How to get around Meteora by bus
When you first see Meteora you’ll wonder how you’ll get around its vast landscape.
There may only be one, but the Meteora bus will get you to where you need to go! To give you an idea of getting around Meteora by bus, read on!
The Meteora Bus and it’s route
The Meteora Bus departs the KTEL bus station every day and makes the journey from the town of Kalabaka to Meteora and its monasteries. Aside from the bus stops on the main street in Kalabaka, before reaching Meteora, the bus does make other stops. If you want to ensure you get a seat, get on at the bus station which is on Averof street.
Meteora Bus – routes
Kalabaka to Meteora
Kalabaka bus station, Hotel Divani, Town hall Square, Campaing Vrachos, Kastraki, Camping The Cave, St Nicholas Anapafsas, Roussanou, Varlaam, Great Meteoro, Holy Trinity, St Stephen.
Meteora to Kalabaka
St Stephen, Holy Trinity, Varlaam, Great Meteoro, Roussanou, St Nicholas Anapafsas, Camping The Cave, Kastraki, Campaing Vrachos, Town hall Square, Kalabaka bus station.
The first few stops are along the main street and then the bus picks up people at a few camping sites and the nearby town of Kastraki which are on route.
Travelling from Athens or Thessaloniki?
If you’re staying in Athens you can get a direct bus at 7am to Kalabaka and Meteora. However, if you’re staying in Thessaloniki, there’s a direct bus at 8am to Kalabaka and Meteora. For up-to-date travel information, please check the KTEL Trikala website.
Meteora bus timetable and pricing
Because there’s only one bus, the departure times are quite far apart since the bus completes the whole circuit. It stops at all the monasteries on the way up, and then does the same on the way back down into the town. The Meteora bus leaves the main bus station in Kalabaka at around 9am, then again at 12pm and at 2.30pm. If you’re travelling back from Meteora to Kalabaka, the bus leaves St Stephen’s Monastery at around 11am, 2pm and 4.30pm. Please do check the current timetables as the timings are likely to change yearly. You can use the Meteora Bus timetable as a starting point to get a rough idea.
If you’re travelling from one of the major cities like Athens or Thessaloniki, then here’s the most updated bus KTEL timetable. For more on travelling to Meteora by bus, read my post to show you how to get to Meteora from Athens or Thessaloniki by bus and train.
Meteora bus ticket prices
Bus tickets can be purchased at the bus station or when you get on the bus. You can enter at its rear doors and the bus conductor onboard will greet you and you can get a ticket from him once seated.
The bus does not give return tickets. You can only purchase a single or an all day one. The all day tickets allows you to hop on and off. For €1.80 you can get a single journey ticket or if you intend to visit the monasteries all day, and using the bus throughout, then you could be better off with an all day ticket for €5.50. Then it’s a bit like a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus.
- If you’re a student and have an ISIC card you can get a 25% discount on your bus ticket. Check in advance if they still do this offer.
- Make sure you have small notes or loose change of the bus – it’ll help the bus conductor out!
How to see four monasteries in a day by bus
My aim was to see four of the six monasteries during my trip but I ended up seeing four in one day. Want to know how I did it?
I took the 9am Meteora bus from one of the stops along Trikalon – the main street in Kalabaka. You can take it from the bus station as well. My first stop was the Monastery of Varlaam – you will most likely have to get off at The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron and walk down to Varlaam. There’s not enough space for the bus to turn around at The Monastery of Varlaam. The walk doesn’t take long at all if you’re able to.
From The Monastery of Varlaam I then walked to the Monastery of Rousanou. It took about 23 minutes, but depending on your pace it may be more or less. I’d say allow for 25-35 minutes just in case.
From the Monastery of Rousanou I walked for 18 minutes to St Nicholas Anapafsas Monastery. It’s downhill, so a nice walk, despite it being really hot! There wasn’t much shade and if you’re out all day, I’d suggest a sun visor.
Back on the bus
Once I’d spent some time at St Nicholas Anapafsas Monastery, I waited at the bus stop across the road. The Meteora bus would have left the station at 12pm and would take about 20 minutes or more to get from the bus station to St Nicholas Anapafsas Monastery. I then took the bus to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity. After staying at the monastery for about an hour and a half, I took the bus just after 2pm back to Kalabaka.
NB: I’d already seen two of the monasteries the day before when I went on the Visit Meteora Hiking Tour.
It’s pretty easy to get around Meteora. You can drive, but there’s not a lot of parking spaces outside the Monasteries. If you’re into hiking, you could try hiking more of Meteora!
Let me know if you decide to go and want any advice!
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2 thoughts on “How to get around Meteora by bus”
This is the best article I’ve read on how to get around to see the monasteries without having a car. I was planning on doing the sunset tour as well so I will follow your directions to visit the other monasteries on my second day there. Thank you so much for your detailed instructions, I feel like I have a plan now and that’s a great relief.
Hi Terri, thanks so much for your comment. I’m really glad you found my post useful! I’ve found a link which provides the opening times of the monasteries for 2022, if that helps further with your plans – https://meteora.com/meteora-monasteries-opening-hours. Let me know how it all goes – and you’ll love Meteora! 🙂