Greece - March or July

Dec 12th, 2007, 02:13 AM
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Greece - March or July

If you could only go to Greece in mid March or July/August which would you choose?

I mostly enjoy just being in a place - photographing it, walking all over, cafe sitting. I'm not at all into the party sceene and hate crowds and while I want to look at the sea/beach, I don't care if I can swim. All that would point towards March. On the other hand, I want sunshine, being able to sit outside, blue water, flowers. And heat doesn't bother me. I don't want to go when a majority of stores/restaurants/hotels will be closed. So given all that which time of year would you choose. I'm interested in Athens and Santorini (plus a couple other islands).
isabel is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:25 AM
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Two extremes there - March is still winter, Jul-Aug high season. In March the ski season will still be underway on the mainland, and islands will be very quiet. In Jul-Aug it will be very hot on the mainland, and islands will be busy.

Were it me, I would go either very early in Jul or at the end of Aug when high season is coming to an end - but I like beaches. If you mainly want to visit museums and ancient sites, take walks, etc (there are sandy beaches on the mainland, too), you may enjoy visiting in March. No point in going to the islands that time of year, IMO.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:38 AM
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Other than in the mountains, March is more spring than winter. There will be more flowers to see then than in July/August when the landscape can be dry and parched. We have visited Athens early March and had temperatures of about 18C, pleasant and sunny and flowers growing amongst the ruins. Of course warm weather and sunshine are not guaranteed. July and August will be very hot and sunny but also busy and more suited to a beach holiday.
Maria_H is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:53 AM
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I was in Greece last March and visited Crete. There was still snow on the mountains but it was pleasantly sunny on the coast. There were very few tourists, so the choice of restaurants, etc, was limited away from bigger towns. On the islands that depend on tourism, nearly everywhere will be closed.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 04:24 AM
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Hi Isabel, I went to Greece with my daughter in March and loved every minute of it. I decided, however, to stick to the mainland because I had heard that many things might be closed on the islands.

We were lucky, the weather was gorgeous and spring-like. I would love to go back with my husband, but we haven't gone because it would mean traveling in the summer, and I think I would enjoy lots of the things I saw much less if it were really hot. The ruins were wonderful surrounded by wildflowers and spring sunshine; I think they would be more challenging in the summer heat.

My trip report:

Nikki is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Yes, I didn't mean to imply there will be snow everywhere on the Greek mainland during March. Indeed, that's one part of the world where you can sometimes enjoy skiing in the morning and (slightly chilly) beach in the afternoon.

Nevertheless, it can be cold and rainy in March. Here is a Trip Planner for Mar 1-15 showing actual weather since 2002 in Athens:
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 13th, 2007, 03:06 AM
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Thanks for the replys. That weather site is one I hadn't found, it's quite nice.

Nikki, I saw you trip report back when you wrote it and have it copied and filed. It was great. Did you not go to the islands because of the time of year? Or was it just that there was so much you wanted to see on the mainland?

I am interested in many things on the mainland, but for me the priorities are Santorini and Athens. I'm pretty sure I'd be just as happy (or more so) in Athens in March as I would be in July. But the islands. Santorini is a must for me and I'm just trying to decided which is worse - some closed businesses, cooler weather - or - massive crowds. So that's what I'm trying to determine, how closed/deserted will Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, etc be in March, how infrequent are the ferries. Versus - how awful are the crowds in summer. Anyone wanting to weight in on those issues I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
isabel is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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Yes, the main reason we didn't go to the islands was because I had heard things would be closed in March. But it turned out that the mainland was so wonderful that I'm really glad we did it the way we did. We did take a day trip to the closest island, Aegina. Everything was open there, but I gather that people live there year round and even commute to Athens, so it is less dependent on the summer tourist economy than the farther islands.
Nikki is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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July July July. I wouldn't go at any other time.

Have you read my trip report on Thessaloniki, Rodos, and Athens?

The Great and Powerful Thingorjus
marginal_margiela is offline  

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