If you’re heading to Santorini in the month of November, the first week is the best time to still have a choice of shops, restaurants and attractions to enjoy. It really can be a good time to go if you’re interested in doing more than just lounging around beside the Aegean Sea.
Later in the month, the island’s fully into “winter season” in terms of activities and attractions. By then, the weather’s usually more mixed with a higher chance of clouds, rain and storms, too.
Beautiful caldera views in November
Having said that, there are some restaurants and shops open all year round, and the weather can be perfect for hiking. Here’s what to expect on Santorini island in November.
As with October, the weather in November can be changeable. So when visiting Santorini, you should expect mixed weather. But still anticipate enjoying some sunny days. I’ve certainly managed to get some interesting tan lines walking about early in the month!
At this time of year, there are about 10.5 hours of sunshine. The average daytime high is 18°C/64.4°F, and at night it’s 14°C/57.2°F. But as they’re averages, it’s usually a bit higher towards the front end of the month and then lower as it heads towards December.
The average sea temperature is still higher than in the spring, so swimming and boat trips are still an option.
See this post about Santorini, Greece in April
A hazy November morning
Adverse Weather Affecting Travel in November
The weather can affect your travel plans at this time of year, so be aware of that.
When I returned from Santorini in November, there was a shipping ban around the Cyclades because of the high wind gusts.
Even if it’s not the most pleasant experience for passengers, ships generally run if they can dock safely. If they can’t, that’s when they’re cancelled.
Leave enough time if you’re travelling back to Athens to catch a flight home or be prepared to take an alternative route. Be aware that flights will fill up fast if the ships are cancelled.
🏨 Here are some hotels close to Athens Airport if you need them.
Flights generally aren’t cancelled for high winds, but you might experience some mild to moderate turbulence on take-off and landing. Your flight time can be affected, too.
We had some tailwind on the flight down from Athens to Thira Airport in November and got there in 24 minutes flat. Going back, flying into the wind, the same journey took 46 minutes.
If you fly when it’s windy, watch your stuff when you get off. People were losing sunglasses, hats and jackets as they came down the steps from the plane to the tarmac. There’s a pile of stuff at the perimeter fence now, I think!
Are Places Still Open In Santorini in November?
November on other Greek islands would be classed as one of the winter months (tourist season-wise). But in Santorini, it’s the tail end of the high season. So, it is one of the best places to go if you’re considering the islands.
Some hotels, restaurants and clubs do close at the end of September. And a significant amount close by mid-late October. But there are still enough things running in early November to make it a worthwhile time to visit.
Read about Santorini during October if your trip crosses both months.
The majority of Santorini hotels are closed in November, particularly along the Oia caldera. If you’re looking for something opulent, your biggest choice will be amongst the luxury villas.
If you go that route, check they’re set up to deal with cool weather days. You want to confirm that the house has a hot water heater (not just solar) so that you can still have a hot shower when it’s cloudy.
Ask about heating, too. Probably, they’ll all have AC, in which case they have a heating option too. But try and look at reviews from the same time of year and see if that was enough. Towards the end of the month, a stone building might be quite cool to sit in, in the evening.
You will find a few villas in Oia, as well as more in other spots like Fira and Pyrgos.
Pyrgos is a nice location to base yourself in for discovering the island in the off-season.
🧿 You can read more about Santorini’s Pyrgos Village here.
If you want a hotel in Santorini rather than a villa, there are a few luxury hotels open.
Olvos Luxury Suites has some beautiful suites along the Oia caldera that are available in November. Rocabella Hotel and Spa at Imerovigli is open all year, and several posh suites are still running in Imerovigli, too.
There are other budget options around the island. Search in booking.com and use the filters to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Restaurants and Bars
Again, the majority of restaurants and bars with a caldera view are closed by November. But you will find some that are open. You might not experience the finest cuisine that Santorini has to offer. But you can still get a decent meal with a great view.
As an example:
Fira restaurants still open in the first week of November 2023 include:
- Kaliya Reimagined – caldera view
- Classico – caldera view
- Triana Tavern
- Pelican Kipos
- Nikolas Tavern
- MALT restaurant
Plus, there are others along the caldera and several on the main square.
Mamas Restaurant in Fira open in November
- Oia Gefsis – open all November
- Apsithia – caldera view
and a few others along the caldera and cafes on the square by the bus and taxi ranks.
Note that most of these places will close by mid-November.
In Pyrgos, I noticed Johnny’s and Brusco (very good) were open as I drove past.
In Akrotiri, near Red Beach, Peirasmos was open, and The Dolphins Taverna is open all year.
There are other restaurants around the island that stay open in November, too.
The beach clubs usually wind down in October, so what you’re left with in November are nice, natural beaches. Most still have shops or facilities open nearby, though, so you can stock up on food and drink on those great weather days.
And, of course, you can easily access Perissa and Perivolos Beach as well as Kamari. (And Monolithos if you’re staying by the airport.)
I didn’t visit Kamari Beach in November, but I flew over it, taking off from the airport when I left. From the air, I noticed about three sections still had sunbeds and loungers set up. So you can try there if you want a serviced beach experience.
Red Beach in November
The boat running between the Red Beach, White Beach and Meso Pigadia Beach has stopped for the season for sure.
But the public buses still run to Akrotiri, so you can walk along to the Red Beach viewpoint. It’s nice to enjoy the stunning red sand and cliffs without the umbrellas and loungers at the end of the beach.
There are still enough shops open at the beginning of the month to feel like you’ve had a perfectly good shopping experience. After the first week of November, the vast majority will have closed down.
While most shops close in the winter, some boutiques and shops in both Oia and Fira stay open all year round. Cruise ships visit through the low season, and people still come to walk the caldera and see the sunset. Plus, locals need clothes too!
You’ll spot the open shops easily as you wander around because the others are shuttered closed.
Shopping in Fira in the fall
Attractions and Things to Do
Again, while some things have ended their season, there are enough attractions still running at the beginning of November for you to fill your time well.
Museums and Sites
Ancient Thera and the archaeological site of Akrotiri are open throughout the year. Government-run historical sites like these have summer hours from April to October and winter hours from November until March.
However, they are still plenty long enough for you to enjoy, and if you time it right, you might even get free entry. The first weekend of every month, government-run museums in Greece are free to enter.
In November, Akrotiri Excavation Site and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira are open every day except Tuesdays from 08:30 – 15:30. Ancient Thera is open the same hours every day except for Wednesdays.
Individual entrance tickets are at a reduced price in the winter. All three of these sites have free entrance on the first Sunday in November, so it’s the ideal time to save some money.
The Lost Atlantis Experience is open for the first few days of November and then closed for the rest of the season.
The Tomato Industrial Museum at Vlychada advertises as being open from April until October. But in 2023, they had tickets available until the end of the second week in November.
It’s quite a fun, interactive museum and Vlychada Beach next door is an interesting one to visit.
You don’t have to miss out on Santorini’s lovely white wines when you visit in autumn. You can join small group wine-tasting tours as well as arrange your own private one.
Usually, you visit three wineries, so obviously, you’ll be taken to places that are open in November.
If you don’t want to join a group, the following wineries are still open in November:
Estate Arygros at Episkopi Gonias near Kamari and the Airport offers its 90-minute tasting and local bites until the second week of November. Their 45-minute welcome tasting is available all month (closed on Sundays).
Domaine Sigalas near Oia is open the first week of November for tastings only (restaurant is closed)
Venetsanos Winery is on the caldera at Megalochori, right above Athinios Port. In November, they offer two wine tastings. One has four wines, and the other has six. Both come served with local delicacies.
If you want to learn to cook local recipes while on the island in November, you still can. To Spitiko Mas has cooking lessons through the autumn/fall.
As I said in my post about April in Santorini, the sunset is as beautiful in winter as it is in summer. It might be different than the quintessential sunset pics you’ve seen of Oia in the summer months.
You can still enjoy the famous sunsets even with cloudy skies
But the days when the weather conditions are mixed can be the best way to see the stunning colours of the sunset. November’s a great time of year to enjoy the sunset with somewhat fewer tourists crowing up Oia’s narrow streets.
Here are the best spots to watch the sunset in Fira town. You don’t need an organised sunset tour to enjoy the view.
Because the stunning vistas are accessible all year, you can still book professional shoots as well as flying dress photo shoots in November. Check on Airbnb Experiences or Get Your Guide to see what’s available for the dates you want.
Boat Trips, Hiking and Other Outdoor Activities
As I’ve mentioned, Santorini weather can be changeable in November, and there will usually be some windy or rainy days. But the cooler weather lends itself to hiking (one of the best things to do, in my opinion) and other outdoor activities.
Volcano Boat Trips
Boat trips to the volcano and the hot springs run at the beginning of the month. As the good weather becomes less reliable, they begin to taper off. By late November/the last week of the month, I don’t think you’ll find anything still running.
⛵ Here are the types of boat trips available in Santorini.
You can also still do boat rental without a license and make your own trip along the coast.
Kayak tours still run right through into December. Obviously, this and the boat trips are weather permitting. If there’s a strong wind or other bad weather forecast, then be prepared for the activity to be cancelled.
Here’s my experience kayaking in Santorini (spoiler: it was great fun!)
Bike tours run throughout the month and caldera hiking tours from Fira to Oia run on selected dates in November.
As well as the famous caldera walk there are some other really pleasant walking paths on Santorini. November can be a great time of year to discover them. I’ve written about the hikes here if you’d like to do a few while you’re there.
It’s also worth thinking about doing a half-day trip to Thirassia island to hike. The boats from Ammoudi Bay run all year because there are permanent residents.
But watch if the weather’s on the windy side. The boats don’t dock if the water’s too choppy, so make sure you can get back.
See What’s Available for Your Dates
Look on Get Your Guide to see what activities are running on the dates you’re visiting Santorini.
Getting Around The Island
Public Buses in the Shoulder Season
If you’re only staying a few days, your accommodation is central and just want to visit the tourist hotspots, then the public buses are probably absolutely fine.
You check the public bus timetables on the K.T.E.L website. They only display the current schedules, though, and they do change over the year.
Some example bus schedules from the beginning of November are below.
I’d also recommend looking at group or private tours to take you around the various attractions. That’s a really simple way of enjoying what you’re there to see without worrying about logistics.
Private and group tours are winding down in November, but you’ll still find some options for part of the month. If you go on Get Your Guide, you can see what’s available during your travel dates.
Taxis and Shuttles
Taxis are always available, and your hotel might provide a guest shuttle bus that you can book to get around.
However, if you’re staying a bit longer, are choosing out-of-the-way accommodation or want to take advantage of the cooler weather to go hiking, then maybe renting a car would be the best option.
It depends on what you want to do. Plenty of hikes are accessible from bus routes, so just think through your itinerary and about where you’re staying.
As with other services, a lot of the car rental companies just run until October. But some you can book with in November are:
Avance a national Greek company that’s open all year. I’ve used them lots of times on various islands, so you’ll be able to rent from them in November.
Kronos is based at the port, and I’ve rented from them before, too. They also drop off/collect from Santorini Airport if you’re flying in or out.
What to Wear Visiting Santorini in November
When you visit Santorini in November, I recommend almost the same clothes as in summer. Although it’s the off-season, it can still be pleasant weather, as I’ve said.
Plus, while it’s nowhere near as hot as the peak summer months, it can get humid on the islands. And that can make you feel much warmer.
In addition to what I recommend wearing here for a comfortable trip, make sure you also have a light jacket and/or long-sleeved top for cool evenings and boat trips.
From mid-November on, jeans or long trousers are probably a good idea for cool weather.
Here’s what people were wearing in November
Other Useful Information About Santorini
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