Looking for the hottest Greek islands in October? Here is some information on Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, and a few more islands in Greece!
Best Greek islands to visit in October
October is a good month to visit Greek islands such as Rhodes, Crete, Tinos, Hydra and Symi. As it’s the beginning of the shoulder season in Greece, you will avoid the scorching summer temperatures and tourist crowds.
Generally speaking, the weather is still quite good in October. It’s a great time of year to go sightseeing and enjoy outdoors activities on the islands of Greece.
Greek island weather in October
So, does Greece still have beach weather in October?
This depends on which island you are going to! As a general rule, the earlier in October you travel, and the more south you go, the better weather you are likely to get.
On many Greek islands, the weather is still very pleasant in October. The average temperature during the day ranges from 20 to 25 C (68 – 77 F), and drops by a few degrees in the evening. Sea temperatures are also quite comfortable.
And although you might get a few rainy days, you will typically get many hours of sunshine. With that said, it’s better to travel early in the month, to maximize your chances for warm weather.
Here are some of the best Greek islands to visit in October.
1. Crete – Best for nature, ancient sites and food
Crete is the largest island in Greece, and it has something for everyone. With its interesting history, stunning beaches, diverse landscapes, and fantastic food, it’s no wonder that Crete is such a popular destination.
Crete is located south of mainland Greece. It is split into four regions, each of which has a capital town. From west to east, the main towns are called Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos.
Visitors often base themselves at either Chania or Heraklion, and take several day trips to beaches and other points of interest. If you are mostly after a beach holiday, it’s best to head to one of the towns on the south coast.
Things to do in Crete
You would need several months to explore all of Crete properly! Some of the best things to do in Crete if you are visiting for the first time, include the following:
- Explore the picturesque old towns of Chania and Rethymno
- Take a day trip from Chania to the famous beaches of Elafonisi and Falasarna
- Visit the Mycenaean Palace of Knossos, one of the top archaeological sites in Greece
- Spend a few hours in the wonderful archaeological museums in Heraklion and Chania
- Hike the incredible Samaria Gorge
- Visit the historical site of Spinalonga
- Taste the delicious Cretan food!
How to get to Crete in October
If you are planning to visit Crete in October, you will find plenty of flights from big cities in Europe to either Heraklion or Chania airports.
Otherwise, you can take a short domestic flight from the Athens International Airport, or a ferry from Piraeus port.
>> Book your ferry tickets to Crete here: FerryHopper
2. Rhodes – Best for medieval architecture and high sea temperature
Another fantastic Greek island to visit in October is Rhodes, the biggest of the Dodecanese islands. This island group is located southeast of mainland Greece, a short distance from the Turkish coast.
Due to its southern location, Rhodes enjoys some of the highest sea temperatures in Greece. In fact, many locals swim year-round! Rhodes has an abundance of beautiful beaches, and is therefore an ideal destination for some beach time.
Overall, October is a fantastic month to visit Rhodes, as you will avoid the summer crowds, and benefit from milder temperatures.
Things to do in Rhodes
There’s a lot to see and do in Rhodes! Here are some of the island’s highlights:
- Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fantastic medieval architecture and pretty cobbled streets
- The Palace of the Grand Master, right in the middle of the medieval old town
- The ancient site of Lindos, on the island’s east coast
- This kayaking activity that we absolutely loved!
How to get to Rhodes in October
The easiest way to get to Rhodes in October is by direct flight from several European cities. Unlike the off-season, there are several daily connections – though not as many as in the summer months. Read more here:
3. Symi – Best for its picturesque port town
Symi is a small island in the Dodecanese, close to Rhodes. It’s one of the most picturesque of Greece’s islands. Its lovely port town sprawls all the way up to the top of a hill, and the architecture is truly amazing.
One of the highlights of Symi is the 18th-century Monastery of Archangel Michael, or Panormitis monastery. Many people come here on a pilgrimage, and visitors can even stay overnight.
As for the beaches? Symi might be small, but it has some amazing little beaches. Some of them are only accessible on a boat trip – or on a kayak!
Read more here: Best things to do in Symi Greece
How to get to Symi in October
Symi doesn’t have an airport, so the only way to travel here is by sea. The closest island with an airport is Rhodes.
If you are planning to spend a few days here, you can check ferry schedules from Rhodes. There are typically a few ferries on a daily basis.
Alternatively, you can take an organized day trip from Rhodes, where you will see Symi’s top attractions.
4. Nisyros – Best for wild, rugged landscapes
Nisyros, which is also in the Dodecanese, is another lovely Greek island to visit in October. This wild, rugged island mostly remains off-the-beaten-track, and is one of my top favourites!
The biggest attraction in Nisyros is its impressive volcano, located right in the middle of the island. The landscape is out of this world!
In fact, October is a great time to visit and explore the various hiking trails around the crater. The summer temperatures can be absolutely unbearable.
Other things to do in Nisyros include walking around the quaint port town, Mandraki, visiting the beautiful villages, and enjoying the island’s hot volcanic springs.
Read more here: What to do in Nisyros
How to get to Nisyros in October
As it’s a small island, Nisyros doesn’t have an airport. The closest island with an airport is Kos. Usually, there are direct flights to Kos from a few European airports in October.
The ferry from Kos to Nisyros only takes about 60-90 minutes. Check ferry schedules from Kos in advance of your trip, as they may not be running every day.
Another option is to take a day trip to Nisyros from Kos. This will give you enough time to see the volcano and some other highlights of Nisyros. Yet, my personal suggestion is to spend a few days there!
Related article: How to get around Kos
5. Kalymnos – Best for climbing and outdoors activities
Kalymnos is another beautiful island in the Dodecanese, and it’s a great destination for climbing. In fact, October is peak tourist season in Kalymnos, as there is an International Climbing Festival!
The beautiful beaches, overall rugged landscape and quirky museums make Kalymnos one of the best Greek islands to visit for an October holiday. And don’t miss out on a day trip to the nearby islet of Telendos, which only has about 20 residents!
Read more here: What to do in Kalymnos
How to get to Kalymnos in October
The best way to reach Kalymnos is by ferry from Kos, which has an international airport. The ferry trip only takes about 40-50 minutes, and there are usually a few daily ferries until at least late October.
You can check out ferry schedules and book your tickets at FerryHopper.
Kalymnos also has a small domestic airport, where you could fly to from Athens. However, locals told us that it’s best to avoid the experience of landing in Kalymnos… I’m sure they had good reasons!
6. Karpathos – The hottest Greek island in October
Karpathos is one of the most southern islands in Greece. Located between Crete and Rhodes, it is Greece’s hottest island. The average day temperatures in October are rarely under 20 C (68 F), and rain is uncommon.
Karpathos offers an amazing combination of picturesque mountain villages, incredible beaches, and lively tavernas / cafes. People here still follow the local traditions, including the culinary ones!
Hikers should definitely consider visiting Karpathos in October. It’s one of the Greek islands with the least chances of rain at that time of year, and there are many beautiful hiking paths.
How to get to Karpathos in October
Karpathos has a small airport. The quickest way to get there in October is by domestic flight from Athens.
You can also fly to Rhodes, and then take an onward ferry. Just bear in mind that ferries won’t be running on a daily basis at that time of year.
7. Santorini – Best for iconic volcanic landscapes
OK, let’s admit it – no one dares to leave Santorini out of any “best Greek islands” list. The iconic sunsets, wild volcanic landscapes and blue-domed churches are famous around the world.
It’s true that Santorini is unique – but so is every other Greek island! And as Santorini receives way too many tourists in summer, it can be rather overwhelming.
Here’s the solution: rather than visiting Santorini in summer, go in October instead! There will be considerably fewer cruise ships, and you will enjoy exploring the quaint villages and beautiful landscapes without too many other people.
Also, have a look at my experience visiting Santorini in winter. I absolutely loved it – but we were very lucky as we didn’t get any bad weather!
Things to do in Santorini
As Santorini is a popular island, you will find a good selection of organized activities and tours. Here are some of the top-rated activities in Santorini:
- Sunset sailing trip
- Wine tasting experience in Santorini
- Guided hiking activity from Fira to Oia
- Volcano and hot springs visit
- Electric mountain bike adventure
- A mythical music experience
- Sunset kayak tour – yes I love kayaking!
Alternatively, you can always explore on your own, using either the public buses, or a rental vehicle.
Just one thing: please avoid riding the donkeys! Here are a few more things to avoid in Santorini.
How to get to Santorini in October
Until late October, you can find direct flights from several European cities to Santorini. Alternatively, you can also hop on a short domestic flight or a ferry from Piraeus. You can check ferry routes here: Ferryhopper.
Here are a few islands that you can combine with Santorini on an island hopping trip: Best islands near Santorini.
8. Milos – Best for beaches and off-road adventure
Milos is an upcoming island destination in Greece. The weird, colourful landscapes and the lovely beaches like Sarakiniko and Kleftiko make Milos stand out from the rest of the Cycladic islands.
Milos is a paradise for people who like the outdoors. Half of the island is wild and rugged, and you can go for long hikes – or rent a 4WD and explore.
Or you can take a boat tour around the island, which also takes you to the uninhabited island of Polyegos. This is one of the best things I’ve ever done on the Greek islands!
Here are some more travel tips and photos of Milos:
- Reasons to visit Milos
- Best beaches in Milos
- How to get around Milos
- Hiking to Kleftiko bay – much easier to do with the mild temperatures in early October!
How to get to Milos in October
Milos has a small airport, so you can get there on a quick flight from Athens. There are also several ferries from Piraeus port.
Read more here: How to get to Milos
9. Mykonos – Best for beaches
Of all the Greek islands, Mykonos is probably the only one where people’s opinions differ so much. Some visitors love Mykonos for its parties and cosmopolitan ambiance. Others absolutely hate it, for exactly the same reasons, plus the inflated prices.
I had the chance to visit Mykonos without the crowds in June 2020, when things were very quiet, and I had an absolute blast with its sandy beaches. Yet, most people who visit Mykonos in summer will not have the same experience, as the island gets busy and crowded.
If you are after a beach vacation, you could consider visiting Mykonos in October. True, you won’t get the warm weather that you’d get in July or August, but you will be able to see the famous island and the quaint Little Venice under a different light.
And who knows, you may even end up on your own private beach for the day!
Tip: While in Mykonos, don’t miss a half-day trip to Ancient Delos. Once upon a time, it was one of the biggest financial and commercial centers of the known Greek world!
How to get to Mykonos in October
You should be able to find direct flights from several European airports to Mykonos. If not, you can take a short domestic flight from Athens, or take a ferry from Piraeus or Rafina ports.
Here is some more information on the popular Athens – Santorini – Mykonos itinerary.
10. Tinos – Best for quaint villages
Another upcoming destination in Greece, Tinos is one of the best Cyclades islands you can visit if you love exploring quaint villages. There are over 30 (!) pretty villages, which remain traditional and authentic.
While Tinos beaches rarely feature among the best beaches in Greece, I really enjoyed exploring them. Some of my favourites were Kolimvithra, Agia Thalassa and Rochari.
But that’s not all! Tinos has an incredible number of churches, monasteries and museums. So, even if you don’t get good weather for swimming, you will still find plenty of things to do and you will experience the real Greek culture.
Here is some more information about things to do in Tinos.
How to get to Tinos in October
Tinos doesn’t have an airport. You would need to fly into either Athens or Mykonos, and then take a ferry.
As October is a shoulder season month, the fast ferries usually stop running around early or mid October. The ferries from Piraeus or Rafina ports in Athens take anywhere between 3.5 and 4.5 hours to get to Tinos. The ferry ride from Mykonos only takes about 30-40 minutes.
You can check out ferry schedules and book your tickets here: FerryHopper
11. Zakynthos – Best Ionian island in October
Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is the southernmost of the Ionian islands, and it’s located off mainland Greece’s west coast.
Due to its geographical location, there are more chances of rain in October in Zakynthos than on other Greek islands. But that shouldn’t put you off, as the sea will still be warm enough, especially in early October.
While some areas of Zakynthos are busy and loud in summer, you will find that October is mostly quiet. It’s a good time of year to visit if you want to appreciate the beautiful beaches, like the famous Navagio, and the outdoors.
Here’s a quick overview of the best things to do in Zakynthos.
How to get to Zakynthos in October
There are direct flights from numerous European airports to Zakynthos. Alternatively, you can fly into Athens, and take an onward domestic flight.
12. Hydra – Best Greek island close to Athens
The cosmopolitan island of Hydra is located in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens. Its car-free roads and quaint, traditional architecture make it a popular destination for a day trip or a longer stay.
Walking along the streets of the main town, you will feel you have been transported to another era! The beautiful, well-preserved mansions and stone houses create a unique atmosphere. You can also visit the monasteries of Prophet Elias and Saint Eupraxia.
Hydra is ideal for a relaxing Greek island break any time of year. However, in October you will experience it without the summer crowds, and enjoy its lovely hiking paths and crystal-clear waters.
How to get to Hydra in October
You can get to Hydra on the flying dolphin from Piraeus. The ferry ride only takes an hour and a half, which is why many people visit on a day trip from Athens.
You can check out ferry schedules and book your tickets on FerryHopper.
FAQ about the Greek islands in October
People visiting the Greek islands in October often ask questions like the following:
Which Greek island is warmest in October?
Two of the hottest islands in Greece in October are Crete and Rhodes. The island of Karpathos, which is located in between, is the warmest Greek island.
Where in Greece has the best weather in October?
As a rule, the more south you go in Greece, the better the weather, and the higher the sea temperatures. Places like Crete, Rhodes or Kalamata in the Peloponnese peninsula have the best weather in Greece in October. If you are flexible, try to visit in early October rather than late in the month.
Are Greek islands still hot in October?
Some Greek islands, like Crete, Rhodes and most of the Dodecanese, are still hot in October. You might get the occasional rainy day, but you should still be able to swim and enjoy the outdoors.
Which is hotter in October Corfu or Crete?
Generally speaking, Crete is warmer than Corfu, as it’s located a lot more to the south. With that said, the weather in Greece in October can often be unpredictable.
How hot is Corfu in October?
Corfu is the northernmost of the Ionian islands. Average temperatures in October vary between 13-23 C (55-73 F). There’s higher chance of rain compared to some other Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, like Rhodes, Santorini or Mykonos. October would be a good month to visit Corfu town, but many people would find it too cold to swim.
More travel guides about Greece
If you are thinking to visit Greece in October, have a look at these other guides:
- What to pack for Greece for every season
- How to plan your island hopping trip in Greece – a step-by-step guide
- Best time to go to Athens
- How to spend two days in Athens – with restaurant suggestions
- Direct flights between the Greek islands
- Athens in November
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens! October is a great month to visit some of the Greek islands without the crowds or the high temperatures. For more travel tips and photos of Greece, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram.