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Visit to Greece in October 2017

I am returning to Greece, for the first time since I was a rising high school sophomore, in early October 2017. Our travel group will be two recently retired couples that have three weeks to explore. We fly in and out of Athens and have an interest in visiting a few islands (Santorini is a must/we are aware that it will be expensive) and doing some driving in the Peloponnese. We think it makes sense to end our journey exploring the sites of Athens for a few days. So… the real conundrum is: straight to the island(s) on arrival or snag our rental car and set off? We have heard the “advantages” of both approaches. We have an agenda, but no itinerary at present.

We are aware that this trip is during the shoulder season and wonder how many places to stay and eat will be potentially closed (and where that might be more prevalent). We’re looking to explore and enjoy the scenery and the people. Hot spots and late nights out are NOT in our vocabulary, but we’d enjoy a nice meal and a comfortable place to sleep (hopefully with a view to enhance the experience).

Any comments and/or suggestions regarding “order of go,” places not to miss, food to look for, places to stay on a modest budget all would be most appreciated.

Posted by
3063 posts

Save all your time on the mainland for the end of your time in Greece so you aren't backtracking. Head straight out to your first island. This has the added benefit of insuring that you aren't out on an island at the last minute stressing about getting to the airport for your flight home.

Early October is still tourist season. Almost all shops, galleries, hotels, bars and restaurants will be open. Things don't start to shut down until the end of the month.

Posted by
1261 posts

Either option works rent the car at the airport and drive the Peloponnese, drop the car off and fly to Santorini then fly back and do Athens at the end.
However one consideration flying immediate to you first island will get you south earlier in the month so the chances of warmer weather are greater. Later in the month warm weather isn't going to be quite so important as you do the Peloponnese and Athens.
Santorini flights appear to be on sale today. It would be a good time to book.

Pick a companion island for Santorini. Naxos is a good choice. It has everything Santorini has but the caldera view and the crowds and is probably about 50% less expensive. Naxos needs three to 4 days perhaps a week.
Naxos Town
Trip around Naxos

For the Peloponnese head out to Nafplio and use it as a base for the beginning of the trip. There are lots of ancient sites in the area. Then consider Mystras and Monemvassia. Head toward Kardamili for the Mani area then continue west for the lovely villages of Pylos, Methoni and Koroni. Lots of Venetian era castles in this area. Head north to Olympia then cross the gulf of Corinth at Patras and visit Delphi and finish off with a couple of nights in Meteora. That was our last 10 day trip to the Peloponnese.
Olympia Delphi Meteora
Peloponnese Battle Castles
Nafplio and Peloponnese
Have fun

Posted by
3222 posts

2 minds w but a single thought -- I just finished a long PM to you on TA, only to turn to Rick's board and find that my favorite AnswerMan, Stanbr, has given you much the same advice I'd planned. Delighted that you'll have 3 weeks to immerse yourselves in all the history and beauty that Greece has to offer. I often swipe Stanbr's stunning photo-links to illustrate, but he's done it himself. My work here is done!!

Posted by
1094 posts

I tend to agree with stanbr with most everything he states.

We go to Greece every October and find it a lovely time to be there, less tourists, less expensive and the weather still nice with the Aegean still warm from the summer heat.

Santorini will still be crowded in October but if you want a more laid-back and traditional island then Naxos would be a great choice.

October is the off season so many of the smaller island will have a lot of their businesses closed or closing but enough open for locals so you should have places to shop & eat. Santorini will still be going strong that time of year.

Naxos will be pleasantly busy but you won't have to side-step other tourists. It will be just enough of a crowd to give an impression of something happening but not so much to be bothersome.