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The weather on Gavdos: The best time to travel to Gavdos

A journey through the different seasons on the island of Gavdos. Find out when is the best time to travel to Gavdos!

First things first: you can travel to Gavdos all year round! As the ferry connections are subsidized by the Greek state, the boat also sails at times of year when no one is on the southernmost island in Europe. In this article, you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the different seasons on the island and when you should ideally travel to Gavdos.

#2: Summer on Gavdos. Sweltering heat in an island paradise

#3: Gavdos in spring or autumn: active vacations in pleasant warmth

#4: Gavdos in winter: Wind, wind and the great tranquillity


#1 The weather on Gavdos

Gavdos is located in the southern Mediterranean and is therefore exposed to the Mediterranean climate. Very hot, dry summers and milder, humid winters characterize the weather. The intensity of the sun is considered to be the highest in Europe. The average annual temperature is approx. 21 degrees Celsius (Germany approx. 9 degrees). Almost 280 rain-free days almost guarantee sunshine. Rainfall totals just under 150mm throughout the year (Germany: approx. 800mm). Even if the winters on Gavdos cannot be compared with those in Central Europe, the weather does change significantly throughout the year. I have been to Gavdos at all times of the year, always staying overnight in a tent and therefore experiencing the full range of weather conditions. Should it be a trip in the summer heat or a winter adventure on Gavdos? I'll tell you all about it in the following sections.

#2 Summer on Gavdos. Sweltering heat in an island paradise

In the summer months of June, July and August, the thermometer regularly exceeds the 30 degree mark. Temperatures of around 40 degrees are also possible. It is very hot on the island during this time. However, the north wind "Meltemi", which is typical for the summer, provides a pleasant and constant breeze, which makes it feel a little more bearable. It cools down very little at night, which often makes it difficult to sleep. In temperatures like these, you tend to think twice before embarking on long hikes or physically intensive activities. The beach, the water and a cozy shady spot in a hammock seem more inviting. As in many places in Greece, most tourists come during the summer months. However, there is no question of mass tourism here. It is mainly young people from Athens who flock to the island. The tavernas are full. Many smaller events take place. There are frequent bus connections. The selection of different activities is large, but you have to bear in mind that the island is much more crowded now - especially in July and August. In addition, rooms are often fully booked at this time of year - supply is limited. You may also have to search a little longer for a suitable campsite.

But summer also has many advantages: guaranteed sunshine and in many seasons no rain at all, a late sunset, lots of activities, live music, many daily specials in the tavernas and lovely warm summer nights.

#3 Gavdos in spring or autumn: active vacations in pleasant warmth

For me, the best time to visit Gavdos is in the low season. More precisely, from April to May and September to November. Spring in particular is my absolute favorite season. The island of Gavdos is adorned in a carpet of flowers. All kinds of flowers and plants are in full bloom. Anyone who has only been to the island in midsummer will be amazed at how green and colorful the island can be. Large areas around Kastri and in the interior of the island are full of grasses and colorful flowers. This is also the great advantage of the early season over the late season, as the island is usually " burnt", the soil is very dry and suffers from the strains of the summer months. However, the water is still very warm during the fall months. Daytime temperatures are a pleasant 20 to 25 degrees during the day in both spring and fall. It can get a little cooler at night, so a thin jacket will have to help out. These travel periods in particular are ideal for an active vacation. Many visitors explore the island instead of spending long periods on the beach (although this is of course possible - after all, every day on Gavdos is a swimming day). In contrast to the high season, however, you should keep an eye on the weather forecast from time to time, especially if you are planning longer hikes, as it can rain on some days.

The number of visitors in the low season is significantly reduced. From April to the end of October, Greece is generally open to tourists. However, the season on Gavdos is still slightly reduced. Many tavernas open at the end of April and close at the end of September. The same applies to the mini markets. The season in Sarakiniko or Korfos generally ends a little earlier than in Agios Ioannis. Buses usually only run in the peak summer months from mid-June to the end of August. However, the bus still stops at the harbor and picks up arrivals or takes people to the boat when they want to leave.

#4 Gavdos in winter: Wind, more wind and the great tranquillity

Did I already mention that it can be windy on Gavdos in winter? Before my first trip to Gavdos in winter, I had already been told by experienced travelers. I thought to myself: "Well, you can deal with wind. You get used to it". After several months of winter, I can say: I couldn't get used to it. But first things first. The winter months on Gavdos are beautiful. There is magic on the island. Only a handful of people stay on the island. Some escapees who have settled on the island for years and some locals who live on Gavdos all year round. If you want to escape civilization for a while, you should come to Gavdos in winter. There is no other place like this! Almost all restaurants and accommodation are closed. Sarakiniko, for example, is completely deserted. If you are looking for a place to stay, you can still find it in Kastri at the "Gavdos Princess" or near Sarakiniko at the "Consolas Gavdos Studio". The only mini market open all year round is the Livykon Mini Market near Agios Ioannis. Buses no longer run at all. Those who have booked accommodation can benefit from a shuttle service. Tent sleepers have to hitchhike or even walk - unless you come with your own vehicle, which is perfectly possible, as the car ferry also runs regularly in winter.

Between December and mid-March, we can speak of "winter" in terms of temperature and weather. This means that when the sun is shining, the daytime temperature reaches around 15-20 degrees. Of course, there are also minor upward or downward excursions. It can also happen that the thermometer is above 25 degrees in December. So even at this time of year, you can often find yourself running around outside in a T-shirt and suddenly falling into summer mode. During these months, it is much cloudier on Gavdos than at other times of the year. But the great thing is that the sun still shines almost every day. The weather can change quickly and suddenly. Sometimes you can experience 4 seasons in one day. This also includes rain. Although it rarely rains, when it rains it is usually very heavy and extreme. Sometimes heavy thunderstorms are also to be expected. Nevertheless, there is less precipitation during the winter months than on Crete, as the high mountain ranges, especially the White Mountains, act as a barrier and often allow the clouds to rain down when the wind comes from the north. From Gavdos you can often observe the heavy weather caprioles on Crete: Lightning sometimes every second and massive clouds hanging over the mountains.

The temperature usually drops significantly at night. A traveler from Germany who has lived on the island for several years told me that the lowest temperature he measured was 4 degrees - at night, of course. The thermometer usually levels out at 8-10 degrees in the dark. However, one thing in particular needs to be taken into account: The humidity! Winter nights on Gavdos are one thing above all: wet. Almost 100 percent humidity means that everything drowns in moisture within a very short space of time. The sand, the tent, everything outside. You should definitely be prepared for this. Due to the high humidity, the temperature at night feels much colder.

Rain or shine - one thing is almost guaranteed in winter: Wind. Strong winds characterize the weather and somehow also everyday life. It often blows from the north or northwest. Constant wind forces of 6 to 7 are not uncommon - often over several days. Last winter, we also experienced 9 to 10 force winds over one night. So if you want to sleep in a tent, you should find somewhere sheltered from the wind.

Despite the somewhat "wilder" weather, winter on Gavdos is something very special for me. The island falls into a very romantic mood. There is a real community between the people who are still on the island. A good tent with a high water column, a thick sleeping bag, some pillows and nothing stands in the way of a winter adventure on Gavdos. The island is perfect for exploring in moderate temperatures and if you are a bit hardened to cold water, you can also go swimming in winter. The water is not much colder than the German North Sea in midsummer!


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