoy the scenery. At one monastery , the van dropped us off at the trail at the top and we walked down to the monastery. And picked us up on a trail below the monastery so that we didn’t need to hike back up.
We did use our rental car to drive to a cliffside restaurant in the early evening. Next day we did the sunset tour with the tour company. You could do both tours in one day, if you are pressed for time.