It's no surprise that travel enthusiasts are eager to step into the timeless beauty of Greece, where ancient history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture await. With its captivating blend of sun-drenched islands, awe-inspiring archaeological sites, and world-renowned cuisine, millions of travelers flock to Greece yearly.
But when is the best time to travel to Greece?
This guide will look at the ideal months to explore this Mediterranean gem, considering factors such as weather, events, and tourist crowds to help you make the most of your unforgettable journey.
- Visit Greece during late spring and early fall for the best weather, fewer crowds, and exciting religious traditions.
- Explore lesser-known islands from May to October for an authentic experience with stunning views.
- Take advantage of lower prices from March to November while enjoying outdoor activities, cuisine, history, and cultural events.
The Most Popular Months for Visiting Greek
There's no denying that the most popular months to visit Greece are June to August when hordes of visitors come to experience the beauty of this enchanting country during the peak season.
These hot summer months provide the perfect backdrop for soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, exploring ancient ruins, and dancing the night away at lively Greek festivals. While it's true that tourist crowds are at their peak during this time, the electric atmosphere and wealth of events make it an unforgettable experience.
However, the shoulder season offers an ideal alternative if you're looking for a more relaxed trip with fewer crowds and heat. Late spring (April-June) and early fall (September-October) are perfect for visiting Greece and enjoying its many wonders without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. With warm weather and a laid-back vibe, you can explore popular islands and ancient sites leisurely, taking in this fascinating country's breathtaking scenery and rich culture.
Best Months for Visiting Greece and Enjoying the Sunshine
If basking in the glorious Greek sunshine is your top priority, then late spring (April-June) and early fall (September-October) are the prime months to visit. During these months, the weather is pleasantly warm, with average temperatures in Athens ranging from 68°F to 86°F. This means you can enjoy all that Greece offers, from swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea to visiting the awe-inspiring archaeological sites.
One particularly special time to visit Greece is Greek Orthodox Easter, typically in April. This religious celebration offers a unique opportunity to experience the country's rich cultural traditions and explore its stunning historical sites alongside locals.
Springtime in Greece is truly magical, as the islands of Crete and the Peloponnese bask in the delightful warmth of the season. Azure skies and shimmering seas create the perfect backdrop for exploring the country during these months.
With average temperatures in Athens ranging from 68°F to 77°F during late spring, you can enjoy comfortable sightseeing while enjoying the country's stunning beauty. Plus, you can comfortably dip your toes in the sea.
Early Fall (September-October)
Visiting Greece in early fall (September-October) offers several benefits, such as pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and more affordable prices. This makes it an ideal time to visit outside of the busy Holy Week period, allowing you to immerse yourself in the authentic Greek experience fully.
Plus, the weather remains warm and sunny during this time (without being excessively hot), with temperatures still perfect for enjoying the beaches, archaeological sites, and outdoor activities.
Best Months for the Greek Islands
When it comes to the Greek Islands, the best months to visit are late May to early October, with May and September being the top two months. During these months, the islands enjoy delightful weather, making exploring the perfect time. Whether you're island-hopping in the Aegean Sea or discovering hidden gems off the beaten path, late spring, early summer, or the beginning of fall are the ideal times to visit the Greek Islands.
As you plan your island getaway, it's essential to consider factors such as timing, cost, events, and weather to ensure you have the best possible experience. With research and careful planning, you can enjoy all the beauty and charm the Greek Islands offer during these most enjoyable months.
Examples of Popular Greek Islands
Santorini is among the most renowned Greek Islands, offering breathtaking views, stunning beaches, and vibrant local culture (particularly if you like nightlife). The island boasts an average of only one rainy day in July, making it an ideal destination for soaking up the sun.
In addition, the average sea temperature in Santorini during midsummer is a delightful 82.4°F, perfect for swimming and water activities. With an average low temperature of 71.6°F in midsummer, Santorini offers a pleasant and comfortable climate for visitors to enjoy.
Other famous Greek Islands include Crete, Mykonos, and Corfu, each offering unique charm and beauty. Whether exploring the ancient ruins of Crete, dancing the night away in Mykonos, or soaking up the sun on Corfu's pristine beaches, these popular islands provide unforgettable experiences.
Examples of Greek Islands of the Beaten Path
For those seeking a more secluded and authentic Greek Island experience, consider visiting lesser-known gems such as Anafi and the Small Cyclades like Koufonisia. These islands are less visited than their more famous counterparts, offering a unique and tranquil escape for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds.
Other inspiring examples of Greek islands off the beaten path are Skyros and Evia, both known for their stunning beaches, charming villages, and rich cultural heritage. By exploring these lesser-known islands, you can immerse yourself in the authentic Greek experience and discover hidden treasures that many visitors may never have the chance to see.
Best Months for Fewer Crowds
Winter and early spring are the least crowded times to visit Greece, offering a unique opportunity to experience the country without the usual throngs of tourists. While the weather may be cooler and wetter during these months, there are still plenty of exciting activities to enjoy, such as exploring historical sites, attending local events such as markets or concerts, and getting an authentic feel for local life.
In addition, visiting Greece during the winter often means lower prices for accommodation and restaurants, especially on the islands.
While the winter may not offer the warm sunshine (as often) and swimming beach weather that many travelers seek, it provides a unique glimpse into the real Greek lifestyle.
What to do in the off-season
There's no shortage of exciting activities to enjoy in Greece during the off-season. These include:
- Olive oil harvest season from October until December
- Winemaking after September
- Fig & mushrooms harvest after September
- Christmas Festivities in Mount Pelion
- Visit ski resorts in Vasilitsa or Mount Parnasos
For those interested in exploring the country's lesser-known gems, consider visiting Thessaloniki, Zagorochoria, Chalkida, and Karpenisi, each offering unique charm and beauty.
Additionally, Greece is home to numerous museums, galleries, and historical sites, many of which remain open during the off-season. Although, it's always best to double-check since some tourism areas close during the slow season. Take advantage of the quieter months to explore these cultural treasures at your leisure, without the crowds and long lines often accompanying peak tourist season.
Best Months for Finding Bargains
If you're looking to save money on your trip to Greece, the best months for finding bargains are March-May and October-December. During these months, tour and accommodation prices are generally more affordable. With fewer tourists and lower prices, these off-peak months provide an excellent opportunity to explore Greece without breaking the bank.
For the most budget-friendly option, consider visiting mainland Greece between January and March, when prices are at their cheapest. Planning your trip during the most cost-effective months allows you to experience Greece's beauty and charm on any budget.
Best ways to find deals on hotels, tours, and more
To find the best deals on hotels, tours, and other activities in Greece, it's essential to research and compare prices. Explore online deals, sign up for newsletters, and follow travel blogs to stay informed about the latest discounts and promotions. Booking your accommodations and activities (such as tours) in advance can also help you secure the best prices and avoid last-minute rate increases.
When Not to Visit Greece
While there's never a wrong time to visit Greece, there are certain months when the weather and tourist crowds may be less than ideal. The hottest months in Greece are July and August, when temperatures can soar and the sun beats down relentlessly. On the other hand, rainy weather and tourism closures are common in Greece from November through March.
The Hottest Months for Visiting Greece
If hot weather and sunshine are what you're after, then the summer months of June, July, and August are the perfect time to visit Greece. During this time, the Mediterranean climate provides ideal conditions for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying outdoor activities. If you have a difficult time in the heat, it's best to skip these months or at least make sure your hotel has air-conditioning (not guaranteed).
However, it's worth noting that these months also coincide with the peak tourist season, meaning that popular destinations may be extremely crowded, and prices for accommodations and attractions may be higher.
Rainy weather and tourism closures
Visiting Greece during the rainy months of November through March can present some challenges, as the weather may be less than ideal, and many tourist attractions may be closed or have limited hours. However, there are still plenty of exciting activities and events to enjoy during these months, such as the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Patras Carnival.
While rainy weather and tourism closures may be a drawback for some travelers, they can offer a unique and authentic experience for others.
How to Choose the Right Month for Your Trip
When selecting the perfect month for your trip to Greece, it's essential to consider factors such as:
- Events and holidays
- Weather conditions
By evaluating these factors, you can ensure that you choose the best time to visit Greece based on your personal preferences and travel goals.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Greece depends on your needs and desires. By researching and considering factors such as weather, events, and tourist crowds, you can choose the correct month for your trip and create unforgettable memories.
Experience Greece Your Way
There’s a reason that millions of tourists (over 30 million in 2019) visit Greece each year. It captures the hearts of many, enticing many to return to explore in other seasons. No matter when you decide to visit Greece, you'll be spellbound by your interactions with the locals, food, and history.