I am planning my 30th birthday and would like to head to Greece this year. I originally had this trip planned for September but I have to push it back and decided to go for my birthday instead. The original trip included Athens and the Cyclades. I want this to be a more relaxing trip where I will eat my life away and drink great wine. Is it worth going to the Cyclades in mid November or should I reschedule this trip for early May of next year?
November will be way off season so you'll be limited to what islands to visit and what's open. Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and doesn't rely solely on tourism so most businesses will be open, especially Naxos Town which would be your best place to base yourself. Naxos offers a wonderful combination of Old & New World Greece with lovely interior villages spectacular mountains, archeological/history sites and excellent food.
The rest of the Cyclades Islands will be very quiet with most tourist shops closed but there'll always be businesses open for locals which in the end may provide you with a more authentic and traditional Greek Island Experience. Check out Paros, another top island, then Sifnos & Milos. Don't overlook Tinos either. Lots of options. Check out Matt's Cyclades Island Guide for more info help with everything one needs for a trip to Greece:
As an option . . . Crete, which is Greece's largest island and NOT in the Cyclades, offers a wide array of options and would be a top choice. I would base myself in Chania on the western part of the island. Most everything is open and you'll be just a short walk from the New Town, which, will modern has lots of small, locally-owned speciality shops and has the wonderful Agora Market Place with all kinds of shops and eateries.
Next May. It's just about the PERFECT month to visit Greece, while November is waay way down the list. When a country is famous for sun & sea, why go when it's rainy & you cannot spend at least a little time on the beach?? For your birthday, zip off to North Carolina or some such, & save your $$ and your planning/dreaming for Greece in May (last half is best).
If I had to choose between Nov. & May I would go in May, much better weather, the land is coming alive with Spring plants and flowers and the tourist industry is ready but not stressed-out yet.
However, any time you can go to Greece is ideal . . . just depends on what you want and intend to do. Eating and drinking and hanging out can be done any time of year, but beach time, short sleeve-shirts and sun with blue sky are more likely in Spring than late Fall.
Still, how can you not enjoy yourself in Greece, any time of year?!
November - no yuck .
Go in May, we were there mid May last year and it was lovely .
Thanks everyone! Looks like May it is. I'll likely head back to Italy. I had an amazing time a couple of years ago for my birthday.