I am flying to Athens this Friday and I will arrive around 11:00. I am planning to go from Athens to Meteora and stay there one day. From Meteora I would like to go and see the Vikos Groge and from there to the Ionian Islands. Is all of this possible with busses? And what if I would take a car from Meteora to Monodendri (Vikos Gorge) and leave the car there?
Thank you, Nathalie!
Yiasou Nathalie, Thank you for the question and for even finding me on line as I thought I had retired from answering question ... but hey, that's OK !
(here is a site for you to check out on just HOW you will go from the Athens Airport to the METEORA, which you will find by looking up KALAMBAKA or TRIKALA, the Villages at the base of
the Meteora. www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo. From the mane page scroll to the Airport site,
Terminal-A Buses , and/or Train schedules for Northern Greece.}
OR you can just believe me, forget the sites.
BUSES run all day from Airport to Terminal-A. Ask at the information counter where to walk for the bus for TRIKALA (Meteora). 45-min gets you to that Terminal. The wait for Trikala bus should not be more then 45-minutes. The Bus takes 4 1/2 hours to Trikala and I believe it is about 25-euro
You can then get a room for nite in TRIKALA or GO onto KALAMBAKA (15-min bus ride), and then stay there.
KALAMBAKA fountain in center of village is meeting place for buses or taxi that will take you the 7-k's to the Grand Meteora. (cost is minimal). It is mostly an uphill 7-kliks to the Meteora, but if you are a HIKER you can walk it and really get the feel for the place. Bus leaves about 0815. Pack a lunch
You should leave METEORA around 2pm in order to catch the bus from Thessalika that stops in Trikala and then will take you on the 2-hour-30-min trip to IOANNINA. Here you can get a ticket for port of IGOUMENITSA (2-hours)and the Ionian islands.
The VIKOS GORGE is usually entered from MONODENDRI. If you wish to hike the entire trail it is 5 or 6 hours. But it need not be that far . You won't be alone and there will be others there that can offer info on best lookout points etc. But if U have the time it is surely worth it to stay the extra day.
You will not make it to Monodendri by bus as the last one from IOANNINA is around 1430. MONODENDRI is about 40-minutes by taxi and will cost probably 40-euro each way....BUT if you can find 2 or 3 others you can cut the costs quite a bit....and you will have the whole nite ahead of you unless you want to blow it off and just catch a later bus that evening to IGOUMENITSA.
OH...ref. RENTAL cars ... NO agency in the entire Meteora area. HOWEVER, you might find some near the bus station in IOANNINA. From $24 US dollars a day . You can rent one and drive to MONODENTRI. It is not difficult to find ... get a map from the rental agency and take the one and only, clearly marked PAVED road There are motels, hotels and restaurants along the road. Then later, drive to IGOUMENITSA and drop car off (should not be any drop fee - but ask).
OH yes ... at Athens airport, inquire about getting a train to KALAMBAKA. I believe there is an inexpensive one that leaves around 1700. 5-hours and under 15-euro. www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo will have the current information on it.
Hope that this helps ...