Top outdoor activities in the Greek islands off-season
Are you ready, boots?
Summer is over! While winter is coming, we are searching for new adventures that you can enjoy off-season. And by that, we mean outdoor activities to do in the Greek islands.
Visiting the Greek islands in autumn and winter is a whole different experience. During this time of year, everything is cooler, both temperature- and crowd-wise, and the atmosphere is way more authentic.
Check out Ferryhopper's favorite outdoor activities to try off-season in the Greek islands:
- Hiking in Amorgos
- Discovering prehistoric Santorini
- Cycling in Syros
- Birdwatching in Karpathos
- Winter swimming in Crete
The Olympia shipwreck in Amorgos
Discover the hiking trails of Amorgos
Amorgos is one of the best islands to visit in Greece off-season. During this time of the year, the island attracts many travelers that are looking to enjoy its numerous hiking trails. There are hiking tracks for all levels, as well as signs that show you the way on all 7 main paths.
The shortest path takes about 1 hour, while the most challenging one may take up to 5 hours! The hiking trails in Amorgos are also popular because all routes have breathtaking views to the Aegean Sea. That's the reason why they're also called "The Blue Paths". Don't forget that the movie Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue) was filmed in Amorgos. Do you see a pattern here?
Tip: are you already convinced? Then, check out our favorite 4 hiking trails in Amorgos before you go.
Breathtaking sea view from the trail to the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa in Amorgos
Enjoy the prehistoric Santorini at your own pace
Santorini is undoubtedly the most popular and one of the most beautiful Greek islands. Although it's world renowned for its cinematic sunsets and volcanic beaches, Santorini also boasts of its rich history. Hence, Akrotiri is one of Santorini's sights you simply cannot miss!
Akrotiri was one of the most important settlements in the Aegean in prehistoric times. As soon as you visit the site, you'll be amazed by its sophisticated structure, density, and painted murals. You'll realize that your choice to visit Akrotiri off-season was actually optimal, as you get the chance to experience the site's full magic without the crowds of the summer.
Tip: working hours vary depending on the season. Usually, in the fall and winter months, the opening hours are between 08:00 and 15:00.
The prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri is just above the cliff!
Cycle in Syros
There's a reason why Syros is the capital of the Cyclades! Syros has a pretty vibrant atmosphere and a lot of charm to offer even off-season. While most restaurants and shops in other islands are closed during the winter, in Syros everything remains open and is waiting for you to visit it.
With average temperatures of around 15°C and mild winters, Syros' climate is ideal for winter vacation too. You can rent a bike (or bring your own) to explore the city of Ermoupoli and the island (some roads might be uphill, but in good condition). Don't miss the beautiful Town Hall of Ermoupoli, and definitely do some cycling along the port.
Tip: Syros is calling! Check out what you can do during your winter getaway in Syros.
Riding to a higher point in Syros for this rewarding view!
Observe the birds in Karpathos
All bird lovers know that early autumn and late winter are the best periods to go birdwatching in Greece. Karpathos is a very popular holiday destination, but also a great place for birdwatching. Migrating birds stop at Karpathos island to get some rest on their way from Africa to Europe and back!
The island has been recognized as an Important Bird Area, as it is home to many species that are threatened on the mainland, such as Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae).
Bird experts say that the northern part of the island is the most suitable for birdwatching. However, if you're in the southern part, you can visit the villages of Amopi and Pigadia. Both places have a great view of the bay, so, if you're not lucky enough to see the birds, you can just look at the Aegean sea from above.
A flock of seagulls in the blue sky
Try winter swimming in Crete
Well, you might consider this suggestion as an extreme one, but it will not hurt to at least try! Crete is the ideal destination if you're up for swimming–especially its southern part. The island is perfect for swimming all year long, as the sea temperature in December is almost the same as in June.
If you're used to swimming in (not really so) cold waters, then, put on your bathing suit (or not) and dive into Crete's calm waters.
Fun fact: don't forget that swimming in winter is beneficial for the immune system! Why not try it?
Enjoying the sea and the sun in autumn
Where to book ferry tickets to the Greek islands online?
Who says that the Greek islands have nothing to offer off-season? We're here to prove the exact opposite! What are you waiting for? Check all the available routes on our Map of Ferries and book your ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper with no extra fees.