Need a holiday to recover from your holiday? Chartering a yacht in Greece in the autumn season is a good idea for several reasons and will give you opportunities try something different and see Greece from another side. Here are some of them:
1. No crowds – by the second week of September, it’s back to school and all the holidaymakers and locals alike have headed home. Finding a spot in the harbour, a secluded beach or anchorage, a quiet fish tavern and enjoying the peace is all possible during these months. Night life calms down significantly, no more loud music and scooters beeping. These months are especially good for sailing the popular Ionian Islands and the areas around Athens which are overcrowded in the summer months.
2. Temperatures – heated by the summer sun, the sea is still warm and the days are pleasant. The unbearable heat of July and August has made way for cooler days and evenings, sometimes some rain, but the sea is a comfortable 25-27C ; ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The natural beauty of the landscape in this cooler season more than makes up for the occasional rainy day.
3. Wind - strong summer winds have calmed down in the Southern island complexes and there is no ‘Meltemi’ in the Aegean. The perfect time to visit the Cyclades islands whose summer winds can be challenging for the less experienced sailor.
4. Competitive prices – many a good deal can be found for late season sailors and last minute deals as things wind down after a busy summer. The high season ends in the first week of September and prices drop even further in October. It’s one of the best times to grab a bargain on a sailing charter! How about a catamaran or a bigger boat? Similarly, charter flight to popular sailing destinations and islands are more reasonable and readily available. Even goods and services can be found at better prices during this time.
5. Choice - a wider choice of sailing charters, powerboats, and catamarans is available and one can often pick and choose from the whole fleet and book the boat of your dreams!
6. Sightseeing in style - Soaring temperatures in the summer and the fact that the archeological sites are exposed and extremely popular make it quite a trying experience! The more temperate climate in September and October makes long walks around the ancient sites much more pleasant and you can truly appreciate them. Walking, biking and trekking along the old cobbled donkey paths also become delightful in the shoulder season in Greece.
7. Authentic experiences - Autumn time gives you a more authentic look into real Greek life. This season is the season for grape harvest, olive picking, production of tsipouro (traditional Greek drink) and olive oil and is a fascinating experience to be part of or observe. A wider variety of fresh fish is available. Autumn festivals are held and the food scene is alive with the local harvest and many of the up-market restaurants in Athens and Thessaloniki are back from holiday.
8. The sunsets - The presence of more clouds in the sky and on the horizons makes sunsets, especially at sea, even more spectacular than usual!
9. Local connection – late season provides an opportunity to get to know the locals, something that is not so easy in the busy summer months when they are tending to the crowds. Your local business owner will have more time to sit and talk about the state of affairs – a favourite pastime of the Greeks!
10. World Tourism Day – 27th September. Admission to all Greek State Museums and archeological sites is free!
By Merryn Wainwright