If you’re looking to go to Greece in October and you still want great weather, then your best option is to head for the most southerly islands. Think Crete, Rhodes, Santorini or Kos as these will still be warm and relatively dry compared to the more northerly islands.
These four are the main options but there are of course other smaller and less travelled islands in the south Aegean Sea that could also fit the bill.
These islands don’t have direct flights but will be less touristy so if getting away from the crowds is your thing then take a look at the likes of Halki, Karpathos, Tilos, Symi, Ios, Naxos or Paros.
On top of these islands, the rest of the islands remain good options, you just have to accept that they won’t be as hot and there may be more rainy days than in the peak of summer.
The weather starts to cool down in Greece around September and by October is considerably cooler than at the height of summer. Rainfall also picks up at the end of summer with rain being a rarity in June, July and August, it’s far more common by October.
for example, in Crete you can expect temperatures to average 25 or 26 degrees Celsius in July and August with just 1 day of rainfall on average per month. The temperature drops to an average of 20 in October with more like 5 or 6 days of rainfall.
Compare that to Thassos, which is the furthest north and you get average temperatures going from 24 in the summer to 15 in October and rainfall goes from 6 days to 9 days.
There's no getting away from it. The Greek islands in October will certainly be cooler and wetter than in the middle of the summer holiday season, but with a slight adjustment to your packing list, maybe add a jumper and some trousers rather than so many shorts and T-Shirts and you should be just fine.
October is a great time to visit Greece, you wont have to deal with the mass crowds that you get in the school holiday time, you’ll find beaches that are normally packed a lot less crowded and the hotel and restaurant staff will have more time to chat and tell you all about the island.
One of the main downsides to visiting later in the season is that some of the bars and restaurants will have closed, but just remember, the ones that remain open are generally the ones that the locals enjoy or are at least locally run so they're probably the best ones anyway.
Another down side is that some of the buzz of the towns and villages will have gone, the hubbub of activity, people enjoying themselves, the background noise of restaurants and bars will be a lot less. Whilst this will suit some people, others may find it a bit stale.
On the plus side, there wont be the huge crowds at the top tourist destinations, you'll get better photos at the historical sites as there wont be so many people in the background and queues, if there are any will be a lot shorter.
If you like to swim in the sea on your Greek holiday and planning on going after the main summer season then you're probably concerned that the sea may be a bit cold. The temperature does drop a few degrees but not much so it's still fine to swim in October.
The sea temperature in Greece peaks in August at close to 25 degrees centigrade, by October it's dropped to around 21. Whilst this doesn't seem that much it will be noticeably colder than in the summer months.
It's still pleasant and actually above what you get in the UK, for example, Cornwall has a peak sea temperature of less than 20 degrees so don't worry about swimming in Greece in October, it'll feel chilly when you first get in but you'll get used to it and it'll be great.
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