I am planning on taking the Rick Steves 14 day tour of Greece that starts and ends in Athens. This will be my first RS tour and my first time to Greece. I was planning on going in spring, but now it appears that due to my schedule this fall would work out much better. Any advice? Is spring really better? If so, I"ll need to wait until 2015. Thanks for the help.
September is a great month to visit the islands. The water is still nice and warm, prices are low, the summer crowds are gone and shops, hotels, restaurants and cafes are all still open. The downside is that tourism employees can be short-tempered and impatient after a season's-worth of dealing with the demands of visitors.
If you want some beach time the fall is better as the water has had all summer to warm up! I have not done the RS tour but friends did and they went in May and enjoyed it - not to hot (good thing as there is lots of walking and climbing hills). I have been to Athens in May and found it was just right for sightseeing
We have never taken a RS tour or visited in spring, but we have spent the month of September in Greece numerous times and love it. There may be the occasional hot day or rainy day, but generally the weather is ideal. Only once have we encountered a burned-out, grumpy hotel owner; we tend to visit the smaller islands where tourists are less frequent and more treasured.
We also have never taken a tour or visited in the spring but we did visit Greece in September and felt the weather was ideal. The water was warm and although we did have a few hot days (we were there 4 weeks) in general the weather was great.
Thanks for all the advice - September it will be!
You might want to go to the RS Tour listings for that 14 day Greece tour and see which ones have already filled up (April and May) while the ones in fall are still wide open. We will be taking that tour May 26 to June 8, I think. Maybe the folks that have signed up for the earlier tours know something.