The best Greek islands to visit in October include Crete, which is the hottest Greek island in October, Santorini as it is quieter compared to the summer months, and Rhodes.
Reasons for visiting Greek Islands in October
October is a good time of year to visit the Greek islands. Travel costs drop in October on the Greek islands, with accommodation being much cheaper than in the high season months. Car rentals on the Greek islands are also much more budget friendly in October.
Additionally, fewer other visitors travel to the Greek islands during October which means if you prefer to avoid crowds, October will be the month for you!
Personally, October is one of my favourite months to do a little Greek island hopping. I find the warmer Dodecanese island group and Crete to be excellent destinations for making the summer last well into the Fall!
This is Vanessa and myself (I'm Dave, hi!) exploring Knossos in Crete in October. Not only did we get lovely weather, there were also way fewer people at this historical site at that time of year.
Which brings me on to…
Hottest Greek Island In October
Crete is the warmest Greek island in October. Crete experiences pleasant weather, with average daytime temperatures in October ranging from 20-25°C (68-77°F). Crete's October daytime highs are between 22-27°C (72-81°F) and nighttime lows somewhere around 15-20°C (59-68°F). The sea remains warm, around 22-24°C (72-75°F), suitable for swimming.
I should caveat this though. October is the shoulder season and the beginning of autumn. The weather can be more variable in Crete in October, and it only takes a few clouds and a bit of a breeze to make a beach day less enticing.
While Crete might be the hottest Greek island to visit in October, you should still be prepared for overcast days, with potentially a little rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in October
It's not just about the October weather on the Greek islands though. In this article, I've put together some information about 10 of the best Greek islands in October which take into account other factors such as tourist numbers, hiking, and affordability
Crete – Great weather in October
Santorini – Great month for sunsets
Rhodes – Warm and pleasant
Mykonos – Quieter beaches
Naxos – A taste of authentic island life
Hydra – Short trip from Athens
Corfu – Good time for walking around castles
Andros – Hiking and outdoor activities
Kefalonia – Last warm sun of the year
Syros – Local nightlife
Weather on the Greek islands in October
The weather on the islands of Greece in October can be quite variable. There will generally be some sunny days, but there will also be some rainy days.
It also depends which islands in Greece you choose to travel to. For example the Ionian islands will have more mild temperatures than islands in the south of the country like Crete. They might have a little more rain too.
During the day, you can expect warm weather for the most part especially in the early part of October. So pack summer wear and plan for a few beach days!
In the October evenings, temperatures start to drop, and you will probably need a jacket, unless you come from countries with really cold weather and are used to it!
As a rough rule of thumb, the hottest Greek islands in October tend to be in the south of the country – think Crete, the Dodecanese islands and Cycladic islands.
If your main aim when visiting the islands is to stay on the beach and go swimming, September is overall a better option, as the days are still fairly long and sea temperature is relatively high. October could be considered a little more risky, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
At the same time, if you want to go sightseeing in the cities, or if you want to go hiking on the islands, October is a perfectly fine choice.
Check out my full guide: Weather in Greece in October
October Greek Island Travel
If you are planning to visit some of the Greek islands in October, check Ferryhopper for updated ferry schedules. You will find fewer ferries running on routes between islands in October. Typically, SeaJets stop operating most of their tourist routes at the end of the month.
You can also reach most of the islands by a short flight from Athens airport, as well as some European airports. There is always talk of extending the tourist season in Greece, but for now, most international flights to the Greek islands stop by the end of October.
If you are planning to Greek island hop, my travel tips and guides to Greek island hopping are essential reading!
Below are some of the best Greek islands to visit in October.
Crete in October
As mentioned previously, the weather stays warmer for longer in Crete, which means October is a great month to visit. I took the photo below at Vai beach in October, and as you can see, there's plenty of people sunning themselves and swimming!
With some of the mildest temperatures, some of the most diverse landscapes and some of the best food in Greece, Crete is an ideal destination all year round.
It's often thought of as the warmest Greek island in October, and there's plenty to see and do. The sea temperatures are also still warm enough for swimming, making it a good choice of destination for autumn sun holidays.
The October weather on the Greek island of Crete is also much more comfortable for hiking and exploring the towns, cities, and other sites.
Check out this extensive article: Visiting Crete in October
There are regular ferries from Athens to Chania and other destinations in Crete, but you can also consider a short flight from Athens airport. There are also direct flights to Chania or Heraklion from several European cities.
Already visited Crete? Try the nearby island of Karpathos instead.
Santorini in October
In my opinion, October is one of the best months to visit Santorini.
Even though cruise boats still visit the island on pretty much a daily basis, the island is considerably less crowded than in the summer peak season.
As a result, accommodation prices are lower. Most restaurants, cafés and bars are open, and the island is still lively, but not overly busy.
Swimming-wise, given that Santorini is not as south as Crete and Rhodes, the water might be a little cold, but most people should be fine to swim on a sunny day.
If you want to travel from Athens to Santorini in October, my suggestion is to fly, though you can also take a high-speed ferry if you prefer. This article explains in detail how to get from Athens to Santorini.
More here: Reasons to visit Santorini Greece in October
Already visited Santorini? Try Folegandros instead.
Rhodes in October
For anyone who wants to have a beach holiday in Greece, but doesn’t have enough time to explore Crete, Rhodes is the other best Greek island to visit in October.
With mild sunny weather, an amazing medieval town, the stunning Lindos castle, and a bunch of beautiful beaches, Rhodes is a fantastic place to visit in October.
You can expect average temperatures to be 24 degrees during the day, and 17 degrees at night.
It’s best to arrange your accommodation in Rhodes town, as there is a lot to see there. You can easily spend two days just walking around the town, and visiting the superb museums.
Tip – on some days, you can walk on the Walls of the city as well.
When it comes to beaches, Rhodes has plenty to offer, and it’s best to rent a car if you want to explore them. From the famous Anthony Quinn beach, which is a paradise for snorkelers, to the faraway Prasonissi beach on the south, ideal for windsurfers and freecampers, you will definitely love the beaches in Rhodes.
Combine one of your beach-hopping days with a visit at Lindos Castle.
If you prefer not to drive yourself, you can take a guided bus tour of the island. There are many different ones available, some of which including Lindos. If you want to get off the beaten track, this is one of the best options: Rhodes Safari Tour.
Finally, you can also consider a day trip from Rhodes to Marmaris, in Turkey!
As ferries from Pireaus to Rhodes take at least 13 hours, the best way to get from Athens to Rhodes is by a short flight. There are several direct flights from European cities to Rhodes as well.
Already visited Rhodes? Consider Kos instead.
Mykonos in October
The cosmopolitan island of Mykonos is most well known as a summer party island destination for people who want to see and be seen. October though can be a good time to visit.
While the party scene isn't rocking quite as hard as it does in July and August, it is still there, but it's the beaches that are the main reason to visit Mykonos during October.
Of all the Greek islands, Mykonos does have some of the most incredible beaches, and with fewer people crowding on them, October may be just the best time of year to see them.
Early October would be better, as the sea will be warmer to swim in, and there will be less chance of rain. After mid October, it might start to get a little cool to swim as the average sea temperatures drop.
Naxos in October
You might be surprised to see Naxos in the list of best Greek islands in October. However, Naxos has it all – history, mountain villages, pretty landscapes, and stunning beaches, so it’s really an ideal destination in Greece.
It should be warm enough be able to spend some time on the beaches in Naxos, especially if you visit early in October.
Related: Best Greek Islands For Beaches
Naxos has one of the most unique main towns in the Cyclades group of islands, with the white-washed town houses having merged with the Naxos Castle.
Allow a few hours to wander around, and allow enough time to get lost in the maze of tiny streets. Apart from Naxos town, make sure you visit some of the mountain villages, such as Apiranthos, Filoti, Koronos and Halki.
In terms of food, Naxos has several unique meat dishes and many distinct types of local cheese, such as graviera and arseniko. Make sure you taste the local kitro, a distilled alcoholic drink, and consider visiting one of the local distilleries, such as Distillery M. G. Vallindras in Halki village.
Special events in Naxos in October include the Naxathlon, a special triathlon event, and the celebration of the “Ohi” day, when you will see parades out on the streets. Take a look here for some of the best things to do in Naxos.
You can get to Naxos either by ferry from the Athens ports, or via flight from Athens or other European cities. Naxos is one of the best islands to go for off season travelers who want to see a bit more of the genuine Greece.
Hydra in October
The cosmopolitan island of Hydra is popular among locals as well as tourists. Hydra’s role during the Revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821 was very important, something that locals take considerable pride in.
A small island closed to traffic, Hydra keeps an authentic charm in terms of architecture, with many 18th-19th century mansions built in unique style.
At the same time, Hydra has a network of trails that expand to over 80kms all around the island, and as such is an ideal hiking destination close to Athens. Apart from the beautiful nature, you will also see many monasteries around Hydra.
The island also has its fair share of nice beaches, some very close to the main town, and some others a long hike or a short boat ride away. As in October you probably wouldn't be planning a beach vacation in Hydra anyway, the beaches are good enough for refreshing swims.
The island can be visited either on a day trip from Athens to Hydra, or for multiple days. Sea dolphins and ferries depart from Pireaus to Hydra port several times a day, taking anywhere from one to 3,5 hours to get to Hydra.
Note that if you are going to Hydra in late October, especially around St Dimitrios day (26 October) or the “Ohi” day (28 October), it’s best to reserve your accommodation and tickets in advance.
There are festivals and special events on the island, so it’s a popular time to visit among Greeks. You might also see the “Hydra” sailing race, taking place around the 28 October.
Corfu in October
A visit to Corfu in the Autumn months is a time of year that many travellers choose for its atmosphere and peace. You can enjoy this very special Ionian island more than at other times of year, when you are spoilt for choice with activities on offer.
While October may be considered a shoulder season month to visit Corfu, it's a great time for more authentic experiences. The sunny days are not too hot, and walking around the castles, fortresses and hiking trails is a lot more pleasant.
October is a good month for trips up into the mountain villages, and tasty local food in the tavernas that cater to year round clients and not just tourists. Many of the beach bars will be closing down in October, especially towards the end of the month.
Related: Greek cities to visit
Andros in October
Andros island in the Cyclades is often overlooked by people planning a summer island hopping trip, but it's one to be considered for autumn travel in Greece.
Outdoor enthusiasts in particular will find that October is the best time to go to Andros, especially if hiking is a priority. There is a network of trekking trails all over the island, connecting villages and places of cultural significance.
If you haven't heard much about Andros island before, why not buy yourself a copy of our Andros travel guide on Amazon!
Kefalonia in October
The tourist season in Kefalonia may be drawing to an end in October, but the first two weeks still provide enough sun and warmth to keep swimming. Well, just about!
With no crowds, and the seasons turning, October can be a good time to see local harvest where grape picking and wine making start to transition into olive picking.
Syros in October
Famed for its neo-classical architecture, Syros is the capital of the Greek Cyclades islands. While the summer months are the most popular time to visit, October can be quite interesting.
With a lively student population, you can find bars and tavernas, live music venues and gatherings that have more of a local touch than you'll find at other times of year. You probably won't want to spend more than a few days, but you could combine a visit to Syros with a stay in Mykonos with a little island hopping!
Which is the best Greek island to visit in October?
All things considered, Crete is the best Greek island to visit in October due to the good weather, warm sea, and abundance of things to see and do.
Which Greek island is hottest in October?
Crete is the hottest island in Greece in October. The day time weather can still have temperatures in the mid 20s and the sea is warm enough to swim in.
Is October a good time to go to Greek islands?
October is a good shoulder season month to go to the Greek islands, and also a popular choice with budget conscious travelers as well as people who want to catch the last of the European sun for the year.
Is it still warm in Greece in October?
Greece is still warm in October, with day time temperatures in the mid 20s. The evenings can get a little chillier, but it is still pleasant enough to sit outside and enjoy an evening meal if wearing a light top.
Have you visited any of the Greek islands in October? Which was your favourite? Let us know in the comments!
You might also be interested in:
- Cheapest Greek islands to visit
- Travel Tips For Greece
- Best Islands In The Cyclades
- Best Greek islands for couples
- The best places to visit in Europe in October
- What is Greece famous for?
- 25 Amazing places to visit in Greece
- Best Greek Islands to visit that aren't Santorini or Mykonos
- Mykonos or Crete: Which one is best and why?
- Warm places in Europe in December
Dave is a travel writer originally from the UK, and now living in Athens. In addition to creating this travel blog post about which popular Greek islands are a good choice for an October holiday, he's also written hundreds more travel guides to Greek destinations all over the country. Follow Dave on social media for Greek island hopping inspiration: