As in England, Greek weather is variable. I was in the Cyclades from mid to late March 2005 and the weather was marvellous, hot and sunny with barely a wisp of cloud. Looking at the weather forecast on the TV in the taverna became a little monotonous, with the bouncing yellow sun (looking like a frisky egg yolk) on the screen every evening. Admittedly at times it was windy, but nothing too severe. And when the sun set the temperature dropped quickly. In mid March in Naxos people were swimming in the sea.

On other visits at the same time of year the weather picture was so different. In March 1985, on the same island, it rained most days. One day in the taverna I thought that the temperature was forecast to rise - then I realised that the 9s, 10. 11s and 12s were wind speeds, not temperatures! Another year, the same island and the same time of year, a fellow tourist explained that in her room she tried to keep warm using a hair drier!

Whenever you come to Greece, you do need to come prepared for variable weather.

This year in March I brought a hot water bottle, a fleece hat and gloves, and an umbrella. Once here, I wished that I had left those items at home and brought sun glasses, sun hat and after sun cream (items that I had evicted from my rucksack in a last minute cull).

Weather Notes
On August 11 2008 the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported "A summer storm yesterday afternoon caught many people off guard as rain pelted different parts of Greece including Elefsina, west of Athens, which was hit by a hail storm. Television footage showed pictures of holes made in outdoor plastic tables by the force of the hail which also broke car lights." In June 2008 hail destroyed some vineyards in Greece.