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Greece in Winter

Greece in Winter

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Old Dec 17, 18, 10:37 am
  #16  
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Yes, Matt Barrett's site has been very useful - including that page on Greece in the off season, which played a big part in convincing us that it was a perfectly fine time to visit. I gunned for Kea or one of the islands he mentions as particularly good for a winter visit, but others in my party were adamant about Santorini. At the moment the forecast looks fine, so with luck the weather will hold. And if it doesn't, we rented a very nice place with a hot tub and views of the caldera , so with that and a few bottles of wine we'll make the best of it.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by snic View Post
Yes, Matt Barrett's site has been very useful - including that page on Greece in the off season, which played a big part in convincing us that it was a perfectly fine time to visit. I gunned for Kea or one of the islands he mentions as particularly good for a winter visit, but others in my party were adamant about Santorini. At the moment the forecast looks fine, so with luck the weather will hold. And if it doesn't, we rented a very nice place with a hot tub and views of the caldera , so with that and a few bottles of wine we'll make the best of it.
I'm jealous.....have a great time. We head off to Greece and Crete this April to celebrate my husband's 75th birthday and look for wild orchids in the hills of eastern Crete.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:09 pm
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It's almost 4 am, and my dogs are extremely nervous, yet happy I'm already awake as they need my... protection: a thunderstorm is nearing with lots of lightning, just the same situation as four nights ago. In between those two storms we had the sun shining for quite some time and periods of grey skies with extremely windy conditions but no rain. In brief, not the kind of weather one wishes for vacationing on a Greek island. BUT: Crete is covered by a green carpet, the first yellow "xynithra" (oxalis) flowers have started blooming and the first "vrouves" (sinapis alba) will soon be there, there are hardly any tourists clogging roads, sidewalks, restaurants, etc., in other words you have the island at its best. I simply love the winter!

Enjoy your stay at Santorini!
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Old Dec 17, 18, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
It's almost 4 am, and my dogs are extremely nervous, yet happy I'm already awake as they need my... protection: a thunderstorm is nearing with lots of lightning, just the same situation as four nights ago. In between those two storms we had the sun shining for quite some time and periods of grey skies with extremely windy conditions but no rain. In brief, not the kind of weather one wishes for vacationing on a Greek island. BUT: Crete is covered by a green carpet, the first yellow "xynithra" (oxalis) flowers have started blooming and the first "vrouves" (sinapis alba) will soon be there, there are hardly any tourists clogging roads, sidewalks, restaurants, etc., in other words you have the island at its best. I simply love the winter!

Enjoy your stay at Santorini!
Whether in Crete or Seattle Washington...dogs are the same.... terrified of thunder and seek our comfort during storms.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:28 am
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I too am a Matt Barrett fan. I am also a fan of 'off season' travel. However, your choice of more northern locations would not be my choice. I would have planned on Crete and/or Rhodes at this time of year. I have seen 70F and blue skies on Rhodes on Xmas day.

Best of luck with the weather anyway and yes, there are always ways to make the most of even a lousy day, like a hot tub and a few bottles of wine.

Do post after your return and let us know how it went. It's always great to hear about that after you have contributed to someone's thread before their trip.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 9:36 pm
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I'd stay in Athens especially in the winter
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Old Jan 3, 19, 4:06 pm
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Many thanks to david55 for the links to Matt Barrett's site. I'll be in Athens from Jan. 25-30, and his site looks like a great resource. tls
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Old Jan 6, 19, 4:17 pm
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We're back, and I'm happy to report that we had an absolute blast. The weather on Santorini cooperated - it rained the day we arrived, but was partly cloudy and cool (mid 50s) for the next couple of days, with just a few occasional drops of rain. It could have been sunny and 60s (as it was just before we arrived), but the clouds actually gave the island a certain atmosphere, not to mention added drama to photos (see below). It was indeed windy, but much of the Fira - Oia hike was sheltered by buildings or hills (although in other spots, the wind blew fiercely and it was an adventure). The hike was the highlight of the trip, and the views I am sure were no less spectacular than in summer - and we didn't have to deal with murderous heat.

There were just enough tourists to motivate a handful of restaurants to stay open, but certainly not enough to make the place feel crowded (far from it - we saw not a single other hiker on the entire Fira - Oia walk). So, Santorini was a huge success.

Nafplio was nearly as fantastic. The weather was similar, but we did have a couple of rainy days. Highlights of this part included the coastal drive from Nafplio down to Leonidio, which is spectacular (what the Big Sur coastline would look like if an olive-growing civilization had lived in California for the last 3 or 4 thousand years) as well as Epidaurus and Mycenae.

Finally, we spent a few great days in Athens. Remarkably, we had to wait in line for 45 minutes for tickets to the Acropolis. It was a weekend, and many visitors were Greeks - I guess they figured winter would be a better time than midsummer to visit a shade-free hilltop. The city was teeming with people and every restaurant in Monastiraki and Plaka was open (although with many empty tables). The culinary highlight in Athens was dinner at Aleria, which has a vegetarian tasting menu and serves creative, inspired dishes influenced by the Greek tradition. Both meat and vegetarian versions were outstanding, and the service was superb. Although this was hardly cheap, something similar in New York or northern Europe would easily be 2 or 3 times as expensive. There are a growing number of such restaurants in Athens, which gives me another reason to come back!



View from the hot tub

On the Fira -Oia hike.

On the Fira-Oia hike

On the Fira-Oia hike - view to Oia

In Oia, sunset view at the end of the hike
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:57 pm
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If you had been there a few days later you would have had the real chance of seeing a white Nafplio (snowfall forecast for tonight and tomorrow) and a small chance for a white Santorini (chances for snow are smaller).

Last edited by KLouis; Jan 7, 19 at 8:54 pm
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Old Jan 8, 19, 7:13 am
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There was lots of snow on the hilltops around Nafplio and the whole region. That added a lot to the scenery - it was beautiful. Mrs snic kept saying that the brooding clouds and snow covered mountains (well, hills) reminded her of the Swiss Alps. I loved the fact that I didn't have to deal with the snow at all, but could still enjoy looking at it!
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Old Jan 11, 19, 12:21 pm
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I wish I had seen this thread before but it looks like you did fantastically without my extra input. I did Santorini in February and loved it. It was cool, but so serene and relaxing. Few shops and restaurants open but that meant I had tons of time to explore, walk, take photos, read, and chill. One of the most relaxing vacations I've ever taken. I met a lot of the local cats and dogs and was able to photograph the beauty of the island with almost no one around. Loved it. Few hotels were open, but the one I ended up finding was wonderful.
KLouis and snic like this.
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