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When we were on Mykonos (for a week), we asked, and were told last two weeks of September.


Still nice weather, warm water, and most places are still open.  First of Oct, many places shut down for the off season.  And a LOT less tourists.

 

Season "starts" beginning of April, but probably half the places were not yet open.  Very few tourists.  But the water is COLD.  The weather is quite nice.

 

One day, we went to Fokos Beach, and had the entire beach to ourselves.

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We were in Greek islands last week, Athens  and Chania  were 30 degrees and Mykonos 28.  We moved north to Zakynthos and it rained and was 21 degrees but we expected this as it is so much more north.  Everywhere was still very busy as there were several ships in each port.

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We are in Athens today.  Weather is beautiful and warm.  Just had a month in Greece and two weeks in Cyprus.  We had two half days of rain on Zakynthos and two hours of rain on Sunday in Nicosia.   Other than that the weather has been fabulous.  28-33 every day.   Shorts and a shirt every night at dinner and strolling about the town.

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End of September is the end of the season, October is quieter & fewer places are open. It's also when the weather starts to turn so although its mainly still good and quite warm it's not reliable. 

I can only hazard a guess that its vaguely the same in latte March & April.

 

But yes, usually very very hot from the end of May to the beginning of September - great for people-watching from behind a long cold beer in a harbour taverna but not so great for traipsing round  dusty & often shade-less ancient sights.

And a lot of places (but not all of them) are crowded during the summer months.

 

Depends on your attitude to weather (too hot or too wet), what you want to do & exactly where you want to go.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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  • 3 weeks later...

We plan our cruise for the next October. I very much hope it will be the very beginning of October. Is it still warm enough for swimming and sunbathing? I’m just crazy about beaches, swimming, sunbathing and so on… I know September would be much better for it but I’m afraid we won’t be able to leave home before October 1st.

Jess

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We have done  numerous land and cruise trips in the Med in early -mid Oct over the years.  One of our favourite areas.    The first part of the month has always been good in the Cyclades, on the Turkish coast Bodrum, Antalya, etc, on Crete.  Same for Sicily and Malta in our experience  Good enough to swim and sunbathe.

 

After that it is a crap shoot.  You cannot predict the weather.   We have had beautiful sunny days thought to November.  On one trip we had some cooler days and intermittent rain.  In Sicily mid Oct we  rain in the Aeolean Islands (eastern Sicily) with wind that prevented us from going by boat to other islands.  A week later we were swimming and sunbathing on a beach near Erice on the western side of Sicily.   We have experience similar weather in Crete.

Edited by iancal
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There are almost two different worlds when it comes to the Greek Islands.  There are the over popular islands visited by large cruise ships which include Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Rhodes.  But there are actually 1200-6000 islands (depending on how you define an island) and just over 200 are populated.  Most of these islands never see a cruise ship, but are accessible by smaller boats and/or ferries.   Some of these islands are simply gorgeous and absolutely charming.   There are some small boat companies (such as Variety Cruises) that offer cruise tours (on small boats) to some of these islands.  Others prefer to join with small groups of friends and charter small boats/yachts...many of which cruise out of Corfu.  One of our favorite trips of a lifetime was on just one such boat (20 passenger) although the company we used (Zeus Cruises) is no longer in business.

 

We really do recommend these smaller boat (not ship) journeys for those with a sense of adventure that wants to be blown away by the beauty of these waters.  There is a reason why some of the rich and famous (think Onassis and Jackie Kennedy) choose to spend part of their lives in these islands.  Onassis's island is in the Ionian chain and not too far from Corfu.

 

Hank

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4 hours ago, CrazyJess said:

Sounds good... I will think about this possibility and check the cost of such a cruise. I guess it won’t be cheap… say the least of it . Who knows... Any way thanks for the idea. Jess

The sad thing is that the Ionian Island itinerary we did with Zeus Cruise does not seem to be done by its current successor....Variety Cruises.  We did a quick look on the web and did not find any decent Ionian Islands small ship cruise unless one wanted to do their own charter.  But we did stumble on an interesting Cyclade Island small boat itinerary 

https://www.dolphin-hellas.gr/cruises-greece/variety-small-ship-cruises/7-day-jewels-cyclades_islands-cruise

which actually would be something DW and I might enjoy.  But I do not know a lot about this company other then the fact that Variety Cruises bought out Zeus Cruises (the company we used many years ago) and still operate some of their vessels.  The agency that operates this cruise (Dolphin Hellas) is unknown to us but sure has our interest.  

 

The reality about exploring the Greek Islands is that one has to look for these small companies (with small boats) and conduct your own due diligence.   That is how we stumbled on Zeus Cruises and had the most amazing trip.  Too bad that company did not survive but we do understand it is a very difficult business.  Variety Cruises has been around for quite a few years but unfortunately seems to have moved away from the itineraries that made Zeus very special.

 

Hank

 

 

 

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Hank and Jess,

we have used the travel agency Dolphin-Hellas two or three times to make land reservations and other arrangements in Greece.  They have always provided excellent service.  I would not hesitate to recommend them.

On 11/25/2019 at 2:52 PM, Hlitner said:

 But we did stumble on an interesting Cyclade Island small boat itinerary 

https://www.dolphin-hellas.gr/cruises-greece/variety-small-ship-cruises/7-day-jewels-cyclades_islands-cruise

which actually would be something DW and I might enjoy.  .  .  The agency that operates this cruise (Dolphin Hellas) is unknown to us but sure has our interest.  

 

 

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12 hours ago, marazul said:

Hank and Jess,

we have used the travel agency Dolphin-Hellas two or three times to make land reservations and other arrangements in Greece.  They have always provided excellent service.  I would not hesitate to recommend them.

 

 

Hi Marazul! Thank you! Thank you for the info. Who knows…. maybe we will use them in the coming season 😀

Jess

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On 11/25/2019 at 10:52 PM, Hlitner said:

The sad thing is that the Ionian Island itinerary we did with Zeus Cruise does not seem to be done by its current successor....Variety Cruises.  We did a quick look on the web and did not find any decent Ionian Islands small ship cruise unless one wanted to do their own charter.  But we did stumble on an interesting Cyclade Island small boat itinerary 

https://www.dolphin-hellas.gr/cruises-greece/variety-small-ship-cruises/7-day-jewels-cyclades_islands-cruise

which actually would be something DW and I might enjoy.  But I do not know a lot about this company other then the fact that Variety Cruises bought out Zeus Cruises (the company we used many years ago) and still operate some of their vessels.  The agency that operates this cruise (Dolphin Hellas) is unknown to us but sure has our interest.  

 

The reality about exploring the Greek Islands is that one has to look for these small companies (with small boats) and conduct your own due diligence.   That is how we stumbled on Zeus Cruises and had the most amazing trip.  Too bad that company did not survive but we do understand it is a very difficult business.  Variety Cruises has been around for quite a few years but unfortunately seems to have moved away from the itineraries that made Zeus very special.

 

Hank

 

 

 

 

Hi Hank! As always your post is very informative. Thank you! I’m sure my DH will like the idea of Cyclade Islands’ small boat trip. At the moment Greece is our favorite destination. Before that was Russia😊 I’ve checked the website and didn’t find any prices. Shall I mail them to get the prices? Or maybe I just couldn’t find them?  I don’t even want even to share this link with my DH till I get at least an approximate cost.

Jess

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On 11/27/2019 at 7:46 AM, CrazyJess said:

 

Hi Hank! As always your post is very informative. Thank you! I’m sure my DH will like the idea of Cyclade Islands’ small boat trip. At the moment Greece is our favorite destination. Before that was Russia😊 I’ve checked the website and didn’t find any prices. Shall I mail them to get the prices? Or maybe I just couldn’t find them?  I don’t even want even to share this link with my DH till I get at least an approximate cost.

 

Jess

 

We also noticed the lack of prices (that drives me nutz).  But keep in mind you are looking at small boat cruises which is a different world then dealing with the large cruise companies.  If you are curious it sure would make sense to send them an e-mail.  Since Marazul has posted some positive info on the company we would certainly think its worth exploring.   Keep in mind that its pretty typical of these small boat cruises to include some meals but not necessarily 3 meals a day.  When we did small boat cruising there were times when we were tied-up at some islands and everyone ate ashore (very common for lunch).  When we cruised on the Sea Crown with Zeus Cruises (20 passengers) there was one island where we all went ashore for lunch on a very small island.  Our cruise director (the college student son of the cruise line's owner) marched our entire group into a tiny village where there was a single small restaurant.  The owner went running throughout her village collecting enough fresh food to make us all a wonderful lunch.  It is the kind of thing that makes these kind of small boat cruises very special, but one never knows what to expect.

 

I still am a big fan of the Ionian Islands but finding a small boat company that does these islands seems to be a very daunting challenge.  The Cyclades are definitely more popular with various options.

 

Hank

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you so much! It sounds great! It looks like small boat cruises have their own charm. I love such thinks! I think I will like it more than big cruise ships. Any way I will keep it in mind. A few days ago we signed for a Mediterranean cruise (France and Italy) so now we can plan Greece only for the summer/autumn  2021

Jess

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  • 9 months later...
On 11/18/2019 at 9:31 AM, iancal said:

We have done  numerous land and cruise trips in the Med in early -mid Oct over the years.  One of our favourite areas.    The first part of the month has always been good in the Cyclades, on the Turkish coast Bodrum, Antalya, etc, on Crete.  Same for Sicily and Malta in our experience  Good enough to swim and sunbathe.

 

After that it is a crap shoot.  You cannot predict the weather.   We have had beautiful sunny days thought to November.  On one trip we had some cooler days and intermittent rain.  In Sicily mid Oct we  rain in the Aeolean Islands (eastern Sicily) with wind that prevented us from going by boat to other islands.  A week later we were swimming and sunbathing on a beach near Erice on the western side of Sicily.   We have experience similar weather in Crete.

Hi Iancal,

so first half of October should be fine, right? I had a fear it could be already a little chilly for swimming and sunbathing. On the other hand I would prefer October as it seems to be way less crowded, but if there is a big chance for rains and winds it does not make much sense. 

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We have been in Greece and other Med locations in Oct.  So far, for us, the first two weeks have always been good.  More often than not when we go we are there until late Oct.  This past year the only rain we had was two afternoons in Athens, Oct 25ish. Prior to that we were in Cyprus for two weeks.  Sunbathing, swimming in the ocean, etc.

 

Never had an issue with ferry hopping either.  Seas were fine.  

 

We find mid Sept to Mid Oct to be perfect for both tourists and weather.  We only book a day or two in advance so having fewer tourists means we can do this without any issues.

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