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Questions about Athens in February


Nov 13th, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Questions about Athens in February

I am planning a 10 day family trip to Greece in mid February ( only time everyone can get vacation) and was wondering if the current monetary / political issues will be a consideration.

Beyond that, I know that this is carnival season & wonder if this is a good time to visit (ie will stores, restaurants, museums & sights be open or closed for the celebration)?

Am I correct in thinking that the weather is likely to be in the 50s?
Any insights from my fellow fodorites?
Mimmel is offline  
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Nov 13th, 2011, 12:14 PM
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No one knows what the monetary/political situation will be like in Feb - impossible to tell at the moment.

We were there in Sept and didnt notice anything at all in Naxos, Nafplio and Athens - but there were no strikes when we were there. From what I gathered most strikes will impact Athens and around the main square (Syntagna)outside of that you will likely not notice much difference - unless some sites are closed due to strikes.
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Nov 13th, 2011, 01:48 PM
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I, too, was in Greece in September, and can say the economic situation has little effect upon tourists. Strikes caused minor inconveniences, but nothing a little flexibility couldn't overcome. Greece has just formed an interim government under the leadership of a non-elected PM, Lucas Papademos. There will be a general election early next year, possibly in late February.

February is the coldest month in Greece, and not a good time to visit the islands. High temperatures in Athens are likely to be in the 50s, but it has been known to snow that time of year. I have set up a trip planner for mid-February, showing temperature averages, and if you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see actual weather stats for Feb 10-20 over the last ten years: http://tinyurl.com/c3uw2vz

Also check out this page which shows activities in February:
Heimdall is online now  
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Nov 13th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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The sights and museums will be on "winter hours" which means they will close between 2 and 3pm. Just an FYI. Winter hours in Greece seem to be shorter than in many other countries.
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Nov 13th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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The economical situation of Greece cannot be predicted, but be optimistic... Some Fodorites here have predicted a bankruptcy of Greece during 2011, and fortunately this never happened....
In the meantime almost 16 Million tourists will visit Greece in 2011....

February is a very cold month in Greece, so it is important to know what you would like to visit.
Athens will be no problem, snow is really rare and when it snows then mostly in the suburbs ... Snow in the centre of Athens is very very rare....
You can visit other archeological sites and cities such as Olympia, Patras ( where the biggest carnival parade of Europe takes place)Nafplio and surrounding sites, all these places won't be affected by snow. Delphi and Meteora are a bit different, there might be a chance of snow either in the village of Delphi or somewhere on the highway to Trikala.
But there is no need to make any reservations in advance, as hotels will be empty during this period of time, with the exception of the long weekend 25-26-27/2/2012 ( Green Monday)

Carnival is a big celebration in Greece, there are parades in many cities, and it would be fun to watch and participate.
Patras is THE city to be, and hotels are booked months in advance for the last weekend of the carnival ( 25-27/2).

As for islands you can always visit the nearby islands of the Saronic Golf ( Poros Hydra or Spetses) or weather permitted Syros, the capital of the Cyclades, with the city of Ermoupolis, which is the biggest city of the Cyclades , very alive and beautiful.
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Nov 13th, 2011, 10:00 PM
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While it is true that February is cold (by Greek standards), I've been swimming in Greece in February, and sat outside in the sunshine during the day and had coffee (50 & sunny will be different from 50 & cloudy)
I love being in Athens during the Carnival period and depending on when you are traveling, you may be there for Tsiknopempti - Smoked Thursday (Feb 16). If you aren't a vegetarian this is the holiday to be in Greece for (next to Easter, of course) because it is all about grilled meat. Last year there was a street grill setup in Pagrati and the restaurant gave away grilled souvlaki all evening, and many bars and cafes have special "carnival like" activities running over the weekend as well as over Carnival weekend (Feb 24 - 26).

Finally, if you are around on February 27 - it is Clean Monday - this is the time to wake up at 12:01 AM (Sunday night/Monday morning) and head to the Central Market for the crazy fish grab and/or to go to Philopapou Hill and fly a kite with locals and their families (bring a picnic lunch!)

The city and restaurants have special programs during this period, but it is way too early to know the specifics. You can see past examples of what to expect here:
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