For real pleasure, combine walking and touring between the monasteries. Give yourselves an extra day to explore Meteora on your own. The sight of the Meteora is a unique spectacle and experience, but walking on the well-marked paths, between the rocks, is breathtaking. One morning in Kalambaka is not enough. Spend an extra night there, wake up early and go for a walk. Experience and observe the local flora and fauna, join the optional “sunset” tour and you will remember Meteora forever.
Days & Prices
Depart Wednesday with a group and a tour guide, you visit the ancient site in Delphi, continue and spend the night in Kalambaka. Thursday in Kalambaka, you explore Meteora on your own. Friday, you join another group and with the professional tour guide, you visit 2 monasteries that are open on Fridays and return to Athens at +/- 19:30 .
PRICES: Organizing tours throughout Greece since 1958, we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. Our prices, per adult, are:
1) Share a room with your partner, 2 nights, 2 breakfasts=148+15 entrance fees
2) 2 nights in a single room, 2 breakfasts=200+15 entrance fees
In Kalambaka we use the 4* “Hotel KOSTA FAMISI”.
The prices include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pickup / drop off from or near your lodging. (See the list of hotels in the footer of this page).
(This service is from hotels in Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not included).
– The services of a professional tour guide on Wed & Friday. Thursday you are on your own.
– Hotel accommodation in single/double rooms with BREAKFAST.
– The entrance to the ancient site of Delphi (April-Oct = 15 €)
– The entrance tickets to the two monasteries visited.
– Hotel accommodation tax is paid by clients to the hotels: 4* hotels=3 € per room/per night.
OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the higher one):
a) 5% TRIPLE ROOM DISCOUNT: Share a room with another two of your friends and gain 5%.
– Read the “4 Steps 2 book” link in the footer of this page and start the communication.
– Bookings must be made 10 days before departure. Requests under 10 days are considered last-minute and last-minute bookings are not accepted.
– In the footer of the website you also see our location, contact information, and working days/hours.
Copied from a client’s Blogspot:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O. TOURS. Information about the tour can be found on their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However, I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially, I was quite sceptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (30% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a fraud. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at an unbelievably cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL.
DELPHI-the centre of the universe
Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims, from kings and philosophers to common people, came to hear the prophecies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the Pythian Games, like the Olympics, which was organized in Delphi. The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed on the slopes of Mt Parnassus, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. It is a 2.30 hr drive from Athens.
According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The Oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary.
The archaeological site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, AND the stadium, while the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia consists of the best-known landmark – the “tholos”, a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 Doric columns restored, the gymnasium and the sports facilities, used for training during the “Pythian Games”.
Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, which started in 1892. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the two “kouros” statues, the “omphalos”, the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.
METEORA-the art of nature
In a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” from the 10th c. onwards. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. fresco marks a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting.
More than a million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.
The huge rocks of Meteora formed millions of years ago, a mixture of sandstone, pebbles and hard gravel. These mountain pillars are extraordinary, with horizontal stripes and strange shapes, reaching 600 m tall. The art of Nature; a rocky forest. Meteora has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and since 1995 the Hellenic government declared it a ” sacred area”, belonging to everybody and protected from any change or interference. What makes them even more remarkable are the exquisite monasteries, built by hermits during the 9th c. AD, at the pinnacles of the rocks. For centuries these towers of sandstone provided cliff-top retreats for the monks.
SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR
1st DAY: Depart at 08.30 from Athens and drive via THEBES (the town connected with legendary Oedipus), LEVADIA (shortstop) and ARACHOVA, the group arrives in DELPHI at 11.30 am. With the tour guide, you visit the sanctuary of Apollo, and the archaeological museum, located near the site.
13.30 break up for lunch at a restaurant outside the modern Delphi town, and at 15.00 proceed after a short stop at THERMOPYLAE, the area where the Spartan king LEONIDAS and his 300 soldiers fought the Persians in 480 BC you arrive in Kalambaka, at +/- 19.00. Overnight in Hotel KOSTA FAMISI.
2nd DAY: Today you are free to explore the area of Meteora. Start in the morning hiking on the path towards Holy Trinity and St. Stephen. When you get up there, sit at the edge of one of the rocks, and let your mind travel a million years back. Imagine that you get your foot in the water of a huge lake. A lake covers the whole valley. Look at the horizon and imagine the lake drying gradually, recovering all this natural beauty in front of you. This is the most probable example of how all these were created. You are in front of a geological phenomenon universally unique, where words like admire, unexplainable, and impressing which we usually find in many writings can describe its size only to one point.
Follow the same path for your return or walk on the asphalt road back to Kalampaka. Relax in one of the cafeterias and when you recover, walk to Kastraki and find the cave dwellings at Badovas. Here is where everything started. Here, you will see old hermitages, original cloisters, and monasteries built in the caves.
You haven’t finished yet. Walk inside the old town of Kalambaka and find the old Byzantine church. It’s the most important monument of Kalambaka. Another “must-do” is to take the optional “Sunset Tour”, visit one monastery (usually the Rousanou) and capture beautiful sunset photos. Return to the hotel overnight.
Local tours: “Afternoon Sunset tour”, “Morning 4-hour tour” or “4 hours hiking tour”. The special price is 20 € for either one.
3rd DAY: After breakfast, meet and join the group and on the bus this time, drive to the METEORA and visit 2 of the monasteries that are open on that day. One of them is St. Stephen (the only one with easy access).
Return to Kalambaka for lunch, and after lunch, you say farewell to mystical Meteora and start the return to Athens. Arrive in Athens, +/- 19.30.
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY: The bus departs from the terminal at +/- 08.30
Passing from THEBES, LEVADIA (shortstop) and the village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI,
the famous “Temple-Bank”, at 11.30. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks and the Romans as “the centre of the universe”.
With a professional tour guide, you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle band and the nearby archaeological museum.
13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 15,00 departs via THERMOPYLAE, the place where the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers against the huge Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place (Shortstop), LAMIA (stop for restroom), KARDITSA and TRIKALA for KALAMBAKA. Arrival at +/- 19:00, and overnight in hotel KOSTA FAMISSI.
DAY 2 – THURSDAY: This is the extra day. You are free to explore the area.
Wake up early to experience the surrounding terrace, the flora, and the fauna of the area.
We suggest that in the morning you explore the area on your own, using a local bus (May-October), to visit the monasteries, or hire our taxi driver, or do an easy hiking trip.
In the afternoon, take the optional “SUNSET TOUR”. Our pre-booked price is 20 € per person. The tour bus will pick you up from the hotel at +/- 15.30 and you will be back at +/- 20.00.
DAY 3 – FRIDAY: After breakfast, at +/- 08:15, meet the bus behind your hotel, join a new group, drive to the METEORA, and visit two of the monasteries that are open on Fridays. One of them is the monastery of St. Stephen, the only monastery easily accessible.
+/- 12:00 Return to Kalambaka for lunch and after lunch, you return to Athens arriving at +/- 19.30.
Time Tour Plan & Services
08:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30 Depart from the terminal in Athens at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break near Levadia, arrive in modern Delphi village
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit the ancient sanctuary site. Entrance fees are added.
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant, outside the modern village of Delphi. (Optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae (shortstop), Lamia (stop), Karditsa & Trikala, you proceed to Kalambaka
18:30 Arrive in Kalambaka and at 19:30 check into the hotel of your choice.
09:00 Today you are free to explore Meteora. Do your hiking exercise and visit GRAND METEORO.
16:00 Take the optional “Sunset Tour” and capture beautiful sunset memories. (Optional tour)
09:00 After breakfast, with a new group, visit 2 monasteries. Entrance fees are included.
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (Not included in price).
14:00 Start the return to Athens and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00
Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou Street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
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