Great news for those who prefer to extend Summer into Autumn; the Mediterranean climate of Greece blesses it with a longer season than most places. Visiting Greece in October still means you can borrow some of the waning summer’s ambiance. The weather is fairly mild compared to most mid-Autumn temperatures, with sunshine-packed days in the most part, although you should prepare for the occasional wet spells and chillier days.
Especially first timers in Greece, should aim to spend a few days in Athens whilst combining one island destination is entirely feasible too. Two islands that will provide visitors with the quintessential feels of Greece are undoubtedly Santorini and Crete. Visiting Greece in October is a wonderful time to experience the best of what the country has to offer, coupled with less crowds, lower rates and plenty of sunshine to soak up, amidst fallen Autumn leaves. So, here goes, read how to spend your time in Greece in October below.
Greece in October: Athens – the enchantress
Athens, the eternal city; the cradle of democracy; the beacon of civilisation. No visit to Greece in October is complete without a stop-over in the Greek capital. Bursting with things to see and do, brimming with experiences that will enhance your time and immerse you into the culture further.
The historic center of Athens is fairly small, easily explored by walking around the ancient landmark of the Acropolis. On the south side is the most iconic of streets, Dionysiou Areopagitou. Opposite it you can admire Hadrian’s Arch and the grounds where the Temple of Olympian Zeus rests.
Walking up to the ancient rock, you will come across the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an ancient theatre which is an attraction in itself. You admire the Acropolis and the aforementioned theatre by reaching Philopappou Hill, where Socrates’ prison lies, or Pnyx, another hill facing the Acropolis that used to be a meeting point for philosophizing and debating matters of the state.
Areas to check-out for a laid-back evening on this side are Koukaki and Thissio. Walking towards its north side you’ll reach Monastiraki Square with its famous flea market, the picturesque Plaka and the small neighbourhood of Anafiotika that lend the city an island aura. There is also one more area that is absolutely charming, where the urban vibes of Athens are at their most vibrant. Psyrri is where the essence of Athens is within your grasp. Neoclassical buildings, some fully refurbished while others are left derelict, a plethora of outdoor cafes, traditional tavernas, modern eateries, bars and sweet shops buzzing from am to pm.
Absorbing the energy of Athens comes naturally if you choose to stay in one of the aforementioned areas, especially at an Acropolis view suite in Athens, in Psyrri where the Parthenon and the Athenian skyline can be your daily horizon.
Greece in October: Santorini – the dreamy
Of course, Santorini is one of the top islands associated with Greece. It’s widespread popularity is linked to the fact that it has one of the most intriguing histories, while the unique feature of a sea-volcano as a natural landmark is absolutely enthralling.
There are not many places in Greece that claim their own volcano, as well as raising speculation about being the mysterious site of the long, lost Atlantis. After its most devastating eruption, back during the Minoan era (between 2000 through to 1001 BC), the island of Santorini was transformed forever.
Originally part of the island, the volcano spew destroyed the surrounding land, plunging it deep into the Aegean, leaving only a crescent shape behind apart from its crater that rises above sea level. Atop of the land that remains, were built some really picturesque settlements, mostly stark white to reflect the sunrays, keeping the cubist houses cool during harsh summers.
Typically, these are the towns of Fira, Imerovigli and Oia all built on the edge of the Caldera cliff, making up the iconic fabric of the island’s timeless charm. And at the southernmost tip of Santorini’s crescent shape, visitors can soak up some truly mesmerising views of the entire island, the aforementioned settlements and its volcano by staying at a refined, all-suite hotel in Akrotiri.
Cliffs and lighthouse in Akrotiri at sunset, Santorini, Greece.
What’s more is that from there you can admire the unique terrain of the cascading strata of rock all the way from the peak down to the sea. You can only observe these colourful levels of sediment by boat excursion or from Akrotiri. Therefore if you want to experience Santorini in all its glory and from an unusual vantage point, avoiding the crowds that tend to gather in the more popular villages of Fira and Oia, then Akrotiri is one to check out.
Greece in October: Crete – the splendid
Crete, Greece’s most autonomous island. A place that has its own culture as a whole, while there are many subcultures found in specific regions of Crete.
Renowned for their exceptional hospitality, while visiting Crete you will be astonished at how many locals will wish you a heartfelt “Kalimera” as they pass you on the street. Some might even invite you to their homes for a shot (or more) of their famous Raki drink, but do not be alarmed, it is quite usual for Cretans to welcome people in this way.
Especially cordial and open-hearted, the Cretan mentality is by nature intense. They feel their emotions quite intensely, and their sense of honour is something all Greeks talk about. Crete is so vastly diverse being between two very distinct seas. The Cretan sea to the north and the Libyan sea to the south. The northern coast is different than the southern coast, the latter having a much more tropical feel to it. Yet the way Crete has been compartmentalised into four prefectures, that run vertically covering both sides of the island.
Choosing where to stay in Crete can pose a justifiable dilemma; there is so much to see that you can never see all of it in an entire lifetime. That’s what Cretans claim in any case. If you are nature lovers and in for a bit of an adventure, then the top recommendation is to stay in Chania.
It is blessed to be where the notorious Samaria Gorge as well as the striking White Mountains, both of which have been weaved into Cretan folklore. The 18 km gorge is one of the largest in Europe and is open for trekking until the end of October. The hike is not particularly demanding and is child appropriate too, making it a wonderful family expedition amidst stunning wild nature, and a few Byzantine churches here and there.
Greece in October was last modified: October 2nd, 2019 by The Daily Traveller