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roads to Meteora & Delphi from Athens

We would like to rent a car and drive to Meteora & Delphi from Athens. I am afraid of encountering very steep winding serpentine type roads. Is it going to be the case on the way from Athens to Meteora, Meteora to Delphi, and then Delphi to Athens?

What is the best routes and most picturesque routes providing we don't have much time. We''ll leave Athens in the morning on September 3 and have to be back at Athens Airport by 11am on September 5.

Thank you!

Posted by
16893 posts

Most of your driving will be on modern, high-speed highways with tolls, unless you choose smaller roads on purpose.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Laura. Are the tolls easily come up on gps, like google maps.

Posted by
3260 posts

Viamichelin not only gives you tolls, but an estimate of fuel used, and it offers several routes ... fastest and Michelin-recommended (the latter may be the same as fastest, or it may take a little longer). VERY detailed. I recommend it.

Posted by
159 posts

Don't worry. You'll be fine with the driving and the tolls are not excessive.

I would start with Meteora (since Delphi is closer to Athens and the most important thing is to not miss your flight). Get a start at a reasonably early hour and you could be arriving at the monasteries by, say, 1 pm. (From a central hotel it's going to be 4.5 hours, at least, to get there). Visit two monasteries (hours are easy to find online, one will be closed on any given day), return to Kastraki, check in to accommodations, relax with a drink, then maybe head back to the high rocks for sunset photos (sundown 7:45 pm).

Next morning, visit the monastery that is closest to town (I forget the name but it will be obvious which one I'm referring to - skip this on Day 1, do it on Day 2 as it will give you a quicker getaway), drive to Delphi. This is 3.5 hours, minimally assuming you don't miss any turns but the fastest route can be a bit windy (don't worry, there won't be any traffic, at all, and it's quite scenic). Don't worry about arriving in Delphi a little late, though, because there's really only two things that you'll be doing. I would visit the museum first and then the archaeological site second. The site closes at 8 so if you were to arrive there at 5:45 or so you'd be in great shape. The museum on some days closes a lot earlier than the site, that is why I'd see the museum first. Meaning, let's say you arrive at 2:30. Visit the museum, finish at, say, 4. Walk back to town, check in to hotel, grab a bite at a scenic taverna. Head back to the archaeological site by 5:45 and you're good.

Now, if you have an 11AM flight from many places in Greece I'd insist that you stay in Athens. But, from Delphi you will skip the urban center of the city via a high-speed freeway and get to the airport easily. Keep in mind you'll need time to return your car. I would be on the road by 6AM if you stay in Delphi, though, so a missed exit won't kill you.

Posted by
26 posts

We did this exact trip last August. Drove from Athens to Kalampaka, overnight there, morning visited Grand Meteora and then drove to Delphi and and was back in Athens around 9 PM. So two days and one night. In Kalampaka the first evening we visited St. Stephen's Monastery since you can drive straight to it and don't have to climb any stairs.

Athens to Kalmapaka we took the mountain route through Lamia, Karditsa, Trikala. It was a toll route but the mountain drive was easy. Just remembered the driving tips to make a single lane road into two lanes by driving with half the car on the shoulder and letting the faster cars pass.

We hired an automatic transmission from Sixt with GPS.