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While lots of people will tell you not to travel to Greece outside of the summer months, November can still be a good time to visit.
If you’re considering Santorini, then I wrote a separate post about the island in November.
The average temperature is usually fairly mild, especially in early November. And that makes hiking, walking around towns and exploring all the archaeological sites much more pleasant.
I’ve been to a few different places in Greece this month, so here’s what you can expect if you’re visiting Greece in the shoulder season.
Weather in Greece in November
The weather varies depending on where in the country you’re looking at. The further north you go the cooler the average high will be for the month.
The best way to check for the area you’re interested in is to use a website like Time and Date. You can put the exact location in the search box in the top right corner, and it will give you all the details.
Southern Greece and Islands
In the southern areas and islands, it’s a typical Mediterranean climate. For example, the mean temperature for Athens, Nafplio, Corinth, Mykonos and Naxos in November is 16°C/60.8°F . For Santorini, it’s 17°C/62.6°F
The high temperature for most of these places is 19°C/66.2°F on average. But at the beginning of the month it can definitely more. I think 2023 was above average for November temperatures overall.
If you’re going north to do a road trip near Ioannina then the mean temperature is 15°C/59°F, and you can expect a lot more rain than the places above.
In Thessaloniki, the average is around 11°C/51.8°F and even more northerly, Kastoria’s mean temperature is 8°C/46.4°C.
Examples of November weather in various parts of the country
Accommodation In November
Hotel availability in November will vary depending on where in the country you’re going.
On the Islands
Lots of the island hotels will close at the end of September or sometime in October. Some stay open into November, but for many, it’s only for the first week or two.
After that it’s most likely villas and self-catering apartments that are the biggest option. (Although some hotels do stay open on the islands all year round.)
On the Mainland
On the Greek mainland, there are fewer accommodation options around the Peloponnese than in the summer.
And it’s similar to the islands that apartments and houses are more readily available than hotels. But you will still find somewhere to book.
Across the board, in places that are generally thought of as summer tourism destinations, accommodation prices and hotel rates will be lower in November.
Bargains and Upgrades
Because these spots are quieter at the end of the season, you’re also more likely to get a hotel room upgrade. When I was in Santorini, I got upgraded to a suite that was a few levels above the room type I’d actually booked (which I’d been hoping for!).
But northern Greece is coming into its winter tourist season, and there are lots of accommodation choices. They’ll also be priced accordingly, so don’t necessarily expect a bargain there.
Greek Islands in November
Depending on where you’re visiting and what you want to do, I agree that the low season might not be the best time of year for the islands.
The weather at the start of the month can be good enough for beach days and swimming.
Naxos in November
Epidaurus in November
And as I mentioned above, it can be one of the best months to see the historical sites. Both in terms of not being ridiculously hot and because fewer tourists are around.
But a lot of services, hotels and restaurants will have closed. The summer season ends around mid-October for most islands. For some, it’s even earlier. So you won’t be able to book very many activities and trips.
The things you might have looked forward to doing on particular islands might not be possible.
For example, if you’re heading to Mykonos in November, you won’t find a boat to take you over to Delos to see the ancient ruins. That’s a really popular and worthwhile trip from Mykonos, so it’s a shame to miss it.
I visited Santorini in November; it was quite a good time to go. The weather was mixed, but there were lots of good days.
It was a mixture of warm and mild weather with some quite windy days. (Which is typical in the shoulder seasons and even in the summer).
And for the first half of the month, there were still iconic hotels, winery tours and some other activities up and running.
Andros in November
The locals still eat out in the winter months, so you’ll find restaurants that are open then, too.
I understand that Corfu in the Ionian Islands can be a good place in November. I haven’t been myself, but I know from living in the country you do just need to watch the weather.
Because it’s further north than the Cyclades, the weather can be cooler and more stormy by the autumn.
But they always say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothes. So if you’re up for wandering around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corfu town, a bit of adverse weather won’t stop you.
🥾 See also these short hikes in Paros
There’s a buzz there all year because it has a fairly big local population over the winter, and everyone still needs to go about their normal day-to-day business.
And despite what you might know about Corfu, it’s actually got excellent hiking trails. I’m excited about getting out on them, and November isn’t a bad month to do that.
Again, you can experience comfortable weather for walking, so consider that if you’re a hiker.
The other islands in the Ionian Sea are best to visit when there’s warm weather. The beaches are glorious, and that’s their main attraction. So you want the best weather for those.
Crete’s a big island with a busy population all year round. It’s also one of the most southern islands, so it holds onto the warm temperatures as long as possible.
Again, the historical sites, including Chania town, are some of the best things to enjoy in November.
I was in the Peloponnese in November, and if that’s an option for you, don’t dismiss coming at this time of year if you’re hoping for decent weather conditions.
Further to the north, the weather can feel much more wintery, and snow is beginning to fall in the mountain regions.
Athens in November is generally mild but expect mixed weather with some cloudy and rainy days. There are plenty of tourist activities running and the hop-on, hop-off buses are available too.
The city is one of the best places to visit because, like other places, the main attractions don’t have the same crowds as at other times of the year. Central Athens is a more pleasant place to be in the autumn.
November hiking in the Athens’ suburbs
The evenings can get a bit chilly, especially when it’s windy. But in the daytime, it can be really enjoyable to be outside. And the water temperature is still much higher than in spring if you fancy a dip in the sea.
There was a mix of good weather and rainy days during my time there. One day, in particular, there was a huge storm. I was eating lunch outside under a covered gazebo, and we all had to run inside out of the torrential rain and huge gusts of wind.
Nafplio in November
But other days had clear blue skies, and I went swimming in the sea.
The town of Nafplion and the ancient sites between there and Corinth had far fewer crowds than when I was there in May. In that respect, it’s a great time to visit.
Some of the biggies like Ancient Corinth, Mycenae and the Ancient Theatre at Epidauraus are in this area. And it’s an ideal time to stroll around amongst ancient history at your own pace without the hoards.
Clouds at Epidaurus Theatre
A glorious November day at Ancient Nemea
Many restaurants, shops and activities in Nafplio town had already closed for the winter months. But it didn’t feel desolate, and there were still enough places open to enjoy.
Some of the bougainvillea was still blooming for pretty pictures, too.
One of the Peloponnese’s beautiful beaches in November
If you’re exploring Greece and heading up to the stunning monasteries of Meteora, it’s a good time to take one of the hiking tours. If you’re not into that, then you’ll still benefit from cooler temperature and fewer other visitors.
Zagorochoria is a collection of over forty villages in the Epirus region of northwest Greece. I intended to go there in November for a road trip around autumnal trees and picturesque stone houses and bridges.
In the end, it didn’t happen, and I had to stay in the Peloponnese longer than anticipated. But a road trip around the area in November is absolutely the perfect way to enjoy Greece at this time of year.
I did get a mountain road trip on the way to Stymphalia though
Ferries to the Islands
The ferry schedules are very much reduced after October. You’ll probably need to travel more slowly as there won’t be the same daily ferry connections you might find in the summer. That’s certainly true for the more remote islands.
A Note on Bad Weather
Something else to note is that ferries in November can be cancelled due to bad weather. They can experience cancellations when the wind’s high at any time of year, but it’s definitely more common in November than in the high season.
Blue Star Ferries notice of ferry cancellations
Flights to the Islands
Like the ferries, fewer flights are operating in November. However, where they do run, the ticket prices are generally much lower than in peak season. And the flights aren’t generally cancelled because of the weather.
Do watch out, though, if you’re booked on a ferry that gets cancelled for the weather. Everyone will scramble to get a flight ticket, so act fast if you need to get back before the next ferry. The planes to Athens are on the small side with limited seats.
✈️ I use Skyscanner for all my flight bookings because you can see quickly and easily all the flights departing on a certain date.
Free and Reduced Entry to Archaeological Sites
November to March is the winter season for government-run museums, historical and archaeological sites. That means ticket prices are reduced during these months, so get your fill of ancient Greece!
Another thing that happens this season is free entry to these archaeological sites and museums on the first Sunday of each month.
Plan accordingly if you’re in the country the first weekend because the offer is popular for local families, too. Places like the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum in Athens can get quite busy.
Some events to look out for in November are:
If you visit Athens in November, be aware of the Athens Authentic Marathon taking place. You can check the details and dates on the official website. (And enter if you fancy giving it a go!)
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
If you’re a film buff, you might be interested in the film festival. The website has all the details in English for you to check out.
Ok, so Christmas in Greece is still in December. But you’ll definitely start to feel the Christmas spirit in November.
I couldn’t get my head around going to the beach and swimming in the sea and then coming back to a hotel with festive trees and Christmas decorations all over the place.
If you’re from Australia, I suppose it’s nothing new. But for me, it still seems odd!
Christmassy Events in Athens
In Athens, the Christmas lights are sometimes switched on in November with a big event in Syntagma Square. And the Christmas Factory at Technopolis also starts this month.
What to Wear in Greece in November
Again this depends on where you’re going. For the north, bring winter clothes (not necessarily thermals). Jeans, jumpers, boots and a warm winter coat will see you through. (And wear layers if you’re going to be walking about.)
For Athens and the islands light trousers, jeans, short and long-sleeves tops, light jumpers and a denim or similar jacket are the types of things to bring.
I find it quite humid and muggy, too, and that can make the temperature feel higher. Bring your swimsuit as well as an umbrella!
More Ideas to Visit Greece in the Off-Season
If you’re unable or just don’t want to visit Greece in the summer season then here are some more ideas for off-season travel.