Sunday, February 25, 2007

When to come to Greece

July and August are fine if you are prepared. This is the time most people come to Greece because this is when most people have their holidays and what could be better than to be close to the sea during the hottest months of the year?

It's more crowded and rooms on the islands are harder to find, but the island nightlife is jumping and the beaches are lively. Face it: Greece is fun in the summer. More fun than most people can handle and many people who have spent a summer here have become spoiled. That’s why im still living here I guess ha ha

Athens can be pretty hot in the day but mornings and late afternoons are fine and the nights in the Plaka and Psiri are wonderful if not a little crowded. Athens empties in August especially the week of the 15th and this is a great time to be in the city if it is not too warm. You can get good Hotel offers in that period!

May-June and September-October are the best months The weather is perfect and the kids are in school so it's quieter on the more popular islands.

There is still some nightlife but the beaches are almost free of people on the less mainstream islands.

You may get a day or two of rain but it usually adds a little excitement. This is a time to go to the islands like Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes because most of the tourists are gone. If you go early in the spring or late in the summer then bring a windbreaker and a warm sweater. You probably won't need more then that.

The weather in Athens is perfect for dinners in outdoor restaurants, hanging out in cafes, going to the local beaches, climbing the Acropolis and exploring the city and the countryside. Usually the weather stays pretty warm at least until the beginning of December and sometimes it stays warm with periods of rain here and there for most of the winter.

November to March can be cold and rainy but it can also be like Indian summer. Athens comes alive during these months and there is nothing like a night out in the city.

YES It does snow in Greece. (like my unt once you have mountains in greece? :)

However it does snow in the mountains so much that you can ski there.

February can be cool with periods of rain but it can also be what they call the halcyones which is an extended period of spring-like weather when even going for a swim is a tempting idea. It is worth the risk because even if you don't get the halcyones weather, the winters are still mild and nightlife is at its peak, especially during Apokreas which is the equivelant of Carnival or Mardi Gras.

The last two weekends are the best. The Plaka, Psiri and Thission are full of merry-makers, blowing horns and throwing confetti like it is New Year's eve. There are parades in the area of Moschaton and in the city of Patras there are enormous parades and celebrations. Tavernas are full and open late and the bars, clubs and cafes are thriving. When Apokreas ends, 40 days before Easter, things get a little quieter as people begin their fasting.

But it is during this period that spring begins and there is a procession of trees, plants and wildflowers in bloom that make the archaeological sites of Athens and the surrounding countryside look like the Garden of Eden.

April is usually Easter time which is magical. If you are lucky enough to be on an island during Easter when all the wildflowers are in bloom and the smell of lamb roasting fills the air you will know what I mean. It is also a great time to be in Athens because there is no traffic since most people are out of town. The Church bells ring, there are ceremonies and processions which peak at midnight of Saturday-Sunday when there are fireworks, a cacophony of sound as every church in the city seems to be ringing its bells. Most people go to the islands or to the country for Easter Sunday but many people stay in Athens to celebrate with their family, eating lamb and kokouretsi, taking walks in the Plaka and around the Acropolis.

You really get the feeling that after the long winter life has begun again. People greet each other on the street saying Christos Anesti(Christ has Arisen) and answering Alithos Anesti (Truly He Has Arisen).

Generally between April and November expect sun in Greece. Between June and September expect nothing but sun. In the winter expect a bit of rain.

Check Out for weather forecasts.

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