Visiting any Greek island off-season may seem an absurdity to all you party animals out there but, for the rest of mankind, Crete has loads to offer away from the July/August peak. Its treasure trove of archaeological wonders has always ensured its status above that of the usual sun resort. Add in some stunning scenery, gorgeous towns and fabulous food – now none of that disappears along with the higher summer temperatures, does it!
We’re not long back from a 10 night trip so here are a few initial thoughts……
1.You have the Minoans practically to yourselves. No entry queues, fewer bus tours and less of a logjam at the most popular selfie spots!
2. Your favourites restaurants will probably have a table – any time you want to eat!
3. No sunbed wars – not a towel to be seen before breakfast!
4. Temperatures make sightseeing bearable – no gasping on the slightest of inclines or harrying for space under that one shady tree on the whole site!
5. You can actually get that front row seating in the cafes!
6. Hotels are obviously going to be better value away from peak weeks. At a glance, hotels in late October seem to cost about 60% less than high season.
7. Parking is definitely less stressful – you can pull into any scenic layby along the road and there’s no need to abandon the car 20 minutes from the beach or town centre!
8. Car hire is 60-70% cheaper in October.
9. There are empty benches available – everywhere – even at those most picturesque spots that are NEVER free!
So how late should you go?
We traveled on October 25th.
By that stage of the season, flights were decreasing – Ryanair in our case, was finishing up its summer schedule and pulling direct Dublin flights. We connected in Bristol going out and in Athens on return. It worked out fine but added several hours on to each journey.
Not every hotel was available – many had already shut for the season and several closed either at the end of October or the following weekend.
Temperatures were lovely during the day – mid 20’s and even up to 30 degrees at times (overcast on only one morning). But it’s chilly once the sun disappears. The hour changed while we were there and we definitely noticed the difference when on the beach in the evenings.
Breakfast and lunch were enjoyable outdoors but we ate inside at night (although plenty were happy to stay outside along the terraces and sidewalks).
Archaeological Sites close earlier.
Even one week earlier would have made a difference re direct flight options and wider choice of accommodation. Otherwise, it was perfect.
(Disclosure – I must clarify BTW that I WAS, once upon a time, that party animal!!!😅🤣)