Autumn is when nature comes into its own and you can get to know Greece like a local
Autumn is a very special time in Greece. The countryside becomes especially luminous, the sea stays warm enough for swimming, the resorts become a bit quieter and the earth delivers its bounty of olives and grapes. It’s a time to enjoy the many shades of red and orange as the trees change colour and nature comes into its own.
September, when the grapes are harvested, is the time to visit some of Greece’s state-of-the-art wineries. A month later (towards the end of September and early October), try to find out who’s making raki out of the skins and stalks of grapes in Crete.
And later in autumn, during October and November, is the time locals gather their olives. How about staying at a farm set up for agrotourism and helping with the chores? You’ll find that, for Greeks, the olive harvest is a community affair.
Popular autumn destinations
This is the time to discover the other side of holidays in Greece. Autumn is when the cosmopolitan islands are at their quietest, or when you can extend your city break to include the islands close to Athens. Or perhaps visit one of the green Sporades islands for a weekend sojourn.
Hop over to Evia’s long beaches and thick forests or go up to Pelion, where you can combine beach and mountain pleasures. Autumn is also perfect for sailing in the Aegean or Ionian seas since August’s north winds have calmed down.
This is when so many of Greece’s most romantic venues come into their own: the fortress state of Monemvasia, and Nafplion and Nafpaktos with their Venetian castles and ports. It’s the time to take a hike on the old trails on the islands and mainland and pay homage to the wonderful Byzantine churches and monasteries found all over Greece.
If you’re an urbanite, this is when you can really get to know Athens and Thessaloniki. In autumn, both cities regain their very different rhythms and unique spirit. Explore on foot, shop till you drop, dip into their fabulous museums and avant-garde galleries, take in a play or a concert… and above all, explore the night scene. Whatever you do, you’ll do it like a local.