Greece is a fantastic country to visit, with white Mediterranean beaches, rich history, and a unique culture it’d be a mistake not to include Greece on your list of places to visit abroad.
My wife and I had an excellent time visiting the capital Athens and Santorini island and happened to stumble upon what we consider the best time to visit the country. Here’s why you should visit Greece around November.
Greece is a Mediterranean climate which means it has long warm to hot summers and short rainy winters. November is best because it’s after the hottest part of the summer but hasn’t quite reached winter when rains are more likely to occur.
The entire time we were there it was a moderate temperature, hot enough to go out in shorts or go for a long swim, but not so hot that you need to hide indoors during midday. Because the sun wasn’t as intense, sunburns weren’t as big of a concern either.
November is often when college students are busy with classes and most people are waiting to use their vacation time for important holidays coming up. This means that very few people will be traveling to Greece leaving it free of much of the crowds you’d see during summer or holiday months.
The airports were never crowded, restaurants always had free tables, there were no lines in stores, and there’s plenty of availability when booking activities. On Santorini my wife and I rented four wheelers, explored most of the island, swam at the hotel pool, shopped, and hiked to the lighthouse while only seeing a dozen or so non-locals. Looking at videos of the Parthenon during the busy season will show a horde of tourists waiting to go up the hill or using selfie sticks to get their cameras above the sea of people to take an unobstructed picture. When we went however we maybe encountered only fifty people.
Because there’s so few tourists many of the hotels and restaurants will lower their prices to incentivize locals or non-traditional travelers to come to their businesses. We stayed at a very nice resort for only $30/night, when looking at the same resort during the high season it was hundreds of dollars more per night.
While we strongly recommend visiting Greece around November there are some downsides that have to be acknowledged.
The first that comes to mind is that there are fewer people around. For some this is a disadvantage as they enjoy meeting new people or feel safer knowing there are others around. Being on foreign streets without any fellow tourists can be disconcerting for some.
The other downside is that many businesses will have their doors closed in the off season. Lots of restaurants, activities, hotels, and other tourism-based industries are very seasonal and won’t operate in the off season. There were a few restaurants we were unable to try as they weren’t going to open for another couple of months. Make sure the activities you are wanting to do are available before committing to the lengthy and expensive plane ride over.
If you can overlook these downsides or make special arrangements with business owner’s you might find that you prefer to visit Greece during the off season.
Author: Benjamin Baker
After serving abroad in a religious capacity for two years Ben has felt the pull to travel and explore ever since. This desire was further fueled by his wife Maddie and the two have traveled to many places over the last few years. Ben’s hope is that by sharing his knowledge and experiences obtained while traveling that others can improve their lives and the lives of others through travel. Check out additional articles written by Benjamin.