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Europe in October or November

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My wife and I would really like to go on a Mediterranean cruise do to scheduling it would have to be in October or November. I am worried about the weather, what is the Mediterranean like during these months?

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Keep in mind that by then the number of options is limited as most of the ships have repositioned back for Caribbean cruises.

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We were on a Med cruise in October - the weather was quite nice and we experienced no rain. Weather is always impossible to predict but we prefer to travel in the shoulder seasons (May or Sept/Oct). The tourist hordes are much less intense than in the height of the summer months and June through August is far too hot for us to remain comfortable in most of the crowded Med ports of call.

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Not certain where you plan to go in the Med.  We have often traveled in Sept/Oct.

 

We we spent much of this past Sept/Oct in the area. A month in the Ionian Islands and two weeks in Cyprus.  Weather was excellent there as it was in Athens.  We had two half days of rain on Zakynthos. Otherwise it was perfect.   Our time on Cyprus was fabulous, right up until departure in late Oct.   30-34C on the beach, 20/23 in the mountains.     In past trips we have sunbathed and swam in the ocean on Naxos, Crete, and Sicily to name a few.  But....weather can change.   We tend to favour spring or mid Sept-Mid Oct. 

 

We would never recommend a July/Aug trip to the Med.  You are right.  Too crowded, too hot, too everything. 

Edited by iancal

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Given the choice, October every time. Still warm, not crowded, and light into the early evening. Weather much more unpredictable in November,  a chill in the air, and with the time change, it makes for a much shorter day.

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Eastern Mediterranean is very nice in October and beginning of November.

I’m booked at a cruise sailing eastern Mediterranean October 30 - I do expect temperature in Greece to be 60 to 70 F.

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October gives better options for weather. November is more  out of season and it can be some shops or restaurants might be closed already.

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October is probably the ideal time for a Mediterranean cruise - the weather is probably at its best and the crowds have thinned out.  There are still many ships as there are repositionings back to the US well into November - which you might want to consider as a way of coming home if you have the time.

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A quick check showed HAL cruise from Rome 10/15 with 13 ports in the Med getting to Fort Lauderdale 11/11; or Norwegian Jade from Rome 10/31 with 8 ports in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal getting to New York 11/18 after stopping in Bermuda. Each of these could come after a few days to experience Rome.

Edited by navybankerteacher

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In these changing times, the weather is always a c**p shoot.  Expect the unexpected.  However, I travel a lot in October and find the weather perfect for me - generally low 70s. 

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Several of us used to go on holiday to the Med in the 3rd week of October each year (half term break),  and obviously the further south you go, the warmer it is. In Spain, generally the sea would be chilly for bathing, and there might be rain; Greece, Tunisia and Malta would still be warm enough for beach days, and I don't remember having much rain there.

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On 11/17/2019 at 12:04 PM, navybankerteacher said:

A quick check showed HAL cruise from Rome 10/15 with 13 ports in the Med getting to Fort Lauderdale 11/11; or Norwegian Jade from Rome 10/31 with 8 ports in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal getting to New York 11/18 after stopping in Bermuda. Each of these could come after a few days to experience Rome.

OoooOh ,  That is Nice,   We we were in Rome, arly to mid October and had everything from hot weather, suuny and dry to more like fall.   Maybe go to one of the weather sites and see a 'history  of weather in cities you hope to visit.to get a fair  idea.    W had very good luck on stays in Copenhagen/ Amsterdam in October.  No matter where we go, when,   weather is also unknown "Until"  you are there and       you take what you get.

 

 

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You simply do not know.  The most enjoyable four days we have ever spent in Rome were in mid November.  The weather was perfect, the lighting was perfect, and the tourist crowds were non existent. We went out in the morning wearing light cotton sweaters.  By 10:30 we had removed them.    It could have just as easily been cold and wet.  We have had mid-late beach and swimming days in Crete, Sicily, etc. and we have also had periods of rain.   Prepare to dress in layers.  This past Oct the weather was fantastic.

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Venice just experienced high flooding again.  This often happens in October or November.  St Marks Square was actually closed a few days ago due to flooding.

 

If your Med cruise doesn't include Venice, disregard.

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19 minutes ago, evandbob said:

Venice just experienced high flooding again. 

Probably the understatement of the week. Venice suffered the worst floods in over 50 years, with a high tide level 1.5 metres above sea level. Unparalleled damage to buildings and artefacts. 

Major news story on all European TV channels. I expect Fox News gave the story 10 seconds.

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European weather is just as predictable as North American weather :).  We just returned (yesterday) from a trip to Europe (including a TA cruise back to the USA).  For most of our trip (which started in October with our visit to Italy) the European weather was excellent!  In fact, the weather we had while spending a few days in Italy (and later during our first 9 days of our cruise) was near perfect!  But the very nice walkway we used in Florence (from our hotel into town) during October has recently flooded due to excessive rains and a very high river.   In October Venice had fine weather.  Now, most of the island/city is under water!  What has happened in Venice is a flood of historical proportions!  But we have been in Venice during November of other years where the weather was near-perfect.

 

The only advice I can offer the OP is that we generally feel more comfortable with October weather (in Europe) then in November.  But that is anecdotal and it could be just the opposite when you visit.

 

Hank

 

 

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Agree.  November would not be our choice.  We happened to be there in mid November as a stopover prior to flying to South Africa.  We lucked out with the weather in Rome.  Typically, our choice is mid Sept to mid/or late October.  

 

This year we returned home from Cyprus via Greece on October 22.  Weather up to that point was perfect.  Warm, sunny, fine for sunbathing.  BUT....it could also have been cool with a little rain!  This past summer was very warm throughout the area.  Who knows what next year will bring.

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I am in Rome right now, Nov 21-24. There was a steady drizzle on our first day, followed by a sunny clear day and then a chilly, cloudy, windy day with significant rain in the early evening. The forecast promises rain today and tomorrow. The rain has not kept the crowds away.

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I agree with the many affirmations that weather is difficult to predict but that, in general, October is more likely to provide good weather. 
 

I also am in Rome right now, have been here a week and have experienced the gamut. In general it has been periodic rain showers rather than a "rain all day" event (although today looks soggy....).  I prefer this time of year in Rome because I've been so often. I can find things to do indoors or out. Some years the weather has been wonderful, with sunny days and beautiful lighting. Other times it has been a mix tending toward grayer weather.

 

I'd just like to make a point to emphasize that, in contrast to one post above, you will not find things 'closed' on a Med cruise through the end of November. I've been on a couple that have ended on or around Thanksgiving and have not ever found things to be closed, even on seasonal places like Santorini and Mykonos. 

 

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As long as you're not planning on swimming, watersports or sun-tanning, you'll be fine. Honestly, late fall and winter are my favorite times to be in Europe -- bring a packable rain jacket and some water-resistant shoes just in case, and go for it! I don't think you'll find things closed in major cruise ports unless you're getting into smaller islands or you're talking about things involving the sea -- when we went to Cyprus in late October last year, we hit literally the last turtle-watching cruise of the year because those sorts of things closed down, but the archeological sites, restaurants, etc. stayed open... so really, it depends on what you want to do.

 

 

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The last time we did the Med was on the Pacific Princess and she was there till just beginning of December. The weather was mostly sunny with some rainy days and some super sunny days. I have to admit I expected it was going to be colder but it really wasn't. I was fine with a light coat, ankle boots and scarfs and I am usually always cold. That was 3 years ago though. Now, I am not sure how it's like.

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Why not go to one of the weather sites and do a weather history for the specific  cities, countries in which you are interested?   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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1 hour ago, sail7seas said:

Why not go to one of the weather sites and do a weather history for the specific  cities, countries in which you are interested?   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is worth knowing that while Naples and New York City are at about the same latitude - and Rome is significantly further north, the fact is that there are palm trees in Rome,  which should be a clue about the differences.  Throughout the winter (meaning December, January and February) there are usually daytime temperatures in the 50’s in Rome - and it hardly ever does get down to the 30’s -and then only at night.

 

October is probably the best month by far in much of the Mediterranean - and November is close behind— you might not want to wear shorts and short sleeved shirts - but everywhere is not beach country.

 

 

Edited by navybankerteacher

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IF you can only travel the Oct/Nov timeframe I would travel as early in Oct. as possible in order to hedge my weather bet.

 

We have gone swimming in the Med in places like Naxos, Crete, Sicily, Malta, and Cyprus at this time of year.   Your chances of good weather in early Oct. are excellent.  And we find that the water from swimming is often warmer than we expected.

 

 

Edited by iancal

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As early in October as possible would be my choice.  Prefer May, then September, but October would get an honourable mention!

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