Travel from Delphi to Kalambaka in 4 easy steps

If you are an independent budget traveller and have been breaking your head trying to figure out how to get from Delphi to Kalambaka (Meteora) without wasting too much travel time or spending a small fortune, stress no more, your answer is here.

How to travel from Delphi to Kalambaka (Meteora). (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
The Tholos of Delphi (left) and Great Meteoron Monastery of Meteora (right).

I had the exact same problem. I wanted to travel from Athens to Delphi, Delphi to Meteora and, finally, Meteora to Thessaloniki. While it is possible to take a direct train from Athens to the town of Kalambaka (which is at the foot of Meteora), travelling there from Delphi (which is already one third of the way from Athens to Kalambaka) is a completely different story.

(No time for my full story? Find the Delphi-Meteora travel instructions at the bottom of this page)

Some people recommend taking a taxi from Delphi to Kalambaka. That service does exist, but it costs a fortune and you spend more time in a car than doing actual sightseeing…not my idea of a holiday! You could, of course, also join a bus tour from Athens, which includes Delphi and Meteora, but that works out much more expensive than doing it yourself, and your time at the actual destinations is limited.

The famous Delphi archaeological site in Greece. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
The remains of the Apollo temple at Delphi Archaeological Site.

Mountainous and rocky terrain

The problem with transport in Greece mainland is that much of the terrain is mountainous and only accessible by bus (no train). While very scenic, these bus trips can take a very long time, something most travellers can’t afford – no matter how beautiful the landscape!

In my case, I did not want to have to travel back five hours to Athens by bus, just to catch a train from there to Kalambaka. It would have been crazy, as Delphi is already one-third of the way to Kalambaka.

After much research on the internet and in travel forums, I figured it out and, as a female travelling on my own, I can assure you that it worked out really well and I never felt unsafe. In fact, it was quite an adventure, and that is why it deserves a full blog post.

Gorgeous views towards the ocean from Delphi. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Gorgeous views from Delphi.

Delphi to Livadia

The trick is to take an early morning bus from Delphi to the town of Livadia, from where you can connect with the direct morning train from Athens to Kalambaka. You will have to kill some time before the Athens train arrives, but it’s total worth the time and money you save by not having to travel back to Athens first. (I invested my saved time and money in an extra day at Meteora!)

I took the very early bus (05h30) from Delphi to Livadia. The bus stop is in Delphi’s main road and easy to find. While waiting for the bus, I admired the incredible mountains and views one more time in the early morning light.

The bus is a nice modern KTEL public bus and the only one you’ll see at that early hour of the morning – so no need to worry that you might miss it! The only few other souls on the bus were people commuting to work and one other tourist. I bought my bus ticket from the bus driver and paid about 4 to 5 euros.

The bus journey took about an hour and we arrived in the centre of Livadia town around 06h30.

The train station is 6-8km out of town (in the middle of nowhere!) and the train to Kalambaka only departs at 09h53, which means you have a total of three hours to kill. (The 05h30 bus from Delphi is the only one that will get you to Livadia in time for the 09h53 train.)

I spent some time at a small shop near the bus station, where people came to buy their coffee before work. It was the only place open in the area and I figured it would be busier there than at a train station out of town. I used my time to enjoy some breakfast and read.

What is very convenient, is that there is a taxi stand right next to the bus station. By 08h00, I was getting very bored and decided to take the taxi to the train station. The taxi fare was just under 10 euros.

Livadia train station. How to travel from Delphi to Kalambaka (Meteora). (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Early morning at the deserted Livadia train station in Greece.

Livadia train station – in the middle of nowhere

I arrived at the train station around 08h30 – it was totally deserted, except for two friendly railway employees (one of them female), who were manning the ticket office. They couldn’t really understand much English, but “Kalimera”, “Kalambaka”, “Meteora” and a friendly smile were enough to buy me a train ticket for 12 euros. Besides them, a few stray dogs were my only other company.

Livadia train station. How to travel from Delphi to Kalambaka (Meteora). (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Some of the stray dogs that kept me company at Livadia train station.

I had the opportunity to take some photos of the dilapidated old station buildings and the beautiful wild flowers overgrowing them. The place had a special charm to it – it felt as if time stood still.

Livadia train station in Greece. How to travel from Delphi to Kalambaka (Meteora). (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)

Livadia train station in central Greece. How to travel from Delphi to Kalambaka (Meteora). (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)

Eventually,  a few more people started to arrive at the train station, two local trains came and went, and then, finally, my train arrived around 10h00. I boarded the train, felt reconnected with the world and arrived in Kalambaka 3 1/2 hours later at 13h30. The nice thing about Kalambaka is that it is the very last station – the railway literally stops there.

My trip from Delphi to Kalambaka was a mini adventure in itself and totally worth the money (and time) I saved. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing!

Summary: how to travel from Delphi to Kalambaka in 4 easy steps

  1. 05h30: take the public KTEL bus from Delphi to Livadia (1h journey, about 5 euros)
  2. Take a taxi from Livadia bus station in town to the Livadia train station (8-10km out of town, 20 minutes, about 10 euros)
  3. 09h53: catch the train from Livadia to Kalambaka (3h30 journey, 12 euros)
  4. 13h18: arrive in Kalambaka (the town at the foot of Meteora)

Total cost of trip from Delphi to Kalambaka: 27 euros.

Great Meteoron, the oldest and highest monastery in Meteora. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Your reward: Seeing magical Meteora and its beautiful monasteries.

 

8 thoughts on “Travel from Delphi to Kalambaka in 4 easy steps

  • May 23, 2017 at 12:25 am
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    Thank you for this post! I was having an impossible time trying to figure out how to take this route!

    Reply
    • May 24, 2017 at 7:37 pm
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      So happy I could help, Megan. I remember what a struggle it was for me to work out the route. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply
  • May 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm
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    Good afternoon.
    Thanks a lot for your very complete information.
    I am in the opposite side, I need to travel from Livadia to Delphi. I’ll arrive in Livadia at 8:50 p.m. and I would like to sleep in Delphi, so I want a bus to go there. Do you have the different timetables or, at least, a link or an email where I could check them?
    Many thanks in advance.
    Best regards

    Reply
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:39 pm
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      Hi Cris! Finding info about the local bus routes and timetables (and, finding it in English) is a real challenge! I have also searched everywhere – I guess the shorter routes (such as the Delphi-Livadia bus) are not available online? I seriously doubt, though, that there will be a bus available after 20h50 in the evening (when you will be arriving). Also, you must remember that the Livadia train station is outside of town, in a pretty deserted part, and you will need to order a taxi beforehand to get into town – there won’t be one just waiting outside. I suggest the following: book accommodation for one night at a hotel in Livadia and ask the hotel to organise a taxi to collect you at the train station (it shouldn’t cost much). Then ask the hotel to find out when the first bus leaves for Delphi in the morning. The locals will know best. I do know that the KTEL Athens-Delphi bus passes through Livadia… but it is not clear exactly at what time. Have a look at this timetable: http://www.ktel-fokidas.gr/en/delphi. You can also try sending an email to info@ktel-fokidas.gr for more info. But, I think your best bet would be contacting a hotel or guesthouse in Livadia for more info. Best of luck! Let me know how it went.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2016 at 10:21 am
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    I loved this post, wish I can go there soon. 🙂

    Reply
    • August 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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      Thanks! It would be great if you could visit this beautiful place one day…

      Reply
  • June 25, 2016 at 10:21 am
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    Thanks for, once again, taking me on such a wonderful journey!
    Written with so much verve and beautiful pictures!

    Reply
    • June 25, 2016 at 11:52 am
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      You’re welcome, Raphefo! Wish you could have joined me in person 🙂

      Reply

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