Walking through Oia in mid-October, I heard the couple in front of me remark how they’d chosen the absolutely best time to visit Santorini. And they weren’t wrong. It was a glorious 23 degrees Celsius (73.4°F) without a cloud in the sky.
The streets we were strolling through were far from empty but coming in the shoulder season, there were noticeably fewer crowds than in the summer months. Overall, October’s a great time to visit this most famous of Greek islands, so let me tell you why.
Is October a Good Time to Go to Santorini?
Yes. The first couple of weeks of the month are a particularly good time to go to this beautiful island. The weather is generally pretty pleasant, and a good number of restaurants, shops, tours, and attractions are still open.
Santorini Weather in October
The average temperature for Santorini in October is 22°C/71.6°F in the day and around 17°C/62.6°F at night. The weather in late October can be changeable, although it does depend.
October has plenty of hours of sunshine, but anticipate some clouds, too
In 2023, the weather’s been very good, which positively affected visits nearer the end of the month.
Since those are the averages, you’ll probably experience warmer temperatures nearer the start of the month.
You do need to anticipate the odd windy, cloudy or rainy days, more towards the back end of the month. While some of the days during my October visit were sunny and cloudless, with endless views of the Aegean Sea, others were cloudier for part of the day.
Hotels and Restaurants
You can expect most places to still be open in October. If there’s a particular hotel you want to stay at or restaurant you want to visit, I’d check when they close for the season to avoid being disappointed.
🧿Psst did you see my travel tips for Greece yet?
Some accommodation ends the season in September, but most of the luxury hotels in Oia and Immerovigli stay open until around the last week of October.
Several run right through until the 31st, and others close a few days before. You’ll also find some here and there that stay open into early November.
If your trip will cross over into November, here’s what Santorini’s like then.
There are still plenty of other accommodation options across the island, including in the beach areas like Perissa. It’s a great month to nab a cheap room if you want to visit Santorini on a budget.
Stunning view of Santorini’s caldera from Oia in October
It’s also the perfect time to book a bucket list hotel or villa. You can get some great deals on the most spectacular places compared to the sky-high peak season prices.
Note that 28th October in Greece is the Oxi Day holiday, and you can expect rates to be higher that day.
A note if you’re booking somewhere with a hot tub or swimming pool. I mentioned this in my post about going to Santorini in spring because while the pools in Greece are often heated, they’re not always as warm as you’re used to.
If you’re hoping to cosy up in the evening to look at the stars, check what temperature your accommodation heats the hot tub. If it’s around 32-35°C it’ll feel chilly when the sun’s not shining.
Restaurants and Wineries
As with the hotels, some of the restaurants across the island will already have closed for the season if you arrive in October.
Notable eateries that closed when I visited in 2023 were Frazescos at Perissa Beach and Marinera at Fira. But there are more than enough left open for you.
If you want to make a reservation for the 28th, do so in good time, as many locals will also be eating out on Oxi Day.
Plenty of Santorini restaurants are open to enjoy the view in fall
If you’re hoping to take join one of the popular wine tours during your Santorini holiday/vacation, you’ll still be able to. Again, you’ll need to check with the individual places if there’s somewhere specific you want to visit.
For example, in 2023, Santo Wines ended their season on the 22nd of the month. Domaine Sigalas close their restaurant on the 30th but keep the wine tastings running until 7th of November with slightly reduced hours.
Other wineries like Estate Argyros are open all of October. If you choose to book a pre-organised group or private wine tour, you’ll obviously be taken to places still open for visitors.
Tours and Attractions
Most of the top things to do in Santorini are open and available in October. Archaeological sites like Ancient Thera and Akrotiri are open all month, as is the Museum of Prehistoric Thira.
Akrotiri is in a bioclimatic building, so you can go there whatever the weather.
Organised tours are still available in October. Again, as things taper off towards the winter season, you might find that the private tour options are more available than group ones.
It’s still a good time of year to enjoy boat trips, swimming to the hot springs and snorkelling on the beaches.
⛵ Here are the types of boat trips worth considering in Santorini.
Bear in mind that if you choose the sunset tour rather than the daytime ones, you might find the swimming a bit cool towards the end.
It’s definitely still worth doing, and some would say the water is the best place to watch the sunset. Take a long-sleeved top or jacket with you.
The water taxi to and around the three most famous beaches at Akrotiri – Red Beach, White Beach and Black Beach – still runs in the month of October.
Sunsets in Autumn
Santorini’s famous sunset is just as beautiful, if different, in autumn. Don’t dismiss going to watch it on a cloudy day. Usually, the colours that bounce off the clouds are phenomenal, particularly after the sun has actually set. Stay and watch the whole show.
Beaches and Beach Clubs
Can you still swim in Santorini in October? Absolutely. The average sea temperature is much warmer than in the spring as the water retains heat from the summer until around mid November.
Sea temperatures are high enough for swimming in October
October is the last month that the beach bars are open for the tourist season. I walked along Perissa and Perivolos Beaches in the middle of the month.
Most of the places in that area on my list of beach clubs to enjoy in Santorini were still open. Albeit quiet with a chilled, end-of-the-season vibe.
Expect some cloudy days in October
Jojo’s was done for the season. The building was closed up, and their section of the beach was cleared. But the others were still running.
I stopped for lunch at Motoi Beach Lounge, where they told me they were staying open for another seven to 10 days. Their closing date was flexible depending on how long the good weather held out.
The vast majority of shops are still open at least until mid-month. After that you’ll start to see more shutting down. But even in the winter you can find some of the souvenir shops open.
However, for most of the month the shops in Oia, and particularly in Fira, are still very much trading.
Hiking Santorini in October
The off-season weather makes exploring Santorini on foot more bearable. You don’t have to set off at the crack of dawn to beat the summer heat along the Fira to Oia caldera path.
While that’s the island’s most famous walk – and I’d definitely recommend doing it – there are several other really nice paths to walk.
I have a list of the Santorini walks in this post if you want to know more.
Cruise Ships and Visitors
October is still a fairly busy time for cruise ships to stop at the island. But there’s a big difference in trying to navigate your way through the village streets in Oia and Fira then, than in July and August. It’s much more pleasant.
If you’re visiting on a cruise, then note you’ll likely still have to wait quite a long time in line when you arrive and leave. I was in the Old Harbour around 11:45, and the people towards the front of the line for the cable car up to Fira had been queueing up for about an hour.
Even though the waiting times aren’t as long as the high season, give yourself plenty of time to return to the boat, too.
Caldera views for days but spare the donkeys
Remember, you can still come and go via the steps. The cooler temperatures make walking up and down more pleasant than in the summer’s scorching heat.
It is still sufficiently warm weather for the donkeys to suffer, though. So please don’t ride them at any time of year.
Getting Around the Island
🚌 This post has info about travelling around Santorini by various means
Although buses don’t run quite as frequently as in July and August there are still plenty scheduled to the places you’ll want to visit. Partly there are fewer just because there aren’t so many people trying to get about at the same time in autumn.
The buses also don’t run quite as late in the evening. But that’s fine since the sunset is earlier if you want to go out and see that.
Taxis are available and you’ll also find more than enough car rental companies operating.
Packing to Visit Santorini in October
What to pack when visiting Santorini in October is pretty similar to what I’d recommend for the peak summer months, especially in early October.
All the info you need is in this post about what to wear. But as a recap, it’s a good idea to take a light jacket for cool evenings, windy boat trips and any days when the temperature drops at night.
Other Greek Islands to Visit Nearby
Thirassia is just a few minutes by boat from Santorini’s Ammoudi Bay. It’s particularly nice for some secluded hiking and October is just the right time to enjoy that.
In the opposite direction, you can see Anafi island from Santorini’s east coast. It has beautiful golden beaches which will be lovely while there’s still some pleasant weather.
There are also several hiking paths on Anafi. The hike up to the monastery on Europe’s second largest monolith is particularly breathtaking. (In terms of both effort and views!)
Another island with gorgeous beaches is Naxos. It’s also full of hiking paths. You can plan walking activities from this post. I think October is a really nice month to enjoy this island. I do find there’s a noticible drop-off in touristy activities and shops from mid-month.
Paros is also chilled in October. Again it has beaches you can enjoy and enough shops and eateries open to have a very pleasant few days.
Other Useful Santorini Information
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