Considered to be the ‘shoulder season’ for tourism, Greece in October reveals a more relaxed and authentic experience of this Mediterranean paradise. As summer gracefully transitions into autumn, travellers are greeted with milder temperatures, lower prices, lesser crowds and a chance to discover Greece’s rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality in its most genuine form. […]
Considered to be the ‘shoulder season’ for tourism, Greece in October reveals a more relaxed and authentic experience of this Mediterranean paradise. As summer gracefully transitions into autumn, travellers are greeted with milder temperatures, lower prices, lesser crowds and a chance to discover Greece's rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality in its most genuine form.
If you’re looking for an autumn travel destination that still promises a fair bit of sunshine, Greece is a great choice. In this article, our travel experts uncover why Greece in October should be on your travel radar, exploring everything from the weather patterns, to the best places to visit and the best things to do.
The weather in Greece in October experiences a range of temperatures and weather conditions as it straddles the border between summer and autumn. Typically, you can expect daytime highs ranging from 18-25°C, with evening temperatures dipping to around 8-15°C.
The beginning of October paints a different picture to the end of the month; by the third week, you will see clear differences in the climate as it changes to settle into those cooler autumnal characteristics and truly embrace the cosy season’s charm.
The beginning of the month is certainly warm enough for sunbathing for those who want to catch the last of the Mediterranean’s rays. As you enter the latter half of the month and the temperatures subside, you may no longer be able to bask in the sun, but you can certainly still stroll through the streets and comfortably dine al fresco to get the last of that European summer experience.
If you’ve got your heart set on taking a dive into the azure waters of the Aegean, you’ll want to plan a trip at the beginning of October. This will ensure a more comfortable experience for swimmers, as the water cools very quickly as the month progresses.
Rainfall is relatively low, with an average of 50-60 mm scattered across the month, which translates to occasional light showers that are unlikely to disrupt your plans.
Greece in October still boasts ample daylight hours, with approximately 8-10 hours of sunshine per day, allowing for plenty of opportunities to explore its stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and picturesque islands without the summer crowds.
October is a transitional month, hosting aspects of both summer and autumn. When you’re planning what to pack for your trip to Greece in October, you’ll need to consider what time of the month you're visiting.
In order to be prepared for all weather conditions, it’s best to opt for versatile clothing. Lightweight layers like long-sleeve t-shirts, cardigans, and a light jacket are perfect for adapting to varying temperatures. Don't forget comfortable walking shoes for exploring the historic sites and scenic landscapes.
Sunscreen and sunglasses are still must-haves due to the ample sunshine. Although it may not feel as blisteringly hot as it does in the summer months, the Mediterranean rays can still pack a punch in October. With that said, you should also pack an umbrella or a light rain jacket for the occasional showers you may encounter. Since Greece is known for its beautiful beaches, bring swimwear if you plan to take advantage of the milder coastal waters at the beginning of the month.
October is the final month to see the Greek nightlife scene in action. Pack your frills, frocks, and dancing shoes to soak up the last parties of the high season, or for a special evening meal.
Greece in October offers a delightful cultural experience with its vibrant Chestnut Festivals, known as ‘Kastanidoforia’ in Greek. These festive events are typically held in picturesque villages nestled in the country’s mountainous regions. They generally occur in late October when chestnut trees are in full autumn glory to celebrate the harvest season and this quintessential autumn treat.
Roasted chestnuts, known as “kastana,” take centre stage, with vendors expertly preparing them in large open fires, infusing the air with a mouth-watering aroma. Visitors can also indulge in chestnut-based sweets and traditional Greek dishes infused with the rich, nutty flavour such as chestnut soup and chestnut-stuffed pastries.
Beyond the culinary delights, these festivals provide a glimpse into Greek culture and traditions, featuring lively folk music, dancing, and artisanal crafts. You can also join in on various activities like chestnut picking and guided nature walks to explore the beautiful autumn landscapes. Don't miss the chance to immerse yourself in the warmth of Greek hospitality while savouring the flavours of autumn.
The ‘Santorini Experience’ event, held annually in Greece in October, offers a unique and interactive experience against the breathtaking backdrop of the iconic island of Santorini. It combines a plethora of athletic challenges with the island's natural beauty, and has become a highly anticipated tradition for both locals and international participants. What's more, October's milder temperatures make it an ideal time to participate without the scorching summer sun.
Set in the picturesque town of Oia, the Santorini Experience is a multi-day event that caters to athletes and enthusiasts of all levels. The highlight is the open water swimming race, where participants navigate the crystalline waters of the caldera, swimming alongside the breathtaking cliffs and charming villages of Santorini.
Aside from the swimming race, the event also offers a variety of activities and competitions, including trail running races through the island's captivating landscapes. These races provide a unique opportunity to explore Santorini's hidden gems, vineyards, and ancient ruins while engaging in a friendly competition.
For those not participating in the races, there are plenty of opportunities to cheer on the athletes and take in the breathtaking views of Santorini's iconic sunsets and picturesque villages. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a casual adventurer, there's something for everyone.
Santorini, the jewel of the Aegean Sea, shines brightest as the ideal destination to visit in Greece in October. As the summer tourist influx dwindles, this enchanting island renowned for its stunning sunsets and iconic blue-domed churches, regains its peaceful charm making it a top choice for travellers holidaying in October.
Fira, the capital town of Santorini, embodies the island's unique culture. In October, the sweltering summer heat has subsided, and the streets of Fira are more relaxed and enjoyable to wander through. The charming white-washed buildings, cascading down the cliffs overlooking the caldera, create a picturesque backdrop.
Santorini's beaches are renowned for their beauty, and October provides the perfect climate to enjoy them without the summer rush. Red Beach, known for its striking red volcanic sand, and Kamari Beach, with its dark pebbles and clear waters, are tranquil paradises in October. The comfortable weather allows you to relax on the shores or take part in various water activities without the stifling heat.
The ancient city of Akrotiri in Santorini, often referred to as the ‘Minoan Pompeii’, offers a glimpse into the island's history with its remarkably preserved ruins. A volcanic eruption, which took place around 1650 BC, engulfed the entire town in ashes and lava, almost perfectly preserving Akrotiri through time. Excavations found no human bodies, as is the case in Pompeii, leading archaeologists to believe that precursory earthquakes made the residents leave before the volcano erupted.
The Prehistoric Museum of Thera in Fira houses artefacts from Akrotiri and provides valuable insights into Santorini's ancient past. Visiting these archaeological sites in October means you’ll be privy to a less-crowded, more exclusive experience.
For those who are most looking forward to sinking their teeth into Greece’s culinary scene, the island's famous vineyards are in full harvest mode, offering the opportunity to sample exquisite local wines as you dine.
Crete, the largest Greek island, emerges as one of the top destinations to explore in Greece during October for several compelling reasons.
Chania, a charming coastal town on the island's northwest coast, embodies the rich Cretan culture. You can meander through the narrow, winding streets of the Old Town, lined with Venetian and Ottoman architecture, and soak in the calm atmosphere at your leisure.
As the summer crowds thin out you'll have a chance to engage with the friendly locals, known for their warm hospitality, allowing yourself an authentic look into typical Cretan traditions.
The instagram-famed Elafonissi Beach, with its pink sand and crystal-clear waters, is a paradise for sun-seekers. October provides the best opportunity to visit this popular tourist spot without the usual crowds, allowing you to get that picture-perfect shot for your grid. You can enjoy the serene atmosphere that autumn brings to the beaches, allowing you to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of this coastal gem, without the intense summer heat.
Crete is also home to a plethora of historical monuments, and exploring them in October is a real treat. The Palace of Knossos, an archaeological marvel from the Minoan civilization, offers a glimpse back in time to ancient Crete's grandeur.
Fewer crowds mean a more immersive experience as you explore the twisting corridors and storied chambers. Nearby, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum houses a captivating collection of artefacts, including those from Knossos, and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
Exploring the ruins of Athens in October is a history lover’s dream come true, offering ideal conditions and fewer crowds for an enriching historical journey.
One of the must-visit sites is the UNESCO-verified Acropolis, an iconic symbol of Western civilization. In October, the sweltering summer heat has subsided, creating a comfortable environment for exploring this ancient fortress perched on a rocky hill.
Here, you'll encounter the majestic Parthenon; a 5th-century BC temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and the Erechtheion, with its famous Caryatid Porch. Guided tours are readily available, providing in-depth insights into the historical significance and architectural marvels of these structures.
Adjacent to the Acropolis is the Ancient Agora; a marketplace and civic centre in classical Athens. Visiting in October allows you to appreciate the well-preserved ruins of structures like the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaestus without the summer crowds.
For those intrigued by Greek mythology, a trip to the Temple of Olympian Zeus is a must. This colossal temple, once housing a 43-foot statue of Zeus, offers a glimpse into the mythological foundations of Greece that still resonate strongly today with locals.
Greece in October beckons outdoor enthusiasts to embark on exhilarating mountain hikes, with perfect weather and spectacular landscapes.
One remarkable mountain that stands out is Mount Eros on Hydra Island. This hidden gem offers a unique hiking experience, offering breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the charming Hydra town below. Once at the top, you can soak up the sense of achievement whilst listening to the faint echoes of the bells that ring from the island’s 300 churches all day long. With fewer visitors during the shoulder season, you can relish the tranquillity of the trail and take in the natural beauty at your own pace.
Another must-visit destination for mountain hiking in Greece is Mount Olympus, the mythical abode of the Greek gods. Once regarded as home to the 12 Olympian gods, Mount Olympus is not only rich in its history but also has the most unbelievable views of Athens.
Walk in the footsteps of Zeus and feel connected to the awe-inspiring scenery and ancient mythology. Trails like the Enipeas Gorge Trail offer a chance to explore this legendary mountain's lush landscapes, waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna.
Additionally, Mount Parnassus, situated near Delphi, offers an enchanting hiking experience. The E4 European Long Distance Path takes hikers through stunning alpine terrain, with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. In October, the crisp mountain air and vibrant autumn foliage make this an idyllic time to explore the trails.
From the enchanting festivals that echo through warm summer nights to the sun-drenched landscapes that beckon exploration, Greece's weather is not just a backdrop but an integral part of the adventure.
So, whether you find yourself on the vibrant beaches of Zakynthos, gazing at the mesmerizing cliffs of Santorini, or embracing the cultural offerings of Athens, let Greece in summer guide you towards a truly magical vacation.