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Adapting to the climate in Greece? What a silly question, but in reality that has been the case for many. Not with adapting to the heat of the Mediterranean climate, but adapting to the cold. When we moved to Greece a number of years ago, we envisage the country as being just hot- hot- hot during summer and mild in the winter, with lovely blue skies. However, our first winter came as a total shock to us. It was bitterly cold and unusually wet, and we felt frozen, to say the least. It didn’t help that the house we had just moved into had old wooden doors, windows and shutters that allowed the wind and rain to come straight through to the inside. One of our rooms provided us with an indoor swimming pool!
Greece does have a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers, but it also has winters that can be unexpectedly cold and often wet, with snow on the mountains. Many people visit Greece during the hot summers, very few visit during winter, so are pretty much caught off guard when the weather turns. However, the cold doesn’t last for long, but it is well worth while taking precautions if you are going to spend the winter months in Greece.
The big rage in winter heating is ‘energiaká tzákia’ or ‘super-efficient wood stoves’. They keep the houses really warm and are not hugely expensive. Their prices range from about €400 to whatever you have to spend, however, a truck-load of wood could cost anything in the region of €150 depending on locality.
As summers in Greece are usually very hot, the Greek idea of a daily mid-afternoon siesta is a must as temperatures can rise to 30° or 35°C, with unusual highs up to the low 40°s C. During July and August, the hottest time of the year, a wind known as the ‘meltemi’ can sometimes offer the much-needed relief from the heat; the downside is that this wind can also disrupt ferry and boat services to the islands, so plan accordingly and leave yourself a few days if you need to get somewhere by sea.