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Jclark0560 Sep 5th, 2013 03:28 PM

Sailing in the Greek Isles in October
We are planning a family sailing trip to the Greek Isles to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary for next Fall. We would like to combine good weather, history, hiking and snorkeling for my husband and I and 4 adult children (all ages 23- 27). When is the best time to go and which islands would you recommend? We do not want to go during high season and have some flexibility. We tentatively have planned to go October 11-18. Is this too late or will it be comfortable and accommodating?

Heimdall Sep 5th, 2013 11:02 PM

The earlier the better in October, as that is the end of the season, and some hotels and restaurants will already be closing. A few weeks earlier, mid-September, would be even better. One week isn't much time for island hopping, so if you can add a few extra days to your trip that will make a big difference.

Are you flying in and out of Athens, or can you fly directly to an island from another European city? If you are flying home from Athens you should spend the last night or two there, to insure no delays cause you to miss your flight.

Jclark0560 Sep 8th, 2013 12:40 PM


Thanks so much for your advice. We did decide to push it back to the last week of September. My husband and I will be going a little earlier for a little land travel before we go sailing with our kids. Unfortunately for them, they only have so much vacation time available.

Any places on land (besides Athens) that you would recommend?

Heimdall Sep 8th, 2013 01:17 PM

Since you are interested in history, the area around Nafplio has much to see, and is only a few hours from Athens. Delphi is another place I would recommend. If you are willing to hire a car you can get around the mainland easily, but if you would rather take a tour there are several Athens-based companies that can help.

In your OP you asked "which islands would you recommend?" When you say sailing, do you mean chartering a yacht, going on a cruise, or making your way by ferry? If you mean chartering a yacht, the website has lots of good information. As you will see on the website, there are several different island groups from which to choose.

nukesafe Sep 8th, 2013 03:51 PM

If it is a sailing yacht charter you are planning, do some reading on the Meltemi; the northerly winds that may make sailing in the afternoons exciting. July and August sees most of them, but they persist into September and October, and can get hairy where they channel between islands, and lead to some shocking surprises in the lea of the islands. They (usually) die out in the evenings, but you should plan your cruise with them in mind so the hops between islands can avoid the worst of them.

Not saying this to alarm you; cruising the islands can be a delight. Just do your homework, so you will all have good memories.

Heimdall Sep 8th, 2013 10:46 PM

You can read about Meltemi winds at

gogogreece Sep 9th, 2013 12:42 PM

We have vast experience traveling to Greece since or first trip 1970s.. Yes, we are considered elderly,and lucky to be very active. In the past we have always been on a budget and usually find lodging outside of Athens on a walk up basis. We tend to like late May, early June, or mid september through October. 12 years ago we attended a relative's wedding the last week in October. We went ten days early , and since we had no idea where we would spend it ,we checked the domestic flights on arrival, and took the first available one! it happened to be Myconos. We spent a few days there and decided to ferry to Paros.. It took over 3 days for a ferry to do so as they did not run because of the Meltemi winds. Lovely and warm, but windy but way too much relaxing for more than I few days. Paros was even quieter.
Mid September last year we had three weeks in Greece and decided to spend two of them on the Sporides Island North of Athens. It was lovely weather, but on October first every restaurant was closing. Lo and behold , the very last ferry to the mainland discontinued daily service , except for once a week on Sunday. Our intentions were to spend our last week we intended to spend touring the Pellion but decided that would be the same situation. Most rentals were closed in mid September too. We left on that last Ferry to Athens instead and headed for Southern Pellopenesse. It was very quiet there also. Glad to hear you are going earlier. Please let the forum know about your adventure. Sounds delightful.

immimi Sep 9th, 2013 12:53 PM

As I've mentioned before on this forum, we spent the last week
in Sept and first in Oct. on Samos. Everything was definitely
in close-up mode. Days warm enough to swim except when the
wind kicked up. Certainly a great time to go if you are

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