Greece travel plans in December

Nov 9th, 2019, 07:30 AM
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Greece travel plans in December

Hi all, I and my husband are planning to travel to Greece during December (Nov 27 - Dec 10). While researching on the weather, it looks like some places up north or even the islands might be a bit colder (pretty obvious as it's December time). But just wanted your thoughts / experiences to guide us in understanding how bad the weather could be during this time frame that we should completely cancel our plans to visit this beautiful country. The temperature averages are swinging from like 9-18 degree celsius, which doesn't sound too bad .
We are really interested in experiencing the culture of each city, food, enjoy the beautiful landscape etc. Here are the cities in our radar so far (in no order of travel): Athens, Delphi, Meteora, Santorini, Thessaloniki, Crete, Plaka, Peloponnesse etc. But are slightly confused with the weather situation.

Any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks!!

Last edited by swatigupta0366; Nov 9th, 2019 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Title change
swatigupta0366 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 09:25 AM
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Moderator1 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 09:57 AM
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The weather will be what the weather will want to be. You have no way to know more than 1-2 weeks in advance. Greece will be still there even if under a blanket of snow(normal in the mountains, not unusual in the north, rare in Athens). Life doesn't stop because it's colder than usual, only in case of extreme weather.

What we can say for sure of weather in December:

It's not going to get hot and that is IMHO a blessing. It can be warm, it can be mild, it can be cool, it can be even cold, but it's not going to be hot.

I'd rather risk rains and strong winds than wildfires and smoke which is increasingly common in summer.

Take some warm cloothes, windproof/waterproof and dress in layers.

Last edited by BDKR; Nov 9th, 2019 at 10:00 AM.
BDKR is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 10:32 AM
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Because tolerance for different weather conditions differs from person to person, I would urge you to look a bit more closely at the climate statistics -- not just the averages, but the ranges and the likelihood of precipitation, etc. is a great resource for that. And you might also want to look at sunrise and sunset times, as that can affect one's experience. Try for that.

Personally, I wouldn't want to visit Santorini or any of the smaller islands in winter. JMO.

If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report, even though I visited in May, not Dec.
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece
kja is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 10:58 AM
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Well, these days winter is unfortunately the only time of the year when you can enjoy Santorini without the crowds.
BDKR is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 08:08 PM
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Every Autumn we get requests from India about visits to Greece... most usually from people getting married in November or December and having daydreams about honeymoons in beautiful sunny Greece. They are in denial (understandably) about the weather -- even if they look up the temperatures and rainfall statistics -- because the heart wants what it wants. However, the truth is, Greece is a country for warmth and sunshine... and that's between April and October. To visit in the winter, except perhaps to see museums in Athens and enjoy nightlife among Athenians, is to court disappointment. You cannot change the weather of the Northern Hemisphere -- it will be chilly and rainy and, if last year is any indication, snow even in Athens ... you need to change your destination. South Africa, South America, the Phillipines, Thailand, the Caribbean ... you know in your heart these are the places for December.
travelerjan is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 03:35 AM
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.....altough in many Caribbean Islands, the rainy season ends mid December only.
neckervd is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 06:25 AM
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Thank you so much everyone for your response. Definitely helps!
swatigupta0366 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 11:39 AM
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We were in Santorini only two weeks ago. Everything was closing up for the season. We stayed at Canaves Oia and it was paradise. Everything you imagined Santorini to be. But it was at the very last of the season. The shops and restaurants at Oia were still open and not busy, but now that's not the case. One of our drivers is already back in Athens to wait out the winter before going back to work on Santorini.

We enjoyed time in Athens itself and used Athens as a base for day trips throughout the mainland. We used private drivers from PK Travel to go to Delphi and I would have loved to go to Meteora. Days were warm but not warm enough for outdoor pools. Our private plunge pool on the terrace at Canaves Oia was heated and was fabulous.

So if you don't mind cooler weather, you could have a wonderful time in Greece, especially on the mainland. But you'd want to wait until late spring/ summer if you want a classic sunny Greece vacation on the islands. We asked a lot and were told early June would be the perfect time to return for the islands - before the crowds of summer arrive. It just depends on what you are imagining, I think.
starrs is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by starrs View Post
We asked a lot and were told early June would be the perfect time to return for the islands - before the crowds of summer arrive.
Santorini, at least, was unpleasantly crowded by early May.
kja is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 11:50 AM
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I guess it still holds true for most other islands which are not visited by cruise liners and the main clientele are European holidaymakers most of whom take their vacation in July-August.
BDKR is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Santorini, at least, was unpleasantly crowded by early May.

We were so lucky. Really warm temps. Oia was not crowded at all. I would tempt fate again and try again in late October, if I were only returning to Santorini. But I would like to visit other islands.
starrs is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 09:30 PM
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We were in Hydra and Chania (Crete) in the first two weeks of October and it was obvious the season was ending. Fewer people, some shops and restaurants closed. We still enjoyed it and had sunny weather but much later and I'm not sure what would still be open.

KayF is offline  
Nov 11th, 2019, 01:44 AM
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the weather will probably be a little cold with the temperature around 5-15 C depending on which part of Greece you choose. Thessaloniki is much colder than Athens. The only island i would recommend at that period is Crete. Though Crete is very big and you will not even understand that you are in an island. It is more or less the same feeling with Peloponnese.
If you like mountains and picturesque villages then you should choose Peloponnese. Delphi and Meteora are must see places and so are Mycenae, Epidaurus and Olympia.
Athens is nice at that period without a lot of rainy days and you can visit the must see like Acropolis and Sounio without a lot of crowds.
pesma is offline  
Nov 11th, 2019, 02:11 AM
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I’ve always gone to the islands on my trips to Greece, but would stick to the mainland in December. I think for December I would go to the Peloponnese, which probably has more ancient sites than anywhere else in Greece. It even has beautiful beaches with mild weather on the southern coast in the Laconia and Messenia regions.

The islands are primarily beach oriented, and it’s not easy to get from one to another off-season without going back through Athens.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 11th, 2019, 02:53 AM
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Winter is not recommended for Islands. I would suggest maybe Athens where there are several places to see there.
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