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The 8 Best Greek Islands in October

Last Updated on November 7, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow

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Why would you travel to Greece in October? Well, traveling to Greece in the summer is not necessarily a good idea. Temperatures easily move beyond 40°C, there are wildfires, and summer is the main season for domestic travel meaning prices increase significantly.

If you’re from another European country or North America chances are you’ll probably enjoy the weather in Greece a lot more in the off-season, plus it’s a lot cheaper to travel during that time. Keep in mind that one of Greece’s major holidays falls on October 28th so you can even get a glimpse of the local celebrations if you visit late in October. Are you convinced yet to visit Greece in October? What are the best Greek islands in October, you ask? I’ve got you covered.

To help you pick the best Greek islands to visit in October I put together a list of the warmest Greek islands in October and those that don’t die down completely after September. If you’re specifically looking for a romantic trip I have a post on the best Greek islands for couples you should check out.

In order to get the best rates on everything make sure you compare flights on flight comparison websites like aviasales, Expedia, or Omio, or book with Kiwi.com:

For the best hotel deals, you can choose from a variety of search websites such as agoda, trivago, Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, loveholidays, Trip.com, and Hotellook.

Please also don’t forget the importance of travel insurance. In today’s day and age so much can happen between the moment you booked your flight and the actual trip date two months later. Insubuy is an insurance company with many different deals depending on your personal needs.

As some of the islands can be less than convenient to navigate on public transport to make the most of your trip you may have to rent a car or motorbike.

Finally, if you’re looking for the best places to book activities and tours check out viator, Tripadvisor, and Expedia. But now let’s get straight into my suggestions for Greek islands to visit in October.

What’s the Hottest Greek Island in October?

Is Greece hot in October? Well, October in Greece is generally a lot warmer than in the countries that are further north. Greece is one of the countries with hot weather in October if you’re limited to vacationing in Europe. That doesn’t mean it’s the perfect weather for heading to the beach, but it’s not bad either. While the temperature in Greece in October will be warm enough for many northerners to not wear a jacket, it also starts to get rainy. But I still think there are some lovely Greek islands to visit in October.

Naturally, you’ll want to go as far south as possible if you’re looking for really warm weather in Greece in October. In terms of the hottest Greek island, the two most obvious choices are Crete and Rhodes, but the Greek weather is generally quite mild. Can you swim in Greece in October? This all depends on the temperatures you are used to, but fall is definitely a better choice than early spring. After the long and hot summer, the sea is still quite warm.

So if you’re looking for a beach vacation visiting Greece in October is a better idea than in April for example. That’s not to say islands are the best places to visit in Greece in October. The mainland has fantastic hiking opportunities for example.

Crete

As the southernmost Greek island, Crete is the hottest Greek island in October which makes it a great choice if you’re thinking about traveling to a Greek island at this time of the year. The average temperature in Crete in October is still about 20°C. Bring a light jacket for the evenings, but during the day you can still comfortably wear t-shirts. The water, particularly on the southern coast, will still be warm enough for a swim as it’s been warmed up all summer.

Crete is the largest Greek island with a population of more than 630,000 people, so you don’t have to worry about it being boring or empty in October. Although many of the tourists will have left the students will have returned to the island’s three universities which explains why Crete is one of the best Greek party islands. This means that there are still plenty of entertainment options in Crete.

Be aware however that typical tourist centers will be less and less active by the end of the month. So while a trip to Crete in October is entirely possible you should make sure to avoid the tourist areas and focus on the regions where locals live.

October is the perfect time to do some sightseeing on this enormous island. The more time you have the more easily you will be able to fit everything in. From ancient sites to hiking and a few stops at the various beaches, there is plenty to do, for example, if you opt to go on a Crete road trip. Another great way to see more of the island is this half-day quad safari which lasts 3.5 hours. Ideally, you’d have three weeks to visit Greece so you don’t have to skip too many things. But you can always stay for a shorter amount of time and then go back again in the future.

Whether it’s sunny or perhaps a bit rainy, Crete has a lot to offer. There are various archaeological sites from the Minoan civilization, such as Knossos. If you’re interested in the Greek Orthodox religion you can also visit several churches and monasteries on the island. As a history lover, you will love strolling through the streets of the big cities like Chania and Heraklion and seeing buildings left behind by many different civilizations, such as the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans. Rainy days will be best for museums

Some of the most famous beaches are Balos and Chryssi Island, but even if you’re not a beach person you will be fascinated by the views of the Cretan landscapes. This cruise to Gramvousa and Balos from Chania is a fantastic way to explore some of the beaches that are only accessible by boat. If you want something more adventurous this boat trip in Chania includes activities like snorkeling and stand-up paddling.

To get more up-close drive through the inner part of the islands to see grapes and olives being harvested in traditional villages. Be careful if you’re vegan; Crete is very difficult to navigate as a vegan, so make sure to check out my vegan Greece guide before your trip.

Because of the island’s size, its two major airports have several direct connections with many European cities making getting to the island a pretty straightforward affair. No wonder Crete is generally considered the best Greek island in October.

Where to Stay in Crete

Anastasia Hotel Stalis – This hotel is surrounded by green landscapes, and you can even rent bikes to explore the area.

Nana Princess Suites, Villas & Spa – The hotel has a private beach as well as two outdoor pools.

Blue Dream Hotel – The hotel is not far from the popular town of Rethymno and very close to a beach.

Socrates Hotel Malia Beach – Malia is going to be a lot less busy in October so you can enjoy the hotel as a place to relax instead of heading to the bars.

Rhodes

Another contender for the title of the warmest Greek island in October is Rhodes. As a large island with lots of regular inhabitants, Rhodes doesn’t really die down after the summer though it will be less busy, of course. Like on Crete, you should focus on the local life, predominantly in the capital of the island, and avoid those areas that only cater to tourists, as these will start to close in October.

The capital of Rhodes has plenty of sightseeing opportunities and is a great destination for history lovers. But don’t worry, you will probably still be able to go for a swim in October because the water will be warm enough. Rhodes is home to many beautiful beaches that offer all kinds of water sports, but by late October you will find fewer such opportunities. As an alternative to the beaches, you can enjoy nature by hiking more inland.

You’re best off staying in the capital although it’s all the way in the north of the island. Many of the sights are located there, and if you rent a car you can visit the rest of the island on your own terms. If you want to visit the village of Lindos you can book this high-speed boat from Rhodes to Lindos.

Rhodes is also located close to the island of Symi so if you have enough time to visit another island on your trip book this boat trip to Symi.

The fortress in the capital of Rhodes is a UNESCO World Heritage site so you can’t skip this during your visit, but there are several castles and ancient ruins on the rest of the island that you will enjoy if you’re a history buff. You can also visit churches and monasteries on Rhodes. This private tour of the Palace of the Grand Master includes the entrance fee which a lot of tours actually leave out even though they’re more expensive.

Rhodes has some of the best beach weather in October during the day. The temperature in Rhodes in October can reach up to 24°C. You should pack a sweater for the evenings as temperatures drop quickly after the sun sets, but it won’t be cold enough for you to need a warm jacket.

Like Crete, Rhodes has its own international airport so you might be lucky enough to get a direct flight from your home which will save you plenty of time.

Where to Stay in Rhodes

Spirit of the Knights Boutique – This suite is located in the Old Town making you feel right at home on the island.

Lia Matina Studios – If you don’t want to stay in the capital these apartments near Lindos are a fantastic choice.

Cactus Hotel – The hotel is close to the beach as well as the main sites in Rhodes Town.

George & Alexandra’s Apartments – For a traditional stone-built apartment in the Old Town of Rhodes stay here!

More of the Best Greek Islands in October

Aside from the hottest places in Greece, there are a few other islands to consider. There’s more to do on the Greek islands than going to the beach. You can still enjoy a warmer climate than at home and enjoy some sightseeing activities with fewer fellow tourists. Or you can take advantage of the mild temperatures and go hiking which wouldn’t be advisable in the summer.

Santorini

Considered one of the most beautiful Greek islands, Santorini gets extremely crowded and expensive in the summer. But once the tourist crowds lessen you can see the island in its true beauty and enjoy the mindblowing vistas it offers. And since Santorini isn’t really a typical beach destination you won’t be disappointed by the milder temperatures.

One of the best things about traveling to Santorini in the shoulder season is that flights can be extremely cheap. Whether you’re flying in directly from abroad (Santorini has many direct connections with European cities) or going to Athens first, you will be able to find some pretty good deals.

In the evening you’ll need more than a t-shirt, but it will still be a lot warmer than in much of Europe and North America. Even if it gets a bit rainy there’s still stuff to see and do in Santorini so you won’t have to worry about getting bored. There are museums like the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, the Archaeological Museum, and even a Tomato Industrial Museum! If you’re interested in finding out more about why some people believe Santorini is the site of the mythical island of Atlantis book this skip-the-line ticket to the Lost Atlantis Experience.

Hiking the caldera from Fira to Oia in October will be a much less exhausting experience than in the heat of summer. And if you want to see the volcanic islands it’s much more relaxed to go on a tour in October. Although the towns of Fira and Oia are the most famous parts of Santorini it’s well worth exploring the rural villages as well. Many tourists focus only on the sunsets and completely ignore the intriguing caves, the landscapes, the small churches, and the local life.

This private Santorini panorama tour allows you to see all the best parts of Santorini in six hours so you can then decide which ones are worth heading back to on your own. To see Santorini from a different angle you should consider joining this volcanic islands cruise.

For pretty photo opportunities other than the ones most commonly seen on Instagram, head to the Akrotiri Lighthouse which is also a great spot for watching the sunset. Akrotiri is also home to an ancient settlement where you can see the effects of the volcanic eruption.

Where to Stay in Santorini

Aenaon Villas – If you want to experience gorgeous Imerovigli without the crowds this is the time to book a stay at one of these stunning villas.

Anastasis Apartments & Spa – Another charming place to stay in beautiful Imerovigli but without the masses that are here in the summer.

Santellini Hotel – Even though Santorini is not a typical beach destination you may prefer to stay close to one of them.

Stelios Place at Perissa Beach – Another option for those who prefer to spend some time at the beach as well.

Mykonos

If you really want to visit Mykonos but are not into clubbing then October might be the best month for you to head to this Cycladic island. After the party crowds leave you can appreciate the island’s true beauty and experience its calmer side. So although Mykonos tops the list of the best Greek islands to party, there is more to the island than that.

Wondering what to do in Mykonos in October? The stunning beaches on the island will be less crowded in October, and even though the water might not be as warm as in the summer it will still be warm enough for a swim for most people coming from colder climates. You can even do some watersports activities in October.

You will also be able to take advantage of all the fantastic photo opportunities without the crowds. Want a photo of a gorgeous Cycladic alley? See the famous windmills without having to fight for the best viewpoint? Now is the time to visit Mykonos for the best travel photos. For an excellent overview of the island book this Mykonos island tour with a professional tour guide.

Walking down from the windmills you will reach another famous place on the island. Little Venice is one of the most picturesque parts of Mykonos, but in the high season, you might not be able to appreciate its romantic sunsets the way you will in October. This is the number one spot to sit at a bar and enjoy the scenery.

tables and chairs outside a taverna in Mykonos, Greece
Photo by Johnny Chen on Unsplash

Should the weather not be that great one day you can head to the Folklore Museum or the Agricultural Museum to learn a bit more about life on the island from the lens of the local population. If you want to see Delos, the uninhabited UNESCO World Heritage site, October is an excellent month because the day trips to the island won’t be as packed with tourists.

To make the most of your trip to Mykonos rent a car for the most flexible form of transportation that allows you to explore the island beyond the typical Instagram guides. Or you can book this Mykonos Wild Experience Tour which takes you to several lesser-known places on the island during a six-hour drive.

Most of the nightlife opportunities are now geared towards the locals allowing for a much more interesting experience. And even in October, Mykonos remains one of the best Greek islands for nightlife.

As it can get somewhat chilly after the sun sets I’d suggest bringing a light jacket.

Where to Stay in Mykonos

Luna Suites – A luxurious suite with a sea view that is located outside of the town.

Mykonos Ornos Turquoise Home – This cute apartment isn’t far from the beach but also a great base to explore more of the island.

Myconian Ambassador Hotel Relais & Chateaux – This luxury hotel has a spa and is extremely close to the beach.

Myconian Korali Relais and Chateaux – Located in the capital, this hotel is a great place to base yourself in to visit the surroundings.

Naxos

Naxos is one of the larger Greek islands, and, as such, still offers moderate nightlife opportunities after the season for the local population. If you’re from a colder climate you will still enjoy the weather and might even be ready for a swim. You should also consider Naxos for its hiking options because who wants to go hiking when it’s 40°C? October is the perfect month for a more active trip where you can explore the landscape which even includes two mountains.

But Naxos is also a great destination for sightseeing which, again, is something that is not quite as much fun in the heat of the summer. Whether it’s the Portara or the Kastro you will enjoy them more now that the temperatures are a lot more bearable. On this half-day private tour of Naxos, you get to see much of the beautiful island, including the Temple of Demeter.

Naxos is one of the best Greek islands for beaches, and surfing and diving are activities you can still enjoy in October. If the weather is less than enjoyable one day you can visit one of the pretty churches or museums, for example, the Olive Museum!

October is a fantastic month to drive around the island and visit some of the places that most tourists are not even aware of. There are various cute little villages surrounded by lemon and olive groves that don’t make it onto most travel blogs but are well worth a visit. Apiranthos is the most popular village and has several museums where you can learn more about the history and traditions of Naxos.

Naxos is also one of the best Greek islands for families so if you’re traveling with young children make your way to Naxos, and compared to other Cycladic islands, Naxos belongs to the cheap Greek islands and best Greek islands for October.

Where to Stay in Naxos

Windmill Naxos – This budget hotel is located in the most popular part of Naxos from where you can visit many of the important sights.

Hotel Grotta – A cozy hotel in the capital with easy access to many of the island’s attractions.

Naxos Island Escape – If you’re not going to Naxos because it’s one of the cheapest Greek islands then this elegant accommodation option designed in a traditional Cycladic style is for you.

Zeus Hotel – Another perfectly located hotel for people who want to explore Naxos on a budget.

Corfu

Corfu is one of my favorite Greek islands and definitely has enough to offer outside of the summer season. With its own university, Corfu Town actually becomes even livelier once the students return and is one of the best Greek islands for partying. And while it won’t be as warm as Crete you’ll probably still enjoy a swim if you’re coming from a colder country. There are various stunning beaches such as Halikounas, Issos, and Prasoudi which aren’t even overly packed in the summer.

Corfu Town has several sights to visit so you definitely won’t get bored, and even the rest of the island will still be exciting with plenty of hiking options in the milder weather. Check out my post on things to do in Corfu if you’re looking for some inspiration. Although my post focuses mainly on things to do in Corfu Town, there are several other things you can do such as hiking Mount Pantokrator. Though you’re probably best off basing yourself in Corfu Town and exploring the rest of the island from there.

Even summer evenings can get quite chilly on windy Corfu, so by October, you should definitely bring a light jacket for the evenings so you won’t feel cold strolling through the lovely capital. If you join this ghost stories and legends tour you might still feel chills, however.

Corfu is the perfect island to relax a little and simply take in its beauty or cuisine. And when it comes to food there’s obviously no wrong time to visit any place. Do check out my post on where to eat vegan in Corfu if you’re not sure about your options as a vegan.

Where to Stay in Corfu

Eros Hotel – Located in the beach town of Benitses, this is a great hotel for exploring the nearby capital.

Valentino Corfu – Located in Ipsos, this place has a pool and a jacuzzi perfect for relaxing.

Ikos Dassia – This 5-star resort is located right on the beach perfect for visiting Corfu in October.

MarBella Nido Suite Hotel and Villas – This 5-star accommodation option is adults-only if you want to relax without the noise of children.

Kefalonia

As the largest of the Ionian islands, Kefalonia definitely deserves a spot on this list. The weather in Kefalonia in October is less hot than in islands like Crete or Rhodes. However, the sea might still be warm enough for you to swim in if you live in a colder climate. And while Kefalonia is not the hottest island in Greece, October is a great time to explore the local life and see how people live without tourists.

Kefalonia is home to many picturesque villages, one of them being Palaia Vlachata, a village that was abandoned after an earthquake in 1953 and has a creepy vibe. As in much of Greece, you can visit several churches and monasteries in Kefalonia as well.

There are also a few archaeological sites, such as a Roman mansion and a castle, though many other sites have been damaged in earthquakes.

For something a little more adventurous you can check out the two impressive caves Drogorati and Melissani, and Kefalonia is definitely one of the best Greek islands to explore.

Where to Stay in Kefalonia

Kalypso Studios and Apartments – Located in a fishing village near the port, these studios and apartments offer excellent views for a relaxing vacation.

Kappatos Apartments Kefalonia – If you want to relax in the tourist resort Argostoli without the huge number of other visitors this is the perfect accommodation option for you in October.

Dionisos Suites – These beautiful accommodations offer a pool and have received raving reviews from couples for the relaxed atmosphere.

Zest @ Xi Beach – This aparthotel is not only located at the beach but also has two outdoor pools.

Syros

Syros undoubtedly has one of the most picturesque capitals of the Cycladic islands, and if you really want to appreciate the architecture and wander through the alleys October is a much better month to visit than the hot and busy summer months.

The University of the Aegean has a campus in Ermoupoli so Syros is another one of those islands that has an active nightlife long after the tourists disappear. Ermoupoli is also home to lovely mansions and other examples of wonderful architecture, such as the Town Hall and the Apollo Theater. For more information about the island’s history, visit the old town with its magnificent churches and check out the Industrial Museum.

But you don’t have to stay in Ermoupoli to enjoy Syros. There are a number of picturesque villages where you can marvel at the beautiful surrounding landscapes, such as pine groves, but also more neoclassical architecture.

If you’re looking for something a little more off-the-beaten-track compared to the other choices Syros is the best Greek island for October.

Where to Stay in Syros

Sarris Planet – If you want to stay at your own studio with the traditional white and blue colors this is the place for you.

5 Hermoupolis Concept Sites – The beautifully designed rooms of this hotel in Ermoupoli are the perfect place to relax.

Hotel Ploes – If you want to stay in a neoclassical mansion this stylish hotel is the best thing you can get in Ermoupoli.

Manossyros – Only a few steps away from the beach this modern place offers terraces and balconies with beach views.

pin for the best greek islands in october by lemons and luggage

Any other suggestions for the best islands to visit in October? What are your favorite warm places to go in October?

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lily Fang
    November 8, 2021 at 2:14 am

    I learned about a lot of new places, but I have to say that I’m most excited by Corfu because of Rosy’s Bakery! I just love a good vegan dessert 🙂 Syros also looks stunning with the mountains in the distance!

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      November 8, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      Rosy’s Bakery is such a gem!! You absolutely have to go if you ever visit Corfu.

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