Did you know that after summer, Greece still offers long periods of warm temperatures? Discover why you should visit Greece off-season.
Greece off-season: after summer holidays
Post-summer blues are already here. We’re back home, looking at the pictures taken during the last summer holidays in Greece. It only takes a minute to start dreaming of going back. If your vacation is still to be decided, why not take advantage of traveling in less popular months?
We know what you’re thinking.
Greece in the off-season still offers long periods of warm weather – and there’s more! Now you can discover all the advantages that go beyond convenient prices and sunny days, turning Greece into a year-round destination. Learn more!
If you travel to Greece off-season, you avoid long lines and crowds at important sites. IMAGE: GABI ANCAROLA
Greece is a year-round destination
Greece is a blessed land which lacks rigid winters. The average temperature in the colder months is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, peaking at 100 degrees in summer. This means that planning a trip in the so-called “shoulder months” of April, May, and June; or September and October; will still allow for plenty of sunshine, pleasurable temperatures, and warm seas. Yes, you still can swim in Greece off-season.
Extremely hot summers are easily beaten by the beauty that spring and fall bring. This is when nature puts on its best dress: plenty of blooming fields, warm colors, and clear skies.
Avoid the crowds
More and more Europeans choose Greece for their summer holidays every year — the majority of them will vacation in Greece in July and August. This implies long lines at dinner time, crowded archaeological sites, and packed beaches where finding a tranquil spot could turn into a quest.
The easiest way to avoid this nightmare is to choose to visit Greece off-season. A stay on the Greek islands in October will allow you to enjoy dreamy beaches all by yourself. You’ll get better service by the locals who will happily engage in interesting conversations, otherwise impossible in summer when they’re rushed by the urgency to serve everyone quickly and fast.
When you travel to Greece off-season, you can have that beautiful beach to yourself. IMAGE: GABI ANCAROLA
Take advantage of hotel deals
While some structures remain shut in winter, especially on the islands, many are still open in fall and spring — and offer a substantial decrease in prices for services and accommodations. Now you can get that awesome room you’ve always dreamed of, the one overlooking Santorini’s caldera! You can even go for a spa treatment or a relaxing massage. And you’ll partake in it all without paying prices that, for many, would be clearly out of their budget.
Better deals are easier to find in the off-season.Just imagine the most comfortable room, the most incredible view, or even an unrequested upgrade — all without paying any extra. That’s right — just because you chose the right month to visit. Another advantage is that deals also extend to airfares, ferry tickets, and prices in general. Take advantage of end of season sales in many shops, too, for more souvenirs and memories of your trip.
If you go to Greece off-season, you may enjoy hiking through snow-capped mountains. IMAGE: GABI ANCAROLA
Where to go during fall and spring
The favorable temperatures of spring and fall make beach days on many islands perfectly possible. Sea shores on Crete are almost empty. What’s more, due to its closeness to Africa, the climate is still very similar to summer. Mountain walks are very pleasant as well. In spring, the fields turn green and are covered with colorful wild flowers. While in fall, instead, warmer colors dress the island making hunts for nuts and mushrooms an enchanting visual experience, later on rewarded with mouth-watering local specialties. Activities such as grape harvesting and wine making are at their best, too.
Interesting Easter celebrations are held all over the country, but few places can beat the rituals of Santorini and Corfu. Santorini celebrates with suggestive fire torches illuminating every little village on Holy Friday.Experience local traditions and customs, in Corfu, when the locals throw large clay pitchers from their balconies onto the streets, and church bells chime in joy.
Where to go in winter
Winters are rather mild in Greece. Expect some rain, but never heavy enough to prevent you from enjoying outdoor activities. Unless under very rare weather conditions, it’s quite normal for rain to last only a few hours.Pack a light raincoat just in case. Chances are though, you won’t use it much.
During winter, several ferry and air routes are reduced, but not all of them. Santorini, Crete, and mainland Greece remain mostly open and are ideal spots for a winter break, especially if you’d rather visit museums instead of beaches. Besides, walking through famous archaeological sites in colder months will offer a more enjoyable time, without battling the midday heat, crowds, or even mosquitoes.
Another great winter destination is the capital, Athens. Here, even when many museums and exhibitions reduce their visiting hours, they also conveniently cut their entrance fees, sometimes by half. But Athens isn’t just museums. There’s plenty of street art to be discovered, cultural centers, and open spaces where you can hang out. The city completely changes its face at night time too, adding an endless selection of bars, pubs, and alternative restaurants to the year-round offering.
Thessaloniki, one of the most important cities in northern Greece, is also a great destination, any time of year. Here, you will be able to walk through open markets and enjoy important cultural activities, art exhibitions, and concerts. The Peloponnese is another good idea with several impressive archaeological sites such as Mycenae, Olympia or Epidavros.
If you’re not the museum type of traveler, there’s nothing to worry about, as options are abundant. Take a trip to Pelion, to work on your skiing, while gazing at the sea form the mountain tops. Bigger islands such as Corfu, Crete, and Andros also offer plenty of walking opportunities, with hiking routes and beautiful trails immersed in nature.
When you visit Greece off-season, you can experience holidays and local customs. Santorini at Eastertime is an amazing experience. IMAGE: GABI ANCAROLA
Greece off-season: amazing at any time of year
As always, Greece offers countless holiday ideas for all tastes, all year long. And contrary to what many might believe, stunning whitewashed views and incredible beaches are not the only things to see. Greece is also full of fantastic year-round opportunities that turn it into the most versatile place you could visit. And you can take in all that beauty in the off-season, without spending a fortune. Consider traveling to Greece off-season. You won’t regret it!
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