Looking for the best time of year to visit Greece? We got you covered! We travel to Greece annually and have fallen in love with the beaches, food, local villages, and lifestyle. One part that we really appreciate is that the best time to go to Greece isn’t necessarily the peak summer season. You can experience sunny days and all the amazing outdoor activities during different months. Still, there are some things to know before you start planning your trip! Here’s the best time to travel to Greece and more fun tips for your next vacation.
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Our Travels in Greece
If you’ve been following Nothing Familiar for a while, then you already know Greece is one of our favorite countries in the world! We make a point to go every year and experience the countless beautiful islands.
From the stunning beaches of Paros to the historic Old Town in Rhodes and mountain villages of Karpathos, there is so much to experience in Greece! This year we are venturing more into the mainland as well as the Northern city of Thessaloniki.
If you’ve never looked into Greece you may only know Athens, Santorini, or Mykonos. However, know that there are endless destinations to discover. On each visit, we experience new islands, mountain towns, and mind-blowing beaches.
When is the Best Time to Visit Greece?
This is a complicated question that deserves a thorough answer! The truth is there is never a bad time to go to Greece. Still, for a country that’s known for its beautiful islands and beaches, there are definitely times that are better than others.
The most important thing to weigh is the weather vs tourists as the peak summer months are obviously busier. It also depends on your personal preference and activities you’re interested in.
→ Planning a Trip to Greece: 10 Step Easy to Follow Guide
Weather in Greece
That moves us to the weather! This is going to be the biggest motivation for travelers when deciding the best time to visit Greece. While that’s completely understandable, just remember that Greece has a fairly moderate Mediterranean climate year round.
This means you can experience good weather as early as March and April! Below we will break down the best time to travel to Greece month by month. Hopefully, this can help you plan your own epic vacation.
Best Time to Visit Greece Monthly Breakdown
March & April
March is early spring in Europe which makes it one of the best times to visit Greece. For some, it may be a little too chilly which is completely understandable. Yet, if you can stomach the slightly chillier temperatures you will find some great deals on accommodations!
Most islands in March will be in the high 50’s to low 60’s F (14-17 C) with it getting even colder at night with sometimes strong winds. In late April it bumps up to the mid 60’s (18 C), but for many, it will be too cold to swim.
The warmest island to visit in Greece during these months is Crete, especially along its gorgeous southern coast. In April, you may find yourself in the midst of a national holiday like Greek Orthodox Easter. This also can be the best time to visit Greece and experience the archaeological sites with fewer crowds.
May & June
Ok, we’re getting closer to summer now! We should tell you right from the jump that this is when we typically go to Greece. The warm weather starts to make an appearance and the ferry services to the Greek Islands run more frequently. Most importantly, there are still far fewer tourists than in the peak tourist season!
The combination of great weather and low crowds makes it the best time to go to Greece. In the month of May you will get into the low 70’s F (21-23 C) which to us is warm enough to swim! If you can swing it, early June will be even better for warm temperatures with later part of the month marking the start of summer.
Last May we spent 10 days on the island of Santorini. This was a grate time of the year for our trip because we paid a fraction of what we would have in high season with no crowds. As we mentioned, late Spring is our go-to time to visit Greece. Just make sure to confirm the ferry routes before you book your hotel room!
July & August
These months are what’s known as high season, but it still can be the best time of year to visit Greece! In July the average temperature will be well into the 80’s F (26-30 C).
This means you’ll get the best sea temperatures, sunny weather, and virtually no rainy days to speak of. Just remember this is peak season for all of Greece!
This is not the ideal time to visit popular destinations like Santorini or Mykonos if that’s your dream vacation. On Santorini in particular, there can be as many as 7 or 8 cruise ships beneath you in the caldera. The crowds can be unbearable in Oia which makes it less enjoyable for most.
However, there are some obvious and good points for visiting in July & August. The hot weather in the coastal areas means you can float in the sea all day long without a care in the world.
There are also 6,000 islands in Greece with over 200 of those inhabited! You can easily head to some of the lesser known places to try to avoid the crowds. Also, consider renting a house outside the main towns and enjoying a relaxing vacation instead of island hopping.
Still, expect everything to be more expensive in July and August. This includes the ferries, accommodations, and flights! These are the things you have to debate when planning a trip to Greece. Are you going to pay more for the beautiful weather and the hottest months?
September & October
Once the summer ends, Europe heads into the shoulder months of September and October. You can argue that the months of June and May are better, but early fall could easily be the best time to visit Greece!
It may not be as cheap as spring, but the weather is still fairly hot and the large crowds of the summer start to filter out. In early September, the water will still be warm enough to swim for those that think the Aegean Sea is too chilly.
This is also a great time to experience mainland Greece and see what a beautiful country it truly is. In our opinion, the shoulder season months of post-summer are excellent in Greece!
November to February
Anytime outside of the months above is basically winter in Greece. Now we may have all seen pictures of the ancient ruins of the Athens acropolis in the snow, and wow is it pretty! Winter would also be the cheapest time to travel to this part of Europe. Nonetheless, this is definitely not the best time of year to visit Greece!
Even with mild weather compared to other zones of the world, many of the most incredible places will not be accessible. Ferries don’t run to some of the smaller islands regularly. If you do get there you’ll find a lot of restaurants and hotels closed for the season.
When traveling to Europe in the winter months we much prefer the Christmas markets of Germany or skiing in the Alps of Austria. So even though there will be little to no tourist crowds during this time in Greece, you’re better off holding out to at least March for your vacation.
Best Time to Go to Greece
So when is the best time to visit Greece? Well, that all depends on what you’re looking to see. If you’d like to experience the ancient sites and most popular islands we would try to visit before the summer crowds descend.
In need of a beach holiday? You may want to wait until July and August for the warmest temperatures. However, as we’ve tried to point out, June and mid to late September are plenty warm enough to swim and enjoy the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and amazing Ionian islands.
We understand that many people may only have certain months and days they can get off due to work or family obligations. Hopefully, this at least gave you an idea of when the best time to travel to Greece would be for you!
Explore all our Greece articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from general travel tips to amazing destinations such as Santorini, Paros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, Milos & more beautiful islands!
Have any questions about this article or want to share what you think is the best time of year to visit Greece? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star.
Flights: We always check Skyscanner and Kayak to search for cheap flights. That’s how we got from Athens to Santorini for under $50 USD!
Accommodation: Always compare multiple sites to get the best deal. We search both Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tasting around the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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