Six months out I'm starting to feel reasonably sure that the Rick Steves "Athens and the Heart of Greece" tour that my husband and I have reserved will happen. We are veteran independent travelers and are accomplished light packers, map-readers, public transportation navigators, etc., but I do have one question that has been at the back of my mind. Pre-Covid we traveled annually to Italy in September/October--glorious weather--and rented an apartment for lodging. We haven't slept in a European hotel for many years and never in colder weather. We will be on the tour that begins on March 6th; I've been researching weather data and am pleased that the weather we will encounter will likely be better than the weather here at home for the same time period. I am wondering, though, are the hotel rooms that the tour books heated, or is central heating lacking as it is in Italy? I can find a lot of information about air conditioning and summer hear, but not on night-time winter chill.
I would suggest you send an email or call the RS offices in Seattle with this question. The staff there would be able to answer your inquiry.
Enjoy the tour.
We traveled to many countries in Europe in Sept./October two years ago and in most places except way up in the Alps we were cold in hotel rooms, so much so that we decided that on our next road trip we would buy our own small portable heater to use to cut the chill.
In Spain and France, numerous hotels explained that they just weren't allowed to turn on the heat until a certain date. I am not clear on whether this was a local or a national regulation.
In other words, the answer to your question might not depend on the hotels chosen. Even the four-star hotels that we stayed in had to abide by the heat regulations.
While it's lot unusual to have laws stipulating a date to turn ON the heat, I doubt there would be laws to turn OFF the heat as early as the beginning of March. We do much of our travel in early spring, and have never encountered a hotel that lacked heating. But we haven't travelled to Greece.
Don't ask Rick's folks, ask them for the hotels and contact them directly. My wife has never been colder than a few falls ago in northern Italy, I called downstairs about adjusting the heat and they laughed and said it hadn't been turned on yet for the season.
Yes, we've experienced this also, mostly in Italy which is the country to which we've traveled most often. Though even in a vacation rental in San Diego one January, we had to buy a portable heater because what the landlord has was inadequate.
I can’t verify the Tour hotels’ heat policies, but I would think you could get extra blankets, if that would make a difference.
Thank you, everyone for your replies.
I will check with hotels when the list comes out. And--duh--I didn't even think I could ask for extra blankets. I hope I haven't forgotten how to travel!
You could always ask the hotels if they have a portable heater. I have asked for them when cold and fans when warm (if there was no air conditioning). You'd be surprised what hotels have.
We took the Greece tour in late March and while outside temps were occasionally brisk (mainly the mountainous areas), the hotels were always comfortable. I like to be warm so there must have been heat. But most days there was no need, lots of sunshine!
On my own thin dime, I have been in unheated budget accommodations in Greece before Easter. But as the above poster mentions, this isn’t the first time that Rick Steves has operated the Greece tour in March, probably using the same comfortable hotels.
You make me laugh…”I hope I haven’t forgotten how to travel”!
I assure you that you will get into the swing again when you start packing, etc. I just came back from a 10-day trip to Venice and I did get back into the groove. How wonderful it was to be in Italy again!!
Starting to pack?
I've been mentally packing since we registered for the tour and now am physically putting things in piles--the "carry-on pile". the "tote pile", the "pocket pile". I've been following the forum religiously, as my husband is not really thinking about the tour yet.
Our daughter is getting married in our backyard in October, and we are honoring her request for a family trip to Disneyworld following that event. That is proving to be a distraction to my planning for Greece.
Travel planning is part of the joy of travel.