Oct vs Nov for Greece

Old Nov 23rd, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Oct vs Nov for Greece

I'm trying to get a sense of the qualitative differences between traveling to mainland Greece in early October versus early November. I've looked into the weather reports and sunset times and museum closing times, so I know the basic facts. I'm hoping to hear more subjective opinions.

My basic route will be:

3 days - Athens
3 days - Nafplion
4-6 days - other parts of the Peloponesse
2 days - Delphi
1-2 days - Athens

My main interests are in exploring the archaeological sites & wandering in the cities and small towns, followed by food and museums, and - trailing far behind - nightlife.

If I postpone the trip until November I'll be able to take a few more days & include Meteora and Thessaloniki. I'll also have an extra day to travel this spring- which is why I need to make a decision relatively soon.

Any information or opinions would help!
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 01:36 AM
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By November all the museums and archaeological sites will be on winter opening hours, many closing at 3pm. In October they are likely to be open longer.
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 02:18 AM
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In October the weather is much better..so you will have the opportunity to see and do more things...
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 02:27 AM
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I just returned from Rhodes (after I had spend two weeks in Greece in September), so I can give you first-hand information.

I would go in October. The tourist hordes will be gone and prices (which are low in Greece, anyway) will be reduced. It will be nice and warm and mostly sunny and the sea will be perfect for swimming and snorkeling and watersports.

In November, you may encounter rainstorms which may last for several days. Also, many hotels and restaurants will be closed and opening hours will be, as said, restricted. And daylight will be shorter. Last week, even at noon, the sun was low in Rhodes and the shadows were long - sunset mood in the mid of the day. And Peloponnes and Greece mainland are even further north.

Here a few personal tips for your itinerary:

- Two or three days for Athens will be enough. Acropolis, Areopagus, Pnyx, both theatres, Agora and the magnificent temple of Hephaistos (one of the best-preserved at all) can be visited in half a day because they are so close. Make sure to visit the National Museum and stroll through the Old Towns.

- Delphi is for me the most impressive archeological site at all - located in beautiful scenery, full of mythology and with several well-preserved excavations (theatre, stadium, several temples, excellent museum). A full day for Delphi will be sufficient. On the way to or from Delphi do not miss Hosias Loukas, one of the finest Byzantine monasteries in Greece. Although very beautiful, a quick and easy visit.

- Nafplion is a beautiful and charming historic town. It is nice to stroll through the old town and along the harbour and have a meal in one of the many restaurants in the small streets. There is also a medieval castle to visit. In addition, Nafplion makes a good base to visit sites like Mycenae, Mystras and Epidaurus.

- On Peloponnes, my personal archeological highlight was Messene. Messene is underrated in most guidebooks because the excavations are so recent. It has the best stadium at all, a very good theatre and a magnificent 9km-long city wall. And a small museum where I found my new love: a wonderful statue of Artemis, the godess of hunting.

- Also make sure to visit the fortress of Methoni, Pylos Bay (the view!) and the beaches of Voidokilia of nearby Glossa. Even if you do not want to swim - you will find breathtaking scenery there!

- Olympia is historically significant, although there is not much left. An hour for the archeological site and an hour for the (really good) museum will be sufficient.

Any more questions?
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 02:29 AM
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Sorry, looking back at your post, I see you have already looked into museum closing times. I know someone who has been travelling on the Greek mainland this month (November), and his photos of the autumn colours are stunning. You seem to already be aware of the main factors, and if that doesn't deter you then go for it.
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 06:56 AM
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Let me add: If a trip in November allows additional time to visit Meteora and Thessaloniki, that would be the deciding factor for me. Since you don't plan to visit the islands or (presumably) go swimming, then you don't need to worry about sea conditions. Incidentally, the photos my friend took of autumn colours (see my last post) were taken in northern Greece.

I agree about Ancient Messene, near Kalamata. It's a huge archeological site with few visitors even in summer. A few of my photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/heimda...57627739427148
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 12:36 PM
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I just went to Olympia and loved it. I spent a day doing all the museums and the sites. The Best Western Europa is a wonderful hotel with a great tavern in the garden. October is generally better weather & longer hours, but I have been to the Peloponnese and Rhodes both months. Rhodes is still warm and although some places close, I take the bus to various places on the island and the high speed catamaran to Kos & Marmaris. Rhodes is my favorite island.

I like Athens and could easily spend a week going to museums, shopping, food tours, etc. Lots of new places opened recently. I just came back 3 weeks ago.

Kalamata, Koroni and Pylos are all interesting. Whether you want warmer weather for beach going will also determine when you go. I don't do the beach so either month is ok with me.

Delphi is nice but I would stay in Arahova & taxi or take a bus to the site. (I am staying there in Spring 2016). Much more interesting and more things to do.

Mycenae, Epidaurus, Tiryns, Argos, and Nemea can be day trips from Naplion which I find beautiful but not terribly Greek. I prefer other places, but it is a great base to visit lots of archaeological sites.

You could also visit Sparta to see Mystras and Monemvassia and also the Mani and then do Stoupa and the Diros Caves. There are lots of possibilities.

I have spent a major amount of time in November and I hit some rain but not enough to dent my trip. I go to cafes and read on those days.
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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You all have nailed the horrible choice: the weather in October looks perfect, at least for my tastes. But Meteora and Saloniki are high on my list, so I think I'll trade perfect weather for a more relaxed pace & a chance to spend a few days in each. As long as November isn't *horrible* I think I'll survive!

The next challenge will be in figuring out a Peloponnese itinerary, but that can wait. Currently I change my mind about what is a 'must see' for me with every new article I read.
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 02:24 PM
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"Delphi is nice but I would stay in Arahova & taxi or take a bus to the site. (I am staying there in Spring 2016). Much more interesting and more things to do"

Such as?
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Old Nov 25th, 2015, 12:15 AM
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"Delphi is nice but I would stay in Arahova & taxi or take a bus to the site. (I am staying there in Spring 2016). Much more interesting and more things to do"

Must be a misunderstanding. Actually, Delphi is nothing but an archeological site and has no hotels. Arahova is the nearest town with plenty of hotels to accomodate the visitors for Delphi. Arahova's main attraction IS Delphi.

Arahova is a picturesque village on the flank of a mountain, with dramatic views over the valley, however very touristy with lots of souvenir stores.

We chose to stay in Skamnos Boutique Hotel just at the foot of Mount Parnassos. Technically, it belongs to Arahova, but has a quieter and very scenic location. Besides visiting Delphi you can hike or ride horses or make scenic drives through the mountains. Skamnos is actually a ski hotel (with very good rates in summer) and you can drive up to the ski lifts on the Parnossos. Also, you can either hike or drive to the Corycian Cave which is nice if you have time for it, but certainly no match to the spectacular site of Delphi.
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Old Nov 25th, 2015, 12:58 AM
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I think you need to get your facts right. There is a Delphi modern town 500 metres further away from the archeological site and there are tons of hotels, taverns, souvenir shops etc there plus the very interesting former house of Agelos and Eva Sikelianos, now a museum of Delphic Festivals. Eva Palmer Sikelianos is buried at the local cemetry across the house along with other interesting personalities. From Delphi there is trail and one could hike to Corycean Cave in about 3 hours or follow the ancient path through the olive grove all the way to ancient Kirra/ the sea side. Vast majority of people who visit Delphi and overnight on the area stay in Delphi, not Arachova, while people who were visiting in order to ski in Parnassos ski center were staying in Delphi till the midd-90s when Arahova transformed from a sleepy rural village to an "in" tourism destination.

There used to be more population but nowdays Delphi has only about 1200 pernament population. Modern Delphi was created when the village that was standing above the archeological site moved to its current position on the 1890s in order to start the excavations that reveiled the ancient site.

Arahova has definately a much more traditional architecture than Delphi as does Galaxidi, an other town on the area that visitors start to discover as a base for Delphi. Where to chose to stay is a personal call and I do not necessarily discourrage people from staying in Arachova, but one needs to have all the details before deciding.
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Old Nov 25th, 2015, 02:51 AM
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Do a google with the search string "october storms greece" and you will see October isn't immune from bad weather any more than November. Chances are you won't hit one of those periods, because they usually last only a day or two at a time.
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