Travels in Greece

Visiting Greece in October

October is an interesting month to be in Greece. The first two weeks of October may be considered the tail end of the tourist season. Most charter firms scale back their operations by the mid to end of October and resorts that are still open are relaxed and not at all crowded. Athens still gets a fair amount of tourists, although nothing like the summer months. October is usually a great time to see Athens’ outdoor sites when the weather is pleasantly warm and the museums are much nicer with the crowds gone. October is when the locals go to see the sites, this should tell you something.

Greek Weather in October

The weather in October can vary considerably depending on where you are in Greece and if you are lucky or not. Rainy days are more common in the north and the west, but every town in Greece is guaranteed to see at least some rain. Athens and Thessaloniki average around 8 rainy days in October. Crete and the Cycladic islands have the least rain and are generally quite pleasant. If you are exploring the mountains in the center or the north of the country you might see more.

Temperatures in October

Daytime temperatures in October are usually still very pleasant. As I write this on the 5th of October Athens was sunny with a top temperature of 28 degrees centigrade. The rest of the week is expected to continue much the same with average temperatures in the mid to high 20s and mainly sunny. Thessaloniki is looking much the same with average temperatures 2-3 degrees cooler than in Athens. Temperatures at the end of the month are usually lower, but good sunny weather can also carry on into November with only occasional days of rain and cooler temperatures.

Can I swim in Greece in October? Yes you can! As long as you don’t mind a bit of a shock when you first get in, the seas still have some warmth in them. Don’t feel intimidated if you are the only one actually stripping off at the beach, a quick swim is just the way to tighten that skin and freshen up.

Nights can be chilly, but it is still the common to sit outside for a drink, although eating might be done inside once the sun goes down. The further south you go the warmer the nights are, but you will always need a sweater and light jacket to keep warm no matter where you are in Greece. In the mountains the nights are usually still colder, although most of you planning on hitting the mountains probably already know that.

October Festivals

The main public event in October is Oxi (No) Day, the 28th of October, which commemorates the day that Ioannis Metaxa said ‘no’ to an Italian demand to march unopposed into Greece in 1940. His response triggered Greece’s entry into World War II on the Allied side and Greece’s fierce resistance against first Italy and then a Nazi occupation is rightly a source of national pride.

Main towns have parades on Oxi Day which can be quite a lot of fun. School kids get very excited about the Oxi day parades when they get to march around in front of their parents and everyone else. Military parades also occur in the larger cities. The day is considered a public holiday and all state and most private offices are closed. In tourist areas shops and restaurants might shut for half a day so their owners can go watch their kids march, but most have reopened by the late afternoon.