Travel to Greece in November offers off-season discounts, very light crowds, good air quality in Athens, and much more.
Cultural events for Greek audiences pick up in the winter months, and many of them are well worth including in your travels. Thessaloniki's Dimitria Festival runs through the early part of November and offers a wide variety of musical events, shadow theater, and other cultural delights. Confirm the exact dates locally.
The Athens Marathon usually takes place in early November and follows the Olympic route, based on the ancient road run by Phidippides. You can participate, or just cheer on the survivors. In 2014, it occurs on November 19th. They've added a 5k and 10k as well. The arrival of the thousands of runners at the Panathenaic Stadiumis worth going to see, and it's free.
November 8th is the festival and name day for both Michael and Gabriel. Any church or monastery named for either of these angels will hold a spirited festival. Michael is often revered on high peaks or cliffs, and many of his churches enjoy splendid panoramic views.
The island of Symi in the Dodecanese has several major churches dedicated to Michael. The most famous is Moni Taxiarchi Michail Panormiti, which is filled with votive offerings from centuries of pilgrims. Michael is the patron saint of Symi and is particularly revered by sailors.
November 17th is a somber commemoration of the day that students at Athens' Polytechnic University protested governmental oppression, with the result that many were killed in the streets. Ultimately, their sacrifice was not in vain - public outrage resulted in a change in government. It is often accompanied by renewed protests in major cities, making this a tricky day for travel and sightseeing.
November 21st celebrates the Presentation of Mary, when the three-year-old girl was first taken to the temple. This date is celebrated as the name day for Mary and Panagiota. Any church or monastery dedicated to Mary will have a particularly vivid celebration on this day, but all Greek Orthodox churches will have religious observances.
(By the way, for any Greek Orthodox holiday, you can send a free e-card commemorating the date, courtesy of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of America.)
Off the well-beaten tourist track, up in the sparkling Northern Greece city of Thessaloniki in Macedonia, the annual Film Festival usually takes over the city and temporarily fills it with glitterati. However, in 2013, it was scheduled for November 1 to November 10, and many other cultural events are scheduled at the same time. As of this writing in March 2014, the dates for this year's festival have not been announced. Check their website for the exact events; be aware the Greek version is usually more up-to-date than the English one. Here's how to instantly translate Greek websites.
Experience Greece as the Greeks do - outside of the tourist season, under cool and clear skies, with a November getaway to Greece!