Updated: January 13, 2018
- Best Time to Visit Greece: April to Early November.
- Best Time to Visit Greece for Good Weather: May to October has lots of sunny weather. July and August are the hottest months.
- Best Time to Visit Greece for Honeymoon: June and September.
- Best Time for Saving Money: March, April, May, October, and November have reduced hotel prices.
- The beaches on the Greek islands are best for swimming and sunbathing from late May to early October.
- Santorini sightseeing is best from March to June and September to November. Athens sightseeing is best from March to June and September to November. Mykonos nightlife is best from July to early September. Mykonos beaches are best from June to September.
- High season in the Greek Islands runs from late June until early September. August is the busiest (most expensive) month.
- Santorini and Crete are the best islands to visit in winter and will have enough hotels and restaurants open to keep visitors happy. Athens is a good year-round destination.
- The best Santorini hotels should be booked 4 to 8 months in advance. The best Mykonos hotels should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance.
When’s the Best Time To Visit Greece and the Greek Islands?
When To Visit Greece – Summary
The best time to visit the Greek islands and beaches of Greece is from late May to early October when the weather is great and there’s little rain. The sea temperature warms throughout the summer and swimming is best in July, August, and September. August is the busiest and most expensive month but is the best for nightlife and partying. Crete and Santorini are also appealing in April and November (since they have more to see and do than most islands). Athens is best from March to June and September to November.
Best Months to Visit Greece – When To Go
- Best Time to Visit Mykonos: June to September
- Best Time to Visit Santorini: April, May, June, September, October, early November
- Best Time to Visit Crete: June and September
- Best Time to Visit Rhodes: June and September
- Best Time to Visit Naxos: June to September
- Best Time to Visit Paros: June to September
- Best Time to Visit Ios: July and August
- Best Time to Visit Athens: April, May, October, and November
- Best Time to Visit Corfu: July and September
- Best Time to Visit Peloponnese: June and September
The Greek Islands – Where To Go
- Greek Islands Weather in January: Cool with gray skies, plenty of rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in January: Crete and Santorini.
- Greek Islands Weather in February: Cool with gray skies, plenty of rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in February: Crete and Santorini.
- Greek Islands Weather in March: Some nice sunny days, some gray cool days, moderate rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in March: Crete, Santorini, and Rhodes.
- Greek Islands Weather in April: Warm sunny days are the norm but not quite swimming weather, little rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in April: Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Naxos, and Paros.
- Greek Islands Weather in May: Warm sunny days with a good chance of beach weather, little rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in May: Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Corfu, Naxos, Paros, and Mykonos.
- Greek Islands Weather in June: Hot sunny days, almost no rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in June: All Greek islands are wonderful.
- Greek Islands Weather in July: Hot sunny days, almost no rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in July: All Greek islands are wonderful (but busy).
- Greek Islands Weather in August: Hot sunny days, almost no rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in August: All Greek islands are wonderful (but busy).
- Greek Islands Weather in September: Hot sunny days, almost no rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in September: All Greek islands are wonderful.
- Greek Islands Weather in October: Warm sunny days with a good chance of beach weather, little rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in October: Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Corfu, Naxos, Paros, and Mykonos.
- Greek Islands Weather in November: Some nice sunny days, some gray cool days, moderate rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in November: Crete, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, and Rhodes.
- Greek Islands Weather in December: Cool with gray skies, plenty of rain.
Best Greek Islands to Visit in December: Crete and Santorini.
When is the best time to visit Greece and the Greek Islands?
- Best Time to Visit Greek Islands: The Greek islands are at their best from late May to early October for swimming, suntanning, and beach weather; and from April to early November for sightseeing, hiking, and exploring.
- Best Time to Visit Athens: Athens is a good year round destination. Moderate weather and fewer tourists makes winter a great time for seeing the real Athens. Summer is hot but the skies are always blue, there’s almost no rain, and bars and restaurants fill the sidewalks with tables and chairs. Spring and Fall are the best of both worlds: good weather, smaller crowds, and a fun active atmosphere.
- Best Time to Visit Greece for Good Weather: The warmest weather in Greece and the Greek islands is between late May and early October when it’s sunny, warm, and the water is good for swimming. Water temperature increases throughout the summer months. The sea will be cool for swimming in May (even though the weather can be beautiful). The water is warmest in August and early September. Swimming in early May and late October is often possible but can’t be guaranteed.
- Best Time for Beaches : If you hope to enjoy hanging out on the best beaches in Greece and swimming in the sea, the best time to go to Greece is July, August and September, though the second half of September may be ideal, with many tourists returning home, and sea temperatures pleasantly warm after all of that summer sun.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time for sightseeing in Greece is generally April through about mid-May, or October and into early November, when there will be fewer tourists to interrupt the views and the weather is frequently quite mild; perfect for walking, but usually a bit too cool for swimming at the beach (with the exception of early October).
- Best Time For Sailing: The sailing season in Greece runs from early April through early-to-mid-November. Sailing in April, May or June means you’ll typically pay lower prices, and you’ll have the chance to see the islands when they’re especially lush, green, and flowers are in bloom. October is less busy, with the peak season ending in September, and rates dropping again, while the water is especially ideal for swimming.
- Best Time For Mountain Hiking: April and May are wonderful months for hiking in the mountains, with the green landscape blanketed with colorful wildflowers and the weather often ideal for the trek. October is another good time, when summer’s sizzling temperatures begin to cool and the autumn foliage is at its peak, transforming the mountains with the vibrant hues of fall.
- Best Time for Saving Money: Hotels are much cheaper in the low season (December to March) and shoulder season (April, May, October and November) than in the summer months. Transportation, food, and drink prices tend to stay the same all year long so there’s little savings in that regard. If you want good weather but cheap hotels, then late May, early June, late September, and early October are the great times. There are no guarantees, but the first three weeks of October can often surprise visitors with great weather.
- Best Time for Nightlife and Parties: Mykonos, Paros, Ios, and Santorini have the best nightlife, and if you’re looking to party, dance, and listen to live DJs then July and August are the main months. On Mykonos, late June and early September are also good. On Santorini, there’s good nightlife from late May until early October.
- Best Time for a Honeymoon in Greece: If you want a beach holiday then June to September is best. If you’re more interested in quiet, solitude, sightseeing, and romance, then anytime from April to early November would be great.
- Is August a Good Time to go to Greece?: One of the most common questions I get relates to traveling in Greece in August. If you want nightlife, packed bars, and live DJs then this is the best time to visit Mykonos (and Ios, Santorini, and Rhodes to a lesser extent). Yes, August is busy but even at the peak of the tourist season on the busiest islands, if you want to escape the crowds it’s usually a short walk or bus ride to some very quiet and tourist-free spots.
Greece Travel Seasons
- High Season (Mid-June through mid-September): The high season in Greece falls in the summer months, a time where you’re likely to experience sweltering heat, the highest prices, and the biggest crowds; with what will seem like half of Europe vacationing alongside you. The upside is that it brings the best ferry and other transportation schedules, nightlife will be bustling, and all the resorts and attractions will be open.
- Shoulder Season (April through Mid-June, Mid-September through October): The shoulder seasons of late spring and early autumn are arguably the best time for a visit to Greece. This is when you can usually enjoy some of the most pleasant weather of the year, better bargains on hotel rates, and are unlikely to encounter hordes of tourists. Most places will be open, and ferry services and flights are still readily available.
- Low Season (November through March): Winters are fairly mild in Greece, so you won’t have to worry about frigid temperatures, although there are many cold, wet and dreary days between November and February, and rain is common. There is snow in the mountains, and skiing is possible. In winter, there are no worries about bumping elbows with countless tourists, and airfare and hotel rates are at their lowest. Keep in mind that many hotels, restaurants and attractions may be closed down, and ferry services and flights will be cut back too.
Greece Weather by Month
Greece in January
- Athens Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Athens, but it’s unlikely to be miserably cold and may almost feel balmy for those coming from northern climates. Afternoons typically reach 13°C and nights don’t get much colder than 7°C. On especially nice days, the mercury may even climb to 17°C. Early in the month there are usually a few dreary, grey days and some rain, but the latter half sees nearly all overcast days and a greater chance of rainfall, with an average of 57mm falling over 9 days. Scattered storms are likely off and on through January, so be sure to bring a portable umbrella and a rain jacket, along with a mix of clothing for both warmer and chillier days, as well as cold nights. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 57mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in January: As it is in the rest of the nation, January is the coldest month of the year in the central/northern region of Greece. While the average low temperature is above freezing at 2°C, there is a possibility of snow, though it’s most common during the latter half in the month and more likely in mountainous, northern destinations. Daytime highs average 9°C, so it won’t be as cold as it will in many places in Europe, and the sun is likely to shine often with relatively few rainy days, averaging only 30mm falling over eight days this month. You’ll need to bring your sunglasses, along with mostly cold weather clothing such as long-sleeve shirts, sweaters and a jacket, but you may want to throw in a couple of short-sleeve shirts for those warmer afternoons. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Peloponnese, a time when you can expect temperatures during the day to be between 7°C and 12°C, and nights to dip down to just above freezing. It’s a rainy and foggy month too, with 53mm of precipitation falling over 13 days. Of course, if you’re coming from a northern climate, the weather here may feel like pleasant relief. Either way, you’re likely to need cold weather clothing now, including a warm coat, gloves and a hat. A portable umbrella and even waterproof shoes may be helpful too. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 53mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in January: January is typically the coldest month of the year to visit the Greek Islands, a time when it’s likely to be damp and windy, with afternoons averaging around 14°C. Of course, if you’re coming from a northern climate, you may appreciate those warmer temperatures, which is why the islands still draw some to enjoy a bit of winter sun. About two-thirds of the month will see sunshine, making it a decent time to enjoy the sights without the big crowds. Just keep in mind that many restaurants and hotels shut down for winter, although you should still be able to find something in the more popular tourist destinations. Plan to bring a windproof, waterproof jacket, and clothing for cooler weather. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 71mm.)
Greece in February
- Athens Weather in February: February in Athens is definitely on the cool side, with the average temperatures similar to January, and afternoon highs increasing a degree to 14°C. As it’s much warmer here than in many other European destinations, it still makes for a good place to enjoy some winter sun and attractions without the crowds. Precipitation decreases somewhat as well, to just 47mm on average of seven days this month. There’s likely to be abundant sunshine, so you’ll need your sunglasses, along with that mix of clothing for warmer and cooler days as well as chilly nights with lows still dipping down to 7°C. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 47mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in February: Little changes between January and February, although the temperature is warming slightly with the high now averaging 10°C, still cold by Greek standards, and the low remains a rather chilly 2°C. Precipitation increases to 60mm, falling over 7 days this month, so you’ll still see plenty of sunshine, which means you should pack as you would for last month, focusing on cold weather clothing and a couple of lighter weight items. (Average Max Temperature: 10°C Precipitation: 60mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in February: It warms slightly in February, with the average high now 13°C, but it’s likely to be very similar to January. Most days are cool, with overcast skies, though rain or thunderstorms can occur with 44mm of precipitation over 12 days this month. Pack as you would for January, with clothing to ward off the cold temps, along with a portable umbrella and some waterproof shoes. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 44mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in February: February in the Greek Islands is similar to January, cool, wet and windy, however there is less precipitation, decreasing from an average of 71mm to 43mm this month. The average high remains 14°C, and nighttime temperatures aren’t much different with lows at 10°C. As before, it’s a good time for exploring the sights, but of course, not a month you’d want to visit for spending time at the beach. Be prepared by bringing a mix of clothing, generally long-sleeve shirts and pants as well as sweaters and a jacket. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 43mm.)
Greece in March
- Athens Weather in March: March in Athens often means fabulous spring weather, with temperatures significantly increasing. The high temperature rises to 17°C, and on especially nice days it’s likely to climb into the low 20s. There will be even more sunshine and less chance for rain, with precipitation decreasing to 41mm over just 8 days, most of which falls during the early part of the month. Nights will still be quite cool, however, with the low at 9°C, and the sea is too chilly for swimming, hovering around 15°C this month. Bring those sunglasses and a mix of clothing that can be layered now, including some short-sleeve shirts, maybe a pair of shorts, along with jeans and sweaters. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in March: Although March officially brings the start of spring, this month can still be rather chilly, with the average high temperature remaining 10°C, however the low increases significantly to 5°C. March is the most unpredictable month, with one day being rather pleasant and sunny and the next bringing torrential downpours. This is the time of year when you’ll really need a good mix of both light and heavier weight clothing, as well as rain jacket and a portable umbrella. (Average Max Temperature: 10°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in March: Temperatures are rising now, and by the time March ends, it will feel like spring. The average high temperature increases four degrees to 17°C, and there are likely to be many sunny days, with a few rain showers and thunderstorms in between. Nights are still cold, but unlikely to get below freezing, with the average low temperature now 5°C. Precipitation decreases a bit, with 50mm over 1- days in March. Now you’ll need a good mix of clothing, including a few items for those warm afternoons along with a jacket and a couple of sweaters for cooler days and nights. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in March: The average high temperature rises a couple of degrees this month to 16°C, and precipitation decreases, with 40mm of rainfall over seven days this month. The later in March you arrive, the more it will feel like spring. Temperatures are still relatively cool, so you will need to pack some warm clothing, including a heavier jacket for evenings and light sweaters as well as short-sleeve shirts during the daytime. There’s no need for a bathing suit yet unless you’ll have access to a heated pool, as sea temperatures are a chilly 16°C. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
Greece in April
- Athens Weather in April: April is a wonderful time to visit Athens, with the average high now 20°C, yet crowds are still few and far between. In fact, it will probably feel like summer if you’re coming from a northern climate, and the weather is drier too with just 31mm of precipitation over six days. With the higher temperatures and more sun, the sea is beginning to warm, climbing a degree to 16°C, but it’s still a little too cool for swimming, at least for extended periods of time. You may want to bring your bathing suit just in case, for those occasional hot days where a quick dip can feel refreshing. You’ll need a variety of summery clothing, including t-shirts, shorts, dresses, and the like, as well as a warm sweater or sweatshirt and pants for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 31mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in April: April really starts to feel more like spring, with the average high increasing dramatically to 19°C, and in an especially nice year it may even climb into the low 20s. There’s more sun too, with the sun shining an average of 12 hours each day, and a decreased chance of major downpours, with 50mm of precipitation over 11 days this month. It will still be rather cold after dark, with the low temperature at 8°C, so be sure to pack of mix of clothing for warm days and cool nights. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in April: Average temperatures in the afternoons increase to a very pleasant 17°C now. This is a month when you’re likely to see an abundance of sunshine with occasional rain and perhaps a thunderstorm or two with 49mm of precipitation on average over nine days. If you’re out late at night you may need a warm jacket with low temperatures dipping to 9°C, otherwise a mix of short- and long-sleeve shirts, along with a couple of sweaters should more than suffice. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in April: Temperatures are really on the rise now, with spring officially in full swing, and the crowds tend to increase now too. This is a great time for hiking and sightseeing, and while it will still be too cold for swimming, later in the month may bring some pleasant sunny days for enjoying a good book at the beach. Rain is of little concern, with just 16mm falling over four days in April. Bring your comfortable walking shoes, and a mix of clothing for warmer days as well as cooler nights. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 16mm.)
Greece in May
- Athens Weather in May: May is another one of the best months to visit Athens; it really feels like summer now, but the biggest crowds have yet to arrive. Afternoon highs average 25°C and on some days they may reach 30°C. Rain is not a concern now, with only 23mm falling on average over four days this month. The increase in sun and warmer temperatures also helps to raise the sea temperature several degrees to 19°C, which may still be too cool for some, it’s generally still warm enough for most to enjoy. You’re likely to need mostly summery clothing now, including sun protection and a swim suit, but you may want to bring some items for cooler evenings too. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 23mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in May: Now is the time to pack that sunscreen, and those sunglasses, as you’ll need them. Things are really warming up now, with the average high temperature at 24° and sometimes it may reach close to 30°. With just 40mm of precipitation over 9 days, rain isn’t much of a concern, and most days will see abundant sunshine. Late nights will still be cool, with the low at 12°C, so bring a light jacket or sweater for evenings, but for the daytime, you’ll need to focus on lightweight clothing for mild weather, with a mix of short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts as well as shorts and long pants. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in May: Summer is just around the corner, and on some days this month, it may feel like it’s already here, with temperatures climbing to 26°C and sometimes reaching as high as 30°C. Expect mostly sunny days with the occasional grey, rainy day, although just 35mm of precipitation falls over six days in May. This is usually a wonderful time of the year to be in Peloponnese, with mild temperatures and few crowds to battle. Bring plenty of clothing for warm weather, and you might want to toss in a jacket for cooler nights, with the low now at 13°C. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 35mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in May: While May often starts out grey and dreary, sunshine increases significantly as the month progresses. The average high temperature is now a quite pleasant 23°C, and nights are comfortable too, with the low at 17°C. There is even a lesser chance of precipitation now too, with only 11mm over three days. Now is the time to focus on more summer-type clothing, including a bathing suit for lounging at the beach or around a pool, though sea temperatures are still a bit too chilly for swimming at 19°C. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
Greece in June
- Athens Weather in June: Be prepared for the heat and some crowds, with summer officially arriving to Athens this month. The average high temperature increases a full five degrees to 30°C, and some days it will be much warmer than that. This is a time for lots of sunshine, tourists and peak season rates. There hardly a chance of rain with just an average of 11mm this month, and even nights are rather balmy with the low at 21°C. Focus on all lightweight clothing and be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, along with a bathing suit. While you’ll need sandals, you may also want to bring some closed-toe shoes for walking the unpaved roads when exploring the sights. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
- Central Greece in June: Summer is here, and it will feel like it in June with afternoon highs averaging 29°C, and a number of days when it’s likely to climb into the low- and even mid-30s. Even on the few cloudy days this month, the temperature rarely drops below 20°C, and nights don’t get cooler than 17°C. Depending on the type of climate you come from, you may not need a jacket for evenings. Either way, you’ll want to pack summer clothing and bring sun protection, including sunscreen and perhaps even a wide-brimmed hat. If you head to the beach, sea temperatures will be ideal for a dip at 24°C. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in June: June marks the official start to summer in Peloponnese, and it’s likely to be quite hot, although not as hot as it will be over the next couple of months. The average high has increased dramatically to 32°C and there are likely to be a number of days when it climbs closer to 40°C. There is little rain to cool things off with only 40mm over two days in June, though a dip in the sea can bring relief with water temperatures around 22°C. Be sure to bring your bathing suit, lots of sunscreen and other sun protection like a wide-brimmed hat, and leave those sweaters at home. Even nights are rather pleasant with temperatures generally not dropping below 17°C. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in June: With summer officially arriving to the Mediterranean and the Greek Islands, tourists are now arriving in droves, though the crowds won’t be as thick as they are in July and August. Afternoons usually reach 27°C now, and the mercury may climb a few degrees higher than that. Combined with a lack of precipitation, 0mm on average, and the high sea temperatures at 22°C, now is a perfect time for beach swimming. Plan to bring plenty of sunscreen, a bathing suit and a wide-brimmed hat along with lightweight, summer clothing now. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
Greece in July
- Athens Weather in July: Athens tends to see its hottest temperatures of the year in July. Afternoons now climb to the mid-30s, with some days reaching 40°C, and rain is virtually non-existent with only 6mm of precipitation over one day this month. While the crowds will be thick, those high temperatures and constant sunshine means that this is the perfect time to come for spending time on the beach. The sea temperature is now quite pleasant at around 24°C, so you’re likely to find yourself spending a lot of time in and around the water. There’s no need for a jacket or sweater, even at night, with the low temperature averaging 24°C. Bring your summer clothing, including a swimsuit, sun protection, tank tops, shorts and dresses. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 6mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in July: July is the hottest month of the year in central/northern Greece. Afternoons climb to an average of 31°C, though it can and does get quite a bit hotter than that. This is the time for lounging by the swimming pool and visits to the beach with the sea temperature even warmer now at 26°C and very little rain this month with an average of just 30mm over five days. Even nights are relatively balmy, with the low temperature around 19°C. You can leave the cool weather clothing at home now, and pack for warm to hot temperatures. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in July: July is the hottest month of the year in Peloponnese, with the average high temperature at 33°C and nights not dipping below a fairly balmy 19°C. Expect sun, sun, and more sun, with little chance of rain, averaging just 22mm of precipitation over one day in July. Once again, this is a time for spending time by the water, at the pool or at the beach, and bringing summery, lightweight clothing with a concentration on sun protection. You’ll need lots of sunscreen, and ideally, a wide-brimmed hat. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in July: July brings some of the hottest temperatures of the year in the Greek Islands, with the average high now 29° and occasionally creeping into the mid-30s. It will be hot, sunny, and crowded this month, though it is an ideal time to hit the beach. Rain won’t be a concern either, with only 7mm of precipitation on one day in July. As with June, bring sun protection and clothing for hot weather. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 7mm.)
Greece in August
- Athens Weather in August: August really isn’t much different than July, though it may even be a little hotter with the average high temperature now increasing a degree to 34°C, and the lows still quite warm at 24°C. As the humidity is at its lowest of the year, the dry climate makes the heat a bit more bearable, and you can plan to spend lots of time in the water with sea temperatures even warmer now at 25°C. Bring lots of sun protection and lightweight clothing if you plan to visit Athens in August. (Average Max Temperature: 34°C. Average Precipitation: 6mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece in August: There isn’t much change between July and August, though the average high temperature decreases a degree to 30°C. The low remains a pleasant 19°C and there is even less of a chance for rain with only 20mm falling over four days this month. Pack as you would for August, with lots of summery clothing and sun protection, and plan to spend at least some of your time at a pool or by the sea. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in August: August is the second hottest month in Peloponnese, the only difference is that the nighttime lows drop a degree to 18°C, and the chance of rain decreases even more, with just 2mm of precipitation on average. The sea temperature is slightly warmer now at 25°C, but taking a dip now should still feel wonderfully refreshing compared to those temps on land. Prepare for the heat by packing as you would for last month, focusing on lightweight summer wear. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 2mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in August: The temperatures remain about the same in August as they did in July. It will be hot during the day, and rather balmy at night too, with low temperatures relatively high at 23°C. Be prepared for strong winds that often arrive this month as well, which bring the possibility for both boat excursion and ferry cancellations. Pack as you would for last month, focusing on summer wear and sun protection. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 0mm.)
Greece in September
- Athens Weather in September: September marks the beginning of the shoulder season, and another one of the best times of the year to be in Athens, particularly during the latter half of the month. The average high temperature dips five degrees to 29°C, making things a lot more pleasant, yet the sea temperature is still quite warm for swimming at 24°C, and is likely to stay quite comfortable through most of October. The low temperature now averages 20°C, but you may want to bring a light sweater or jacket for those cooler evenings. Rain won’t be a concern at all, with just 14mm over three days in September. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 14mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece in September: Fall is in the air now, but it will still feel warm throughout Greece. Afternoon highs noticeably decrease to a more pleasant 27°C, though it may feel a little chilly at night with lows dropping to 15°C. Precipitation increases to 44mm, that’s 2 inches, and throughout September you can expect to see rain or drizzle falling an average of seven days, meaning it’s not a big concern, and you’re likely to avoid it altogether by visiting earlier in the month. When packing for September, bring mostly lightweight clothing, including items like short-sleeve shirts, shorts and a bathing suit, though you may want to toss in a few things for those cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average precipitation: 44mm.)
- Peloponnese in September: The first week of September probably won’t be much different than August, bringing similar sizzling hot temperatures, but there is a noticeable change on the way. The average afternoon high drops four degrees to 29°C, and the low is now a cool 15°C. While there will still be lots of sunshine, precipitation increases slightly to 22mm that falls over three days, generally during the latter part of the month. While your focus for packing should still be summer wear, including a bathing suit as the sea is still pleasantly warm, you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket for those cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in September: September is one of the best times of the year to visit the Greek Islands, particularly during the latter half of the month when the crowds are beginning to dissipate, the winds die down and temperatures are milder. The average high temperature is now 26°C and nights are a pleasant 21°C. Bring plenty of warm weather clothing and sun protection this month; the only time you may need a light jacket is for sailing excursions as the breeze will make it feel cooler. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
Greece in October
- Athens Weather in October: There is a noticeable change in the weather this month, with fall officially here. The average high temperature drops another five degrees to 24°C and nights dip down to around 16°C. Still, this is usually a very good time to be in Athens, with plenty of warm, sunny days and most of the month’s rainfall falling in late October, with 53mm of precipitation on average over five days. You’ll need more of a mix of clothing again now, including shorts and t-shirts as well as long pants and long-sleeve shirts, and a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 53mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in October: It feels like autumn now, with October ushering in cold winds, and the high temperature now falling to 21°C, though it averages just 16°C and nights are quite cool, dipping down to 11°C. There is some rain on about one-third of the month, with an average of 50mm of precipitation. There’s no need to bring a bathing suit now, but you’re still likely to need mix of clothing for both warmer and cooler days, as well as those chilly nights. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in October: Autumn is officially here, and with it a dramatic drop in temperatures, with afternoon highs falling six degrees to 23°C, and nights now sometimes as cold as 12°C. Early in the month, it may be warm enough to enjoy swimming at the beach, and sea temperatures are still fairly pleasant, hovering around 22°C. As October progresses, you can expect more of a mix of sunny and grey, rainy days. Precipitation increases significantly too, to 52mm falling over eight days this month. Bring a mix of clothing that can be layered, such as both short- and long-sleeve shirts along with a sweater and light jacket. If you’re here later in the month, you may want to consider tossing in a portable umbrella too. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 52mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in October: While it’s officially fall now, October can be a great month to visit the Greek Islands, especially earlier in the month which often brings sunny, hot days. The later in October you arrive, the more likely it is that there will be a chill in the air and more grey days than there are sunny. If you hope to swim, come during the first half of the month and enjoy those pleasantly warm 23°C waters. Precipitation starts increasing now, with an average of 38mm over four days, though most will arrive later in the month. Bring a mix of clothing now, including both short- and long-sleeve shirts, as well as shorts and long pants, and a sweater or light jacket for evenings or time out on the water. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 38mm.)
Greece in November
- Athens Weather in November: November marks the start of the low season. While there may be more grey skies and a greater chance for rain, with an average of 58mm of precipitation, there are usually a number of warm, sunny days too. The afternoon high averages 19°C, but it can sometimes climb into the low 20s, which means you’ll still need a good mix of clothing for both warmer and cooler days and evenings. With few tourists here now, and discounted rates, November can also be a good time to visit Athens, just be aware that many places are starting to shut down for winter, and ferries and flight schedules are more limited. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 58mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in November: November often brings cold northerly winds to the region, though you’re likely to see quite a few beautiful, sunny days despite the nip in the air. There are rainy days as well, with around 43mm falling over 10 days this month. If you visit in November, you’ll still need your sunglasses, though you probably won’t need any items for warm weather with the average high now just 14°C. Instead, focus on long-sleeve shirts, sweaters and a warm jacket for those cold nights that can drop as low as 7°C. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 43mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in November: November is typically cool, with a number of bright sunny days interspersed among overcast and rainy days. Daytime temperatures hover between 13°C and 17°C, and nights may get as cold as 7°C. With the cooler temps, the sea temperature drops to 19°C, so it’s unlikely you’ll be doing any swimming, but the mostly mild weather makes it an enjoyable month for sightseeing and there will be few crowds to contend with. Plan to bring a mix of clothing for both warmer afternoons and cooler mornings and evenings, along with a portable umbrella for occasional rain showers. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 62mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in November: Things are noticeably cooling now, though this month typically brings a mix of comfortably warm, sunny days, and temperatures that range between 17°C to 20°C. Nights can dip down to 14°C, which makes a sweater or light jacket more of a necessity now, and you’re likely to see at least some rain, with 59mm over 8 days. There are far fewer tourists this month, making it a great time for hikes and sightseeing, but that also means that many places are starting to close down for the winter, though more touristy areas will still have multiple options. Bring a mix of clothing for both warmer and cooler weather now, and you may even need a rain jacket or portable umbrella too. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 59mm.)
Greece in December
- Athens Weather in December: This month in Athens sees some of the coldest temperatures of the year, but it’s usually fairly mild, especially compared to more northern climates. While the average high temperature is 15°C, it doesn’t usually get much colder than 9°C, so you’ll be able to comfortably walk the streets enjoying the sights, but it won’t be warm enough for swimming in the sea or soaking up the sun on the sand. Rainfall increases quite a bit in December too, to 98mm over 11 days. If you plan to visit now, bring clothing for cooler weather and rain, including a warm rain jacket, long pants, and sweaters. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 98mm.)
- Central/Northern Greece Weather in December: You’ll definitely need your warm winter coat if you plan on visiting during this region’s second coldest month, with the average low temperature now 3°C, and occasionally even dropping below freezing, bringing a chance of snow. While there are likely to be some sunny days, about a third of December sees rain, with an average of 50mm falling over 11 days this month. In addition to a warm coat, you may want some good boots, a pair of gloves and a hat. (Average Max Temperature: 10°C. Average precipitation: 50mm.)
- Peloponnese Weather in December: December is the second coldest month of the year in Peloponnese, with the average low temperature down to 4°C and highs generally not much warmer than 12°C, though there are usually a few rather pleasant, sunny days. While snow is unlikely in the lowlands, it is possible at higher elevations, bringing the opportunity to ski in the mountains. If you plan to visit this month, you’ll need sweaters and a warm coat, but toss in a few short-sleeve shirts too for warmer afternoons. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
- Greek Islands Weather in December: December is one of the coldest months in the Greek Islands, though once again, compared to destinations in northern climates it may almost feel warm. The average high temperature is 15°C, but there are usually a few nice days this month that can get several degrees warmer than that, and nights aren’t much different than days, with lows at 11°C. In general, be prepared for cool, damp weather, with a good possibility of rain as precipitation now averages 75mm over 11 days.(Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 75mm.)
Greece Events and Festivals
Greece in January
- New Year’s Day/Saint Basil’s Day – January 1 is a national holiday, celebrating both New Year’s Day and Saint Basil’s Day in Greece. Saint Basil is the Greek equivalent of Santa Claus, therefore the day is similar to Christmas Day in North America, with gift giving. A special cake is often made with a coin in it as well, known as vasilopita, and whomever gets the piece with the coin is said to have good luck. The day in general is considered a lucky time, and there are often card games that go on for hours, mostly at home, but also in coffee shops and clubs.
- Ephiphany – Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th in many places throughout Europe, including Greece, a time when the Blessing of the Waters takes place. A cross is tossed into a lake, river or the sea, and retrieved by swimmers who get good luck in return. There is usually a ceremony, and it’s particularly elaborate in the port of Piraeus.
- Patras Carnival – The Patras Carnival is the biggest festival of the year in Greece, and one of the largest in Europe too. Purely of Italian origin, it includes elaborate festivities with parades, street music, dancing, balls, treasure hunts, and more. It begins in mid-January and runs through mid-February every year. In 2018, it will be hosted January 17 through February 19.
Greece in February
- Carnival – In addition to the Patras Carnival, other Carnivals are hosted through Greece, mostly in February, typically three weeks before the beginning of Lent. Some of the best festivities can be enjoyed in Athens, Skyros, Chios, Lamia, Crete, Heraklion, Zante, and Naousa. Except to find lots of drinking and feasting, costumes, parades, dancing, marching bands, and more.
- Clean Monday – One of the most important feasts throughout Greece, Clean Monday takes places on the first day of the seventh week before Easter Sunday (February 19 in 2018), also marking the end of the Carnival celebrations. A public holiday, it includes outdoor excursions, consuming shellfish, and often building and flying kites.
Greece in March
- Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation – These two holidays are celebrated simultaneously on March 25. The streets fill with all sorts of festivities and parades. Due to the holiday, some sites may be closed and streets are sometimes blocked as well.
Greece in April
- Holy Week and Easter – Holy Week is celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, sometimes falling in late March, but most often it’s in April. In 2018, April 1 is Easter Sunday, and Holy Week is March 25 through March 31. For Greeks, Easter is the biggest religious holiday of the year. During Holy Week, many shops have special hours and there are church services every evening. Just before midnight on Saturday, many Greeks gather at church with Easter candles, and just before midnight the lights are switched off, representing Jesus’ death, just before the priest announces that “Christ Has Risen.” That’s followed by kisses, cheering and fireworks. On Easter, friends and family gather for a big feast.
- Athens International Film and Video Festival – This festival in Athens brings some 250 films and video and includes experimental, narrative, short-form, feature length, and documentary films from around the world. In 2018, it will be held April 9 to April 15.
- The Feast of Saint George – The Feast of Saint George (Agios Georgios Day) is an important rural celebration on April 23rd each year that includes feasting and dancing, with the festivities taking place where Saint George, the patron of the shepherds, is considered the patron saint. Some of the best are held in Skyros, Skiathos, and Arachova.
Greece in May
- May Day/International Workers’ Day – May 1 is May Day and International Workers’ Day in Greece. Major strikes and/or protests as well as parades may be scheduled on this day, popularized by the Soviet Union as a holiday for workers. For May Day, flower festivals are common as it falls during the peak of flower season. Most monuments, museums, attractions, and some shops will be closed, though most restaurants will be open.
- Salsa Spring Festival – One of Europe’s top dance events, the Salsa Spring Festival features some of the best dance instructors and performers from around the world along with top local artists in late May (May 24-28 in 2018) in Loutraki, Korinthia.
- Athens Jazz Festival, Athens, Greece – The city of Athens hosts the annual Athens Jazz Festival, considered one of the best festivals of its kind in Europe. It takes place over five days in late May and showcases European as well as international artists; entrance is free.
Greece in June
- Athens and Epidaurus Festival – The biggest summer festival of the year, this festival showcases dance, theater, music and opera at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus beneath the Acropolis, as well as music and drama at the Theater of Epidavros. It runs from mid-June through early September.
- European Music Day – European Music Day is a national event celebrated in some 50 cities across Greece for five days starting on summer solstice, June 21st. It includes 350 events that are hosted at over 200 venues, including parks, gardens, squares and archaeological sites, by music ensembles, philharmonic and symphony orchestras, choirs, and dance groups.
- Miaoulia Festival, Hydra – This festival on Hydra commemorates the life of Admiral Miaoulis who played a key role in the Greek War of Independence. It features parades, art shows, circus acts, dance performances, and more. In 2018, it will take place over the weekend of June 21-23.
- Navy Week – Navy Week honors the country’s long relationship with the sea in late June. Ports and fishing villages throughout Greece host parties and historical re-enactments. Crete offers a big celebration with sailing, swimming, music and dancing.
Greece in July
- Puppet Festival, Hydra – This annual puppet festival is hosted in Hydra in early July and draws puppeteers from around the world.
- Sani Festival, Kassandra, Halkidiki – This festival based at Sani Resort begins in mid-July and runs through mid-August. It features film screenings, classical music concerts, and avant-garde theater acts.
- Philippi Festival, Kavala – This event is hosted at the ancient theater of Philippi in Kavala, a northern Greece city, starting in mid-July and running through late August. It showcases music and theater presented by talented young artists.
- Hippocratia Festival, Kos – Hippocratia is actually a number of cultural events that take place to honor the traditions and customs of the island of Kos starting in July and running through October. There are classical and traditional music concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions, and more.
Greece in August
- International Music Festival of Aegina – This annual event features music complemented by the sounds of the waves on Avra Beach, and other spots around the island of Aegina throughout most of the month of August.
- Olympus Festival, Mount Olympus – The Olympus Festival includes plays that are performed at the restored ancient theater throughout August.
- Chania Rock Festival – This festival, hosted in the old city of Chania on the island of Crete during the first half of August, showcases a variety of Greek and international performers, up-and-coming artists, and rock bands.
- Houdetsi Music Festival – Held annually for four days in August in the village of Houdetsi on Crete, this festival features a mix of music from across the globe.
- Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin – August 15th is an important day of religious pilgrimage, a feast that celebrates Mary’s ascent to heaven. As many Greeks return home to visit, travelers may have a difficult time finding a room. It’s especially elaborate in Tinos, when thousands arrive to participate in the all-night vigil at the cathedral of Panagia Evangelistria.
Greece in September
- International Music Festival, Santorini – The International Music Festival of Santorini is held over the first three weeks of September in the heart of Fira village. It features top artists from around the world, including classical and tango music, solo recitals, orchestras, operatic music, and piano duets.
- Pistachio Festival, Aegina – Hosted annually over four days in mid-September, the Pistachio Festival features all things pistachio, with a variety of pistachio products for sale as well as concerts, plays, exhibitions, and gastronomy nights.
- Festival of Tastes and Traditions, Rhodes – Taking place annually over two days in mid-September in the village of Pefkos, this festival includes wine tasting, live cooking demonstrations, exhibitions of traditional products, traditional music and dancing, a parade, and more.
Greece in October
- Chestnut Festival Elos, Crete – The Chestnut Festival is celebrated annually, typically over the last weekend of October in the village of Elos. It includes roasted chestnuts and other foods, traditional folk music, dancing, and drinking.
- Dimitria Festival, Thessaloniki – Held on October 26th each year, this festival showcases music, ballet, and opera.
- Ochi Day – This is a feast day party and a national holiday that includes military parades, folk dancing, folk music and parades on October 28th each year to celebrate the nation’s refusal to yield to the powers of the Axis in 1940.
Greece in November
- Feast of the Archangels Gabriel and Michael – Churches throughout Greece named for these archangels will host ceremonies on November 8th.
- Anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising, Athens – This November 17th holiday commemorates the anniversary of the student uprising in 1973 at Polytechnic University in Athens, which killed many students when tanks crashed into the university gates. There is a march and stoning of the American Embassy, making it best to avoid that area on that day.
- Saint Andreas Name Day, Patras – As Saint Andreas is the patron saint of Patras, this city hosts a big celebration honoring the saint annually on November 25th. It begins the evening before with mass which continues into the morning, followed by a parade.
Greece in December
- Feast of St. Nikolaos/St. Nicholas – This annual December 6th feast honors the patron saint of sailors through multiple processions which head to the sea, and to chapels that are dedicated to him.
- Kladaries, Kozani – Annually on December 23, the Kladaries commemorates the shepherds who lit bonfires to announced the birth of Christ. In the village of Siatista, residents gather together to light fires and dance around them while enjoying the local wines.
- Christmas Day – December 25th is a public holiday, and although it’s not considered as important as Easter in the Greek Orthodox religion, it’s celebrated with feasts and religious services, as well as gift giving, Christmas caroling, trees, and decorations.
- New Year’s Eve – December 31st, New Year’s Eve, in Greece is traditionally celebrated by children singing carols outside while elders talk, play cards, eat, drink, and smoke. Today, most people celebrate the way the night is celebrated throughout the world, going to bars, attending parties, and watching fireworks displays that are hosted in the central squares of many cities throughout Greece.
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