As you might have noticed, loads of our posts so far have revolved around how to catch the somewhat elusive buses in this part of the world. The further we have travelled south through the Balkans, the less information we have been able to find on how to get from A to B, and we’ve found other travel bloggers sites one of the best places for random bits of information.
On this particular trip, getting from southern Albania to Metoria in Greece was no exception. We couldn’t find a single shred of info online apart from ‘we did this trip and it worked out ok’, and we were relying completely on the advice of the owner of our guesthouse in Ksamil on how to get to Greece.
It took eleven hours of travel, 4 bus changes and 2 hours waiting at the border, but it was most definitely worth it to wake up in this spectacular part of the world the next day:
As we were staying in the smaller town of Ksamil rather than the larger Sarandë in southern Albania, we had a few less options when it came to leaving. One option was to go back to Sarandë on the local bus, but we decided to head directly south instead. By the way, we’d highly recommend staying in Kasamil over Sarandë, and if you do, you’ll have an amazing time at Tani’s Bar and Guest House. Plenty of good beers and fantastic conversation to be had here.
The bus from Kasmil leaves from opposite Tirana Bank at 11.15am. Its 400 Lek per person, and will take you down to the border town of Konispol.
From here, you need to walk through the border control. Its about a 10 min walk from the Albanian side to the Greek checkpoint, make sure you have a break along the way at the most remote Duty Free store you are ever likely to come across.
After you get through Greek border control, its a bit of a wait for the next bus to Igoumenitsa, which arrives at 3pm. Luckily you loose an hour of waiting time here, as time zones change as you cross into Greece. The bus to Igoumenitsa seemed amazingly luxurious after local Albanian buses, was totally empty and cost €3.60 each. This was the cheap one… you might want to prepare yourself for the next ones because we’re back in the EU now and it sure as hell ain’t as cheap as Albania!
You'll arrive at Igoumenitsa, behind the main bus station, ask the bus driver to point you in the right direction. From Igoumenitsa you’ll need to catch the bus to Ioannina, which is €12. The bus departs at 5.30, so grab a late lunch as I’m sure you’re getting hungry by now!
The final bus of the day is from Ioannina to Kalambaka where you’ll arrive in the dark, but you’ll have a majestic sight waiting for you in the morning. This one is 2 hours, and another €12.50 and departs at 8pm. If you want to rest your weary self somewhere close to the bus station and cheap, we’d definitely recommend Hotel King. The staff are fantastic and will load you up on loads of advice for sightseeing around Meteora, and the rooms are super clean with one of the most comfortable beds you’ll stay in.
And this is your reward for 11 hours of travel! Enjoy.
EMMA & PETE
We're just two Aussie's who met in London, married in Prague and travelled overland back to Australia.