Greece in November - where would you go?

Old May 8th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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Greece in November - where would you go?

My husband, daughter (adult) and I have about 5 days in Greece in late October/early November. We want to spend a couple of days in Athens and the rest of the time on one island. If you could choose one island in early November, which one would it be? I've read this forum and understand that many island hotels close at the end of October and that ferry schedules may be erratic. Any suggestions and info from those of you who know the area would be appreciated!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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October 28 is "Ohi Day" ("No" Day -- a patriotic holiday) and by tradition when mainly-tourist facilities close up and owners move back to Athens or wherever, for their winter life.

Thus, I would consider not doing Athens first. Instead, upon landing at Athens airport (if you indeed are coming by plane), immediately take a domestic flight to your island of choice. Aegean Air in the past has had a limited number of promotionally priced tickets (l0 or 19E = 35E+ with add-on costs), so check into this.

THis would get you to an island for the last gasp of the season and minimize your travel time; 50 minutes to Santorini or Mykonos vs. 8+ hours by conventional ferry to the former. I am guessing that if possible you want to see one of the "postcard" type islands (whitewashed houses with blue shutters) and these 2 - because of tourism - will have the most still going on in late October.

After 2 full days there,THen u could take a late afternoon ferry BACK to mainland, see sunset on deck(if it's not raining), have dinner aboard, snooze indoors, get to Pireaus (the Athens Port) by late evening.

This would leave u 2-3 days in Athens to take in Major sights.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Do what the Greeks do and stay on the mainland.

All the islands have a permanent population, of course, but by November most restaurants and hotels catering for tourists will be closed. Island residents will be taking a well deserved break after their busy summer.

In contrast, it will be business as usual on the mainland. This is an ideal time to visit archaeological sites, with crowds and heat of the summer gone. If you must visit an island, take a day trip to Hydra or one of the other islands in the Saronic Gulf.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:11 AM
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Thanks for the information. I like the idea of going directly to an island on our arrival, especially since we'll be flying from Athens to Istanbul. I'm not sure when we'll be able to arrive, though. If we can't get to the islands until early November, which ones are likely to have hotels open?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:28 AM
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Every island will have something open. Crete and Rhodes, for example, are larger islands with a bigger permanent population. Santorini, and Mykonos have a longer season than some others, so are likely to have more open.

I love the Greek Islands, and go every June and September. I like the warm sun, beaches, and outdoor cafes. You may be lucky and have a warm spell in November.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:42 AM
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I doubt I would recommend Travelerjan's Myconos trip that late in the season, because the meltemi winds may delay ferry access back to Athens due to high seas. This happened to us in late October a few years ago. Perhaps roundtrip air to Chania, Crete could be an option. Lovely city and great options for a day trip or two.
The mainland is always a good option at any time. Could be combined with a day trip to Hydra.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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ellen

Over the years I have visited Mykonos in both November and December.

I enjoy the island at most times of the year but early to mid-winter time is special. It is of course a very personal thing and what suits me may not suit others.

I enjoy the freshness of the place after the long hot summer. I enjoy the quietness too although you would be surprised at the steady trickle of the small numbers of tourists that still manage to visit.

It can be warm, windy or wet and cold but, for me, it all adds to the atmosphere. You have time to meet and chat with locals (those that haven't already left to enjoy a vaction now that the season has ended), and to sit and enjoy the light and those shorter winter days.

Few hotels are open but there are some that still do offer 365 day service. Ferries are subject to cancellation too although the Meltemi in late October is very rare. It tends to batter the island July and August.

This page will give you details of bars/restaurants and hotels open during the winter on Mykonos. It also gives you an idea of what to expect at that time of year:

http://mykonos-accommodation.com/autumn-winter.htm

If you do decide to visit then spend some time up on the northern beaches. Wild and breathtaking in winter.

Bill

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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:16 PM
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Billbarr is one of that small corps of island addicts (I count myself in that number) who become attached to a particular place, know some of the locals, and enjoy visiting any time of the year except high season. When you have been to the islands more times than you can count, you are no longer interested in the same things as normal tourists.

Bill knows Mykonos better than anyone currently writing on this board. I have a similar affinity to Antiparos, but prefer to visit when I can enjoy the warm sunshine.

To many people Greece = Greek Islands, but that simply isn't true. Much of the coastal mainland has an island feel, and you never have to worry about being stranded by bad weather. There is far more to see and do in an area like Nafplio/Epidavros in the Peloponnese than on any island.

With only five days to spare, you will want to make the best use of your time. Don't even think about taking a ferry to the islands. You will use the better part of a day each way traveling back and forth (5-2=3 days), and face the possibility of being stranded by autumn weather. Flying is the best way to get to the islands in Oct-Nov.


For me, a trip to Greece in November would be a golden opportunity so see the mainland at its best, and visit the many wonderful sites that I miss when going to the islands.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:03 AM
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Heimdall, wise words about the mainland in the winter months.

If I may, can I add Tiryns to your list should ellencmog decide to visit Nafplio?

Only a very short distance from this beautiful small town you have one of the two greatest ancient cities of the Mycenaean world. Without the hot temperatures of the summer sun it would be a joy to explore in November.

Bill
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Old May 10th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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You've all given me a lot to think about. I've been to Greece twice, including Mykonos and Hydra and a wonderful 10-day "classical" tour of the Pellopenese. I'd forego an island this time, but our daughter has never been and wants to go to an island. Five days is such a short time that you only get a taste, anyway. Crete and/or a quick day trip to Hydra sound interesting.

Bill, we also enjoy traveling in the off-season. We don't enjoy the throngs of tourists or touring in the heat. I'm looking forward to cooler weather and fewer people!
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:53 PM
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Crete won't give her the feelng of an Island, because it's actually a country. Take her on a day trip to Hydra, and then grab a bus (only 2.5 hours) to lovely Nafplio... the sunsets are lovely, and the cafes on the waterside even have heaters and lovely plastic sides so you can enjoy the sundown in comfort!). Plus you will adore the shopping in Nafplio -- so chic, so tasteful.

The town will still be lively because it is the Athenian getaway place. So much to see and do... and since it's a peninsula totally surrounded by water, it will feel "island-y". Stay at Hotel Leto or Pension Eleni & look down on the town & bay.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Also Hotel Leto has a single room, as well as doubles, unusual for most greek hotels.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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You've all convinced me. Thanks also, Jan for your advice. Your're right. Hydra will give her the taste of an island and it's easy to get to. We loved the Pellopenese when we were there and we'd love to return. And as you point out, it's easy to get to from Athens. I love it when a plan comes together!

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