WHY AUTUMN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT GREECE
Greece : maybe the ultimate summer destination in Europe, with visitors coming from all over the world to enjoy the sun, the sea, the food, the culture and much more.
Every summer both the islands and the capital city of Athens get flooded by tourists, who crave to combine sightseeing with long beach days under the sun, enjoying the greek hospitality.
However, if you wish to discover a place's real face and character, you most probably need to visit it off the high season, when people's life gets back to its normal pace and most tourists are gone. Greece is not the exception to the rule, even though spending at least one summer here should be on everyone's travel list!
Greek summers are loooong. Well, to be accurate they usually start in late April and might last till mid October, with July and August being by far the busiest (and hottest) months of the year. September is sometimes equally or slightly less warm than August, but without the crowds and madness that high season usually has.
So, here are our top reasons of why we think autumn is the best time to visit Greece.
The crowds are gone
In late August, most tourists leave Greece and most Greeks get back to their hometowns, which means that early autumn is practically when the country starts going back to its daily pace and routine.
On the islands there are very few visitors left and if you go there in autumn, you'll get to meet more with the locals. No need to mention that beaches start getting empty, and you'll have them all (almost) to yourself!
Restaurants, bars and cafes get less busy too, so you'll be treated better. The availability on hotel rooms is also higher during autumn, so it gets easier to book accommodation almost anywhere.
As the summer crowds are gone, you'll get to find much better prices in hotels, airplane tickets, or even restaurants which try to attract clients even though the summer is over. And it's true that some of the most touristic places offer overpriced services during the so called high season (we're looking at you Mykonos and Santorini!).
So, visiting Greece in autumn will also help you to save some money, compared to what you would have spent during a summer visit.
The sun is still up
We didn't tell you that greek summers last till mid October for nothing!
Okay, it's true that there might be some showers and rainfalls during autumn but the temperatures remain quite high, compared to the rest of Europe, esepecially in Athens and low altitude areas in general. This means you can still enjoy the sea, without getting goosebumps, or having cocktails on the beach or on scenic terraces with a nice view!
Things are a bit different is northen Greece though, where temperatures start getting lower, rainfalls are more usual and autumn feels more like...autumn and less like an extension of summer. Which, brings us to the next reason of why we love autumn in Greece.
The colours, ah the colours
You know what we're talking about! Those warm red, yellow, orange and brown carpets of nature that get created all over the place, during that time of the year!
Nature is showing off, in the best possible way and we love it! Well, who doesn't?
If you look for that kind of autumn adventures in Grecece, it might be wiser to head to the greek countryside. Zagori, Pelion and Messinia are only some of the regions which come to our minds when we think of autumn destinations in Greece.
Visiting the greek islands during autumn is also a good idea, although you must beware of the weather conditions, as the sea can get heavy especially in late October and November. However, keep in mind that islands of the Cyclades complex are quite dry, so you won't get to enjoy the autumn colours. Rich flora islands ,like Corfu or Chios could be wiser choices when it comes to changing leaves.
As for Athens, its low altitude combined with the climate and the lack of greenary, don't really make it the ideal destination for autumn colours' seekers, with the exception of its nearby mountains and (unfortunately few) parks, a post for which is to come soon!
No matter how much lighter autumn can be in Greece, compared to the rest of Europe, it's still autumn so you'd better keep an eye on the forecast and have an umbrella with you, just in case.
Remember to pack both light and a bit warmer clothes, so that you can add or remove layers according to the weather.
Some summer festivals last till September, so you might be lucky enough to enjoy a play or concert in open air theatres all over the country!
Greece is full of natural beauties, so taking a hike into the autumn coloured mountains (even when in Athens) might be the ultimate autumn activity.
Always remember to embrace any season's beauty, no matter where in the world, as they all have unique pictures, experiences and memories to offer.