Best Time to Visit Greece
What is the Best Time to Go to Greece?
Table of Contents
Are you ready to start planning your dream vacation in Greece? One of the most important factors to consider when traveling is choosing the perfect time to visit this beautiful country. This decision can greatly influence the cost of your trip, the number of tourists you’ll encounter, and the weather you’ll experience during your stay.
Luckily, we have created a comprehensive guide that will help you determine the best time to travel to Greece. This guide includes a month-by-month breakdown of the weather, information on events and festivals, and even tips on the most affordable time to go!
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about finding the ideal time to visit Greece.
When is The Best Time to Visit Greece? : Quick Answer
Greece is an incredible year-round destination, offering a delightful Mediterranean climate that is warm in the summer and mild in the winter. This allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Greece regardless of when you choose to visit.
However, it’s important to note that Greece experiences distinct tourist seasons. Planning your travels around certain months can help you avoid large crowds, expensive accommodation, or even towns that are completely shut down during the off-season.
Our recommendation is to try to visit Greece during the shoulder seasons, from May to early June and from late September to October. These months offer a pleasant balance between favorable weather and fewer tourists.
The high season in Greece falls during the summer months, starting in late June and lasting all the way to middle or end of September. August, in particular, is the peak month for tourism, especially in the Greek islands, where the sun shines and the air is hot – perfect for long days spent on the beach.
During the high season, you can expect higher prices for accommodation, dining, parking, and more. Additionally, tourist hotspots from mainland Greek cities to the island beaches will be bustling with visitors.
By considering the seasons and planning your trip accordingly, you can make the most of your visit to Greece while avoiding the drawbacks of peak tourist times.
From November to March, Greece experiences its low season, characterized by fewer tourists and cooler weather. During the winter, the Mediterranean landscape is often enveloped in grey clouds, with occasional drizzles. While some shops and hotels may close during this period, particularly in beach destinations, fear not, as there are still plenty of options available for an enjoyable trip in Greece.
One of the most enticing aspects of visiting Greece during the low season is the significantly lower prices compared to the summer months, making it an ideal choice for an affordable vacation. Embrace the opportunity for a spontaneous journey and discover the charm of Greece without breaking the bank!
Best Time to Visit Mainland Greece
If you’re planning a visit to mainland Greece, you’ll be delighted to know that it offers something special throughout the year. The historical sites remain open, and there are plenty of activities to choose from, whether you wish to explore Delphi or marvel at the archaeological wonders of Athens.
While mainland Greece is appealing year-round, the prime time to visit is between May and October, when the weather is delightful and the sun is radiant. The months leading up to June and after September, known as the shoulder months, hold a particular charm as the summer crowds thin out, creating a more pleasant and enjoyable travel experience.
It is advisable to avoid spending extended periods in mainland Greece during the hottest months of the year. In July and August, the temperatures can soar, making sightseeing during the day quite uncomfortable.
Experience the enchantment of mainland Greece, where every season holds its own allure and promises unforgettable memories.
Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands
If the focal point of your trip is the Greek islands, it is advisable to plan your vacation during the summer months. This will allow you to fully enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities. However, it is important to note that August tends to be the busiest time in the Greek islands and also the most expensive. Therefore, if you are looking to avoid excessive expenses, it would be wise to consider planning your trip for any other month.
During the winter season, the Greek islands are considerably quieter and less crowded compared to the summer months. Many establishments may be closed, but destinations like Santorini or Crete still offer enjoyable experiences regardless of the weather. Moreover, prices during the off-season are significantly lower than during peak season. Rest assured, you will find more affordable options.
Planning a Trip to Greece
When planning a trip to Greece, there are several key factors to consider. These include the best time to visit, estimating the cost and being aware of exciting events taking place across the country.
Best Months to Visit Greece
Greece offers its best charm between late April and early November. April marks the arrival of good weather, with May bringing abundant sunshine, cheerful birdsong, and pleasantly warming waters. The summery months of June, July, and August are the hottest in Greece, offering delightful days for beach activities and exploration. However, it is wise to steer clear of August as it tends to be overrun with tourists.
As summer transitions into autumn, September brings a welcome decline in both crowds and temperatures. By October, evenings become refreshingly cool while days remain surprisingly pleasant. November sees an increase in overcast days, but the beginning of the month still retains its loveliness—just remember to pack a raincoat for occasional showers.
For the optimal Greece experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons—either before or after the peak tourist influx. April and early May offer great conditions, as do late September, October, and early November, allowing you to relish the pleasant weather while avoiding excessive crowds.
Cheapest Time to Go to Greece
Greece possesses the potential to become the ultimate budget-friendly destination, particularly during its distinctive low seasons when prices decline and crowds disperse. For those seeking to explore the islands, the optimal time to visit is typically between March and May or October and November.
During these periods, accommodation costs decrease, local ambiance fills the restaurants, and overall expenses diminish compared to the bustling summer months. However, if your focus lies primarily on mainland Greece, the most economical time to visit is from January to March. Although the weather may not be ideal during this period, with frequent rain and cloudy days, the affordability of hotels and hostels allows for substantial savings. Embrace the opportunity to visit during this time and watch your expenses dwindle!
Weather in Greece
To experience pure bliss when it comes to weather in Greece, the ideal time to visit is early summer or towards the end of peak season. From the end of April through June, both the mainland and the islands come alive with gorgeous, sunshine-filled days and clear blue skies. Temperatures average around 70°F in May and 75°F in June, providing the perfect conditions for exploration without being overwhelmed by sweat.
If you’re planning a visit to Greece, it’s worth considering September and October as well. The weather during this time is beautiful, with temperatures not as scorching hot as July and August, yet still warm enough to enjoy the beach and spend plenty of time outdoors. In September, temperatures average around 82°F, making it an ideal time to take a refreshing dip in the sea while still enjoying the lingering summer heat.
From November to March, the Mediterranean weather turns grey, with cooler days, cloudy skies, and frequent drizzle. While visiting Greece during this period may be more budget-friendly, it’s not the best time to enjoy the beaches and outdoor exploration. November sees an average temperature of around 66°F, while March is even chillier with an average of 59°F.
No matter when you plan to visit Greece, be sure to check out our Europe packing list to ensure you have everything you need for a memorable trip.
Festivals and Popular Events in Greece
Greece is renowned for its grand festivals and annual events that attract people from near and far, all eager to immerse themselves in the revelries. These vibrant celebrations dot the calendar throughout the year, making them must-see highlights worth planning your trip around. Prepare to embrace the exhilaration and enchantment!
One of Greece’s most iconic festivals is the Patras Carnival, a magnificent extravaganza that kicks off in January and carries on through February. With lively parades, captivating music, and boundless merriment, it promises an unforgettable experience.
But that’s not all! Greece offers a plethora of other extraordinary events to captivate your senses. From the spirited festivities of Independence Day in March and the Athens International Film Festival in April, to the rhythmic delights of the Salsa Spring Festival in May and the enchanting melodies of Santorini’s International Music Festival in September, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring occasions to ignite your spirit.
And let’s not forget Ochi Day in October and the enchantment of the Christmas season in December, each adding their own touch of magic to the Greek tapestry of celebrations.
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When to Visit Greece – Month-by-Month
January in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 50°F with clouds and rain.
Where to Go: Athens
Festivals & Events: New Years, Epiphany, Carnival of Patras
In January, Greece experiences its coldest period of the year, whether you are on the mainland or the Greek islands. The days are often overcast and gray, accompanied by frequent rainfall. However, this is also a time when the number of tourists is significantly lower, allowing for great deals on accommodations, except during the New Year period.
Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, January remains a favorable month for sightseeing, particularly in Athens. You will have the opportunity to explore the ancient ruins without the usual crowds that gather during more favorable weather. Just ensure that you are equipped with suitable travel gear.
January also hosts a few enjoyable festivals, such as Epiphany, where a cross is thrown into a body of water and swimmers are tasked with retrieving it. Additionally, there is the Patras Carnival, which is the most elaborate festival of the year. During this time, the streets come alive with parades, lively music, and social gatherings of people who have come from far and wide to celebrate the New Year.
February in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 57°F with cloudy conditions.
Where to Go: Athens, Santorini, Crete.
Festivals & Events: Carnival, Clean Monday.
Visiting Greece in February offers the advantage of fewer tourists, providing an opportunity to experience the country in a more intimate setting. Although the weather remains cold, precipitation is reduced, allowing for extended outdoor activities.
When exploring Greece during this month, consider visiting Santorini for a chance to enjoy some winter sun away from the crowds, or explore Athens for its rich historical landmarks. Regardless of your chosen destination, you will discover significantly lower prices compared to peak season, offering a distinct advantage.
February in Greece is particularly enjoyable due to the Carnival celebrations taking place throughout the country. The most vibrant festivities can be found in Athens and the island of Crete, where locals take to the streets to revel in food, drinks, dancing, and parades.
To mark the end of Carnival, Clean Monday is observed as a public holiday, providing an opportunity for people to spend time outdoors while flying kites.
March in Greece
Weather: With an average temperature of 60°F, sunnier days, and less precipitation, March is a promising time to visit Greece.
Where to Go: Consider exploring Crete, Rhodes, and the mainland of Greece. These destinations offer a wealth of experiences and attractions.
Festivals & Events: One of the notable events in March is Greece’s Independence Day. Throughout the country, you can witness parades, revelry, and a joyful celebration of Greek culture on March 25th.
While still a bit chilly, Greece’s weather starts to improve in March, particularly as you head further south. The islands experience temperatures of up to 70°F, making it suitable for beach visits and comfortable exploration.
Moreover, March offers the advantage of fewer tourist crowds, allowing you to enjoy the tranquillity of the islands without interruptions.
If you’re visiting Greece during this month, it presents an excellent opportunity to discover the ancient sites scattered across the mainland. Explore Athens and Delphi without enduring long queues or struggling to capture pictures amid throngs of tourists.
April in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 70°F with sunny skies.Greece in May
Where to Go: Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Naxos, Athens.
Festivals & Events: Holy Week, Orthodox Easter, Athens International Film Festival.
April in Greece is a magnificent time to visit, offering delightful weather and a gradual transition from winter’s gloom. Although swimming may still be a bit chilly, the sea in Greece starts to warm up, tempting beach enthusiasts. If you plan to travel to Greece in April, make sure to explore the captivating Greek islands such as Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, and Naxos, and make sure you don’t forget to pack your bathing suit! Enjoy the charming weather, bask in the sunshine, and unwind on the beach without worrying about overheating.
One of the highlights of April in Greece is the celebration of Easter, observed by the majority of locals throughout the country. The Holy Week, which spans from Palm Sunday to Easter Day, holds great religious significance and provides a glimpse into the devoutness of many Greeks. During this week, expect some shop closures and bustling churches, offering a unique insight into Greek religious life.
Moreover, Athens hosts the renowned International Film and Video Festival each April, attracting filmmakers from around the world to showcase their creations.
Visiting Greece in April allows you to experience the country’s allure without the overwhelming tourist crowds, granting you moments of tranquility as you journey through its remarkable landscapes and cultural treasures
May in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 75°F with clear skies and abundant sunshine.
Where to Go: Greek Islands, Athens, Korinthia.
Festivals & Events: Athens Jazz Festival, Salsa Spring Festival .
May presents a final opportunity to explore Greece before the arrival of summer crowds. It’s worth noting that affordable accommodation becomes scarce as expensive resorts and hotels reopen for the season. However, favorable deals can still be found early in the month as the weather gradually warms up.
Throughout Greece, May offers warm temperatures suitable for swimming in the sea and sunbathing on the beaches, making it an ideal time to visit the Greek islands. Even mainland Greece boasts delightful weather in May, perfect for sightseeing and enjoying al fresco dining on outdoor terraces.
If you have the chance to visit Greece in May, don’t miss the renowned Salsa Spring Festival in Korinthia. This highly anticipated event attracts both locals and international visitors, featuring dance classes, performances, and an overall lively atmosphere that shouldn’t be missed.
Another highlight of May is the Athens Jazz Festival, a five-day celebration that showcases free jazz performances for all to enjoy. An incredible experience not to be missed!
June in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 77°F, abundant sunshine, and picturesque landscapes.
Where to Go: Virtually anywhere you choose.
Festivals & Events: Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Navy Week, European Music Day.
June marks the official start of the summer season in Greece, attracting a vast number of tourists from around the globe. The weather during this time is truly delightful, characterized by warm temperatures and long, sunny days. It is no surprise that people travel far and wide to experience the beauty of Greece in June.
This month is particularly ideal for visiting renowned destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini (although these places tend to be crowded) as well as lesser-known gems like Naxos and Paros. It is also a fantastic time to explore the coastal regions of Corfu, Rhodes, and Crete.
Please note that accommodation prices tend to rise in June (although they are still more affordable compared to later in the summer). Therefore, it is advisable to make your hotel reservations well in advance to secure a favorable rate.
In addition to the influx of tourists, June also brings forth a plethora of exciting festivals and events in Greece. The most prominent among them is the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, featuring captivating dance performances, theatrical shows, and opera. While the festival commences in June, it continues until early September, ensuring boundless entertainment for all.
Moreover, June witnesses the celebration of European Music Day, a festivity observed not only in Greece but throughout Europe. Towards the end of the month, Navy Week takes place, offering historical reenactments in port cities and along the coast.
If you find yourself in Crete during Navy Week, you will be delighted to partake in the grand celebration, complete with boating activities, water sports, and melodic tunes.
July in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 86°F, characterized by intense heat and abundant sunshine.
Where to Go: Greek Islands
Festivals & Events: Festival of the Aegean, The River Party, Athens Festival, Sani Festival.
Greetings, July! Embrace the arrival of scorching weather, influx of tourists, and picturesque beaches lined with umbrellas.
July in Greece marks the pinnacle of summer, with sweltering days, warm waters, and clear skies. The allure of the Greek islands during this time is undeniable, although it is worth noting that flights and accommodations tend to be expensive, and crowds are to be expected.
Mainland Greece experiences scorching temperatures in July, with average highs surpassing 90°F. This can make sightseeing uncomfortable and sticky in the hot weather. As an alternative, consider visiting destinations like Corfu for beach enjoyment or explore lesser-known Greek islands to avoid bustling crowds.
July is also the beginning of numerous art and cultural festivals across Greece, which continue throughout the summer. Noteworthy events include the Festival of the Aegean on Syros Island, featuring theatrical performances, the Athens Festival showcasing Greek music in ancient theaters, and the Sani Festival in Halkidiki, renowned for its lively atmosphere and jazz musicians.
An absolute highlight is the River Party in Nestorio, a festival that welcomes acclaimed DJs and live acts, offering camping, swimming, and breathtaking Greek scenery. This event is truly unmissable!
August in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 83°F with clear and sunny skies, making it hot.
Where to Go: Greek Islands
Festivals & Events: August Moon Festival, International Music Festival of Aegina, Chania Rock Festival
During August, Greece experiences the peak of peak season, attracting a significant influx of tourists. As a result, prices are at their highest, beaches are extremely crowded, and long waits are to be expected at various attractions.
However, the weather in Greece is simply glorious throughout August, with abundant sunshine and no rain in sight. If you plan your trip to Greece during this month, make sure to pack your swimsuits to fully enjoy the warm waters that have been heating up all summer.
August also offers a plethora of exciting events and festivals in Greece. Experience the Olympus Festival, where you can experience thetrical plays in an ancient theater, and the majestic August Moon Festival in Athens, where major historic sites are open all night long for captivating musical performances.
Furthermore, August is the prime time for concerts and live shows in Greece. Don’t miss the Houdetsi Music Festival, the Chania Rock Festival in Crete, and the International Music Festival of Aegina, showcasing talented musical acts from Greece and beyond.
September in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 75°F with abundant sunshine and warmth.
Where to Go: Athens, Greek Islands (such as Corfu), and Peloponnese.
Festivals & Events: Athens International Film Festival and Reworks Festival.
Greece in September offers a refreshing atmosphere as temperatures begin to cool down. While the first half of the month tends to be bustling with tourists, the crowds gradually dissipate towards the end of the month, allowing for a more serene end-of-summer holiday experience.
The weather in Greece remains delightful throughout September, both in the islands and in Athens. In fact, it can be even more enjoyable than the peak of summer, as it allows for pleasant sightseeing without the discomfort of extreme heat, while still providing ample opportunities for sunbathing on the beach.
September in Greece is marked by the renowned Athens International Film Festival, a 12-day event held towards the end of the month. Additionally, notable events include the internationally acclaimed Reworks Festival, showcasing performances from artists around the world, and the conclusion of the Epidaurus Festival, featuring Greek dramas staged in the ancient amphitheater.
Overall, September is one of our favorite times to visit Greece, regardless of your preferred destination.
October in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 68°F, with sunny days and cool nights. Some rainfall is expected towards the end of the month.
Where to Go: Athens, Thessaloniki, Santorini, Mykonos.
Festivals & Events: Ochi Day, Chestnut Festival, Dimitria Festival .
October marks the transition to autumn in Greece, following a long and hot summer. As the summer tourists depart, the country becomes less crowded, and some seasonal establishments start to close. However, this presents an opportunity to find attractive deals on the remaining open establishments.
While smaller islands may be quieter in October, Santorini and Mykonos still offer a vibrant atmosphere. Additionally, mainland Greece provides a great opportunity for sightseeing, with pleasant fall weather, allowing for the exploration of ancient cities and historic sites.
Although October is relatively low-key in terms of festivals, there are still a few to be enjoyed in Greece. The Chestnut Festival takes place annually in Crete, while the Dimitria Festival is held in Thessaloniki. Moreover, October 28th marks a national holiday called Ochi Day, which is celebrated with parades, folk music, and dancing.
November in Greece
Weather: Average temperature of 60°F with intermittent sun and showers, accompanied by overcast skies.
Where to Go: Athens, Meteora, Crete.
Festivals & Events:Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
For those considering a visit to Greece during the low season, November presents an ideal opportunity. With a scarcity of tourists, you can enjoy the country at your leisure.
The weather in Greece during November is moderately cool, offering a mix of splendid sunny days and grey, overcast conditions. Anticipate a fair amount of rainfall, but the warmth of the afternoons and the absence of crowds make it worthwhile to carry an umbrella.
November is an excellent time for sightseeing as the weather might not be suitable for beach activities. With fewer tourists around, you can capture flawless photographs at ancient sites without any unwanted background elements.
While November represents the off-peak season in Greece, there are still noteworthy events taking place. The Thessaloniki International Film Festival, held throughout the month, exhibits some of the finest new works from Europe.
December in Greece
Weather: The average temperature is around 55°F with cloudy, windy, and rainy conditions.
Where to Go: Consider visiting Athens, Meteora, Zagorochoria, or Mt. Parnassos.
Festivals & Events: In December, Greece celebrates Christmas and New Year’s Eve with great enthusiasm.
During this time, winter sets in throughout Greece, bringing blustery, cloudy, and rainy days. The mountains are starting to get covered in snow, making it an ideal destination for skiers. Despite being the low season, Greece in December offers enjoyable experiences.
Explore the historic sites in Athens or visit the numerous museums across the country. Head to the mountains to enjoy the snow or experience the magical atmosphere in Meteora with a dusting of fresh flakes.
Christmas in Greece is a festive time, with a plethora of events leading up to the actual day. The streets are adorned with colorful lights, carolers fill the air, and visitors can soak up the lively atmosphere.
As the New Year approaches, Greece celebrates New Year’s Eve with enthusiasm. Join the crowds in bars and witness the fireworks counting down to the New Year.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Visa Required for Greece?
Citizens and residents of Greece and most countries in the Americas are eligible to visit Greece without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days. Additionally, travelers from the United States and Canada only need to possess a valid passport, with an expiration date at least three months beyond the conclusion of their planned vacation.
What is the Weather Like?
Greece experiences chilly winters and hot summers, with temperatures reaching up to 100°F (43°C) depending on the season. To avoid the intense August heat, it is recommended to plan your holiday ideally for late spring or early summer (mid-April all the way through mid-June) or autumn (September through mid-October) to enjoy a more comfortable climate and avoid the peak tourist season.
What Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Greece?
Greece possesses immense potential as a highly cost-effective destination. While some argue that it can be expensive, it is my assumption that these individuals have primarily visited Greece’s priciest destinations during peak season.
To maximize value, it is advisable to avoid the months of July and August. Instead, consider planning your visit during April, May, June, September, October, or even November. This period, known as the shoulder season, offers optimal conditions for a Greek vacation.
Opting for lesser-visited islands rather than the popular choices of Mykonos and Santorini, or exploring the mainland with a visit to Peloponnese, can provide a unique and rewarding experience. It is recommended to make advance arrangements for flights, accommodations, and tickets to ensure a seamless trip.
Is Greece A Good Place To Visit With Kids?
When planning a family vacation in Greece, be sure to bring along beach toys and mythology books. Greece offers a wonderful experience for families with children, with its kind and hospitable culture. You’ll find plenty of kid-friendly programming at museums and historical sites.
Explore medieval forts in Corfu and Rhodes, visit the impressive Natural History Museum in Crete, and enjoy the organized exhibits and activities in Athens’ various museums and ruins. Additionally, indulge in a range of water sports and beach activities for endless fun.