As summer ends and tourists gradually disperse, October emerges as the ideal shoulder season month for a peaceful and cost-effective Greek island getaway. After all, you’ll experience a more relaxed atmosphere here, with less congestion at popular attractions and restaurants.
During this time, the scorching summer heat wanes, and daytime temperatures start to mellow. Although the ferry schedules run less frequently, savvy travelers happily take advantage of off-season rates and less crowded beaches, reveling in the unique charm of Greece without the summer rush.
In this guide to the hottest Greek islands in October, we unveil 10 idyllic destinations where you can savor the lingering warmth. Additionally, we share invaluable Greece travel tips and insights to help you plan your autumn escape to perfection.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when you book an activity or reservation through these links at no extra cost to you.
Table of Contents
Weather in Greece in October
Is Greece hot in October? Well, the truth is that the weather during this month can vary significantly depending on the island you choose. Visiting Greece in October is especially recommended for southern destinations like Crete, the Dodecanese islands, and the Cyclades.
Best Greek Islands in October
Crete, the southernmost and hottest Greek island in October, beckons with its warm weather and year-round appeal. As Greece’s largest island, it boasts a captivating blend of history, stunning beaches, diverse landscapes, and delectable cuisine.
Crete has four distinct regions, each with its own charming capital town: Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, and Agios Nikolaos. History enthusiasts will find this island to be a treasure trove with archaeological sites like Knossos and Phaistos Palaces offering glimpses into the past.
The landscape invites exploration, from the Balos Lagoon‘s turquoise waters to the awe-inspiring Samaria Gorge. With average temperatures of around 68°F (20°C) in October, you can comfortably wear short-sleeved shirts and shorts during the day. Nonetheless, you may want to bring a light jacket for cooler evenings.
The sea remains inviting, particularly along the southern coast, where it retains its summer warmth. Crete also offers affordability compared to neighboring Santorini, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.
Plus, getting there is a breeze, with plenty of flights from major European cities to Heraklion or Chania airports. There are also regular ferries leaving from Piraeus Port in Athens or convenient domestic flights from the Athens International Airport.
Santorini, renowned for its iconic sunsets, volcanic landscapes, and blue-domed churches, is often praised as the warmest Greek island in the Cyclades in October. Located 145 miles (235km) from the city of Athens, it attracts hordes of honeymooners and cruisers during the summer months.
Thanks to the overcrowding and soaring prices during peak tourist season, visiting during the summer can be overwhelming for many people. A savvy solution? Opt for Santorini in October instead!
With fewer cruise ships and tourists, you can savor the island’s quaint villages, stunning landscapes, and iconic caldera without the usual crowds. Boutique hotels offer great deals, restaurants and bars remain open, and the island retains its lively spirit without the summer bustle of June through September.
Santorini enjoys mild evenings of around 60°F (16 degrees Celsius) and an average temperature of 69°F (21 degrees Celsius). Plus, the sea temperature hovers at a comfortable 73°F (23°C), ideal for a dip in the volcanic sand beaches. You can expect seven hours of sunlight each day and minimal rain.
Moreover, arriving in Santorini in October is hassle-free, with direct flights from various European cities until late October. Of course, short domestic flights or ferries from Piraeus are also available. Consider combining Santorini with other Cyclades islands for an enchanting island-hopping trip!
Rhodes is the best Greek island in October for history lovers, offering an alluring blend of castles and seaside splendor. As the largest of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes basks in its southern location, boasting some of Greece’s warmest sea temperatures.
In October, Rhodes offers a crowd-free experience with average daytime temperatures of 75°F (24°C) and pleasant evenings at 63°F (17°C). Rhodes Old Town is a prime base for exploration, boasting UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval architecture and museums.
With an array of beautiful beaches like Anthony Quinn Bay and Tsambika Beach, Rhodes is also a haven for beach lovers. This island embraces its rich history through landmarks such as the Acropolis of Lindos and the Archaeological Site of Kamiros, all set against a backdrop of mild sunny weather.
To escape the main tourist hubs, rent a car and explore unspoiled mountain villages with panoramic views of mainland Turkey in the distance. Don’t miss a day trip to Symi Island, a short boat ride away, known for its historical significance, neoclassical harbor, rugged mountains, and captivating monasteries!
Opt for flying into Rhodes Diagoras International Airport from Athens or other European cities, as ferry travel from Athens takes at least 13 hours. You also have the option to access Rhodes via ferry from the nearby Dodecanese and Cyclades Islands.
Mykonos is renowned for its vibrant party scene during the peak season. Opinions about this Cycladic island vary greatly, with some reveling in its cosmopolitan charm and others put off by the costs. However, visiting Mykonos in October offers a different and more affordable experience.
While the summer party scene mellows, the island’s pristine beaches take the spotlight. Early October, in particular, presents the best beach weather, with warmer seas and lower rainfall chances.
Nonetheless, as mid-October approaches, you can expect cooler sea temperatures. As the month progresses, the island gradually quiets down, with many hotels, restaurants, and beach bars closing by the end of October.
While October weather may not reach the warmth of July or August, the month offers overall pleasant conditions. The typical high temperature during the day reaches 72°F (22°C), while the usual low temperature at night is 63°F (17°C).
Don’t miss the opportunity to take a half-day trip to Ancient Delos! This UNESCO World Heritage site has a rich archaeological heritage spanning various civilizations. You can explore Delos with fewer crowds in October, making it an excellent month for day trips and excursions.
To reach Mykonos in October, you can find direct flights from various European airports or a short domestic flight from Athens. Alternatively, ferries from two of Athens’ main ports–Piraeus or Rafina–are also available.
Corfu, the northernmost gem in the Ionian Sea, has long been a favored destination for the October holidays. Nestled off the west coast of mainland Greece and Southern Albania, this island is home to attractions like the Church of Saint Spyridon and the Corfu Archaeological Museum.
While the average October temperature hovers around 65°F (19°C), the sea maintains a comfortable 72°F (22°C). Thus, it’s one of the best times to experience Corfu at its most peaceful.
Although there’s a slightly higher chance of rain than some Aegean islands, Corfu shines authentically in October. The sunny days are pleasantly mild, making explorations of castles, fortresses, and hiking trails enjoyable.
This is also the perfect time for culinary adventures in mountain villages and savoring local delicacies at tavernas catering to year-round patrons. While some beach bars may close toward the end of October, Corfu offers plenty of activities to keep you busy.
For example, explore Corfu’s Old Town, tour Achilleion Palace, or hike Mount Pantokrator. With its own international airport and convenient ferry connections, reaching Corfu in October is easier than ever!
Hydra, nestled in the Saronic Gulf, is the hottest island in Greece near Athens. This car-free gem is beloved by locals and tourists alike, celebrated for its cultural heritage and serene ambiance, complementing its stunning beaches and hiking trails.
Hydra’s rich history, including its pivotal role in the 1821 Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, adds to its allure. Plus, stringent planning regulations have preserved the island’s quaint charm, with charming donkey carts and beautifully restored houses cascading towards the harbor.
The architecture, characterized by 18th-19th-century mansions, offers a glimpse into another era. Whether you visit for a day trip or stay longer, October provides the perfect opportunity to explore Hydra without the summer crowds.
With an average daily temperature ranging from 73°F (23°C) during the day to 66°F (19°C) in October, Hydra is a great off-season Greek island getaway. Regular ferries from Piraeus to Hydra make it easily accessible from Athens, taking around two hours.
Naxos, often likened to Santorini minus the crowds and high prices, is a top choice for Greece holidays in October. It’s actually the largest island in the Cyclades island group, located to the east of Paros, between both Mykonos and Santorini.
Surprisingly, Naxos has it all–history, charming mountain villages, picturesque landscapes, and beautiful beaches. Early October allows for beach time, while later in the month, it’s perfect for sightseeing and mountain hikes.
Naxos Town is home to white-washed houses and the unfinished Portara temple, perfect for wandering and getting lost in its charming streets. Additionally, grab a car rental to explore the villages of Halki, Apiranthos, and Filoti, tasting local specialties along the way like kitro.
Hiking enthusiasts will find October ideal for exploring the island’s diverse terrain, including the famous Mount Zas. The summit here is the highest point in the Cyclades! Moreover, the ancient Greeks believed Zeus spent much of his childhood on this mountain.
To reach Naxos in October, the most convenient option is to fly into the Naxos Island National Airport from Athens. Otherwise, you can access Naxos by taking a ferry from any of the three Athens ports: Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrion. Just remember the ferry takes around four hours!
Syros, the capital of the Cyclades islands in Greece, is renowned for its neo-classical architecture and rich history. While the summer months draw the most visitors, October offers a more serene experience, where visitors can explore the island’s architectural wonders without the summer crowds.
Syros is home to the University of the Aegean, ensuring a vibrant local scene even after the tourists have departed. Thanks to its many year-round residents, you won’t have issues here finding open tavernas or places to rent sun beds on the beaches in October.
Ermoupoli town features remarkable architectural landmarks, such as Miaouli Square, the Town Hall, Apollo Theater, and the Church of Agios Nikolaos. Furthermore, its charming villages and cultural sites, like the Industrial Museum and ancient churches, make it a historical treasure.
With its unique history, diverse population, and affordability, Syros is a hidden gem, making it one of the best Greek islands to visit in October. Anticipate pleasant daytime temperatures averaging approximately 72°F (22°C) and nighttime temperatures hovering at around 67°F (19°C).
Sea temperatures for swimming in Syros are usually most comfortable at the beginning of October (around 73°F/23°C). Additionally, traveling to Syros is convenient, with year-round flights from Athens and ferry services from both Piraeus and Rafina ports.
Zakynthos, commonly known as Zante, is the southernmost among the Ionian islands, located to the west of mainland Greece. It’s a captivating destination known for its remarkable sea cliffs and as a habitat for endangered sea turtles.
Expect pleasant, sunny days with slightly cooler evenings and occasional showers. The average temperature hovers around 68°F (20°C), and the sea maintains a temperature of approximately 72°F (22°C).
One of the island’s top experiences is exploring its stunning beaches, including the renowned Navagio Beach, frequently referred to as Shipwreck Beach. With fewer tourists around, you can fully appreciate the natural beauty and crystal-clear waters.
October is also an excellent time for outdoor enthusiasts to take a cruise to spot sea turtles in the National Marine Park. We also recommend taking a boat tour of the Blue Caves of Zakynthos–named after the vivid hue of the water, which mirrors itself on the cave walls.
Getting to Zakynthos in October is convenient by air, with direct flights from Athens. Regrettably, there are no ferry routes directly connecting Athens to Zakynthos. Therefore, you’d need to make your way to the western Peloponnese’s port of Kyllini and then proceed with your trip to Zakynthos from that point.
One of the top choices among the best Greek islands in October is Paros, situated in the Central Aegean Sea. Paros offers a diverse experience for travelers, showcasing unique Cycladic architecture, charming villages, historic landmarks, and lively nightlife districts.
October is an ideal time to explore the island’s cultural treasures, although you might encounter occasional rain or cloudier days compared to the summer. Generally, the first two weeks of October are better for a visit, with some businesses starting to close around mid-month.
Paros provides a variety of attractions to occupy your time. Explore the picturesque hilltop village of Lefkes, stroll through the old town of Parikia, and savor a wine-tasting experience at Moraitis Winery.
Moreover, if you find the ocean warm enough, you can take advantage of the water sports opportunities at Golden Beach–one of the best beaches on Paros. We recommend staying in Parikia, the island’s main town, where many essential services and dining options remain open.
Paros, being relatively compact compared to other Greek islands, allows you to explore the majority of its attractions in just a few days. To get there, you can either take a short flight of under an hour from Athens or a ferry ride from the Greek mainland, departing from the port of Piraeus in Athens.
Looking for more Greece travel guides?
Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later!