October offers the best of all worlds: Mild to warm, sunny weather, low shoulder season rates, and fewer visitors to compete with. Win-win-win. By month’s end, however, the chillier autumn has officially arrived.

Weather

The average daily high temperature is 75 Fahrenheit. It’s usually still warm enough in early October to sunbathe in comfort and to dine outside at night, with little chance of rain. By mid-October the Ionian and Aegean seas are cooling quickly; if you love to swim, go early in the month. By the third week, cloudy days are typically more numerous, temperatures will have fallen significantly, and evenings will be quite chilly. The chance of rain goes up to one-in-three days, increasing as the month progresses. Pack a fleece jacket and long pants plus raingear or umbrella with your summer-wear and swimwear.

Crowds & Costs

The hordes of summer have departed and you can enjoy Greece in relative peace, and airlines and hotels will have introduced shoulder-season rates that offer significant savings. It’s the best of both worlds. However, airline and ferry schedules will be reduced, so plan accordingly.

Where to Go

This is a preferred month for sightseeing in Athens, Napflion, and other top cultural sites: mild temperatures make for pleasurable walking, and you’ll have far fewer visitors to contend with at the Acropolis and museums.  The crowds have thinned on the most popular islands also, so this is as good a time as any to hop a ferry to Naxos, Ios, Mykonos or Santorini, where there’s lots to see and do and the nightlife continues into October.

What to Do

October offers good weather for sightseeing: if you hate crowds, then this is the time to visit Delphi, Mycenae, Epidavros, and Athens. It’s also perfect for mountain hiking—the forests will be ablaze with fall foliage colors—although evenings may be quite cold. The still-warm days of early October will tempt you to sunbathe, but the seas are cooling quickly (and may already be too cool for comfort).

Sailors can take advantage of shoulder-season rates, and you won’t be competing for berths in the more popular harbors. And the Aegean is still warm enough in October for scuba diving, although you may need a wetsuit: Chios, in the Northern Aegean, has many sites, and Mykonos is famous for the Dragonisi Caverns.

October Events

Chestnut Festival. One of Crete’s liveliest festivals, held on the last weekend of October, it features folk music, dancing, and lots of chestnuts to eat.

Dimitria Festival. Thessaloniki tones down its reputation as a party city with this festival of ballet, opera, and classical music, every year on October 26.

Ochi Day. Military parades, church services, and typical Greek folkloric displays recall the nation’s refusal to surrender to Mussolini’s forces in 1940s. It’s celebrated nationwide.

Santorini Experience. Visitors are invited to compete in the island’s biggest sporting event, with running and swimming.

Spetses Mini Marathon. Far more than a single foot race, this two-day event features various running races plus swimming, including for children.

Traveling to Greece in October? Check out these great itineraries. 

Best of Athens & Ancient Greece. Spend 12 days exploring the ancient city's many cultural treasures and cool neighborhoods—along with day trips to archaeological sites in nearby Eleusis, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, and Delphi. 

Relaxed Athens, Santorini, Naxos & Mykonos. Arrive in Athens, then head to Mykonos and Santorini islands along with lesser-known Naxos. Enjoy your Greek vacation filled with sun, sailing, and sampling, with cooking classes and traditional dinners accompanying your days of blissful idleness.

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