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When Should We Travel to Greece?

Depending on the time that you travel to Greece you can have a vastly different experience. As with any decisions that you make there will be positive and negative aspects of each date that you spend in Greece. If you have your wedding date set then you are pretty much locked into certain dates, but if you have flexibility then you'll want to look at all the options and then choose the dates that you think would give you an experience closer to the type you're look for.

The aspects that will change with the time of year are: 1) Cost to get there; 2) Weather once you arrive 3) Amount of other people who will be there; and 4) Cost and availability of accommodations and packages while in Greece.

1. Cost to Get to Greece
The cost to get to Greece by air can, for the most part, be broken down into three seasons: Low, Shoulder and High. The dates of each run approximately as follows:

Nov 1-March 31(except Christmas)
April 1-1st or 2nd week of June(Depending on the Airline)
Approx. two weeks around Dec 20th
1st or 2nd week of June to Aug 31
For more information on getting to Greece and Strategies to save money visit www.AGreatFare.com

The date that you depart determines the fare basis so whether you leave on March 20 and return on March 30)low season)or April 4(shoulder season) you'll still be paying the fare for low season. The only thing that will make a difference in the fare for those two dates are the availability of seats at a lower fare or sometimes the day of the week you fly(day of the week sometimes makes a difference, but not always).

2. Weather in Greece
The weather in Greece is actually suprisingly(but maybe not) similar to the flying seasons. There are generally three seasons(Summer, Spring/Fall and Winter).

Summer- (Mid-June thru August)- The summer can be very hot, very crowded and more expensive. You'll want to plan relatively early if you go this season. Lining up your hotels, tours, cruises, car rentals etc as Greece is very crowded in the summer. The restaurants are usually full, crowded and the waiters and staff are working their tails off to keep ahead. It's a more rushed atmosphere and often they'll run out of food later in the evening so getting their earlier than later is a better option. August is the high of the high season! Many Europeans are off and they choose to come to Greece... If you want to travel to Greece in August, plan well ahead and you'll be better served visiting the "less discovered" islands.

Spring/Fall- (April to Mid-June and Sept-mid October)- This is my favorite season to travel. It's less crowded, the weather is cooler and the hordes of tourists have gone home, leaving only a large handful. There may be some rain, but normally it will last a day or two and not much longer. The torrential downbursts give a completely different image of Greece as cool air descends on you and the streets are covered with a myriad of umbrellas(and umbrella sellers!). The biggest difference between the Spring and the Fall is that in the Spring Greece becomes lush and green, as it follows the winter rainy season while in the Fall the landscape is still parched from the summer heat.

Winter- (mid-Oct through March)- The winter is a very different Greece than the other seasons. Many shops and restaurants in the tourist destinations are shut down, the number of tourists is limited compared to the other seasons and the weather is unpredictable. The weather can fluctuate between a snowy blizzard up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.... almost on a daily basis. Most people travel for 10 days to 2 weeks and for the most part, unless you are very unlucky, the chances are you'll have a maximum of 5 days that are rainy and cold. On the other hand, if it is cold and there is a blizzard, you can still have a wonderful time there, it will just be different than if the weather is hot. Hotel rooms, shops and restaurants will generally have heat so you won't have to worry about freezing. If you haven't packed any winter clothes there are plenty of shops in Athens where you can shop for them(Wouldn't a nice set of winter clothes be a better souvenir than a cheap Greek tshirt anyway?).

3. Tourists in Greece- The three seasons will also determine the number of other tourist you'll be sharing Greece with. For the High Season think packed, crowded, too many people and a lot of competition to have that special relationship with local Greeks. If you travel in the winter or Spring/Summer you will have a much better chance of meeting Greeks and getting to know them on a more personal level. In the summer you're one in a million while off season you are unique.

4. Cost of accommodations in Greece- Accomodations will normally have 2 or 3 seasons with the summer being the most expensive since they are in most demand at that time. The other seasons will offer a fairly substantial savings over the summer rates. You will also have more options out of the high season if you're late in planning because many of the tours, rentals, cruises, accommodations etc sell out in the high season(especially in August).

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