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Greece - when is the best time to go for warm but not too crowded?

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Oct 20th, 2017, 11:24 AM
  #1
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Greece - when is the best time to go for warm but not too crowded?

As of now, I hope to spend two or three night in Athens (at a Hilton property on points) and then several nights on Santorini. In general, I like to travel during the shoulder season (May or early fall) to have good weather but not too many crowds.

What's the best time to go to Greece?
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Oct 20th, 2017, 01:29 PM
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We were in Greece from 9/18/17 to 10/7/17. Athens was sunny and hot. We traveled to 4 islands including Santorini. Weather was wonderful and we did not find it crowded. We did have 2 days of rain on Crete the rest of our time was sunny and hot, beach weather. The ocean was warm. I cant speak about the spring
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Oct 20th, 2017, 02:11 PM
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If you want to avoid the crowds and don't care about swimming in the sea or a sun-warmed pool, go in May. If warm water is part of your "must-haves" then go in mid-September after the schools have opened again for the year.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 03:29 PM
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kja
 
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I enjoyed almost everywhere I went in Greece in May. My time in Athens was actually the first week of June, and while there were crowds in parts, they were easy to avoid or work around. Even in mid-May, I found Santorini unpleasantly crowded.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 07:42 PM
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Santorini was the only place I didn't care for in Greece. It looks Greek but didn't feel it at all. Overly touristed, crowded with cruise ship hordes. I was there twice, both times in late September. Go to Napflion, Chania, Paros or Naxos instead.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 10:44 PM
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For me, the best times to go to the islands, when it's not too crowded but everything is open and weather is stable, is June or early September.

Santorini has a longer season than most other islands, so to avoid crowds it may be better to go in May or wait until early October. I agree with HappyTrvlr's comments about Santorini, but if you can go to only one island while in Greece, that, IMO, is where you should go.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 11:06 PM
  #7
kja
 
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Proving yet again that people have different preferences.... I'd skip Santorini unless you have a particularly strong interest in Akrotiri and prehistoric Thira. I FAR preferred Crete and Naxos.
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Oct 21st, 2017, 01:45 AM
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Kja, let me explain my reasoning. It was my ninth or tenth trip to Greece before I got around to visiting Santorini, and went there primarily to meet a friend, who also contributes here on Fodor's. Since then I visited a second time. While not my favourite island, I would still recommend it to a one-time visitor to Greece.

Santorini makes nearly every list of "places to see before you die", along with Uluru, Ngorongoro Crater, Taj Mahal, etc (I have been fortunate to have visited those as well). The spectacular scenery, the history of the Minoan civilisation seen at the Akrotiri site, the vineyards with vines woven into basket shapes, and the black sand beaches make Santorini unique.

I would alway recommend, if one has the time, combining Santorini with another less touristy island like Naxos or Paros, but if you can visit only one island Santorini would top my list.
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Oct 21st, 2017, 06:05 AM
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We go to Greece in September or October. Warm enough to swim. Less crowds. If you are a hiker, get up at 6-7am and do the Fira-Oia trail. No crowds at that time. Magnificent scenery.
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Oct 21st, 2017, 08:03 AM
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I'm going to Santorini. Not sure if I'm adding another island, but I'm going there. Thanks!
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Oct 21st, 2017, 09:01 AM
  #11
 
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We've gone early May and loved it. We are not swimmers so do not care how warm the water is and like warm but not hot for hiking.

We always fly to whatever island we're going on arrival in Athens, then work our way back to Athens.

Santorini is not our favorite but we are happy to have seen it. We prefer Paros and Folegandros.
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 09:14 AM
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I just got back from 10 days on the island of Chios. Was there early October and the weather mild enough for short sleeves during the day and most nights with an occasional light jacket in the evening. One overnight of rain. Aegean warm for swimming.

We/I go every October and find it perfect for me. Less tourists, lower prices and still nice weather especially southern part of the country and mid- and southern islands.

I haven't been to Santorini so can't comment on it, but it would not be my first choice for a Greek Island. Yet, to each their own.
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 10:12 AM
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Starrs

How can you be planning your next trip when you havent reported on your ltaly trip? We are waiting! Hope you had a good time!
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 05:07 PM
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I can't comment about Athens, but we were in Santorini in early Oct and the weather was still quite warm (in the upper-80s) during the day. At night it was a bit chilly and I definitely needed a light sweater, especially since it can be breezy.

We stayed in Imerovigli and found it very pleasant with no crowds. However, we found it surprising that for dinner, a couple of restaurants did require reservations. We went sightseeing around Oia and Fira during the day and thought it was a little crowded (probably due to the cruise ship passengers), but not packed. I wouldn't want to see how packed it would be there during the peak summertime.

We had a great time and I hope you do, too.
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 10:02 AM
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Dayle, it was fabulous! Just got back last night. Per my usual, I started dreaming about the next while still on the current trip. The Cinque Terre and Capri put me in a Greek island kind of mood!
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 10:21 AM
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Re Santorini: We have visited a couple of times. Used to be that folks would caution folks visiting the islands about the Meltemi winds which arise in August.

As someone has said above, Santorini is a very popular cruise ship stop. If you can visit when no ships are there or there is the smallest number there it might be more ideal. The schedule seems to extend well in October. When ships are in the number of visitors swells enormously.

Dodging these visits isn't always easy as you can see by this schedule: https://www.cruisetimetables.com/cru...ni-greece.html
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 02:33 PM
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We went in October and it was very warm. We stayed a few days in Athens, then toured the entire Peloponnese, and spent a few days on the isle of Hydra (where you arrive by ferry from the port of Athens, about an hours ride) and loved it. There are no cars allowed on the island. It is clean, charming, quiet but with lots to do and see.
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Oct 25th, 2017, 01:12 AM
  #18
 
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We have only been to Greece once, in late September. We LOVED Santorini. But, do not stay in Fira— cruise ships, and tacky tourist shops.

We stayed at the Gold Suites, in Imerovigli. Amazing views. It was beautiful and quiet when we were there.

I would not go much later than September, though. We had one morning of wind and rain, which gave a good indication of why you don’t want to be there when winter comes in.

Great little restaurant we found on the caldera: Ma Maison. Not French, despite the name. Make reservations, for sure.
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Oct 25th, 2017, 01:13 AM
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Correction: La Maison
http://www.lamaison-santorini.com/
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