The distance from Kalabaka to Zagori on the Greek mainland is about 100 miles (161 km). The most convenient way to travel to Zagori is by renting a car or hiring a private driver, which takes two hours (not including stops along the way to take in the sights of the Greek mainland).
You can also take a bus from Kalabaka to Zagori, which takes between five and seven hours. You will have to make a transfer in Ioannina, the capital of Zagori, and then grab a bus that is going to your final destination. If you find that there are no buses that go to your desired location in Zagori, you can book a rental car or private transfer from Ioannina.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2 hours
The Greek mainland is often overshadowed by the islands, but it has some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer. Consider renting a car to drive from Kalabaka to Zagori so you can stop along the way to take in the amazing sights, smells and tastes of the Greek mountains.
If you're looking for a place to stop while en route to Zagori, consider checking out Metsovo, a charming town that is the center of Aromanian life in Greece. The locals here are mostly Vlachs, descendants of nomadic shepherds who speak Aromanian, a dialect of Romanian, and this town is known for its grilled meat specialties such as kokoretsi, a traditional lamb dish.
The most popular route from Kalabaka to Zagori will take you on Egnotia Odos 92, the "New Road," which is a modern highway that will take you to Ioannina, before you switch to the Greek National Road 6 (abbreviated as EO6 or GR6 and also known as the "Old Road") to get to Zagori.
It is possible to take the National Road all the way from Kalabaka to Zagori. Although this route is more scenic, it can be more dangerous for those not familiar with the area as the National Road is a limited highway, often with just one or two lanes, and may be more affected by weather conditions such as snow.
Greek car rental companies primarily offer cars with manual transmission, but automatic vehicles are available for a higher price. For American travelers, keep in mind that an international driver's license is required to rent a car. Note that Greek drivers can be aggressive and the roads on this route are often winding, but if you are comfortable driving in these conditions, this option can give you an experience that you won't soon forget.
If you're interested in sitting back and relaxing as you take in the views of the Greek mainland, a private transfer is a great option to get you from Kalabaka to Zagori. This is a bit more expensive than renting a car, but has the benefit of letting someone else take the wheel, who knows the area and roads well.
Duration: 5 to 7 hours
The cheapest way to get from Kalabaka to Zagori is by bus. KTEL operates buses in Greece and offers routes from Kalabaka to Ioannina, the capital of the Zagori region. From Ioannina, you can transfer to another bus, which will take you up to Zagori. Note that buses only service certain villages in Zagori, so be sure to check that you can get to where you need to go if picking this option.
You can look at bus schedules online or even better, have your hotel check for you. These buses can fill up, so it's best to book in advance if possible. Greek buses are clean, comfortable and air-conditioned, so this can be a great option if you're on a budget or don't want to rent a car.
By Bus and Car
Duration: 5 hours
If you're interested in taking a bus to Zagori but find that there isn't one that services your final destination, consider taking the bus to Ioannina and then renting a car or booking a private transfer to get to Zagori. Ioannina has an airport where you can easily rent a car if you decide to go with that option.