The best time to go to Greece

Helen Iatrou

Jul 3, 2023 • 6 min read

greece best time to visit

Greece’s most significant spiritual holiday, Orthodox Easter, takes place in either April or May ©Hector Christiaen/Shutterstock

Greece is famed for its crystalline seas, ancient attractions, and warm hospitality.

Summer is when most travelers choose to explore its countless islands , while spring and fall are the best times of year to marvel at the myriad of archeological sites dotted around the country.

Winter can be cool and occasionally rainy but for those conscious about budget or interested in seeing how the locals live, the vibrant capital of Athens still delivers history, culture, and good times in spades, even when the sunshine starts to fade.

Whether you’re dreaming of the southeast Mediterranean nation’s dreamy beaches , ancient allure, or buzzing city life, these are the best times to visit Greece.

Mother and daughter sailing together in Greece as the sunsets in the background

May to October is best for island-hopping

Orthodox Easter, Greece’s most significant spiritual holiday, lands in April or May and unofficially debuts in the island-hopping season. In the final month of spring, the seas only just start to lose their winter chill and are still too cool for swimming, at least by local standards. In May, the average daily high is a warm 77°F and days are normally sunny.

Keep in mind that the deep cobalt waters of the Aegean, in the north and south, take longer to warm up than the shallower, turquoise seas of the Ionian , west of mainland Greece. The further south you sail through the Aegean archipelago, the hotter it gets, at least on land, and so the longer the warm weather season. Islands such as Rhodes and Crete are ideal for a sunny shoulder season getaway in May, September, or October when beaches are empty of schoolkids (with the exception of UK mid-term holidays).

June affords the longest days of sunshine, peaking in the second fortnight. It’s also an opportune time for your first, refreshing dip of the summer. July and August are the busiest months of the year on the islands, so expect high airfares, peak season hotel rates, crowded beach bars, bustling main towns, and packed restaurants in popular destinations like Mykonos , Santorini , and Paros , among others. Southern Europeans, including Greeks retreating to their second homes, gravitate toward the islands at this time of year.

July and August are also the hottest and driest months in Greece, with average temperatures often exceeding 86°F, and there is the potential for stifling heatwaves. Thankfully, the Meltemi, a welcome north wind that makes its appearance mostly between June and September, tempers the heat. Still, if you’re intent on visiting during July and August, be sure to book a good six months or more in advance to secure slightly better airfares and hotel rates.

By September, Greece’s seas have thoroughly warmed through and school holidays are over, meaning that you’ll have more room to yourself at that idyllic beach and a peaceful night’s sleep. Airfares and hotel rates are also more affordable. As a result, it’s now one of the most popular months of travel for those who want to enjoy a more relaxing island or mainland holiday.

By about mid-October, Greece’s seas start to pick up swell, and air temperatures begin to fall, while the majority of hotels stay open until the end of the month. It’s still an excellent time of year to visit, as long as you come prepared, with warmer clothing for cooler evenings.

Asian woman looks out at view of three blue domes, Oia island, Greece

See the ancient sites in spring or fall

From the Vergina Royal Tombs Museum dating to the times of Alexander the Great in Macedonia to the Minoan-era Palace of Knossos in Crete , ancient marvels and historical monuments liberally dot the landscape, wherever you journey throughout Greece. Stonebuilt temples, palaces, and castles act like a magnet for sunlight, so the best times of the year to plan your history geek-out is March, April, or October. The weather is comfortably cool and the crowds are noticeably thinner. As an added bonus, you can expect to pay less for flights and accommodation .

Layers of clothing, such as short-sleeve shirts and a light fleece jacket, are vital to ward off the chill but also to peel off as you hike between ruins and landmarks. Pack a water-resistant jacket and hiking shoes because showers are a real possibility, while March also brings occasional snowfall in mountainous mainland areas such as Central Greece .

Scratch below the surface of Greece’s archaic attractions and museums by booking a small group or private tour, led by a state-licensed guide. Rather than wander around the sacred ancient temples of Delphi on your own, seek out an on-the-ground expert, many of whom are also qualified archeologists or historians. It’s not just about the specific details they impart but the fascinating anecdotes you would never find in a history book. The best guides are usually booked up in the height of summer, so take advantage of their availability and deep knowledge by scheduling a visit in March, October, or November.

A young woman smiles above Athens

Fall and winter are the best times to experience Athens like a local

Greeks, the majority of whom live in Athens, return to base no later than October to resume their normal routines. But that doesn’t mean the city goes quiet. Quite the contrary.

You’ll still be able to sit outdoors at cafes and restaurants and soak up the insouciant vibes of city life. At the same time, the queues to visit the Acropolis and other ancient sites around town disappear, Monastiraki’s flea markets are quieter, and it’s easier to snag a table at a rooftop restaurant for dinner with views of an illuminated Parthenon .

And November and December, with the exception of the Christmas and New Year period, offer some of the most tempting airfare and hotel deals to be had. Between November 1 and March 30, entrance fees at ancient sites and state-run museums, like the treasure-filled National Archaeological Museum , are significantly reduced, making a December vacation a more appealing option for families on a budget.

Temperatures are still comfortably warm in November, with average highs of around 65°F. In December, the mean temperature drops to about 58.46°F, and average monthly rainfall hovers around 65mm. As winter takes hold, Athenian night owls congregate indoors at bars and clubs in inner-city Gazi, Keramikos, and Metaxourgio , where they listen to alt-rock bands, notable jazz artists on tour, and electronic music.

Best of all, Athens regains its true identity. Whether you’re walking the cobblestoned streets of old town Plaka on a Sunday afternoon, checking out the bookshops in the intellectual Exarhia neighborhood or even scaling the verdant heights of Lycabettus Hill (the city’s best vantage point for views of the capital’s vast urban sprawl) you’ll find yourself among locals going about their day-to-day lives. Most Greeks, particularly younger generations, will take every opportunity to dust off their English skills, so don’t be shy to strike up a conversation and ask for insider tips.

This article was first published April 2021 and updated July 2023

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These Are the Best Times to Visit Greece

Anthony Grant

Finally ready for that dream trip to Greece ? With a coastline longer than the United Kingdom's and thousands of islands, the country is a great place to visit any time of year. But absent a last-minute flight deal (and they do come up, though nonstop options from the US are still limited), planning ahead is the way to go in order to make the most of your time in Greece.

The urban attractions of Athens thrum at full tilt all year long, while most Greek islands are at their best once winter has left the picture. Whether it's sultry Mediterranean breezes you seek or the cheapest time to book that hotel room with a sea view in Mykonos, consider this your essential guide to planning a perfect trip to Greece.

The Best Weather in Greece

greece best time to visit

Generally, the best weather in Greece is what you'll experience in May, June and September. Plenty of sunny days that aren't too hot make May an ideal time for long, leisurely walks in Athens. By June, the beaches of the Aegean islands are warm enough for swimming and popular islands like Mykonos aren't crowded yet.

July is when things get toasty and sometimes uncomfortably humid in Athens, and the city is crowded with tourists then, too. August, naturally, means great beach weather, and if you like your big cities to yourself then it's also a fine time for Athens, as most Athenians ditch the capital.

September has lots of advantages (namely: fewer tourists), but the days are still long and warm and better yet, it's less humid than in July and August. In Crete, the southernmost Greek island, you can go swimming well into October.

The Best Times to Visit Cities in Greece

The two biggest cities in Greece are the capital, Athens , and Thessaloniki. Both are destinations in their own right and for culture vultures there is really no bad time to go. In the peak summer season, major attractions in Athens such as the Acropolis Museum are more crowded than in wintertime, when on many days you'll have even iconic places like the Acropolis largely to yourself. Winter in Athens is also a great time to check out lesser-known museums, tune up your Instagram or warm up in a luxe Turkish bath .

greece best time to visit

Generally speaking, think of April to June as the ideal times to explore Athens and other Greek cities including historic Nafplio. Thessaloniki is a vibrant city with a wealth of cultural attractions, but in the height of summer it gets so humid they actually have public fans in places to keep the air circulating.

Choose shoulder season months like October and May for an optimal experience there. Most island towns are empty of tourists from November until around the time of Greek Easter, but the main town in Corfu and the Cretan cities like Heraklion are up and running all year long.

When to Visit Greece for Events

From religious holidays to cultural festivals, there are plenty of events worth attending throughout the year.

Spring Events

Greek Orthodox Easter is the most important holiday in the Greek calendar by far. In 2019, Greek Easter falls on Sunday, April 28, but festivities actually begin the week prior on the Saturday of Lazarus. Easter is celebrated in different ways throughout the country, with many variations on the candlelit processions of Good Friday and Easter Sunday celebrations themselves — but you can count on plenty of lamb roasts and fireworks. Easter in Corfu is one of the most famous, but wherever you are in Greece during this time you can expect to experience at least some of the country's very rich and colorful Easter traditions.

Summer Events

Summer is when most music and arts festivals are in full swing. The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the country's most prestigious annual summer arts festival, with events taking place at the ancient stone Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater (the Herodion) below the Acropolis as well as south of Athens at the amphitheater of Epidaurus, the best-preserved theater of the ancient world. Events include a mix of classic and contemporary (last summer, Bill Murray recited poetry in the Herodion) and are usually scheduled from late June to early August.

The Athens Festival in Epidaurus, Greece. (Photo by Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On the day of the August Full Moon Festival in Athens, museums and ancient sites are open in the evening free of charge until midnight.

Assumption is Aug. 15. It's a public holiday in Greece and considered the "Summer Easter." On this day, life in Athens pretty much grinds to a halt as Athenians dash off to the countryside or the islands. If you want to make sure you have a good place to stay anywhere outside of Athens on Aug. 15 or in the two weeks following, it's increasingly essential that you plan and reserve ahead of time.

Fall Events

The prestigious Thessaloniki International Film Festival is usually held during the first part of November. And while they're not exactly going to enrich anybody in cultural terms, Black Friday shopping events in November have recently taken Greeks by storm.

Winter Events

Christmas in Greece is nowhere near as big a deal as Greek Easter, but there are festive lights in the center of big cities like Athens. Also in Athens, New Year's Eve means festive fireworks over the Acropolis.

Fireworks explode over the Parthenon temple atop the Athens Acropolis hill during New Year's day celebrations, in Athens on January 1st, 2017. (Photo by Panayotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Best Times to Explore the Greek Islands

The best times to visit mykonos and santorini.

What ultimately draws visitors to Santorini is the views over the volcanic caldera and not the beaches, and that appeal has fueled the island's rise as a year-round destination. May and June are the best times to dodge the crowds but also enjoy some sun. Otherwise, it's probably better to wait until after mid-September.

Mykonos is a bit trickier: in May and June (and again in September) you'll have more elbow room at the island's many beaches and posh beach bars, but to get a taste of the international razzle dazzle for which the place is most famous, July and August do rock to that inimitable Mediterranean island vibe. But it's also a very expensive vibe. Unlike in Santorini, by the end of September it's already very quiet again in Mykonos.

Santorini, Greece. (Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler/Unsplash)

The Best Times to Visit Other Islands

Whether it's Corfu in the Ionian Islands, Rhodes and Patmos in the Dodecanese archipelago, Paros and the other islands that make up the Cyclades or Crete, the best time of year for an island visit is generally going to be in June, July or September. Prices are lower and hotel rooms are more readily available in June and September, and you can count on warm weather in those months, too.

Loads of Greeks and other Europeans on summer holiday can make island travel in August a real challenge — and sometimes a downright headache. And many islands have their off-season charms: For example, the Saronic Islands near Athens like Hydra and Aegina are easy and fun to visit any time of year (but beach time is mainly May through September).

When to Visit Greece to Avoid Crowds

The tourism season in Greece typically gets going after Greek Easter, with shoulder season ramping up in May and the peak season stretching from the latter part of June into July and all of August. Increasingly, in places like Athens and Crete, September is now considered a high season month.

If you want to avoid crowds in Athens, time your summer travel for June or August instead of July. In the Cycladic archipelago (which includes Mykonos and Santorini), avoid July and August unless you don't mind crowded ferries and higher prices.

In Crete, you can expect crowds at many beaches and in the cities of Heraklion and Chania from June right up until October, so consider June or early fall for Crete. By contrast, in Corfu where the beach season is not quite as long as in Crete, you'll have an easier time avoiding crowds in September.

Winter in Athens tends to be cold and damp, but there are still many sunny days and exploring museums and ancient ruins in the absence of crowds and big tour groups can be quite cool.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Greece

greece best time to visit

Traveling to Greece is usually priciest during peak season, so if you're looking to save, wait until the off-peak or shoulder seasons. The best hotel deals in Athens are going to be from early January through March, but weather is not at its best at that time. You can generally find good hotel deals in April, May, the first part of June and sometimes in September (but less so in Crete).

The shoulder seasons in Greece run from April through the first part of June, and then from about mid-September through mid-October.

Affordable Airfare

Unsurprisingly, airfare is at its most expensive during the summer. July, specifically, is the priciest month when, according to the farecasting app Hopper, long-haul flight prices are around $1,090 round-trip. In May, that dips to $930 round-trip. But during the shoulder seasons and in winter, prices plunge accordingly.

Currently, all American airlines offer only seasonal nonstop flights to Athens and they tend to be expensive, but there's often a workaround. Find a cheap ticket to either London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW) and then find a flight that fits your schedule with Greek carrier Aegean : a Star Alliance member with several flights a day from London to Athens International Airport (ATH). Plus, you'll typically get better service than you would from the British low-cost carriers, plus meals are included.

Affordable Hotels

greece best time to visit

The most expensive time to book a hotel room in Athens is generally in the summer. The cheapest times are January (after the New Year holiday) and February. The most expensive time to book rooms in popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini is July and especially August.

According to , based on bookings made between January 2018 and December 2018, hotels in Athens are 33% more affordable in February than compared to the most expensive month of the year, which (for ) is June. Hotels in Santorini in January are 51% more affordable than they are in August, and for Mykonos, March is 73% more affordable than August.

If you're planning to visit Mykonos in the summer, you should plan ahead as much as possible and if you find a deal (paid or points), grab it. Expect hotels on many Greek islands — not just Mykonos and Santorini but also ones like Syros and Sifnos — to be completely sold out over the Aug. 15 Assumption holiday and do not assume you'll be able to find a deal, or anything really, on the spot during that extremely busy time.

In Crete's largest city of Heraklion as well as elsewhere on the island, the high season now effectively runs through the whole month of September, making it wise to book ahead in Crete even for early fall travel.

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Best Time to Visit

The Best Time to Visit Greece

greece best time to visit

 Glenn van der Knijff

The best times to visit Greece are in the spring and fall. From April to the beginning of June, the heat of summer has not yet set in and the cruise ships have not arrived with their thousands of tourists. From late September through October it's usually still warm enough for the beach but much less crowded. Whenever you choose to go, you'll find a lot to see and do, wonderful Mediterranean cuisine and lively, friendly people.

Weather in Greece

Summer is hot and dry. Unshaded beaches can be unbearable and unsafe for more than short periods. July and August are the hottest months. Average temperatures are between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and can reach more than 100 F. A dry, strong seasonal wind, known as the Meltemi , blows from May to September and can bring relief from the heat. In recent years, it has also encouraged wildfires. The winter is relatively mild and seldom drops below freezing. December and January are rainy. There is little snow except in the mountains of Northern Greece and the Peloponnese.

Peak Season in Greece

From June through September, popular areas of Athens and Thessaloniki are crowded. Monastiraki Square in Athens and the adjoining market are chock-a-block, the buses and Metro are packed. Some islands have popular sunset-watching spots that become crowded at prime vantage points. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are when most cruise ships visit Santorini, and the crowds of day-trippers on the island's main road make ordinary bus and taxi travel almost impossible until after sunset.

Prices are highest from July to the end of August and during school holiday periods—when visitors compete for space and attractions with Greek families. Savvy travelers can score bargains April to May and mid-September to mid-October when vacation weather is still good.

Key Festivals and Events

The Greeks like to party and there's hardly a time of year when there isn't a festival, a celebration or an event going on somewhere. Some, however, are worth including in your trip planning.

  • Greek Easter: This is a huge family holiday with events happening throughout Holy Week. Special foods are served in the restaurants and tavernas. Highlights are candlelit processions after Mass on Good Friday. In Athens, the procession goes up Lycabettus Hill and can be seen all over the city.
  • Carnival: Also called Apokreas , this is the celebration before the beginning of Lent that culminates in wild celebrations, feasting, and Carnival processions in costumes (that have been known to be very rude). The Carnival in Patras is considered one of the world's top three.
  • The Athens and Epidaurus Festival: This festival changed its name from the Hellenic Festival because most of its key events take place at two ancient theaters - the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the slopes of the Acropolis, and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus near Nafplio. It's a month-long festival of international performances, including drama, dance, and music with top artists from all over the world.

TripSavvy / Monica Farber

Tourist Attraction Availability

Most historic attractions are open year-round, though they may have limited hours or short weeks in the offseason. Some commercial attractions, beach bars, cafes and accommodations close from the end of October until the middle of March because business slows in cooler weather. On Santorini, for example, autumn and winter winds are unpleasant and most accommodations on the caldera close by mid-October.

January is one of the coldest, wettest months of the year. This is an excellent time to visit the cities of the mainland and the areas around them. You may find hotel rates at bottom-dollar prices, but those that cater to business people won't be a great deal cheaper.

Events to check out:

  • Patras Carnival : Depending upon when Greek Easter falls, this could be the month for one of the world's top three Carnivals.
  • Gynaikokratia Festival : If you know your classical language roots, you'll know this one is for women. Gynaikokratia means women rule. Each year on Jan. 8, in Kavala and the towns and villages of Thrace, women swap roles with men for the day.

The temperature rarely tops 59 degrees F in February. You won't find snow in most of Greece but there will be snow in the mountains and in the Greek ski areas (yes there are some). Try Mt. Parnassus Ski area or Kalavrita on Mt. Chelmos in the Peloponnese.

  • Tsiknopempti: The name of this holiday, 11 days before the start of Lent, means, literally, goodbye to meat. And it's a long goodbye: restaurants, tavernas, and private family homes indulge in an orgy of meat-eating, and the smell of grilling meats is everywhere.

Days are perceptibly longer and the temperature might rise a few degrees, but don't count on it. It will be windy and miserable most of the time. But this is also the month when spectacularly diverse wildflowers begin to bloom.

  • Carnivals continue until the start of Lent, so look for local events at the beginning of the month.
  • Greek Independence Day: March 25 is celebrated with parades fireworks, and mock naval battles all over Greece to mark the start of the War of Independence from the Ottomans.

April weather is iffy. It can be pleasant and mild or windy and wet. The wildflowers are in full bloom, but if you are heading for the islands, you may find that ferry and hydrofoil services are still limited.

  • Orthodox Easter: Holy Week is significant to the Greeks. On Good Friday, after mass, candlelight processions head out into the night from various churches.
  • Rocket War : The island of Chios explodes on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday as two churches in the town of Vrontados aim fireworks directly at each other. The square between them fills with smoke, and thousands of tourists cheer.

This is the first reliably warm month with temperatures averaging in the high sixties and low seventies, rising to a high of nearly 80 degrees F once in a while. Flowers bloom, people fly kites and go out in boats, but beware: the water is probably still a little too cold for swimming in most places.

  • May Day: The first of May is an optional legal holiday in Greece, but most businesses give workers the day off. May Day is also strongly connected to workers' rights, and it's a big day for slowdowns and wildcat strikes, that could impact your travel plans.

Hot weather and the start of the high season. Expect crowded resorts, higher prices, and temperatures. The average temperature is in the high 80s F and can rise much higher.

  • Athens and Epidaurus Festival runs from June to August in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and ancient venues all over Athens.
  • Nafplion Festival : A classical music festival at the end of June or early July featuring international artists.
  • Summer Nostos : is a week-long, free festival of music, dance, sports and theatre, all of it free, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in the Athens suburb of Kallithea

Temperatures average in the high 80s F and easily reach the 90s F in most places. It is also very dry so camping is forbidden in most national parks and even hiking in some area. Be aware that there's a risk of wildfires.

  • Outdoor Cinema : Open-air cinema is a longstanding Athens tradition during the summer months. The city has eight, some with the Acropolis as the background, some in historic parks and settings.
  • Kastoria River Party : Camping, music and cooling off in the river in northern Greece.
  • Cretan Diet Festival: No, it's not a weird new way to lose weight; it's a celebration of Cretan cuisine in Rethymno, Crete.

The heatwave continues. So do the lines at the major attractions and the high, in-season prices. But on the plus side, the nights are balmy and pleasant for outdoor dining and nightlife.

Event to check out:

  • XLSIOR : A giant LGBTQ, Pride, and music festival on Mykonos.

The average temperature is 75 degrees F rising into the 80s at the beginning of the month with cool nights averaging 66 degrees F. Days are sunny with almost no chance of rain.

  • Reworks : Thessaloniki's massive international music festival, one of the top 10 for September worldwide, takes place over four days mid-month.
  • Armata , on the island of Spetses, near Athens, celebrates a famous naval victory in the Greek War of Independence. The week-long festival ends with fireworks and the burning of an effigy of an Ottoman ship in the harbor.

Temperatures drop into the 60s with the average daily temperature of about 68 degrees F. With little chance of rain, it's still mild enough for sightseeing, hiking, and touring.

  • Ochi Day : On Oct. 28, 1940, Mussolini demanded that the Axis powers be allowed to enter Greece. The ultimatum was delivered to the Greek Prime Minister at 3 a.m., and he said "Ochi" (no), bringing the country into World War II. This national holiday is celebrated with parades, concerts, and feasts.

Temperatures hover in the mid to low 60s. There are more cloudy days and a greater chance of rain.

  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival : Southern Europe's biggest film festival event, held on the first 10 days of the month.
  • Olive harvest: Throughout this month, ripening olives are gathered and pressed. Most farmers are too busy for olive festivals, but you may be able to witness or take part in a harvest in the smaller towns and villages.

Average temperatures are in the 50s F. It's usually cloudy and the rainy season is just beginning. The mountains of the Peloponnese, northern Greece, and Macedonian Greece have snow cover.

  • Christmas : Unlike other holidays that follow the Julian calendar, the Greek Church adopted the Gregorian calendar dates for Christmas, so it falls on Dec. 25.
  • Christmas in Athens gets going with the Feast of St Nicholas (the inspiration for Santa Claus, Dec. 6, and continues with festive events until Epiphany, Jan. 6. There are public displays of festive lights, fireworks, and special holiday baked treats in the shops.

With a famously busy summer season, spring and fall are the best times of year to visit Greece to avoid the hot weather and the largest crowds of tourists.

The high season in the extremely popular island Santorini lasts from June to September. May is the best month to visit because it is not too hot or cold and the peak season has not yet begun.

July and August are the hottest months with average temperatures hovering between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (29 and 35 degrees Celsius), sometimes reaching more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Weather Spark. "Average Weather in Athens, Greece Year Round." Retrieved March 23, 2021

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The Best Time To Visit Greece [By Seasons and Interests]

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The Best Time To Visit Greece [By Seasons and Interests]

Greece: At a Glance

Spring (march, april, may), summer (june, july, august), fall (september, october, november), winter (december, january, february), the best time to visit the greek islands, the best time to visit mykonos, the best time to visit santorini, the best time to visit crete, the best time to visit corfu, the cheapest time to travel to greece, final thoughts.

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Greece is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. This Mediterranean country offers incredible historical sites like the Acropolis, iconic views in places like Santorini, and lively nightlife in Mykonos, along with plenty of art, culture, and breathtaking scenery throughout the country.

A question many people ask is: “What’s the best time to visit Greece?” While there’s no definitive answer to this question, there are some guidelines you may want to follow based on what you’re looking for (great weather, no crowds, etc.).

In this post, we’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of visiting Greece in each season and look at the best times to visit based on your interests.

Map of Greece

Greece is located in southeastern Europe, boarded by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Türkiye. While you may be familiar with some of the country’s more famous islands like Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos, there are actually thousands of islands scattered throughout the Ionian and Aegean Seas, giving the country one of the longest coastlines in the world.

Greece thrived in ancient times and is often called the cradle of Western civilization. Perhaps its most famous landmark is the Acropolis , which includes the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. These sites have enormous architectural and historical significance and can draw 16,000 visitors in a single day .

Greece has a Mediterranean climate, meaning it’s hot and dry in the summer and cool and wet in the winter. During the summer, it can be very hot and there’s little rainfall. Summer heat in Greece is no joke — Athens is often cited as the hottest capital city in Europe. In the winter, northern and mountainous regions can see snow while southern islands remain mild.

Hot Tip: The currency in Greece is the euro, so be sure to have some handy. We also recommend using a credit card without foreign transaction fees whenever possible.

The Best Time To Visit Greece by Season

Greece in the spring

If you’re looking for mild weather and smaller crowds, consider visiting Greece in the spring. April and May are great times to visit as long as the beach isn’t the first priority on your to-do list (it’s still a little chilly for the beach during these months). Average daytime temperatures range from about 60 degrees in March to about 77 degrees in May.

Most of the Greek Islands are fully open by May for the summer tourism season.

Holy Week and Easter (March or April, depending on the year) are important times in the country, so you may see prices increase during these events.

  • Apokries (February or March)
  • Orthodox Easter and Holy Week (March or April)
  • Salsa Spring Festival (May)

Zakynthos Greece

It probably comes as no surprise that summer is the most popular time to visit Greece . Unfortunately, this also means it’s the most crowded time in Greece.

July and especially August are the hottest and busiest months in the country. If you’re planning on visiting historical sites in Athens or popular islands like Santorini or Mykonos, be prepared for extreme heat and huge crowds.

Average daily temperatures range from about 86 degrees to 90 degrees, but it’s not uncommon to see days that exceed 100 degrees.

  • Athens Epidaurus Festival (all summer)
  • Kalamata International Dance Festival  (July)
  • Rockwave Festival (July)
  • Olympus Festival  (July to August)
  • Sani Festival (July to August)
  • Vovousa Festival (July to August)
  • Molyvos International Music Festival (August)

Hot Tip: If you enjoy unique accommodations, check out these boutique hotels in Athens .

Mykonos Greece

Early fall — especially September — can be a great time to visit Greece since it’s still warm but crowds start to thin once kids are back in school.

September has an average daily temperature of 83 degrees, but after that, cooler days start to appear. The average daily temperature in October is 73 degrees and it drops to 64 degrees in November.

While October might be a little too cool for swimming, it’s a wonderful time for sightseeing. The rainy season starts around the end of September, so keep that in mind when you’re visiting Greece in the fall. And don’t forget to pack a travel umbrella or rain poncho !

  • Athens International Film Festival (September to October)
  • Athens Marathon. The Authentic  (November)
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November)

Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens Greece

Winter is the low season in Greece , with crowds and costs at a minimum beginning in November all the way until March. Many tourist attractions have shorter hours and some islands can even close for the whole season.

Winter can actually be a decent time to visit Athens, though. While the weather can be chilly, it’s not frigid, with average daily temperatures hovering around 55 degrees. There are lots of Christmas festivities throughout the city in December, making it a fun time to visit the capital.

Popular attractions like the Acropolis will be less crowded during the winter and it can also be a great time for cheaper airfare and hotel prices. According to Google Travel , December is the least expensive month to visit Greece.

  • Christmas in Athens (December)

The Best Time To Visit Greece by Interest and Island

Greek flag in Mykonos

Greece is known for its islands. The best times to visit the Greek Islands are the summer months of June and July . August is a popular month to visit but it can be incredibly crowded. Some islands are also great to visit as early as April or May and as late as September.

Generally, winter is not a great time to visit the Greek Islands. The weather can be cold and wet and many hotels, restaurants, and shops shut down for the season. This is especially true on the smaller islands. Ferry schedules are also reduced during winter, so travel between the islands can be more difficult.

Hot Tip: No matter what month you visit, you can use points and miles to fly to Greece .

The best times to visit Mykonos are the late spring or early fall . During these times, temperatures are still warm, but it’s less crowded and hotel prices are lower.

Of course, if you’re after the iconic summer beach-party vibe the island is known for, you’ll need to brace yourself for heat and crowds if you visit during the popular summer months of June, July, and August. The summer weather is hot, dry, and windy with average temperatures peaking around 84 degrees in July and August. August also tends to be the most crowded month so try to avoid traveling then if you can.

It’s possible to visit Mykonos during the winter . The weather, while unpredictable, is relatively mild, with low temperatures only dipping into the upper 40s.

While you’ll avoid crowds and pay less for your trip, keep in mind that many restaurants, shops, and attractions may be closed and ferry service can be limited. However, if you’re interested in strolling the almost empty streets to take in all of the island’s beauty, winter can be a great time to visit Mykonos.

Santorini Greece blue domes

Santorini, also known as Thira, might be the most popular island to visit in Greece and is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable in all of Europe . Summer is the busiest time on the island, with most visitors coming in July and August. To avoid crowds, schedule your trip in the shoulder months of April, May, September, or October when crowds are thinner but the weather is still warm.

November through March are the coolest months with high temperatures between 57 and 60 degrees and lows ranging from 50 to 57 degrees. While winter is a good time to visit to avoid crowds, it’s also the wettest season in Santorini, so be sure to pack accordingly.

Hot Tip: Check out these boutique hotels in Santorini if you’re looking for a unique place to stay.

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands , and as the southernmost island in the country, it’s one that can be visited year-round.

Generally, May, June, and September are the best months to visit Crete for the perfect balance of great weather and fewer crowds. As with most of the Greek Islands, July and August are the hottest and most popular times to visit, so crowding can be an issue.

Hot Tip: Not sure where to stay? Check out these boutique hotels in Greece (including the Greek Islands) .

Corfu is a Greek Island in the Ionian Sea known for its beaches. If you want to soak up some sun on the beach, the best time to visit Corfu is in the summer (July and August specifically) when the weather is hot and dry. However, that’s the most crowded time on the island, as well. If you’d like to avoid crowds as much as possible, try to visit in the shoulder months of May, June, and September for a nice balance of good weather and reasonable crowds.

The cheapest time to visit Greece is during the winter . This is a time when crowds are almost non-existent and prices for things like accommodations, flights, and even food are at their lowest. Keep in mind, though, that certain areas of Greece, especially the islands, will see many shops and restaurants close down for the season, so plan your trip accordingly.

Hot Tip: According to Kayak , February is the cheapest month to fly to Greece. To save money on flights, check out these booking websites .

Greece is an incredible country to visit and is high on many travelers’ bucket lists. In addition to famous ancient ruins like the Acropolis in Athens, there are thousands of islands to visit. You’ll find gorgeous beaches, delicious food, mountains for hiking, and plenty of small towns to explore.

The best time to visit Greece can vary based on what you’re looking for, but generally, you’ll want to shoot for the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall. These time periods offer a nice balance between weather that’s not too hot and crowds that aren’t too thick. Whenever you decide to go, Greece is definitely a country you’ll enjoy visiting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best season to travel to greece.

For the best balance of good weather and reasonable crowds, the best seasons to travel to Greece are spring and fall.

What is the best time to visit Greece to avoid crowds?

If you want to avoid crowds in Greece, visit in the winter. Tourists are few and far between during the winter months. However, if you’re visiting the Greek Islands it will be too cold for swimming and some shops, restaurants, and attractions may be closed for the season.

What is the best time to go to Greece for beaches?

If you’re going to Greece for the beaches, the best times to visit are July and August. The weather will be hot and dry — perfect for a day at the beach. June and September will also be warm enough for swimming, and these months have the benefit of slightly fewer visitors.

What is the off-season in Greece?

Winter is the off-season in Greece. From November to March, the weather can be chilly and wet, and many of the islands partially shut down since there are so few tourists.

Does Greece have a rainy season?

Yes, the rainy season in Greece lasts from the end of September until June. November and December are the rainiest months of the year. July and August are the driest months, with almost no rain.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.


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When is the best time to visit Greece?

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The best time to visit Greece is outside the busy summer peaks, during spring (April to June) and early fall (September and October). Temperatures are warm but not stifling, and you’ll find that destinations are open but still relatively quiet.

The period from November to February tends to be colder, but city attractions remain open and are pleasantly quiet. Summer brings steamy, hot weather and hordes of visitors at the main sights and on the islands.

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Meteora in winter, Greece

Visiting Greece in January - February

The year in Greece begins with cool temperatures and damp weather in some areas. Meteora and the Delphi area can even see snow. For the most part, seasonal destinations such as the Greek islands are closed down for the winter. But, cities like Athens remain open for business, and major sights are pleasantly uncrowded.

Events & Festivals

  • Epiphany on January 6 is celebrated by local priests blessing major bodies of water, and a chill-inducing tradition in which adventurous Greeks leap in to retrieve a cross thrown in by the priest in the hope of good fortune for the coming year.

Changing of the Guards, Athens

Visiting Greece in March

March marks the beginning of spring across the country. Although it’s still low season in most places, and many island destinations are yet to open, attractions across the mainland are open and much quieter than they will be in a few weeks’ time.

  • Greek Independence Day is celebrated on March 25 throughout the country with military parades and traditional folk dress and music.
  • March usually falls almost entirely within Lent and, starting with Clean Monday at the end of February or beginning of March, Orthodox Greeks traditionally observe this time by abstaining from meat, fish, dairy and eggs.

Greek Easter bread, Greece

Visiting Greece in April

Most years, the highlight of April is Greek Orthodox Easter, which occurs near the end of the month or in the first few days of May. The weather at this time is excellent for sightseeing or hiking, with plenty of sun and mild temperatures averaging around 68°F.

  • The celebrations of Holy Week and Easter, culminating on Easter Sunday, are usually the highlight of the month and mark the most important holiday of the year.

Local taverna, Greece

Visiting Greece in May

One of the best times to visit Greece, May is a good month to travel if you’re looking to experience both the cities and the islands. While sea temperatures can still be chilly, the weather is usually warm enough for swimming, and it’s not too hot for touring the cities. May marks the month when all the island destinations open fully for the summer season.

Theatre of Epidaurus, Greece

Visiting Greece in June

June sees temperatures rising and crowds increasing but, overall, it’s a very pleasant time to be in Greece. Everywhere is open, the sun is warm, and plenty of festivals are taking place across the country.

  • Beginning in June and lasting throughout the summer, the Athens and Epidavros Festival showcases performances, including Greek plays, in ancient and modern venues across both cities, including the Theatre of Epidavros.

Kleftico, Milos

Visiting Greece in July - August

The heat of summer in July and August brings temperatures that can run north of 100°F and plenty of sunshine with very little rain. At this time of year, the cities can feel oppressive under the unrelenting sun and sights get extremely crowded, but it’s a good time for water activities, if you don’t mind the coastal towns and islands being busier.

  • The Feast of the Assumption on August 15 is a national public holiday, when people return to their hometown to enjoy the festivities.

Nafplio, Greece

Visiting Greece in September

September is a great time to visit Greece. The weather remains hot throughout the month, sea temperatures stay warm, and visitors start to thin out as children go back to school. While the main sights are still busy, September is usually better for touring compared with hotter and more crowded July and August.

Meteora, Greece

Visiting Greece in October

Visiting in October represents a good-value time to go, when you can enjoy cooler weather and fewer crowds. The islands start to wind down ahead of winter, but usually stay open until the end of the month. In central and northern areas, leaves turn to their autumnal hues.

  • Ochi (or Ohi) Day on October 28 commemorates the date in 1940 when the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said ohi (no) to Mussolini’s demand for the Axis forces to occupy parts of Greece.

Galaxidi, Greece

Visiting Greece in November - December

The final two months of the year bring cooler temperatures to Greece. Island destinations close down for the winter, while historical sites across the mainland remain quietly open.

  • Christmas, while not as important as Easter, is celebrated on December 25 as a joyful holiday shared with family.

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The Best Time to Visit Greece: A Complete Guide

The Best Time to Visit Greece

Greece is a stunning country, renowned for its historical landmarks, picturesque beaches, delectable cuisine, and lively culture . While the idea of planning a trip to Greece may sound exciting, it can also be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure about when to go. When it comes to deciding the best time to visit Greece, several factors need consideration, including your preferences, budget, and travel style. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide to the best time to visit Greece, taking into account various factors such as different seasons, weather, crowds, costs, festivals and events that take place throughout the year. We will also provide valuable advice on where to stay and what to do during your visit, ensuring you have the most memorable experience. So, let’s dive in and explore the best time to visit Greece!

Winter (December to February)

Best time to visit greek islands, attend a festival or event, why timing matters.

Timing is everything when it comes to planning a trip to Greece. Depending on the season, the weather can be different, the crowds can vary, and the prices can fluctuate. Choosing the right time to visit Greece can make all the difference in the success of your trip.

What is the best time to visit Greece?

greece, athens, column-2549507.jpg

Greece is a year-round destination , but the best time to visit depends on what you are looking for in a vacation. The peak tourist season in Greece is during the summer months, from June to August. However, if you are looking for a more relaxed vacation and do not mind cooler temperatures, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall may be the perfect time to visit.

Spring (March to May)

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Greece. The weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer compared to the peak summer season. During this time, you can enjoy sightseeing, hiking, and outdoor activities without worrying about the sweltering heat. The blooming wildflowers and the picturesque countryside make this season a great time for nature lovers.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the peak tourist season in Greece. The weather is hot and sunny, and the beaches are in full swing. This is the perfect time to enjoy the stunning beaches, swim in the clear waters, and soak up the sun. However, the downside is that the crowds can be overwhelming, and the prices can be higher than in other seasons.

Fall (September to November)

Fall is another great time to visit Greece. The weather is pleasant, and the crowds are fewer compared to summer. During this time, you can enjoy sightseeing, hiking, and outdoor activities without worrying about the sweltering heat. The foliage turns into beautiful shades of red and gold, making this season perfect for nature lovers.

Winter is the off-season in Greece. The weather is chilly, and the crowds are minimal. However, this is a great time to visit if you are looking for a budget-friendly trip. You can enjoy the festive atmosphere during Christmas and New Year’s, visit ancient ruins without the crowds, and enjoy winter sports in the mountainous regions.


What to Expect During Each Season

Each season in Greece has its own charm and appeal. Here’s what you can expect during each season:

  • Spring : Mild weather, fewer crowds, blooming wildflowers, and picturesque countryside.
  • Summer : Hot and sunny weather, crowded beaches, vibrant nightlife, and higher prices.
  • Fall: Pleasant weather, fewer crowds, beautiful foliage, and perfect for outdoor activities.
  • Winter : Chilly weather, minimal crowds, budget-friendly prices, and great for winter sports.

Pros and Cons of Visiting Greece in Different Seasons

Here are the pros and cons of visiting Greece in different seasons:

greede in spring

  • Mild weather makes outdoor activities comfortable
  • Fewer crowds mean less waiting in lines and more personalized experiences
  • Beautiful blooming flowers and green landscapes
  • Lower prices on flights and accommodations
  • Weather can still be unpredictable, with occasional rain showers
  • Some tourist attractions may still be closed or have limited hours
  • Water temperatures may be too cold for swimming

greece, beach, seashore-2380692.jpg

  • Hot and sunny weather perfect for beach activities
  • Wide range of cultural events and festivals
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Longer daylight hours for more exploration time
  • Crowded beaches and tourist areas
  • Higher prices for flights and accommodations
  • Long lines and wait times at popular attractions
  • Extremely hot temperatures in some areas

greece best time to visit

  • Pleasant weather with cooler temperatures and less humidity
  • Beautiful foliage and scenery
  • Fewer crowds and lower prices
  • Plenty of cultural events and festivals
  • Some tourist attractions may be closed or have limited hours
  • Some areas may experience occasional rain showers

kastoria, greece,

  • Budget-friendly prices for flights and accommodations
  • Fewer crowds mean more personalized experiences
  • Christmas and New Year’s celebrations
  • Perfect for winter sports enthusiasts
  • Chilly weather may not be suitable for some travelers
  • Some areas may experience snow and icy conditions

The Best Time to Visit Greece

The best time to visit Greece depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. Here’s a breakdown of the best time to visit different parts of Greece.

Best Time to Visit Athens


Athens is a popular destination all year round, but the best time to visit Athens is from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are smaller than during the peak summer months.

Best Time to Visit Crete

Agios Nikolaos Crete

Crete is the largest island in Greece and has a Mediterranean climate. The best time to visit Crete is from May to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is warm, and the crowds are smaller than during the peak summer months.

Best Time to Visit Santorini


Santorini is a popular destination, and the best time to visit Santorini is from April to June and September to November. During these months, the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller than during the peak summer months.

Read also: Santorini Beach 12 Gems You Need to Discover

Best Time to Visit Mykonos


Mykonos is a popular destination for its nightlife and beaches. The best time to visit Mykonos is from May to September. During these months, the weather is warm, and the island is alive with parties and events.

The best time to visit the Greek Islands is from May to October. During these months, the weather is warm, and the water is perfect for swimming.

Festivals and Events

Ohi Day Greece

Greece is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and there are numerous festivals and events that take place throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular:

Easter is the most important holiday in Greece, and it’s celebrated with great fervor throughout the country. The Holy Week leading up to Easter is an ideal time to visit Greece and witness the traditional celebrations, including processions, church services, and fireworks.

Athens and Epidaurus Festival:

The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is one of the most significant cultural events in Greece, featuring a diverse range of performances, including theater, music, and dance. The festival takes place from June to August and is a great way to experience the country’s vibrant arts scene.

International Documentary Festival:

The International Documentary Festival is held annually in Thessaloniki and is one of the most prestigious film festivals in Greece. The festival showcases the best documentaries from around the world and is a must-attend event for film enthusiasts.

Ohi Day, also known as “No” Day, is a national holiday that commemorates Greece’s refusal to surrender to the Axis Powers during World War II. The day is celebrated on October 28th and is marked by military parades and other festivities.

Where to Stay


Greece offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Here are some of the most popular places to stay:

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is home to numerous historical sites, including the Acropolis and the Parthenon. There are plenty of accommodation options in Athens, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels .

Santorini is one of the most popular islands in Greece, known for its stunning views, white-washed buildings, and blue-domed churches. There are plenty of hotels and villas to choose from in Santorini, ranging from budget-friendly to high-end luxury.

Mykonos is another popular island in Greece, known for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches. There are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from in Mykonos, ranging from budget-friendly to high-end luxury.

Crete is the largest island in Greece and is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and stunning landscapes. There are plenty of accommodation options in Crete, ranging from budget-friendly apartments to luxury resorts.

Visit the Acropolis in Athens

No trip to Greece would be complete without visiting the iconic Acropolis in Athens. This ancient citadel features the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and offers breathtaking views of the city below.

Read also: The Top 10 Monuments of Ancient Greece You Need to See

Explore the island of Santorini

Santorini is a beautiful Greek island known for its whitewashed buildings, stunning sunsets, and unique volcanic landscape. Visitors can explore the island’s charming villages, enjoy the local cuisine, and relax on the black sand beaches.

Go island hopping

Greece is home to over 6,000 islands, each with its own unique charm and character. Island hopping is a popular activity among visitors, allowing them to explore multiple destinations in one trip. Some of the most popular islands to visit include Mykonos, Crete, and Rhodes.

Read also: The Best Time to Go Greek Island Hopping

Discover ancient monuments

Greece is rich in history, and visitors can explore a number of ancient monuments throughout the country. Some of the most popular sites include the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, and the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete.

Relax on the beaches

Greece is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, offering crystal clear waters, soft sand, and stunning views. Some of the best beaches to visit include Balos Beach in Crete, Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia, and Navagio Beach in Zakynthos .

Experience the nightlife

Greece has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from. Some of the best places to experience nightlife include Mykonos, Athens, and Thessaloniki.

Sample the local cuisine

Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and healthy dishes. Some of the must-try dishes include moussaka, souvlaki, Greek salad, and spanakopita. Visitors can also sample local wines, cheeses, and seafood.

Take a cruise

A cruise is a great way to explore Greece’s many islands and coastal destinations. From luxury liners to smaller sailboats, there are a variety of options available to suit every budget and taste.

Enjoy outdoor activities

Greece offers a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to watersports and horseback riding. Visitors can explore the countryside, mountains, and coastline, taking in the stunning scenery and enjoying the fresh air.

Greece is home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and art to food and culture. Some of the most popular events include the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Carnival of Patras, and the International Film Festival in Thessaloniki.

With so much to see and do in Greece, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable vacation filled with adventure, relaxation, and culture.

Tips for Planning Your Trip to Greece

  • Research the best time to visit based on your preferences, budget, and travel style
  • Book flights and accommodations well in advance, especially during the peak tourist season
  • Pack appropriately for the season, including comfortable shoes for walking and exploring
  • Learn a few basic Greek phrases to enhance your cultural experience
  • Take advantage of public transportation, such as buses and trains, to save money and avoid traffic
  • Try local cuisine, including traditional Greek dishes and fresh seafood
  • Stay hydrated and protected from the sun during hot weather
  • Be respectful of Greek customs and culture, including dress codes for religious sites
  • Purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in case of unforeseen circumcision

Greece is a mesmerizing country that offers an all-year-round visitation opportunity. Nonetheless, the ideal time to explore Greece varies according to your preferences, budget, and travel style. Whether you seek a peaceful beach retreat or an active outdoor adventure, Greece provides an abundance of options. By evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each season, you can make an informed decision and organize an ideal trip to Greece. Undoubtedly, Greece deserves a place on everyone’s travel wishlist. The nation’s stunning beaches, rich history, delectable cuisine, and warm hospitality make it a Mediterranean paradise that allures countless visitors annually. Whether you aim to discover ancient monuments, bask in the sun on an immaculate beach, or savor the vibrant nightlife, Greece has something to offer everyone. By adhering to this comprehensive guide on the best time to visit Greece, you can ensure an unforgettable and satisfying vacation in this breathtaking destination. Pack your bags, book your tickets, and prepare yourself to experience the allure and appeal of Greece firsthand!

  • Q. What is the peak tourist season in Greece?
  • A. The peak tourist season in Greece is during the summer months, from June to August.
  • Q. Is it cheaper to visit Greece during the winter?
  • A. Yes, winter is the off-season in Greece, and prices for flights and accommodations are typically lower.
  • Q. What should I pack for a trip to Greece?
  • A. Depending on the season, you should pack comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sunscreen, and a hat.
  • Q. What is the weather like in Greece?
  • A. Greece has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters.
  • Q. What is the best way to get around Greece?

A. Public transportation, such as buses and trains, is a cost-effective way to get around Greece and avoid traffic. Taxis and rental cars are also available but can be more expensive.

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The Best Time to Visit Greece

From island-hopping in fall to sightseeing in spring, there’s plenty to see and do in greece year-round..

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People chatting at sidewalk café in Thessaloniki

While many flock to the Mediterranean country’s islands and coastal destinations during the summer, there’s plenty to do year-round.

Photo by Marco Argüello

So, you’re finally planning that dream vacation in Greece but can’t figure out the best time to visit? Many travelers consider the ideal time to visit Greece to be the hot, dry summer months of June, July, and August. But there’s plenty to do beyond this period (which is also the busiest time to holiday in the Mediterranean country).

In September and October, the beaches are quieter but it’s still warm enough to swim. And if you’re looking to tour the ancient sites, spring or fall is appealing because you can still expect mostly sunny days but with more comfortable temperatures.

Here’s the best time to visit Greece, whether you intend to island-hop, peruse archaeological wonders, or avoid the crowds.

Best time to visit the Greek islands

  • Best months: April–June, September–October

April through October is the best time to go island hopping in Greece. While it can occasionally rain in the spring or fall, the weather is generally sunny and warm. It’s slightly cooler up north, while it’s warmer the further south you go. As of June, Greece’s seas are warm enough for swimming and stay that way until around mid-October.

Prices, temperatures, and crowds peak in July and August, particularly in popular island groups like the Cyclades, Ionian, and Dodecanese. During these two months, average temperatures hover around the mid-80s Farenheit but frequently reach the mid-90s, plus the odds of a heatwave are high .

Once summer breaks end at the end of August, the islands become decidedly more serene, making September and October perfect months to wind down by the water. Average temperatures range in the early 80s and 70s, respectively.

Best time to visit Greece for sightseeing

  • Best months: April–May, September–November

Spring and fall make for superlative sightseeing. Exploring ancient hot spots like Delphi, ancient Epidaurus, and Olympia on foot is much more pleasant in spring temperatures averaging 60 to 70 degrees. Rainfall and cooler temperatures are a possibility—so you may need to layer up—but you can mostly get by with a T-shirt.

Visiting archaeological sites in early spring or late fall allows for more room to move, compared to summer when cruise ship passenger tour groups descend on them en masse. Ticket booth queues are shorter or even non-existent.

Aerial view of waterfront promenade, with cars and buildings at right.

Beyond the best-known destinations, you can find plenty of peace and space as the first month of fall kicks in.

Best time to visit Greece to avoid the crowds

  • Best months: October–May

Summer is Greece’s high season, so if you would rather dodge the crowds, time your trip accordingly. Even September now sees significant numbers of visitors, particularly among those not tied to school holiday periods. By October, the beaches, towns, and tavernas of Naxos, Paros, and Kos are gloriously sedate. Blue skies on a November ramble through Rhodes’s medieval old town are almost guaranteed. This is the month when you’ll find some of the best rates for domestic flights and hotels.

With winter’s arrival, consider going to Greece’s northwestern mountain areas. Aside from the Christmas and New Year period, relatively few travelers venture to the Epirus region—where crackling fireplaces and a hearty welcome await guests of stone-built boutique lodgings. Some of the loveliest are scattered throughout the traditional villages of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Zagori, home to Vikos Gorge.

Winter is also the best time of year to capture Santorini ’s ethereal beauty without being sandwiched by selfie-snappers. Expect average temperatures of 55 degrees and a small number of hotels catering to an eclectic group of off-season travelers.

Best time to visit Athens

Rather than tacking a stay in Athens onto the start or end of a Greek island jaunt that would normally coincide with the busy summer period, consider dedicating a good week to digging into the nitty-gritty of this dynamic city.

The best time to schedule a visit to the Greek capital is during the fall, winter, or spring. This is when Athens is at its prime and, more notably, when Athenians are in town. So, you’ll gain a better perspective of what life is really like in this vibrant metropolis where the ancients coexist with their contemporaries.

Make no mistake—it can be chilly in winter. But if you’re willing to risk a rainy day or two, this is when you’ll capture the Acropolis and its monuments in golden afternoon light sans the tourist crush. You’ll have treasure troves like the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art almost completely to yourself. And foodies can more easily enjoy Athens’s burgeoning collection of Michelin-starred restaurants along with established family-run mezze joints that never go out of style.

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Home » Europe » Greece » Best Time to Visit Greece – MUST READ • 2024 Guide

Best Time to Visit Greece – MUST READ • 2024 Guide

Greece probably needs no introduction to you. It was the one-time centre of the ancient world, the cradle of western civilisation and in 2024 remains perhaps THE ultimate dream travel destination.

Indeed, intrepid travellers have been exploring the Ionian peninsula since antiquity and today, the nation welcomes some 30 million visitors each year. It’s easy to why – Greece packs in ancient wonders, classical cities, glorious weather, wine, food and siren song. Best of all, Greek visitors get to choose from hitting the mainland or hopping between the paradise of the Greek Islands.

But, in high season Greece can get seriously busy and pricey. High summers can be punishingly hot and winters unexpectedly frigid.

In this guide, we will not focus on the why or the where, but on the when. So read on to find out just when is the best time to visit Greece taking into account weather, crowds, expense and more!

Best Time To Visit Greece – The classic time to visit is May-Aug. My preference is March or September.

Best Time To Go To Athens – Spring (Mar & April)

Best Time For The Greek Islands – June-July if you like the action.

Best Time For The Beach – May-October

Best Time For Sightseeing – Mar, Apr & October

Cheapest Time To Visit Greece – Winter (Nov-Feb)

When is the Best Time to Go to Greece?

Where to stay in greece, when to visit greece – a month by month breakdown, final thoughts on the best time to visit greece.

Greece’s main tourist season runs from between May and September and heavily peaks in the high season of July and August. This is typically the best time to explore Europe . At this time, you can expect the idyllic Mediterranean summers you were always dreaming about with blue skies, hot days and scarcely a drop of rain.

Greek’s really do come to life during the summer months and the country is an infectious and fun place to be – expect long nights of ouzo fuelled Zorba dancing. Many a backpacker in Greece falls in love with the country during their summer trips.

greece best time to visit

Of course, the flip side is that at this time Greece can get seriously busy. Popular islands like Crete and Rhodes tend to be thronged with package tourists during the summer holidays and you may struggle to find a spot of beach over which to cast your towel. Santorini can also get HORRIBLY crowded during the summer to the extent that you may find it impossible to enjoy it.

Also note that the heat in cities like Athens can be a bit stifling and oppressive during July and August. It can also make taking day trips from Athens a bit manic if there are heaps of other people with the same idea!

Accommodation and flight prices also tend to increase substantively in summer. To give you some context, I just did a quick skyscanner search and a return flight from London to Athens is $60 in April, but $150 in July.

My personal preference is to hit Greece during the shoulder seasons of April (you can maybe push to mid-may) and between late September and October. The weather is warm and pleasant but never unbearably hot.

Spring is a particularly great time to stay in Athens . You can also find decent bargains on flights and cheap accommodation in Greece at this time. Best of all though, the islands and tourist hot spots are a lot quieter – you may also get a decent photo of Santorini.

Of course, if you do visit in shoulder season some tourist resorts may not be fully operational and some hotels, restaurants and bars may still be boarded up.

Best Time to Go to Athens

The ancient, atmospheric and absolutely awesome city of Athens is often overlooked by visitors who often tend to head straight for the ferry terminal. This is a shame as Greek’s capital is one my top picks for Europe packing in a dizzying mixture of Grecian sites such as the Parthenon, some charming Byzantine churches’ and a raucous, youthful party scene.

The best time to visit Athens is between March and May or September and November. 

At this time the weather is very pleasant with typical daytime temperatures ranging between 15 to 20 degrees. The classical sites and museums are easily accessible with tourist numbers perfectly reasonable at this time. 

Crucially, this period also tends to be a sweet spot in terms of prices with flights from European cities starting as low as $25 and Athens hostel dorms hovering between $8 – $15 per night.

This is the perfect time to explore the real Athens and rub shoulders/exchange bodily fluids with the locals before the summer tourists show up. The city is very lively in the evenings with bars and clubs packing them in until daybreak. 

Best Time to Go to the Greek Islands

The most impressive thing about visiting the Greek Islands is the sheer number of options available. It is said that there is a Greek Island for every temperament. If you are seeking a youthful cocktail of booze and clubs, then try Zante. For a comfortable family-orientated experience, head to the resorts of Corfu or to itch your Instagram scratch, head for Mykonos and Santorini. My personal pick of the Greek islands is Hydra; a bohemian hotspot which is a short ferry ride from Athens.

cool things to do in greece visit rhodes

In many ways, the islands are best experienced in summer. The days are hot, the nights are long and the beaches buzzing. Some islands only fully open up during summer and are at half capacity the rest of the time.

That said, the busyness is not for everybody and some people do prefer the Greek islands in April or October when the weather is sweet, but the tourist crowds are back at home. However, it can sometimes be difficult to reach the Greek Islands during shoulder and lower season as flights are fewer, further between and more expensive. The ferries also tend to operate on a reduced schedule. Still, if you are willing to plan ahead and possibly spend a bit more on transport, you can make it happen.

Best Time to Go to Santorini

The picture-perfect Greek island of Santorini has exploded in recent years thanks in no small part to a flurry of tedious Instagrammers. The island is indeed a beautiful tapestry of white houses, orange skies and green stony hillsides.

sunsets on santorini

Because of this spike in popularity, Santorini can get very busy meaning that Santorini accommodation prices go into orbit, and also meaning the island can be too busy for comfort. 

Unless you are happy to pay $100+ per night for digs, and to have no personal space, avoid all summer especially from June – September.

Santorini is possibly best enjoyed in March, early May and between October and November. 

If you can get to Santorini in winter, then you will probably find it’s just you and the locals. This can be a lovely time to get under the skin of the island.

Best Time to Go to the Beaches in Greece

Greece is blessed with some of the most blissful and beautiful beaches in all of Europe. For azure seas and soft sands, head to Elafonsi in Crete and for beach-side club vibes, then trendy Mykonos is hard to beat. Note that the beaches of Santorini tend to be either dark sand or craggy, stone beaches and are not the main draw.

The beaches of the Greek islands are at their best between late May and October when the sea is perfect for swimming at the sands ideal for sunbathing. Many of the beaches are positively heaving between July and August and can get a bit too crowded for some sensibilities.

The winter is not exactly the ideal beach time as the sea can get a bit chilly and there is the chance of rain. Also, note that a lot of beach clubs and sea sidebars and restaurants tend to close during the winter.

Whether you’re looking to visit the absolutely breathtaking cliff monasteries of Meteora or the iconic white and blue mountain villages of Santorini, I am here to hold your hand and pour you a shot of ouzo and reveal the best places to stay in Greece!

Best Hostel in Greece –  Mosaikon


Mosaikon is known for its crisp, clean dorm rooms and for its unbeatable location. They’re located just 800m away from Syntagma Square, which is buzzing with top-notch bars and restaurants. Another highlight of Mosaikon Hostel? It has a rooftop terrace with beautiful views of the Acropolis. As if this hostel wasn’t already the best!

greece best time to visit

Best Luxury Stay in Greece –  Ilio Maris – Mykonos

Take me back to my slice of paradise at Ilio Maris! This hotel drips luxury and is one of the best hotels in Greece. What’s better than taking a dip in the turquoise waters of the swimming pool while watching the sunset over the Aegean sea, with a cocktail in hand? This hotel is certainly worth the splurge!

Best Airbnb in Greece –  Urbanstudios Acropolis View

greece best time to visit

Go big or go home with this Athens apartment. Okay, it’s a small studio apartment that just fits two people, all cozy and snuggly. However, what I mean by big is that it offers a BIG view of the Acropolis from the private balcony!

This chic little urban studio apartment in the heart of the popular and touristy area of Monastiraki puts you at the heart of it all. While there’s no kitchen, there is a mini-fridge and a tea kettle, plus a private bathroom.

Best Time for Sightseeing in Greece

Greece’s cultural-historical roots stretch back into antiquity and remnants of this rich history are scattered throughout the mainland of islands alike. The headline sites are probably the Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon and the epic, cliff monasteries in Meteora.

As for the best time for sightseeing in Greece, this is typically at shoulder seasons in Spring and Autumn.  The best time for sightseeing in Greece is generally April through about mid-May, or October and into early November. At these times there are far fewer tourists crowding the views and the weather is ‘just right’ for walking but a bit too cool for the beach.

greece best time to visit

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Best Time For Visiting the Acropolis

Perhaps the single most important antiquity site in Greece is the mighty Acropolis in Athens – an integral Athens itinerary stop . The ancient site occupies the hilltop overlooking the modern city and is visible for miles around. The Acropolis site consists of the Parthenon (Temple to Athena) some other sites and of course, the Acropolis Museum which must not be missed.

things to do when backpacking Greece: visit the Acropolis

The site is open all year round. However, note that it is substantially cheaper to visit during winter as the entry is half the price of the summer;

  • April to October: 20 Euro
  • November to March: 10 Euro

In terms of the best time of day to visit the Acropolis, are either 8 am (when it opens) as the site is quiet, and the sun is low making the heat less intense. Alternatively, another good time is 1-2 hours before closing. Again, the sun tends to be less intense and the twilight from the hill site over the city is incredible.

Cheapest Time to Go to Greece 

For European standards, Greece is a moderately priced destination . It is notably more expensive than the budget bonanza that is Eastern Europe, but a hell of a lot more affordable than visiting France or even parts of Spain. 

This does of course vary depending on where and when you go. Expensive Mykonos and Santorini tend to attract a monied crowd all year round. Crete and Rhodes offer budget package tours and Athens has plenty of budget hostels and dive bars.

Whilst Greece is an affordable country to visit at any time of year, the cheapest time to go to Greece is definitely during the off-season. The absolute best time of year to visit Greece on a budget is between the months of October and April. Accommodation is easy to find and often at a much-discounted rate and we also rented a car in Crete for much cheaper than in the high season.

The only catch can be the scarcity of flights going to certain Greek islands – but you can still usually get to Athens for a great price.

Busiest Time to Visit Greece

Greece is something of an ever-green destination and does attract visitors all year round. When I arrived in Athens during early March, my hostel dorm was pretty much full up with travellers.

However, the busiest time in Greece is most definitely between May and September with a long spike throughout July and August. At this time, the islands can get packed but even cities like Thessaloniki tend to attract backpackers spilling over from summer jaunts around the Balkans.

With increased visitor numbers comes price spikes too. In some places, accommodation prices can increase to 4 times what they would normally be.

Weather in Greece

The weather in Greece is classic Mediterranean – blissful summers followed by mild & wet winters. The weather in Greece is fairly consistent throughout the mainland and the Greek islands and there isn’t a mass of variation between them. 

greece best time to visit

The weather of the Aegean islands and the Ionian seas is milder. Some regions are also affected by “the Meltemi” – a summer wind which blows mostly over the islands of the Aegean and offers perfect wind conditions for sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.

In general, in order to avoid high temperatures (up to 100°F/+40°C), the best time to visit Greece would be between mid-Apr to mid-June and between early September to mid-October. 

The closest the month to August, the hotter it will be.

Average Air Temperature in °C

Regional Differences in Greece

The Greek mainland stretches from the Southern precipice of the Balkan peninsula out into the med. The islands are dotted all around its’ extensive coastline and their locations range from a few kilometres from the mainland to several hundred from it. 

Despite these geographical and archipelagic differences, the weather remains mostly uniform across Greece – give or take a few degrees of Celsius or an extra inch of rainfall here or there.

Peak tourist and off seasons are also consistent throughout Greece. Therefore the only regional specific consideration for when to visit Greece is perhaps the occurrence of local festivals and events.  We will explore some of these next.

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Festivals in Greece

Did you know, some anthropologists hypothesise that contemporary festival culture has its roots in ancient, Hellenic Greece and their wine-flavoured orgies in celebration of Dionysus?

best monasteries to visit in meteora

These days, the Grecian festival season tends to centre around the Orthodox Christian calendar but fear not, it’s not all hymns and fasting and even pious occasions still permeate with a typical lust for life. Orthodox Christmas and Easter are the main two religious festivals. I stumbled across an Orthodox Easter Mass in Greece and found the sing liturgy very moving and the smouldering clouds of incense quite intoxicating – definitely check it out if you get the chance. 

Here are some important or simply cool festivals in Greece;

  • Orthodox Easter:

Once the Church going is out of the way, Orthodox Easter in Greece actually akin to the ancient spring rite festivals with epic feasting which leads into dancing, singing and fireworks. It’s a great time to get invited to a Greek home. 

If you’re planning a trip to Greece for Easter, remember: the date of Greek Orthodox Easter is tied to the Julian calendar, so it won’t necessarily match up with Catholic Easter, which is calculated using the Gregorian calendar.

  • Apokreas (Carnival season):

The carnival season begins 3 weeks prior to Lent and concludes after Easter. It represents quite a long window across which the various Apokreas take place.

Each region has its own version of Apokreas. Patra in the Peloponnese for the biggest and wildest celebrations, whereas Skyros in the Sporades sees entire towns dressed as goats. If you’re planning a trip, check the calendar. Each year the date of Apokreas is different.

  • August Moon Festival:

The August moon festival also takes place across the different towns of Greece. The loose concept is simply using the warm, moon-filled nights of August to host evening performances and parties. These range from all-night raves in the outskirts of Thessaloniki, to classical music performances inside the Acropolis in Athens. 

  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival:

10 days of independent film screenings are held in Thessaloniki in mid-November. Athens has it’s own open-air film festival in summer but this one is cooler.

  • Ejekt Festival – 26 June:

Athens premier rock and indie fest sees international guitar slingers descend on the Greek capital for a long day of barre chords and pentatonic riffs.

  • Free Earth Festival – 29 – 29 August:

Free Earth Festival is Greece’s premier Psytrance festival taking place on the island of Halkidiki (yep, home of the famous Olives) .

Worst Time to Visit Greece

So far in this post, we’ve focused on the positives (we’re glass half full people) seeking out the best times to visit Greece. Now let’s look at the negatives!

There isn’t any real bad time to visit Greece. The weather is better than pretty much anywhere else in Europe all year round, and there is enough going on to keep a visitor busy at any time of year.

However, do bear in mind that it does sometimes get cold during the winter and it has even been known to snow in the north around Thessaloniki. Personally, I would also avoid the summer holidays at pretty much all costs as the crowding is simply too much.

By this point, you’ve probably already picked your personal perfect time to visit Greece. However, if you are still wondering what the best time to visit Greece is, then this month-by-month breakdown might help your final decision a bit easier.

beautiful greek island caldera views

Greece in January

January is Greece’s coldest month. In Athens, daytime temperatures can dip to a chilly 7 degrees (which to be frank could be summer where I am from) so bring a jacket. The Greek Islands can be very wet.

Needless to say, tourists are scarce at this time of year so you take advantage of low prices.

Notable festivals in January are New Years Day (also St Basils Day), Orthodox Christmas,  Epiphany and The Patras Carnival .

Greece in February

As with January, February can see cool temperatures and damp rainfall in the islands. Tourists are still thin on the ground and prices low.

The Carnival Festival starts in February ahead of the Lent, as well as Clean Monday.

Greece in March

March in Greece may be your sweet spot where you can expect decent weather and still take advantage of quieter attractions and lower prices.

Notable festivals are Greek Independence Day which also coincides with Feast of Annunciation. 

An early easter can also fall in late March.

Greece in April

In April the weather is very nice throughout the land. Expect warm days that would rival a northern European summer and lesser and lesser rainfall.

From a tourism perspective, Greece does begin creaking into life around April and seasonal bars and hotels begin the deep clean.

Prices are still fairly low except for Greek holidays.

Orthdox Easter usually falls in April although the date does vary. The Athens International Film Festival and St Georges Day also take place in April.

Greece in May

May sees the start of the long summer so bring sun creams and head for the beach. May is when package tourists begin arriving in the Greek Islands so football becomes heavier, and beds more expensive.

Sometimes, a particularly late fall of Easter will mean it falls in the first few days of May. Other notable May festival are May DayWorkers Day and the Athens Jazz Festival is also worth checking out.

Greece in June

Visiting Greece in June can mean catching the magic of summer just before the prices spike and the unwashed masses arrive. Expect perfect days and lovely nights and merry-making.

There aren’t many outright bargains to be had, but you can still find hostels at fair prices. 

June sees the Ejekt Rock Festival in Athens, the Athens and Epidaeous Festival as well as Navy Week – a huge national festival where Greece celebrates it’s naval and sea faring heritage.


Greece in July

If you visit Greece in July you are stepping into high season. The days can be very hot and the beaches busy. Some islands get more hectic than others and the likes of Santorini can feel like floating sardine tins.

Big August festivals are the Hyrda Puppet Festival and Hippocratia Festival in Kos. Oh, and the Raki Festival in Amorgos is certainly a lively one.

Greece in August

Simply put, August in Greece can be bedlam which will either be your personal vision of heaven and hell. Zante & Kos are hopping with party toddlers, Mykonos is packed with Instagram characters, and Corfu can feel like a forgotten British colony.

Prices are at their highest in August and days are at their hottest – it can be difficult to sleep if you don’t have AC.

Festivals in August include the Olympus Festival on Mount Olympus , the Chania Rock festival in Crete, the festival of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, as well as the Free Earth Psytrance festival in Kalidaki.

Greece in September

September is when temperatures and prices begin to come down, but the hotspots remain busy. If you are looking for a package deal, there are some bargains to be had, especially if you can be flexible.

Late September can be a great time to visit Greece as it mixes the mellow vibes with some of the most pleasant weather.

There are also a couple of wonderful niche festivals such as Festival of Trades of Traditions in Rhodes, the Pistachio festival of Aegina.

Greece in October

October is another good time to visit Greece. The weather is pleasant but not uncomfortable and even popular spots tend to be quiet. The Acropolis ticket price slashes itself in half and there are plenty of bargain flights to Athens.

There are no top rate festivals happening in October but the Chestnut Festival in Crete is one for fans of Chestnuts.

Greece in November

This is definitely the low season. Some of the islands may feel like they are half asleep and hostels will have plenty of beds available. The weather is generally bright and cool but nights can get chilly and there is some rainfall.

The religious calendar keeps going with Feast of The Archangels and Saint Andreas Day in Patras .

Greece in December

In December, Greece is substantially warmer and dryer than much of Europe but can see plenty of rainfall on the islands and cold nights. Some tourist hotspots will be all but hibernating.

December Festivals are St Nicholas Day, Christmas Day (they respect the Western date and then Orthodox Christmas in January), as well as New Year’s Eve of course.

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ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

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Still with me? Good. I do hope you found our best time to visit Greece guide to be useful and most of all, I hope it helps you to plan an epic trip to Greece. Wherever you intend to do a bit of island hopping in the summer, city breaking in spring, or simply heading to Crete for some winter sun, you’ll have an awesome time.

Make sure you are fully prepared for your trip (this can save a lot of money too). Find out  what you need to pack  for your vacation to Greece.

See you on the road!

yellow wall in Athens Greece

  • Check out our ultimate guide to backpacking around Greece . 
  • We’ve also got where to stay in Greece covered with our epic guide. 
  • You’ll also wanna stay in the best hostels in Greece too! 
  • Save yourself hassle and money and get an international sim card for Greece .  
  • Swing by our super epic backpacking packing list to prep for your trip. 
  • Our in-depth Europe backpacking guide will help you plan the rest of your adventure. 

greece best time to visit

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Mathilde Magnier

Mathilde Magnier

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The best time to visit Greece: fewer crowds, great deals, and blissed-out weather

A woman relaxing in a private pool in Santorini, Greece

Thanks to the turquoise waters surrounding its coast, Greece is one of the best summer destinations in Europe. While the country does get way more crowded in the warmer months, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring throughout the rest of the year.

Greece has far more to offer than its picturesque jagged shoreline. It’s been considered the birthplace of Western civilization for a reason: its millennia-old culture, reflected in the imposing ruins that dot its big cities and the countryside alike.

greece in spring

There are countless reasons to discover inland Greece during the off-peak season. Fall is wine season, when wineries are buzzing with the annual grape harvesting. Spring, on the other hand, has notoriously unpredictable weather. Yet the milder temperatures will tempt you to go hiking or maybe discover a historic village you’d otherwise skip in the summer.

And in case you’re down for some skiing or other snow sports, Greece won’t let you down. There are incredible ski resorts on Mount Olympus and Mount Parnassus , among others.

Peak season in Greece: June-August

greece in the summer

Best for: Exploring the coast, summer sales

From early June onwards, millions of tourists land in Greece to discover its countless islands, architectural wonders, and delicious food. Temperatures can reach the high 90s on the warmest days, and the water in the surrounding Aegean and Ionian seas heats up accordingly.

It’s swimming season, and in some regions, the Meltemi winds (which blow in from the north) should help you hone your windsurfing skills. The wind usually lasts for three to four days and may disrupt your day at the beach—especially in the afternoon, when it’s at its strongest. But locals should be able to tell you which beaches are sheltered from it.

This time of year is also ideal for visitors looking for the best shopping deals, since all shops in the country run their summer sales between July and August.

Summer in Greece

greece in the summer

August is hands down the busiest and hottest month of the year in Greece, so you can expect prices to be at their highest during this month. Large cities like Athens and Thessaloniki are the only exception; they empty out as locals set off for the coast. Although these cities are less crowded, most travelers would find them too humid to visit at the peak of summer.

Island-hopping is the quintessential summertime activity in Greece. The waters surrounding classic stopovers like Navagio (Shipwreck Beach) on the island of Zakynthos and Sarakiniko Beach in Milos display a light blue hue you’ll hardly find anywhere else. Meanwhile, the party scene in Mykonos is at full blast.

Shoulder season in Greece: April-May, September-October

greece ruins

Best for: Exploring the ruins, wine tasting, avoiding the crowds

The travel season in Greece traditionally starts at Easter, which is widely celebrated across the country. While it may still be a bit too chilly to hit the beach, this is a great time to explore the parts of Greece that are particularly rich with ancient ruins. One of them is the island of Corfu and its old town, which hosts one of the biggest Easter celebrations in Greece.

September is the best month to explore mainland Greece. The weather is still rather warm, most tourists have headed home, and hotels are more willing to offer discounts.

As the leaves begin to fall by early October, the islands empty out. But some folks usually linger a bit longer in Santorini , as the skies remain clear for the best views of the Santorini caldera.

Spring in Greece

Spring is the perfect season to tour the ruins and outdoor museums of Greece, out of the summer heat. What’s more, prices are lower compared to the July-August peak season as most destinations are still waiting for the big crowds to show up.

A few of the highlights for the season include all-time classics like the Acropolis of Athens, the Palace of Knossos in Heraklion (Crete) , the Temple of Apollo in Naxos , and the Monastery of St. John in Pátmos .

Fall in Greece

Attica, Athens, Greece

Greece has a winemaking tradition dating back over 6,000 years. If you’re there in the fall, book a wine tour when the grapes are being harvested. Some of the best wineries in the country are in the Attica region around Athens.

The Meteora rock formation is a feast for the eyes. In the fall, the lush vegetation—by now tinged with red and yellow—contrasts even more sharply with the dramatic boulders and the monasteries perched on top of them.


The Peloponnese peninsula, though known as a summer destination, has major landmarks worth visiting year-round, like the town of Nafplio and the Lion Gate in the neighboring Mycenae archaeological site .

Low season in Greece: November-March

Best for: Winter sports, winter sales

At this time of year, Greece welcomes about one-eighth the number of visitors that descend on the country at the height of summer.

On the islands, most businesses shut their doors until spring, and residents often spend winter in Athens or other big cities on the mainland. Still, the off-season in Greece should be the perfect occasion for those in search of shopping deals—the official winter sales run between January and February.

Unlike the coast, which has a Mediterranean climate and boasts consistently mild temperatures, the Greek countryside is temperate and gets a few days of snowfall every year.

Winter in Greece


Greece has countless options for an off-the-beaten-track winter vacation. The country has a predominantly mountainous terrain, which, though not particularly high in the European context, does feature prominent peaks like Mount Olympus and Mount Parnassus.

Each of these mountains has a wide offer of resorts where you’ll get to unwind after a day out skiing, climbing, or hiking. Mount Parnassus is a mere two hours away from Athens. It’s where you’ll find the ruins of Delphi , the number one oracle back in Ancient Greece.

Winter can be a great time to visit the Greek capital, too. Athens is far less crowded, so finding affordable accommodation and air tickets would be easy. Plus, there’s a wide range of top-notch attractions to pick from, including the National Archaeological Museum , Philopappos Hill for commanding views of the whole city, as well as a vast selection of Turkish baths where you can relax in between sightseeing.

Recommended tours and activities

greece best time to visit

More like this:

  • The best Greek islands to visit and what you can do on each
  • A first-timer’s guide to taking the ferry from Mykonos to Santorini
  • Santorini vs Mykonos: How to decide between these two island escapes

greece best time to visit

Best Time to Visit Greece and Greek Islands

Greece › Best Time To Visit Updated: February 28, 2024 By Santorini Dave

• Where to Stay in Athens • Where to Stay in Santorini • Where to Stay in Mykonos • Where to Stay in Naxos • Where to Stay in Paros • Where to Stay in Crete • Where to Go in Greece

Santorini hotel and swimming pool.

My favorite time to visit Greece is in June and September when the Greek islands are at their best. May and October are great if you’re less interested in beaches and more focused on sightseeing and historic attractions.

When’s the Best Time To Visit Greece and the Greek Islands? I recommend visiting Greece from late April to early November when there is lots of sunshine and little rain. The best months for swimming and sunbathing on the Greek Islands is from late May to early October . July and August are the busiest and most expensive months but are also the best for nightlife and beach parties. March to November is great for sightseeing (though July and August can be very hot when touring exposed historical sites, especially in Athens). My son and one of his friends during a summer visit to the Greek islands. May and June : During May and June, Greece experiences spring, with mild to warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush landscapes. The weather is typically sunny, with occasional rain showers. I love visiting in May and June for sightseeing, exploring archaeological sites, and outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. The islands and beaches are less crowded compared to the peak summer months, making it an ideal time for a more relaxed vacation. Accommodation prices are also more moderate. July and August : July and August (along with late June and early September) are the peak tourist season in Greece, with hot temperatures, sunny days, and large crowds at popular destinations. The islands, beaches, and coastal areas are bustling during this time, and accommodation prices are higher. While I love the summer months for beach and swimming, it can be overwhelming for those interested in sightseeing or looking for a more tranquil experience. September and October : September and October have warm temperatures, fewer crowds, and more affordable accommodations. The sea remains warm for swimming, and the weather is generally sunny and dry. I recommend this period for exploring the islands, visiting historical sites, and taking in the outdoors.

Beach in Greece.

The best time to visit the Greek Islands for beaches, swimming, and water sports is from late May to early October.

When I Like to Visit Greece 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 : June, July and September Best Time to Visit Nafplio & Peloponnese : June and September Best Months for Greece and the Greek Islands?

Mykonos beach club.

The best beaches and beach clubs in Mykonos are at their best from June to September.

Best Time to Visit the 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. A good travel itinerary for Greece should consider the weather patterns of the Greek islands. 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 : For first-time visitors, good weather is usually the most important factor and 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 Greek 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 June, July, August, and September. 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 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. Greek Travel Guides Athens Travel Guide Crete Travel Guide Mykonos Travel Guide Naxos Travel Guide Paros Travel Guide Santorini Travel Guide Greece Travel Guide Greece Weather by Month

Top attractions in Athens, Greece.

Athens is filled with iconic historical sights that are easily enjoyed anytime of year. (Especially the indoor Acropolis Museum.)

Santorini Caldera in Greece.

Santorini is loaded with great tours and sightseeing so has a longer tourist season than other Greek islands. If you’re interested in non-beach activities then Santorini is great from April to early November. And if you can tolerate some rain and cloud then Santorini should be considered a year-round destination.

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.

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, Heraklio, 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, 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 2022, April 24 is Easter Sunday, and Holy Week is April 17 through April 23. 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.
  • 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 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 Epidaurus. 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.
  • 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.
  • Oxi 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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  • Best Hotels on Ios
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  • Best Hotels on Folegandros
  • Best Hotels in Athens
  • Best Tours & Things To Do in Santorini

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio.

Hi Dave! Besides Crete, which other islands would you recommend visiting in May on a 10 day trip?

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With just 10 days I would not do more than one other island. Santorini is the closest island to Crete and has the most ferry connections with Crete. It’s also a great island – so that would be my first choice. Naxos and Paros would also be good reasonable choices.

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Holy Week in Greece

I am going to be in Greece (Athens & Santorini) during part of Holy Week (18 Apr to 24 Apr) and trying to sort out the best timing for my locations.

It will be a short trip and I need to fit in as much as I possibly can. Due to traffic and other holiday considerations (limited hours for museums, shops), do you recommend doing my relaxing in Santorini over Easter weekend and then my busy sightseeing in Athens afterward? Or vice versa? I would prefer to avoid big crowds wherever possible, but if there are things worth seeing in Athens that particular weekend, then I would definitely consider it.

Love your site! Thanks!

Greek Easter is usually a different date than western Easter. This year it’s April 28 for the Greek Orthodox, so you won’t be there during Easter at all.

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We are thinking of going to Crete in late November (in the next few weeks). We have never been to Greece and would like to experience some authentic island life. I understand that Crete is likely the warmest of all the islands at this time of year. We are in our late 50’s and fit. We love food, wine, music, scuba diving (thinking it would be too cold to dive now… yes?), history. Can you suggest some activities that we could do/ experience in Crete at this time of year? Thank you in advance. Cheers, Wendy

Yes, it will be too cool for swimming and diving but Crete is a great off-season destination. There are 3 medium sized cities (Heraklion, Chania, and Rethymnon) that have large local populations and lively cultures. November is usually perfect for sightseeing, hiking, food, wine, and local music. Knossos and the Archaeological museum in Heraklion are must-sees and much quieter and enjoyable outside of high season.

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Hey Dave! Me and my wife are booking our trip and we have two more nights we still need to book. We are leaving Santorini and then deciding between Mykonos, Naxos, Ios, Paros. Should we do two islands (one night each) or two nights on one island? And which islands? Thanks so much!

We love food and adventure and we don’t do any night drinking. Our first time in Greece! The trip is in late September.

Considering your interests, definitely Naxos. Great beaches, wonderful food, enchanting interior villages. And yes, spend two nights on the same island.

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Hi Dave! We are scheduled for April 2-11 in Greece, but am a little confused with Greek Easter. I am seeing it as April 8 this year, so am I correct to assume that the week leading up to the 8th is the Holy Week? I want to be sure I can get the most out of our trip, and am worried some places will be closed. (On websites it shows being closed on “Easter Sunday” so I imagine that means the 8th not the 1st.) Thanks!!

Yes, Orthodox (Greek) Easter Sunday falls on April 8 while regular (western) Easter Sunday falls a week earlier on April 1. Easter in Greece is a big thing and travel and accommodation in Greece can be a small challenge during this time (so do book in advance). The week preceding Easter is indeed Holy Week (it translates as ‘Big Week’ in Greek) and it is marked by a series of church events each evening prior to the midnight Resurrection on the Eve of Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is a day of celebration and eating when the culinary austerity followed by the more pious Orthodox Greeks during the 40 days of Lent previously comes to an end. Lambs are roasted on spits and much food and drink is consumed in a family-oriented celebration.

This means a few things for the traveller. Food in general is commonly limited to ‘vegetarian food’ particularly during Holy Week. This means that restaurants will be limiting their food choices to ‘fasting foods’ (nistísima) though meat eaters may find some relief at places catering to the non-orthodox (which includes most restaurants on the islands). Because the tourist season has not yet officially kicked off, many summer tavernas and restaurants may not yet be open in touristy places. The tourist season usually gets into gear after Easter. Therefore, your days from 2-8 April may be marked by a level of paucity in food choices (think Ramadan in Muslim countries).

Travel and accommodation is in high demand as many Greeks go to their native villages and islands to spend Easter and you may have difficulty in securing flights on popular routes or even on ferries and catamarans (full sailings are rare but possible). The follow-on is that accommodation can be in high demand so you will need to book both travel and a place to stay well beforehand. Because the Easter Sunday celebration is a family affair on the whole, unless you have an invitation from a family to participate, you may find yourself on the outside on Easter Sunday with only a handful of places open for your Easter lunch (once again, in the most touristy spots this won’t be a problem).

You didn’t say where you are going, but Athens is probably a good bet to sit out the key days of Easter as many people will have left and things will be quiet AND you will have more choices for places to eat. If you want the ultimate Greek Easter experience and would like to participate in at least two of the church celebrations, then Corfu is popular with Greek Easter pilgrims where the Epitafios and the Anastasi are worth witnessing at the large church of Spyridon in Corfu’s Old Town. The village of Pyrgos on Santorini is also an Easter highlight.

In short, Greek Easter is generally for Greeks, though foreigners are more than welcome. Just don’t expect the normal touristy Greece that you might expect until at least some time after Easter.

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Hey Dave, This site is amazing! Greece has been on my bucket list for years and hoping to cross it off. Per your site, looks like late September/early October may be the best time for weather and reduced cost. I’m looking to plan a 7-10 day trip no kids, do you have a suggestion for itineraries? Such as where to stop, how long to stay, hotels? Any suggestions would be helpful… it’s a bit overwhelming to start planning with a little framework. Thanks!

Hopefully my page on Where To Go in Greece and Itineraries should help.

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Hi Dave, Loving your work and happy to be a Patron to support this great website. For my holiday, my partner and I are planning the following however I am having a few issues/queries.

Wed 20th June – fly into Chania from Dublin, arrive late. Stay at Casa Delfino.

Monday 25th – Drive to more eastern Crete and stay in Agios Nikolaos. I looked at Elounda but the hotels seem to all get mixed reviews. I would like to be able to walk into a village or town in the evening for a meal or drinks. Hence, I am looking at Agios Nikolaos, what do you think? I like the look of Sensimar Minos Palace. Would you recommend the Beach Art hotel over this hotel and why? I also thought of the Grecotel Caramel hotel which looks amazing but is it very isolated? Is there anything near it walkable in the evening? It gets fantastic reviews!

Friday 29th Ferry to Mykonos- Do you know if a ferry does indeed connect the two islands? Looking to stay 3 nights in Mykonos Bay Resort & Villas as this is within budget (1000€ max for 3 nights). Tharroe of Mykonos Boutique Hotel would be my choice but it’s a little outside the budget! Any other hotels you would recommend?

Then I am thinking 4 nights somewhere, I was looking at these apartments in Anemomilos Apartments on the island of Folegandros. What do you think, do you know this hotel?

Can I get from Mykonos to here easily in the summer? Conscious I need to get back to Athens to fly home and feel I’m heading in the wrong direction! Does Crete connect with Folegandros as I could do Crete – Folegandros – Mykonos? Or would you recommend another island near Mykonos? Really want to chill out, nice accommodation? Hire a car and get out and see an island! What is Folegandros famous for?

Thanks in advance, Stephen

Agios Nikolaos is a wonderful little town and likely just what you’re looking for. Sensimar is a nice resort but it’s a good 30 minute walk into town so you’re not walking out your door and wandering around Agios Nikolaos. The Minos Beach Art Hotel is much closer which is why I would choose it. Grecotel Caramel has some stuff within walking distance but not the main town. Stay here if you want the resort experience and not so much if you’re looking to hit the town for lunch/dinner/nightlife on a regular basis. Mykonos Bay Resort is on a decent beach about a 10 minute walk from Mykonos Town. Has a very nice pool (but I would still prefer to stay right in Mykonos Town). Anemomilos Apartments are very nice and in the main town (Chora) of Folegandros. Wonderful views. There will likely be a Crete to Mykonos ferry (with stops in Santorini, Paros, and Ios along the way). Mykonos to Folegandros (direct) is less certain but you’ll always be able to get there, you just might have to change ferries in a different island.

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Hi there! My husband and I wanted to visit Santorini in August/September but we like very hot weather. I saw on a few websites that it only gets to about 80 degrees? Is that true?

Joanna Condoluci

Santorini often has a nice breeze that keeps the temps moderate (somewhere in the 80s) even in the summer. Most people like this but if you’re after very hot then you might be disappointed. That said, there’s always a week or two each year when you get some scorching temperatures. August is usually the hottest month but peaks can come anytime from early June to late September.

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Hi Dave, great site!! Planning a trip to Greek islands and Athens for late September and October. Would you recommend travelling the islands on your own, or taking a small cruise to cover more territory by night and explore the islands by day. If so, which cruise do you recommend? Thanks So Much

I am not a big fan of cruises in the Greek Islands so would definitely recommend doing and planning it yourself. More info here: Should I Take A Santorini Cruise?

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Hi Dave, I have come across your site recently and it is a great resource. We are planning an 8-day trip from NYC to Greece Oct. 28 – Nov. 5. It seems like Santorini and Athens are definitive top choices. But we wanted to see 1 additional part of Greece. Where would you recommend at that time of year? We were thinking Crete, but where in Crete would you recommend? Would Naxos be a good option? Thanks so much. Amit

If you want a second island to visit then Naxos. (There won’t be any Santorini-Crete ferries in November so visiting Crete is much more difficult.) If you’re open to something on the mainland then do an overnight trip from Athens to Nafplio.

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My husband and I are thinking of taking a trip but would have to go in mid to late March. Would we still get ferries to the islands, Santorini and Mykonos in particular? Maria

There will be ferries to Santorini and to Mykonos but not ferries between Santorini and Mykonos. In the off-season you’re better to visit Santorini and Paros or Naxos as the ferry connections run all-year and there’s more to see and do in the quiet months on Paros/Naxos than on Mykonos.

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Kali mera! Thank you for your recommendations. We are exploring all your suggestions. One more question – where (town/village) on Crete, Mykonos, or Rhodes would you recommend we stay? 3 families with children ranging from 7-10 years old. Judy

On the assumption that the focus will be on your children rather than yourselves, you are probably wanting a family-friendly hotel in either Crete or Rhodes and there are plenty of options in a few select places where you’ll need to do the research to locate what suits your budget and individual needs.

The Agia Marina/Platanias strip west of Chania town is a good start for Crete. It’s touristy, but not overly so and there are many family hotels dotted along the coastline. There are lots of shops, restaurants, and car-hire places and the long beach is generally sandy and shelving. Most decent-sized hotels will have pools and the family-oriented hotels generally put on a special effort for children with activities, play centres, pools for kids and often child-minding. There is also an Aqua park not far from Chania. You will find similar possibilities on the tourist strip east of the town of Rethymnon though the hotels and the beach are divided by a road – unlike in Chania. At the upper end of the budget scale there are some pretty enticing family hotels in Elounda over to the east. Some of the hotels listed on this site have great kids’ facilities so have a browse here first.

Rhodes is similar, with the family-friendly hotels scattered down the east coast through Faliraki to Lindos. Some of the larger hotels near Rhodes New Town (on the west side of the island) cater well for children so have a look here too. It’s hard to recommend one over another as they do vary considerably in price, but there are the areas that you need to be looking at.

Mykonos has a reputation for partying and nightlife but as long as you avoid the clubs and bars (and a few of the party beaches) it has a surprisingly family-friendly vibe. The beaches of Platys Gialos and Ornos are best for kids and have a good mix of family hotels and good restaurants.

Other than large family hotels (which will inevitably cost more if they are all inclusive or even half-board deals) your only other option is DIY in self-catering appartments, but then you are going to have to entertain your group’s children in more imaginative ways. All three are good islands to find what you seem to be looking for, all you have to do is start looking for that best combination of accommodation and entertainment for your three families.

See Also: Crete Family Hotels , Rhodes Family Hotels , and Mykonos Family Hotels .

I’ll be traveling to Greece mid to late August with my husband and 10yr old daughter. We have two other families (similar composition) joining us. We will do 3-4 days in Athens then an island for 5-6 days. I looked into Naxos but it has limited airbnb options. I’ve been to Greece a number of times but the other 2 families have not. We want beach, good food, and a pool wherever we stay to keep kids busy before we head to beaches or sightseeing. What do you suggest?

Naxos is the best island for what you’re looking for (though Crete, Paros, Mykonos, Ios, and Rhodes are also good choices). Agree there are few Airbnb rentals but not sure why that’s a necessity. Lots of great family hotels on Naxos .

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Hi Dave We are a family of 5 (kids 15,11,6) and will likely be travelling with my almost 80 year old dad. My eldest daughter wants to see the Parthenon in Athens and the other two want to enjoy family beach and relaxation. Not caring as much about history just yet. I was thinking thinking Corfu for one of our destinations… we are thinking about last week of July for timing. If we had a week would you have a recommendation? Thanks, Sarah Luke

Corfu is a wonderful island but not great for island hopping – if you go there you probably won’t go anywhere else. Conversely, the Cyclades are close together and it’s easy (and lots of fun) to ferry from one to the next. You could see 2 islands or even 3 in a weeks time. All the Cycladic islands are worth a visit so don’t worry about making a bad choice but Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos are particularly good for kids. Mykonos, Ios, and Santorini have fewer families but all have a great family-friendly vibe as long as you avoid the night clubs and romantic restaurants.

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Hello Santorini Dave,

Thanks for all the Greece weather tips. My husband and I are planning a 2 week vacation in Greece with our little 18 month baby. Would you advise what are the best places to visit with a baby? The trip should be first 2 weeks of September. Thanks, Nihal

Naxos is a great island for families and staying in Naxos Town (and near St George’s beach) is a great combination of convenience, good hotels, and easy access to the beach.

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HI Dave! My husband and I are planning last minute to visit Greece from the US and fly our 18 yr old son to meet us (he is currently doing a year in Germany). Planning to come April 8-15th approx. I have been researching some and I think we would love to do Athens for a short stay and then Santorini and Naxos. Santorini sounds the best to us and we arent into the party scene so sightseeing in Naxos sounds interesting. Will that be during Easter in Greece and if so how will that affect our trip? Any advice on logistics? Flying into Athens and then how best to do the itinerary from there? Likely want to fly into Santorino instead of Ferry. Thanks for all of the great info that you provide! Pam Wagner

The best plan: Buy tickets to London. Then fly directly to Santorini. Ferry to Naxos. Fly or ferry to Athens. Fly Athens to London. This saves time making two visits to Athens (when you only need one) and you don’t have to retrace your steps (also a time-waster). Use to search for tickets.

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Hi Dave, really great and helpful your blog! I´m planning my honeymoon in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, between March 18th and March 26th. We´re not looking forward to beach weather, but is it nice for sightseeing? Or is it likely to be rainy or cloudy? Thanks a lot! Paula

Certainly be prepared for a little rain but you’ll likely get good sightseeing weather in Athens and Santorini. Mykonos doesn’t have a lot to see/experience outside of warm months so I would recommend Naxos instead.

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Dear Santorini Dave, After reading all of your many responses, I have to agree with all of the compliments going your way. Your advice is so relevant and tailored. Thanks in advance for helping me with my dilemma.

My wife and I are celebrating her 40th birthday. we are spending a day/night in Athens and then 4 nights/5 days in Santorini. I wanted to add one more island to our itinerary before heading back to Athens and on to home.

My original plan was to go to Crete for 2 days/nights. However, after reading your site, I have to admit it is not enough time to do it justice.

We want to minimize ferry/airport/getting to hotel time as much as possible and so that led me the other direction to Naxos or Paros.

Ideally, the location would give a good cultural taste of Greece, be scenic, not require hiring a car, have good food/drink, be somewhat romantic and have some nightlife (we won’t be up all night dancing, but do like to go out). Nice beaches are a plus, but subordinate to great local experience.

My original thought was Naxos, because it looked like we could take a ferry, settle in in a nearby place (e.g. nissaki) and walk to either town or beach. The portal was also an added plus. The only thing that put me off a little was a lot of the area seemed family friendly (and while I love kids – I have three youngish ones), we are traveling to be around adults. Not sure if you can weigh in on whether we will feel like we are having a romantic time if we stay in Naxos, but I’d appreciate your insight.

If we stay in Paros, my concern was it seemed a little less likely that we could get a compact experience, where we stay in a nice hotel (e.g. lily residence or astir of Paros), but still we walkable to town or water.

Our ideal would be waking up, hanging out pool or beachside, then walking in town and eating/drinking our way through different tavernas and restaurants, maybe heading back to beach or pool and then out again for dinner / nightlife. A short day trip is fine by bus or taxi, but would given the short time, that would be limited.

We are going in the first week of August next year so it will be right in the middle of busy season. Budget is not a constraint in terms of 2 days for the hotel.

Thank you for any advice on whether Naxos or Paros is best for us. Also, please confirm if it will be fairly easy to book a flight to Athens from either island.

Yes, Naxos Town and beach are very family friendly with lots of kids but I would be surprised if you found it overrun with children and couldn’t enjoy it as two adults. That said, Naoussa (on Paros) is more sophisticated with night clubs and trendy restaurants and definitely has a more adult feel (though you’ll still see plenty of kids). The beaches near Naoussa are not as nice as the beaches near Naxos Town but they’re still nice for a swim – for a sunbathing scene you’d probably need a rental car on Paros. And also, Naoussa is a bus/taxi/car ride from the port of Paros. In sum, the vibe of Naoussa is more of what you’re looking for, but Naxos is more convenient. Both are great. Flights from both islands to Athens are easy to get but do book them well in advance.

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Hi Dave, Awesome website. We are a family of 5 (kids ages 12,8,4). We are considering a trip 1st week of April for 8 days. We’d like to see some historic sites in Athens as well as visit Santorini. We are considering flying between Athens and Santorini. Would adding Mykonos be too hectic? What split in days you recommend? What sites in/near Athens do you recommend? Would we need to rent a car or local transport would be good? Thanks Lakshmi

There are direct ferries between Santorini and Mykonos in April so it wouldn’t be hard at all to add Mykonos. That said, it’s not beach time yet in April so Mykonos won’t have a lot to do for a family. Naxos or Paros are better off-season choices. Renting a car on all the islands is a good way to see more, so yes I would recommend that. In Athens the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, the historical sites in the Plaka, and the National Archaeological Museum are the highlights. Since it’s off-season I would do 3 days in Santorini, 3 days in Athens, and 2 days in Mykonos, Naxos, or Paros.

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Hi Dave, I’m glad I found your site. I’m planning a trip to Greece with my husband, 6 year old and 17 year old in mid April. Maybe 10th-18th. Hubby and teen are history and Greek mythology lovers. With 7 or 8 nights I’m thinking 2 locations. Athens and Santorini? Naxos sounds nice too. Do we need 3 nights in Athens for the sites or 4 nights? If we pick 1 island which one should it be? Looking for nice scenery, village culture, good food. I’m assuming weather would be similar on both islands. The 16th is Easter in case that changes anything. Also any advice on whether to explore Athens first or fly to an island first? thanks so much! Cynthia

3 nights (2 full days) should be enough for Athens but if you’re really keen on history then you could easily fill 3 days. If you can only visit one island then Santorini is definitely the highlight – especially in April when it’s not beach weather (Santorini’s views are great year-round). Travel during Easter week will be busy and you should book ferries in advance even though it is low season. If you’re ferrying to and from the islands then do Athens at the end of your trip (just in case ferries are cancelled you’ll have a few days to play with to get back to Athens for your flight home). If you’re flying it doesn’t really matter.

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Hi Dave – per your recommendation, I’m trying to buy ferry tickets from Mykonos to Santorini for July on the Hellenic highspeed 4, which you say is the best for people who are prone to sea sickness. I went to but can’t figure out which one is highspeed 4. Do you know the exact times? I would also like to check your 2nd recommendation on terajet, but again – do you know exact times? Thanks so much! your website has made my planning effortless.

Hellenic has 2 ferries running between Mykonos and Santorini this summer. The Hellenic Highspeed which leaves Mykonos at 10:15. And the Highspeed 7 which leaves Mykonos at 13:50. Both are good for stability and seasickness. Both take about 3 hours and cost the same. (I would probably take the earlier one, that way if it’s cancelled you have a second shot with the afternoon ferry).

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Hi Dave. I’ll be in Crete in May also on honeymoon, where would you recommend on the south of the island? Thanks, Marie Finn

Southern Crete covers a lot of territory and you’ve not really hinted at want you want to do or what kind of traveller you are. So here are a few tips for places that offer a mixture of creature comfort, beach, places to eat and offer accessibility.

Over on the far eastern side of Crete is the cosy little town of Ierapetra, nestled in among some of the richest agricultural territory in Crete. It wears its tourism monicker shyly, but needn’t fear as it is a very likeable town with a busy central promenade and a selection of fine seaside cafés and restaurants. The beach scene in the town centre – heading on out to the fortress – is actually pretty amenable and the water swimmable. You could hang around in Ierapetra for a few days and may move a little further west (15kms) and spend a few more days at a friendly and equally cosy seaside village called Myrtos. You could easily spot a relaxing week of your honeymoon in these two centres.

Considerably further west and in the middle section of the southern coast is the less-shy former hippy resort of Matala which wears its monicker rather retro-proudly. It has all the attractions of a holiday resort: sand, sun, ouzo-laced sunsets and plenty of places to stay. It was very trendy back in the 60s and 70s and still maintains its air of now post-hippy happiness, though people no longer make a home in the troglodyte-like caves that back the rather languid bay-wrapped beach. Better know the the other places and a bit more up-market.

On a similar note you have two more sizeable seaside villages of similar atmosphere that you may care to investigate. The first is Plakias (further west yet from Matala – 72kms) and while it never garnered a hippy heritage, it has stood the test of time as a popular traveller haunt, with yet enough creature comforts to make a honeymoon here an attractive option. Fine enough beach, the odd revved-up bar, good places to eat and a range of budget to honeymoon quality accommodation.

Keep going west and you will hit Paleochora (158kms from Plakias via a very circuitous route) the last of the four suggested locales for your honeymoon. Similar to the former, though a bit larger in size and offering two types of beaches to choose from (pebble and sand). Again it’s a ‘cozy’ village (for want of a better word) and similar in style to the previous two.

The south coast is not as well connected as the North coast inasmuch as there is no straight and direct road across the southern flank of the island. You will need to duck and weave and in the case of the Plakias to Paleochora stretch there is not even a road: transport here is by coastal ferry (or you have to go drive all the way to the north coast and then back down another road). A week is not a lot of time, so you may want to limit yourself geographically to one of the four places mentioned. Best tip for honeymooners? Try Matala!

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Hi Dave, I will be in Greece from the 22nd to 29th March of next year and was planning to visit Santorini and Athens. From what I’ve read from your blog so far (which has been super helpful so thankyou!) this is low low season and a lot less will be open and available on the islands. Is Santorini still worth a trip in late March for two 20-something girls looking to sight-see, explore, eat good food and a bit of partying? Not overly fussed about swimming. Thanks, Saskia

Yes, I think Santorini is nice in March and your best choice for what you’re looking for. No island has a robust nightlife in March but Santorini has the most and you should be able to find some fun in Fira (though nothing too crazy). Sightseeing is good in March.

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We, my husband and 2 college age daughters, are planning a trip in March(11-19th). We were hoping that we could plan on sun. Probably too cold to swim in the ocean, but sit by a pool and swim a little would be nice. We like scenery, food, a little slower pace than the big cities. After reading your info on Santorini I was sold, but I feel like I should plan on going to Crete to get better weather. We plan to fly in/out of Athens so I think both islands is too rushed. Santorini sounds great, but after landslides due to persistent rain on our last trip to Scotland, I’m trying to get the least clouds and rain possible but still great scenery. I need a compromise and hope you can help. Honeymoon atmosphere not needed, nor wild party scene. Can you help direct me? Great site! Thanks, Carla

I agree, Crete is great and should have nice-ish weather in mid-March but probably won’t be swimming as most pools are not heated. Chania is the highlight of Crete and has year-round population and visitors so will have some life to it even in March. Knossos (near Heraklion) is one of the top historical sites in Greece and worth a visit.

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We are planning a visit to Greece in early May. Where would you recommend to get the best and hottest weather for beach time? I know it’s early season but need to know where the best chance of good weather is.

Crete is the farthest south and gets the warmest weather early in the season (and late too). And within Crete, the south coast, usually gets warm weather a little before the rest of the island. Not a huge difference but enough to notice.

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The Best Time to Visit Greece and the Greek Islands

Not sure what is the best time to visit Greece ? I used to live in Greece and visit frequently so I’ve put together a month by month guide to help you figure out the best time to go to Greece  depending on your interests and weather preferences.

I have broken down the best time of the year to visit Greece by season and even further by month.

Finally, I have a summary of the best time to visit depending on your interests and my overall top pick for most people.

Acropolis in Greece

What is the Best Season to Visit Greece

Not sure what season to go to Greece ? Here are some pros and cons about visiting Greece and the Greek islands in each of the four seasons. Once you have a general idea of what season you would like to visit, make sure to check out my month by month guide for more detailed information. Even in the same season, your experience in Greece will vary depending on the month you visit.

Visiting Greece in the Spring

Spring is generally a great time to explore Greece as temperatures start to warm up making it very pleasant to walk around and sightsee. Tourism starts to increase every month especially around Easter week when locals head to the Greek islands. In May, weather is warm enough to sunbathe but the sea might still feel too cool to swim.

Easter is a big holiday in Greece. The date changes every year – this year Orthodox Easter is May 5, 2024 which is fairly late in spring.

Visiting Greece in the Summer

greece packing list

Summer is the busiest and the most popular time to visit Greece. The summer months bring the iconic Greek summer experience, attracting sun-seekers from around the world. The Greek Islands become bustling with life, offering a perfect setting for beach lovers and party enthusiasts.

June offers warm to hot temperatures making it a great time to visit for those that want to enjoy beach time as well as sightsee. July and August are the hottest summer months (temperatures can reach ) so they are not the ideal months for hiking or sightseeing.

Keep in mind that popular destinations (such as Athens, Santorini and Mykonos) are very crowded during the summer, so book hotels and flights in advance.

If you would like to visit the Greek islands in the summer but avoid crowds, choose less well known Greek islands.

Visiting Greece in Autumn

Autumn is an excellent time to explore both the mainland and islands without the intense summer crowds.

Early Autumn is usually the best time to visit in terms of good weather – the weather is usually more pleasant (still relatively warm and less likely to rain).

During early autumn (September and early October), you can still enjoy the Greek summer experience (go to the beach and swim in the sea) with fewer crowds.

Late autumn (late October and November) is a bit more unpredictable-temperatures will start to cool and rainy season begins. The weather might still be warm outside but it might be too cold to go swimming. If you want to visit the Greek islands in late autumn, head to warmer southern Greek islands (including Crete and Rhodes).

Athens and the mainland will be pleasant for walking around, hiking and sightseeing.

Visiting Greece in the Winter (November to February)

While winter may not be the most popular time to visit Greece, it is not a bad time to visit Greece especially if you just want to sightsee. November offers a quieter experience, and you can still enjoy mild temperatures. December brings festive vibes, with Christmas markets and celebrations throughout the country.

The winter months are perfect for exploring historical sites without the crowds, although some islands and coastal areas may experience cooler and rainy weather.

While it can get cold and snowy in the mountains and northern Greece, the temperatures in most of Greece (including Athens) are usually not very cold so it is a good time to sightsee.

Winter is not the best time to visit the Greek islands and it is usually too cold for sunbathing and swimming. If you can only visit the Greek islands in the winter, choose warmer Greek islands in the South like Crete and Rhodes.

Winter is rainy season in Greece, so pack a travel umbrella .

Pros: Winter is low season in Greece so winter offers the fewest crowds and lowest prices.

Cons: Winter is too cold for swimming. It is more likely to rain that the rest of the year. Snow in Athens in rare but can happen. Many restaurants, hotels and shops in the Greek islands are closed for the season. Some attractions might have reduced hours.

What is the Best Month to Visit Greece

Hopefully you now have a general idea of the season you want to visit Greece. If you want to narrow it down further, here is a month by month guide.

Visiting Greece in January

January is the middle of winter and one the coldest and rainiest months in winter.

There are fewer tourists and lower prices on accommodations.

Visiting Greece in February

February is one of coldest months in Greece.  There are not a lot off tourists and you can expect lower prices.

Since most of Greece has mild weather in the winter, it is not a bad time to explore historical attractions.

Visiting Greece in March

March is a transitional month.  Spring blooms begin and temperatures are more moderate than January and February.  It is still more likely to rain in March than later in the spring.  It is a good month for walking around and exploring ancient ruins and historical sites

Visiting Greece in April

April is particularly delightful, with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time to explore historic sites.

April is considered shoulder season. Tourism starts to increase but there are still lower tourist numbers compared to summer.

The weather starts to get warmer making it a good month for those that enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities. A Most places are still too cold for swimming, but some

April is is good time to visit Santorini and Mykonos before it gets crowded but it will still be too cold for swimming for most people.  If you are hoping to spend time at the beach, head to southern islands south such as Crete and Rhodes which are typically a bit warmer.

Visiting Greece in May

May tends to be one of the best months for good weather as temparatures are warm. It is a great time to visit Greece before schools go on summer break and the busy summer season starts.

May is a good month for island hopping and beach activities but some people might find the water a bit cold for swimming especially in the first half of the month.

Around mid to late May, tourism start to increase substantially as schools let out for summer.

Visiting Greece in June

Santorini Greece

June is the start of summer with rising temperatures.  It can start to feel very hot especially later in the month.

This is a good time to visit the Greek islands.  There is bustling nightlife on the islands and some crowds but less busy than later in the summer.

June is definitely hot enough to visit the beach although some people might still find the water a bit cold for swimming in early June. By late June, the sea has warmed up making it an ideal time for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.

Visiting Greece in July

July is usually the hottest month in Greece and many places (including Athens) might feel too hot for sightseeing.

Greece is very crowded with tourists at this time as all students are on summer break.  Advance bookings are recommended for popular destinations.

The Cyclades (including Mykonos and Santorini) will be hot but the breeze makes it feel less hot than Athens and the mainland. If you want to visit the Greek islands in July but want to avoid crowds, head to less popular islands.

Visiting Greece in August

August is the peak of summer tourism with crowded beaches and nightclubs. It is perfect for those seeking a lively atmosphere.

August is one of the two hottest months in Greece in terms of temperature.  This is a great time for swimming as the sea will be the warmest.-

Many Europeans take their vacation in August, so Greece is very crowded especially the first half of the month. August 15 is a big national holiday in Greece.

Visiting Greece in September

As the summer rush subsides, September sees a gradual decrease in temperature and tourist numbers. The weather remains warm, and the sea is still inviting for a swim. This is an excellent time to explore both the mainland and islands without the large summer crowds.

I consider September to be the BEST time to visit Greece for warm weather with fewer crowds.  The temperature in early September is still hot and the water is warm enough to swim. Late September is usually still warm, but it starts to get a bit cooler especially at night.

Visiting Greece in October

October is the start of shoulder season. Attractions become less crowded and you can find lower accommodation prices.

October brings cooler but still pleasant temperatures. It is still a good time to visit, especially if you enjoy hiking and outdoor activities.

Early October is typically warm enough for swimming. Temperatures start to cool mid to late October with autumn temperatures but you might still be able to go swimming in some parts of Greece such as Crete.  Rainy season starts around mid to late October so it is more likely to rain than earlier in the month.

Visiting Greece in November

If you enjoy moderate temperatures, November is a great time to visit in Greece. Weather can be a bit unpredictable, and it does occasionally rain in November. Attractions are much less crowded, so this is a good time to visit Greece if you want to sightsee with fewer crowds.

Visiting Greece in December

December usually has mild winter temperatures so this is a good time to visit Greece if you want to sightsee with few crowds. Attractions are not  crowded at this time.  Flights will probably not be that cheap, as many Greeks that live abroad will be traveling back to visit family for the holidays.  You can enjoy festive Christmas markets and celebrations at this time, but Christmas is not as much of a big deal as it is in western Europe and the US.

Worst Time to Visit Greece

If I had to pick the worst time to visit Greece, it would be August when it is the most crowded and also very hot. Many Europeans (including Greeks) take their annual vacation in August, so beach destinations will be very busy. Athens will not be as crowded as early in the summer (as many Athenians will be on beach vacations) but there are still many foreign tourists in the city.

Should you visit Greece if you can only go in August? Yes! I used to visit Greece every August when I was still a student and still enjoyed it.

If you want to visit the popular islands in August, book early and expect high prices.

If you want to avoid crowds in the Greek islands, skip the most popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini and head to less well known islands. The end of the August will be less crowded as the first half as some students are already back in school.

What is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Greece For…

Good Weather   –  The months with the most comfortable weather in Greece are typically May through June and September and October. During this time the weather is warm but usually not as painfully hot as the peak summer (July and August).

In April and November, temperatures are still very pleasant enough to sightsee comfortably but might not be warm enough for a beach vacation.

March and December are cooler but still mild but it is more likely to rain than summer season.

The months that typically have the worst weather (colder, rainier and occasional snow) are January and February.

Swimming –  The water in the sea is warmest and pleasant for swimming from mid-June through mid-September. May and October are usually warm enough to swim but some people might find the water too cold.  Most people will find late autumn, winter and early spring, too cold for sunbathing and swimming.

Keep in mind that the sea warms up as the weather gets hotter but there is a lag of a few weeks.  In late spring and early summer the weather can be hot outside, but the sea a bit cool for swimming.  In autumn, it can start to feel cooler outside, but the water can still be warm for swimming. You can find current and historical sea temperature data here .

Most locals and tourists start heading to the beach sometime in May and June but for some people the water in Greece gets comfortably warm for swimming around late June.  When I lived in Greece (in the Peloponnese), I would usually start swimming the second week of May.

Avoiding Crowds – The busiest time in terms of tourism is the summer (and Easter week). If you want to avoid fellow tourists at popular tourist attractions, visit in the low season (January through March). Shoulder season (April through mid-May and mid-September through October) is a good balance of fewer crowds but pleasant and warm weather .

Party Animals – If partying in the Greek islands is the reason for your trip, then you will want to visit in the summer. Lots of bars and clubs in the Greek islands (such as Ios) do not open until around Easter and close down around September.

Low Prices – You are most likely to find the biggest hotel and flight bargains in January and February because there are fewer tourists visiting Greece at this time. There will be slightly more visitors in March and November, but prices are still low at this time.

Best Time to Visit Greece – My Overall Recommendation

Most people would enjoy visiting Greece (including the Greek islands) in early autumn (September and early October) .  In early fall, the weather is still warm and you can enjoy beach time and outdoor activities with fewer crowds because kids and students are back in school.  If you enjoy hot weather, September is the best month to visit. If you prefer more mild and pleasant temperatures, October is a great month to visit and might still be warm enough to swim in the ocean. The reason I chose autumn over spring is that even if the outside temperature is the same, the ocean in autumn will be warmer for swimming versus in the spring when the water temperatures are still cold.

My second choice of the best time to visit Greece depends on your interests. If you are visiting Greece for a beach vacation or nightlife, my second choice for the best time to visit Greece is June (as there are fewer crowds than July and August).  If you are visiting Greece for sightseeing, my second choice for the best time to visit Greece is late spring (especially April and May) for warm and  pleasant temperatures and pretty spring flowers.

If you enjoy hot weather, beach time and a party atmosphere, then summer is a good time to visit but it will be crowded and more expensive. If you want to visit Greece on a budget and want to avoid crowds, then consider visiting in the winter but it might be rainy and somewhat cold.

Ultimately when to visit Greece depends on you so hopefully this guide has helped you make a decision on the best time to visit Greece . If you are still not sure, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.

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Greece Weather & Best Time to Visit

Discover the best period to go in Greece!

Greece weather & Best time to visit

Weather in Greece is fairly uniform throughout the mainland and the Greek islands.

Due to its geographical position, the country has mild winters and warm summers, cooled by different kind of seasonal winds. The summers in Greece are characterized by sunshine and very little rainfall: great temperatures and successful summer holidays guaranteed in Greece!

The weather of the Aegean islands and the Ionian seas is milder. Some regions are characterized by the Meltemi , a summer wind that blows mostly the islands of the Aegean and offers perfect wind conditions for sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.

Weather info in popular locations:

Destinations Select a Destination Aegina Agistri Alonissos Amorgos Anafi Andros Antiparos Arachova Astypalea Athens Chania Chios Corfu Delphi Donoussa Elafonissos Epidaurus Ermioni Folegandros Fourni Gythio Halki Halkidiki Heraklion Hydra Ikaria Ios Iraklia Ithaca Kalavryta Kalymnos Karpathos Kea Kefalonia Kimolos Kos Koufonisia Kyparissia Kythira Kythnos Lassithi Lefkada Lemnos Leros Lesvos Lipsi Mathraki Meganisi Mesolongi Meteora Milos Monemvasia Mycenae Mykonos Mystras Nafpaktos Nafplion Naxos Nisyros Olympia Parga Paros Patmos Patra Paxi Pelion Poros Porto Heli Rethymno Rhodes Samos Santorini Schinoussa Serifos Sifnos Sikinos Simi Skiathos Skopelos Skyros Sparti Spetses Syros Thassos Thessaloniki Tilos Tinos Zagorochoria Zakynthos

Best time to visit

Are you planning a trip to Greece but are not exactly sure when is the best time to visit? We’ve got your back! High Season | Islands | Cities | Mainland | Holidays & Festivals | Budget | When not to visit

Islands, mountains and cities, Greece combines it all and each season here is beautiful in a unique manner! Let us take care of your practical concerns with respect to the weather, prices, availability and other practical issues. Below you will find some of the most important things to consider before booking your trip so that you can get an idea of what do the top destinations in Greece look like at different times of the year.

High season

Greece is widely known for its stunning seascapes and abundance of sunlight and the most popular time of the year to visit it is July and August , when not only visitors from all around the world but also Greek people take a break from the workload and recharge their batteries by travelling. The most visited destinations during the high season are certainly the Greek islands , with the most frequented ones being the Cyclades and Crete , while other islands or seaside resorts on the mainland achieve high occupancy levels too. Booking in advance is a must if you’re planning to visit at this time of the year, since prices go up and the availability may be limited. Many places tend to get overcrowded -although Greece has over 100 islands, overtourism is still a thing- and the temperature rises as well, making it very likely to encounter a heatwave between 30°C and 40°C . On the bright side, July and August are the best months to swim in the sea and the tourist facilities work nonstop to keep everyone happy. This is the right time to visit islands mostly known for their vibrant nightlife, such as Mykonos , and experience the vividness of their busy alleys!

The regular ferry schedules that connect the islands to one another create perfect island-hopping opportunities, although this is also possible in May , June or September , right before or after the high season. It should be mentioned that the good weather conditions make this time of the year great for water sports, especially at the windy Cyclades such as Paros and Naxos . If you’re not a fan of big crowds but are only able to travel during the high season, we recommend visiting some less touristy Greek islands where you can have peace of mind, such as Syros, Serifos, Ikaria and many more islands .

Best time for islands and coastline

Temperature-wise, to get the most out of your days spent on the beach, the best time to visit the Greek islands is June , early July and September , when the weather is at its best and you get to avoid the frequent heat waves and tourist crowds of August and mid-July. The sunniest days can start as soon as May and continue until early October. You can still enjoy the beach when the temperature is at around 23 °C, although the sea waters may still be somewhat cold in May. Mediterranean winters are generally considered mild and swimming all year long is definitely a possibility, especially for those used to colder environments. Many islands or other seafront places on the coastline, however, are practically empty, since most facilities are closed from October to April.

If you want to visit the Dodecanese islands , for instance Rhodes, or Crete, keep in mind that the more south you go, the higher the temperatures will be. On the other hand, the Ionian islands make a great midsummer destination, as they offer both beaches and forests with a refreshing atmosphere that make the summer heat more manageable, compared to the Cyclades. Last thing to consider, is that unless you actively enjoy the hustle and bustle of the high season, it is best to avoid most islands and seafront places in August and pick some other time to visit instead.

Best time for cities

With the biggest part of the population concentrated in the urban centers, Athens, Thessaloniki and other large cities are vivid at any time of the year . No matter when you choose to visit the Greek cities , it is certain that there will be plenty of things to do and the streets will be busy 24/7. However, they say that there is an exception to every rule: August is the only time of the year when even the most densely populated cities like Athens get unexpectedly deserted , since most of the locals prefer to spend their days off of work in the countryside. A similar event may occur during Easter. Even though the majority of shops and restaurants are closed during this time of the year, you can use the desolate streets of August to your advantage in order to see some landmarks, stroll around the picturesque historic centers located in the heart of big cities or, in the case of Athens , explore the long coastline and the many beaches known as the Athens Riviera . One of the highlights of finding yourself in Athens in August is that you can follow the tradition of going to the Acropolis of Athens or Cape Sounio to enjoy the August full moon .

Other cities and towns in Greece are best to visit during the winter, when you will have a chance to enjoy their particularly Christmassy atmosphere: Drama and Trikala, for instance, are famous for their Christmas markets and themed parks. Last but not least, the greatest party takes place every February in Patra , during the carnival season.

Best time for the mainland

Greece has been blessed with great diversity in terms of landscapes and the natural sceneries you will come across in the mainland are much different than what you usually see on the islands. Valleys, forests, rocky mountains and hillside villages make up the most part of the mainland outside the cities and towns. A roadtrip is the best way to explore the countryside and the ideal time to do that is spring or early autumn , when nature is at its best and the temperatures are still mild. There are numerous places to visit and some of the most visited ones are Delphi , Olympia , Meteora and Nafplion .

The mountainous areas of the greek mainland are significantly less warm than areas located close to the sea during the summer and most of them, particularly the ones situated on the northern part of Greece, are mainly considered winter resorts: areas such as Arachova in Parnassos and Pelion are popular during Christmas and the rest of the winter as they usually get snowy and they offer some decent skiing and snowboarding opportunities . Bear in mind that heavy snowfall can affect transfers by making driving quite challenging and in some cases, small mountainous villages may get temporarily cut off by the snow.

Visit during Holidays and Festivals

Most cultural festivals that involve music, theater and art take place from May to October , including the famous Athens and Epidaurus Festival . Other ones, such as the International Film Festival of Thessaloniki take place later in November . Most celebrations and fairs are religion-oriented and take place during the summer, with the most significant one being the Assumption, on August 15th . This is a great opportunity to join the locals and have fun the traditional way.

Although Greece is not the first destination that comes to your mind when thinking about Christmas, numerous mountainous areas such as Karpenisi, Pelion, Drama and Trikala turn into true winter wonderlands on the occasion of Christmas, while the Nea Year’s Eve firework show in Athens is quite impressive. Other winter events not to miss if you enjoy attending festivals include the carnival. Although Patra is the most popular carnival destination, numerous other cities, towns or villages all over Greece and the islands organize carnival-related annual events. One of the most popular takes places in Naxos , with a revival of the Dionysian traditions.

The most important holiday for the Greeks is Easter , when most people head towards the countryside to attend festivals and take part in the local celebrations. If you choose this time of the year for your trip, keep in mind that rural destinations get busy and the streets of big cities are empty, while museums and other attractions might be closed for a few days. (Note that Orthodox dates for easter may vary from the Catholic one) Another great time to visit the Greek countryside is May Day , when most of the locals take some spare time to reconnect with nature and enjoy the delightful springtime.

Travelling on a budget

Are you running a tight budget and high season islands seem to be out of reach? It is totally possible to adjust your travel plans so that you can save money without missing the opportunity to see your dream destination.

The cheapest flights are usually available in the autumn and late spring , since the vast majority of people are unable to travel during this time of the year. You will find plenty of bargains that aim at attracting visitors, although the schedules are less frequent compared to the summer season. Another good option is to visit mountainous “Christmas” destinations during the fall or spring. Nature is truly beautiful at these times and it is much easier to drive around and explore, if you don’t mind missing out on skiing and snowboarding.

As far as islands and seaside resorts are concerned, prices tend to drop during springtime or the autumn, until early October, although you will find less variety in terms of facilities. Several affordable luxury options are also available until June. The low season starts in November and ends in March, and although the prices reach their lowest point, the islands are not recommended because of the cold weather and the lack of facilities.

When not to visit

You probably already have enough information regarding the best time to visit Greece, but which is actually the worst time to visit and what should you be aware of before booking your trip?

Despite the fact that Mediterranean winters are considered mild, most Greek islands tend to get virtually empty during winter time . As the weather gets colder and windier, more and more facilities shut down and go into hibernation from the beginning of the rain season in October until late spring. The ferry schedules become less frequent due to the low demand. Nevertheless, some of the islands remain lively all year long , especially the largest ones such as Crete , Rhodes and Corfu but also Syros , Aegina & Poros .

Another thing to consider is that if sightseeing is your main goal, it is a good idea to choose spring, autumn or early June and avoid July and August, when the heat might make your sightseeing experience considerably less pleasant. At the same time, winter is not highly recommended for sightseeing in places that do not have a particularly vivid nightlife, since less daylight hours mean less time to stroll around.

Something to remember is that August may be the most popular month to visit Greece and its most well-known islands, but that does not necessarily mean that it is the best; in many cases, overtourism may ruin it for you, especially if you value privacy and solitude over a vivid nightlife and would rather avoid the hordes of tourists.

The adventure seekers should keep in mind that it is better to stay away from the most popular hiking paths during the rain season and the winter, including Mount Olympus and the gorges of Crete, for reasons of safety, while most sea-related sports are a no-go during the winter time.

Lastly, if you are planning to visit Greece during the Orthodox Easter, the Assumption in August or some other public holiday, remember that most shops, restaurants and museums will probably be closed, so it is a good idea to consult a calendar of the major national holidays.

Greece has something different to offer during each time of the year and ultimately, it is up to you to decide according to your individual needs and preferences!



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Best Time To Visit Greece

best time to visit Greece

Sunny beaches and clear skies on your Greek vacation

Greece, the land of Apollo and the Acropolis, is a country filled with mythology and mystique! Crumbling ruins that tell stories of an ancient civilization and picturesque islands with whitewashed houses that stand out against a bright blue sky are some of the things that make Greece an enticing destination.

The best time to visit Greece is from May to October . Temperatures range from 70-90°F (21-32°C) . However, like many other European countries, it can get quite crowded during the summer months between June and September.

If you want to avoid the peak season crowds, then the best time to visit Greece is in spring (April to June) and fall (September – October) . The weather during both these periods is warm and dry, which makes it ideal for exploring the country without being troubled by the heat or rain.

Whether you are interested in history or culture, there is a fabulous array of attractions and activities that you can enjoy. Our list of the  top things to do in Greece , along with the information in this guide, can help you decide on the ideal time to visit this beautiful country.

Best Time To Visit

We recommend.

  • Discover ancient treasures at the Acropolis museum 
  • Savor the best of Greek food in Athens
  • Take a tour of the Parthenon
  • Explore the breathtaking islands of Greece, even more alluring, without the crowds
  • Trek to the monasteries of Meteora that sit atop majestic rock formations
  • Watch the change of guards at Syntagma Square in Athens
  • Find out how it all began at the ancient site of the Olympics in Olympia
  • Explore the island of Naxos by foot or on horseback
  • Climb up the 900+ steps of the Palamidi Fort in Nafplio for some stunning views of the ocean and town
  • Explore the charming island of Hydra – its stone mansions, monasteries and cobblestone streets
  • Witness unforgettable sunsets at Santorini
  • Take a boat ride into the caves and around the impressive arches of Kleftiko at the island of Milos
  • Rub shoulders with the rich and famous at Psarou Beach in Mykonos
  • Wander the pedestrianized streets of the Chora settlement in Folegandros
  • Splash into the azure blue waters of Balos Beach in Crete
  • Hike the Samaria Gorge trail in Crete that takes you through towering cliffs and ends with unforgettable views of the Libyan Sea
  • Climb the mighty Mt.Olympus, known as the mountain of the Gods
  • Visit the old fortress at Spinalonga on a day trip from Elounda
  • Explore the labyrinthine streets of the Plaka in Athens
  • Savor the fine wines and delicious foods of the island of Santorini
  • For a lesson in Greek history, head to Delphi and explore its ancient temples, theaters and stadiums
  • There’s plenty to see at Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Crete with its Minoan civilization artifacts
  • Develop an appreciation for the art and architecture of ancient Greece at the National Archaeological Museum at Athens
  • Walk down the lively Ermou Street in Athens, all lit up for the festive season

Best Time to Visit Greece by Season

Greece experiences a typical Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers and cool, wet winters. 

The summer season runs from June to mid-September, with temperatures from the mid-80s to 90s and little to no rain. There is a light breeze blowing across the islands, which makes for pleasant weather conditions. Sea temperatures are at their warmest during this time.

Autumn in Greece is often viewed as one of the best times to visit the country. Temperatures start to drop by the latter half of September, but it is still warm until October. Rainfall levels start increasing, but there are still plenty of sunny days to enjoy the beaches and attractions.  

Winter sets in by November, though cold temperatures start showing up in the southern parts only by mid-December. It is the wettest time of the year, and snow is not uncommon in the northern parts of the country. 

Springtime weather starts showing up in March with a sudden increase in temperatures in May. Water temperatures are too cold to swim in, but it’s a good time for sightseeing and hiking.

best time to visit Greece - best time to visit Europe

What to pack

During summers, warm temperatures call for light, breathable fabrics, swimwear, and plenty of sun protection – hats, glasses, and sunscreen. Day time temperatures in fall are warm, but nights can get a little chilly, so we recommend you pack a light jacket or sweater.

With temperatures dropping into the 50s during the winter months, it’s best to pack a winter jacket and warm layers. December and January see a fair bit of rain, so pack an umbrella or rain jacket. Spring sees fluctuating temperatures, so it’s best to pack light layers.

Get in touch with us to discover the best time for you to visit Greece. We will be happy to create a tailor-made  Greece vacation package  for you with no obligation!

best time to visit Greece

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Meteora is a spectacular complex of hilltop Eastern Orthodox monasteries located in Central Greece. Perched on lofty sandstone pinnacles rising above the Thessalian plain, these centuries-old buildings with hidden hermetic caves and manicured garden terraces, are wonders of architecture and engineering.

Best Time to Visit Greece

Santorini is a stunning crescent-shaped island with a volcanic history, cradled within the Cyclades and known for picturesque getaways in Greece’s Aegean Sea. Here, scenic cliffside towns of Fira, Oia, and other settlements along the caldera invite you on romantic sojourns.

Best Time to Visit Greece

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Monemvasia was once a prosperous trading center of medieval Greece. Today the town showcases its Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian histories, which happily co-exist with its modern avatar.

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Travel Inspiration

The Best Time to Visit Greece & the Greek Isles: Full Guide

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency

greece best time to visit

Wondering about the best time to visit Greece? We’ve got you covered with a full month-by-month breakdown, plus answers to common questions like “When is Greek weather at its best?” 

Ready to start planning today? Connect with Fora   and our expert advisors will help you with everything from identifying the best time to visit Greece to finding you the best places to stay in Greece . Even better, we’ll score you awesome hotel and travel perks at no extra cost.

Before we discuss the best time to visit Greece, a quick Greece climate overview

Before we get to the best time to go to Greece, we should cover a quick climate overview so you’re able to put that info in context. 

Greece has a Mediterranean climate, and July is its warmest month

Outside of the mountainous region to the north, Greece’s winters are mild and comparatively wet while summers tend to be sunny, hot and dry. Spring and fall are usually temperate, although some areas (particularly the islands) can get a little chilly at night. 

July and August are Greece’s hottest months, with the average temperatures hovering between 85–95℉.

Greece’s rainy season extends from December to February (but it depends on the region)

Greece’s rainy season has slight variations depending on the region, but most precipitation occurs between December and February (this includes snow in the mountains). Summer sees minimal rainfall across the country. 

Planning a trip to Greece ? Your Fora Advisor can help you decide the best time to go to Greece for agreeable weather (and build you an awesome Greece itinerary ). 

The best times to visit Greece: month-by-month guide

greece best time to visit

Curious how Greece changes month to month? Read on for a full breakdown.

Visiting Greece in January & February

January and February are Greece’s coldest months, with daytime temperatures hanging around 50–60℉. These are the best months to visit Greece’s beaches. However, this period can be a great time to explore major cities like Athens or Thessaloniki without the crowds. 

On another note, January and February are certainly the best months to visit Greece’s ski resorts.

Planning a trip to Athens? Check out our guide to how many days in Athens you need or the coolest Athens boutique hotels . Then, connect with Fora to plan and book your stay.

Visiting Greece in March & April

March marks the very beginning of Greece’s travel season along the Mediterranean coast and the Greek Isles. Rainfall gradually becomes less and less common as the weeks progress, and by late April, temperatures typically hover in the mid-to-high 70s or low 80s.

This is a great time to visit Greece if you’re intent on touring cities or exploring the country’s natural scenery. Crete and Santorini, for example, both have fairly temperate weather during this period and the bulk of the crowds are still a month or two away. It can get cold at night, but there are fewer travelers to compete with. 

The only downside is that many beaches may still be a little too cold to enjoy consistently.

Also check out our guides to where to stay in Crete or the best places to stay in Santorini , if you’re curious.

Going to Greece in May & June

May and June see an uptick in traffic and the weather is consistently comfortable across most of Greece. This is typically Greece’s most verdant period, too — arguably making May and June the best time to visit Greece for hiking.

Greece nightlife hubs like Mykonos and Zakynthos typically see a sharp rise in travelers by early June.

Even though May and June are officially considered shoulder season, our Fora FAM trip to Greece was held during this period, and we had an absolute blast.

Visiting Greece in July & August

Greece travel hits a fever pitch in July and August. Virtually all the major destinations are at their busiest, especially Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos. The weather is consistently hot and rainfall is rare (i.e., perfect beach weather). 

If you’re intent on visiting Greece in July or August but eager to avoid the worst of the crowds, islands like Milos and Paros aren’t nearly as crowded. Better yet, many Fora Advisors actually prefer these destinations because of their authenticity. 

Want to know where to stay in Paros or where to stay in Milos ? Connect with Fora . We’ll help you plan and book your dream island getaway. 

Going to Greece in September & October

September brings milder temperatures and fewer crowds as schools around the world reopen. This can be one of the best times to visit Greece for families because the weather’s still great for beach days and excursions. And it’s not so crowded that you need to constantly mind the little ones. 

By October, the landscapes take on golden hues, with rolling vineyards and olive groves creating a picturesque backdrop.

A lot of Greek island resorts shut down for the season around this time, but there are still options throughout the country. 

Connect with Fora to plan and book your family trip with Greece (and check out our guide to the best Greek islands for families in the meantime).

Visiting Greece in November & December

November is the low season for travel, but this can still be a great time to visit Greece if you don’t mind colder weather. The upside is that many of the experiences are much more authentic, and you typically won’t run into many crowds (outside of the holiday season). If you’re visiting as a culture junkie, this can actually be one of the best times to go to Greece.

November and December can also be the most affordable times to visit Greece, but note that some resorts and hotels shut down during these months.

Best time to go to Greece: FAQs

greece best time to visit

What’s the best time to visit Greece for good weather?

“Good weather” is a little subjective. But many travelers love the refreshing combination of the cool Mediterranean seas and the hot, dry weather that runs from late June through the end of August. 

If you want milder weather, May and June, then September and October, experience cooler temperatures and minimal rainfall.

What’s the most popular time to visit Greece? When can you avoid crowds in Greece?

July and August are the absolute busiest months to go to Greece, while November and December usually see the least amount of travelers.

Don’t forget: when you book and plan your trip with Fora , we’ll give you all the intel you need to decide when to take your vacation.

What’s the most affordable time to go to Greece?

Generally speaking, November through February are the most affordable months to visit Greece. It’s worth highlighting that hotel options in the Greek Isles diminish around this time, though.

When’s the best time to visit Greece for swimming & watersports?

For most travelers, the Mediterranean is warm enough to enjoy as early as March or April, and through September or October. 

What are the best months for a Greece honeymoon or couples’ trip?

It depends. Many of the best resorts in Greece for couples slash availability or shut down in the low season, so your options may be limited to the warmer months. That said, if you’re looking for more of a cultural experience, Greece can be fun to visit all year round (see our guide to the best Greek islands for couples ).

Book & plan your trip with Fora to uncover your best time to visit Greece

Ready to travel? Connect with Fora  to get started. We’ll help you determine your best time to visit Greece. And if you have a limited window to travel, we’ll make sure you make the most of it.

Our help isn’t limited to when to go, either. Wondering about the best places to visit in Greece or where to go in Greece for the first time ? We can hook you up with all the intel you need. Even better, when you book your accommodations with us, we can score you awesome perks at no extra cost. 

Not sure Greece is the right destination for you? Maybe these other places will resonate better:

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Book with Fora

Tell us more about yourself to get matched with a Fora Advisor and start planning your dream trip today.

The Tourist Checklist

The Best Time to Visit Greece for Good Weather, Fewer Crowds, and Affordable Prices

Greece, a land where ancient history seamlessly intertwines with modern life, offers a unique vacation experience that caters to various interests. Its epic intellectual history and stunning natural beauty make it a compelling destination.

Key attractions include the Acropolis of Athens, with its iconic Parthenon and other ancient monuments, and the mythologically significant sites of Crete, Olympia, Samos, and Naxos. 

Greece’s landscape is diverse, ranging from the magnificent rock formations of Meteora to the chestnut forests of Nafpaktos. For outdoor enthusiasts, Greece’s varied landscapes offer ample opportunities for activities like kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, hiking, and cycling. 

As for the climate, Greece enjoys a Mediterranean climate along its coasts and islands, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The southern regions and islands tend to have milder winters compared to the colder ones in Northern Greece.

A vacation in Greece is not just a journey through its scenic landscapes and beautiful beaches but also an exploration of its rich history and culture.

Best Times to Visit Greece for Good Weather


The best time to visit Greece for good weather spans from late spring to early autumn. Specifically, the end of April through June, and September to early October, offer the most ideal weather conditions. During these months, you can enjoy warm, sunny days with temperatures around 24°C (75°F), perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the scenic beauty of Greece.

The weather in May and June is particularly delightful, with clear blue skies and sunshine-filled days, making it a great time for sightseeing and enjoying the outdoors. Temperatures average around 70°F in May and 75°F in June. September also offers beautiful weather, with temperatures averaging around 82°F, ideal for beach activities and outdoor exploration.

Late May to mid-June and late September to mid-October are also recommended for Greek island hopping, as you can enjoy warm days suitable for swimming and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months. During these shoulder seasons, you can expect fewer tourists, more pleasant temperatures, and potentially lower costs for accommodation and activities.

Best Times to Visit Greece for Smaller Crowds

Sven Hansche

The best times to visit Greece to avoid large crowds are during the late spring (May) and fall (September to October). These periods offer pleasant weather, minimal rain, and fewer tourists, making them ideal for a more peaceful experience. 

During these periods, visitors can enjoy Greece’s iconic destinations like Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos with less congestion. This allows for a more leisurely exploration of historical sites such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and other ancient ruins without the crowds typical of the summer months.

Late spring, especially May, is a time when the country begins to warm up, offering a comfortable climate for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The natural beauty of Greece, from its idyllic islands to its scenic mainland, is in full display during this time, making it ideal for photography, hiking, and beach visits.

Similarly, the fall months, particularly September and October, provide a respite from the summer heat while still maintaining a warm and inviting climate. 

However, travelers should be aware of national holidays and local festivals during these times, as they can temporarily increase local crowd sizes. Planning around these events can ensure a more serene travel experience.

Best Times to Visit Greece for Lower Prices


The best times to visit Greece for lower prices are during the spring, autumn, and winter months. During these seasons, you’ll find that accommodation costs are generally more affordable.

For instance, in popular destinations like Santorini, prices for accommodation can be significantly lower in March, April, or October.

Winter, despite being the off-season, can also offer unique experiences in places like Santorini, albeit with some limitations like fewer sailing tours and shorter daylight hours.

Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands

Greek Islands

The best time to visit the Greek Islands depends largely on what you’re looking for in your vacation. For pleasant weather and fewer crowds, late April, May, June, September, and early October are ideal.

These months offer sunny days and long daylight hours, with most businesses open, especially from early June onwards. While accommodation prices are slightly higher than in the shoulder months, it’s still possible to find good deals.

The peak tourist season on the Greek Islands is in July and August. During this time, temperatures often exceed 30°C (86°F), making it perfect for beachgoers. However, be aware of the Meltemi winds, particularly in the Aegean Islands, which can make beach activities challenging. These months also see the islands at their busiest, with a lively atmosphere and many cultural events.

For many repeat visitors, September is considered the best month to visit. The sea temperature is still warm, and the tourist crowds have significantly thinned, offering a more relaxed experience.

If you’re considering a trip in the off-season, winter offers a very different experience. While it’s much quieter and the landscapes can be beautiful, many businesses on the islands close down, and ferry connections are limited. Larger islands like Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, or Kos might offer more activities during this time.

Worst Times to Visit Greece


The worst times to visit Greece generally include the peak summer months of July and August, and the coldest winter months of December and January.

During July and August, Greece experiences extremely high temperatures and humidity, making it uncomfortable, especially in crowded cities like Athens. These months also see the highest number of tourists, leading to overcrowded popular destinations, long queues, and higher prices for accommodation and activities.

In contrast, the winter months, particularly December and January, are the least favorable for those seeking a warm, beach-centric holiday. Additionally, many islands and tourist attractions either shut down or operate with reduced hours, limiting the availability of tours and activities.

However, it’s important to note that preferences vary, and what might be the worst time for one traveler could be suitable for another. If you prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, the winter months might be appealing.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind the heat and crowds and want to experience Greece at its most vibrant, the summer months could be ideal.

Final Thoughts

The best time to visit Greece largely depends on personal preferences and the type of experience you’re seeking.

Whether you’re looking to bask on sun-kissed beaches or explore ancient ruins in peace, timing your visit to Greece can significantly impact your experience. Consider what you want from your trip to decide when is best for you.

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greece best time to visit

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Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Crete, Greece's largest island, clocks in at more than 3,000 square miles and offers plenty of ancient history, incredible food, and natural beauty to explore. But you don't have to take my word for just how special Crete is. 

"I often describe Crete as a compact, island version of California. We have surfing and backcountry skiing in winter. In summer, we have canyon hiking, mountaineering, and, my personal favorite, hidden beaches only accessible by boat. And the shoulder seasons are — chef's kiss — perfection," Anastasia Sotiropulos, a tour guide based in Chania, Crete, shared. "The real treasure of Crete, though, are the people. The farmers, cheesemakers, fishmongers, artists, restaurateurs, winemakers, musicians, and homemakers create unique experiences for those lucky enough to visit this incredible island." 

Top 5 Can’t Miss

  • Stay at a hotel with stunning Mediterranean views, like Elounda Bay Palace or Domes of Elounda. 
  • Explore the ancient Palace of Knossos. 
  • Catch some sun on Elafonissi Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful pink-sand beaches. 
  • Wander the streets of Chania’s Old Town to admire Venetian, Turkish, and Greek architecture. 
  • Visit during the shoulder season to avoid the hottest temperatures and largest crowds.

Ready to start exploring for yourself? Here's everything you need to know to plan a trip to Crete.

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Elounda Bay Palace

This luxury hotel has long been beloved for its mix of elegance and charm. The rooms and suites here open up to sweeping views of the azure Mediterranean waters, and the hotel's private beaches ensure you can always find a chair (and an umbrella). Make an appointment at the Chenot Spa, which offers massages, facials, and body treatments using science-forward ingredients and techniques. 

Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection

Looking to stretch out? Domes of Elounda is the place to be. Known for its breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the historic island of Spinalonga, the resort is home to just suites and villas, which open to fantastic patios with private plunge pools. Yes, this hotel comes with its own spa, but guests can also indulge in an in-room treatment to truly never lift a finger. 

Courtesy of Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

Blue Palace

Blue Palace was named a Travel + Leisure reader favorite in the 2023 World's Best Awards , and in 2024, it's getting a whole new look. The renowned hotel is reopening as a modernist boutique hotel with just 47 bungalows and suites, all with brand-new interiors and some with private plunge pools. But even if you don't book a room with a pool, that's okay, as the hotel sits just steps from the beach anyway. 

Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa

Find yourself in a 17th-century Venetian mansion-turned-boutique hotel at Casa Delfino . The hotel, located in the heart of Chania's Old Town, allows travelers to stay amid the action while also offering a retreat-worthy rooftop garden that comes with sweeping views of the sea. It's a perfect place for families thanks to its one and two-bedroom suites. 

A visit to Chania's Old Town is a must, thanks to its charming Venetian, Turkish, and Greek architecture. To make the most of your time in Old Town, book a tour with a guide who can show you all the best sights and all the prime spots to get a great meal. 

Get in a little more Venetian architecture at Rethymno Old Town , one of the best-preserved historical districts in Crete. The city is built around the Venetian fortress, which provides fantastic panoramic views from its hilltop location. Don't skip the artisan shops where you can find the perfect souvenir. 

No visit to Crete is complete without a visit to its capital, Heraklion . Here, visitors can check out numerous historic sites, the Archaeological Museum mentioned below, and all the city's bustling markets, cafes, and bars. And as a bonus, the Palace of Knossos is just a short drive away. 

Elisanth_/Getty Images

Explore the Palace of Knossos.

Dive into more than 4,000 years of Greek history at the Palace of Knossos , Crete's most iconic archaeological site. The ancient complex is absolutely massive, and it comes with a gorgeous view of the sea thanks to its position high on the hill. "Crete's most famous archaeological site is the great Minoan Palace of Knossos, the oldest, largest, and most elaborate of these sites," Peter Sommer of Peter Sommer Travels , shared. "In its wide courts, shaded colonnades, and intricate arrangements of room after room, floor after floor, one can really come to grips with a civilization from far back in the Bronze Age, and grapple with questions that are still hotly debated – what did these palaces look like, what were they for, who lived in them, and how did they function?"

Hike the Samaria Gorge.

Outdoor lovers will adore spending a day hiking through the Samaria Gorge, a lengthy hike through Crete's White Mountains. The hike stretches on for nearly 10 miles through ancient cypress and pine forests and the abandoned village of Samaria before ending at the sea. However, the most famous part of the hike has to be the "Gates," where the gorge is just 13 feet apart but is more than 1,500 feet high. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if you plan to hike the entire trail. The park's official site estimates that it takes about five hours to complete the journey. 

David C Tomlinson/Getty Images

Visit the Old Venetian Harbor of Chania.

Take a stroll through the Old Venetian Harbor of Chania and take in all the colors of Greece. Travelers can walk past homes and buildings showcasing Crete's unique melding of history, including all its Venetian, Ottoman, and Greek influences. Shop in its boutiques, grab a frappe in a cafe, view the massive fortress, and dine on plenty of fresh ingredients (hello, Greek salads) at its waterfront restaurants. Just make sure to have your camera ready, as its colorful buildings make for the perfect Instagram backdrop. 

Learn something new at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

Get an even deeper education on the island's history with a visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum , which houses the world's most comprehensive collection of artifacts from the Minoan civilization. Its most famous exhibit is the Phaistos Disc, a clay disc sporting more than 240 symbols that is said to be more than 3,000 years old. As the museum notes, "experts have not yet a definitive conclusion of the contents of the inscription," so maybe you can uncover what it all means during your visit.

Elafonissi Beach

Get ready to step foot on one of the world's most beautiful and romantic beaches, Elafonissi Beach . The stretch of shoreline is well-known for its pink sand — created by millions of crushed seashells —that disappears into shallow, turquoise waters. The beach, which is part of a nature reserve, is an ideal spot for families with small children thanks to the calm waters, but there are also plenty of spots for adults to put down their towels and umbrellas for a quiet day at the beach. 

Balos Lagoon

One more brilliant beach to visit is Balos Lagoon , a beach made up of brilliant white sand that's lapped by unbelievably blue water. "One of the most popular must-see places in the Chania region is the Balos Lagoon with hypnotizing turquoise waters and a panoramic landscape," Alonso Marly, a travel expert at Skylux Travel , said. "I suggest visiting the beach early in the morning to experience the lagoon at its most tranquil and skip the tourist crowds." 

Find a different style of landscape at Vai Beach , famous for the palm forest lining the coast. Once again, it's a spot where travelers can find warm, sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters, just this time with the bonus of tree shade for the perfect beach snooze. 

Related: 15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Greece

The best time to visit Crete is from June to August when the weather on the island is at its prime. As WeatherSpark notes, the warmest weather can be found between early June and late September, when the average daily high temperature hits above 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Things get particularly hot in July, when the average temperature hits 84 degrees. 

"When it comes to the best times to visit Crete, keep in mind that the island is seasonal, and during winter months, most of its attractions are closed," Marly added. "However, throughout the high season, it is full of life day and night." 

But, if you're looking to escape the crowds, try plotting a visit during the island's shoulder seasons, which fall over April to May and September to early October.  

 "If possible, I recommend visiting the island during the shoulder season when it's not too hot and crowded – from April to June or September through October — to make the most of your authentic Greek holiday, full of sunshine and unforgettable experiences," Marly said.  

Crete is accessible via its international airports in Heraklion (Heraklion International Airport, HER) and Chania (Chania International Airport, CHQ). Heraklion is the island's busiest airport, and it is also the second-largest airport in Greece, just behind Athens. Several major airlines fly into the airport, including Emirates, Aegean, RyanAir, EasyJet, and KLM. 

For those looking to avoid the airport, there is a ferry option, but be warned: It's a long ride. Travelers can hop aboard a ferry from Piraeus Port in Athens to Heraklion or Chania, but the ride can take between nine and 10 hours.

Related: Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Perfect Greek Islands Vacation

The best and easiest way to get around Crete is with your own car. Remember, this is Greece's largest island, so if you want to explore more widely, you will need some wheels. There are a ton of rental car companies on the island, including big names like Avis, Budget, and Hertz, all ready to loan you a ride. 

Public Transit

Crete also has a robust public bus system that can get you to most points of interest. Just note the buses here tend to move more slowly than cars, but it's also a rather affordable option, with rides starting at just a few euros. 

Scooters are also a rather popular mode of transportation here, as they are in almost all of the Greek islands. Visitors do need a valid license to rent scooters and must wear a helmet while riding. 

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When is the best time to visit Greece?

greece best time to visit

The most popular seasons to visit this illustrious country are in late spring, summer, and the early times of fall. But why are these seasons so special? The weather is mild, all the archaeological sites are open, and there are many cafes and bars. These are the periods where you can also find the most tourists.

However, if you are looking for the best time to visit Greece to avoid crowds, you should consider visiting in winter. The weather may not be as hot, but you will have the opportunity to explore the most wild side of this country. Many hotels might be closed for the winter, so contact us to help you plan the perfect holidays and choose the most suitable accommodation for you!

Best time to visit Greece weather-wise

greece good weather windmill boat clear sea

If you want to experience the enjoyable and warm weather but want to avoid the sweltering heat, you have to plan your trip in spring or autumn. In May, the average temperatures in Athens, the capital city of Greece, are from 61.5 to 74.8 degrees Fahrenheit. In June, the temperatures can reach 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit, an ideal temperature for spending your day at the beach.

In September, the average temperatures decrease in Athens to a high of 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, many Greek islands are considered to be more peaceful in September, so you might want to think about it.  With an average high temperature of 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low temperature of 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit, the month of October is even colder. It is a cold month but not nearly frigid enough to be unwelcoming. You have to remember that the nation is somewhat vast, especially early when the best Greek islands attract many travelers.

When should I visit the Greek islands?

greek island santorini sea view white houses

Once more, the ideal time to go depends on your goals. Generally, the best weather to visit the Greek islands is in the late spring, early summer, or September. Yes, if you have no problem with the heat, you can travel even in the middle of summer.

In July, for instance, Santorini experiences an average high temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 73 degrees. The benefit is that the water is really warm at this time of year, averaging 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The island usually only has one or two days of rain in July. So, you can be sure to make some memories under the sun!

As the weather is still warm and bright and the crowds have subsided, we consider September one of the best months to visit the Greek islands .

When should I visit Greece for my honeymoon?

best time to visit greece for a honeymoon

While a honeymoon in Greece can be amazing, we suggest visiting in June for the most enjoyable experience! Greece offers fantastic sunshine and pleasant weather in June, making it the ideal month to swim in the mesmerizing sea. June is a great month to visit Greece since, generally speaking, the best islands for a honeymoon are less congested and more reasonably priced.

Best Time to visit Greece for swimming

greece beach clear sea water

Greece boasts some of the most infamous beaches in the world. Take the chance to spend your time at the beach and swim in the pristine Ionian or Aegean seas. Greek waters can make your travel majestic. Also, they are ideal for family vacations .

During the summer months of June, July, August, and September, sea waters are calm and hot. With the infamous beach bars and clubs on every island, it is the best time of the year to visit Greece for swimming and some scuba diving exploration .

When should I visit Greece to get a lower price?

greek tavern sea view

It is possible to go to Greece on a tight budget. All you have to do is make appropriate preparations. Travel to Greece is most affordable in October, November, March, and April. July is usually the most costly month to fly to Greece. So, if you wish to cut costs, you should aim to avoid the midst of the busiest time of year.

Although airfare is less expensive in April, keep in mind that hotel rates go up around Greek Orthodox Easter, which occasionally occurs at the end of April. There is a comparable rise at the end of December and the beginning of January. Hotels in July and August are usually costly.

Best Greek island to visit in April

greek island narrow street greek architecture

If summer is not the ideal timeline to visit a small Greek heaven, you can visit a Greek island in April. But what is the best Greek island to visit in April and have some beautiful spring moments? This island is in the Cyclades. It is called Tzia. The beautiful Chora, the cosmopolitan Vourkari, and the wild scenery will take your breath away the minute you step onto this island.

Worst time to visit Greece

greek island cats

As mentioned above, Greece is a great place to visit year-round. But July and August, particularly in Athens, can be unbearably hot and muggy, with highs frequently exceeding 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Conversely, January is the coldest month in Greece, with average highs of about 55 degrees F. However, the cold air makes it the best time to visit Athens’ or Thessaloniki’s ancient landmarks, stores, and art galleries.

You can visit Greece all year round but the best time is spring or summer. A trip to Greece can help you relax and create lasting memories. Contact us to help you plan the perfect trip!

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Greece is famous for its stunning islands, deep history, and warm hospitality, which makes it a popular destination for summer vacations, honeymoons, and anniversaries.

The most popular time to visit Greece is during the summer months from July to August. With the sunniest weather of the year and the warmest temperatures average highs above 35°C (95°F), this period is ideal for enjoying the beautiful islands and beaches. 

But for outdoor activities and sightseeing, the best time to visit Greece is during the spring (April to early June) or autumn (September to October) seasons. These periods offer pleasant weather at around 24°C (75°F), without swarming crowds and the highest prices.

While planning a trip to Greece , read on to find out more detailed information about visiting Greece for different purposes and travel guides by month.

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  • 1. Best Times to Do Greek Island-Hopping

2. Best Times for the Cheapest Prices and Fewest Crowds

3. worst times to visit greece, 4. greece travel guide by month, 1. best times to do greek island-hopping.

Greek islands make up most of its stunning scenery, not limited to the Cyclades and Dodecanese.

The best time to do Greek island hopping is between late May and early October as there are more sunny days and the weather is warm enough to swim — the seawater's temperature exceeds 22°C (72°F).

During this period, the Aegean Sea shows its full beauty with crystal-clear seawater and stunning beaches as well as warm breezes bringing salty and fresh smells, making for a perfect summer vacation. Ferries and flights are also more frequent than at other times, so you can maximize your schedule. 

But you would not be alone to enjoy this perfect time. Expect big crowds during the peak season from July to August , along with rising temperatures and prices.

To get the best prices and avoid crowds, late May to mid-June and late September to mid-October would be your best choices. Most hotels and venues on the islands are already/still open and you could save at least 50% on costs without waiting in long queues and hot weather, with average highs exceeding 35°C (95°F).

To plan a perfect family summer vacation during this period,  you may interested in  How to Plan a Perfect Family Trip to Greece with Kids >>>

While spring and autumn are the shoulder seasons in Greece, winter (November to March) is considered to be the low season to go to Greece with the cheapest prices and fewest crowds. This is because of occasional rain or snow and cool weather averaging 12°C (54°F).

Most hotels and venues on the islands are closed during this period and it might be too cold to swim. But on the bright side, it won't make a significant difference to visiting historic sites and ancient ruins with a weather-smart schedule, and you won't encounter large crowds and long queues.

If you're planning to travel during festivals , such as Christmas and New Year, these are exceptions, with a sudden rise in prices of accommodation and flights from 40%. Making reservations 3–6 months prior to your trip would be helpful to get a better deal for your trip and avoid unreasonable costs.

Looking for a hassle-free vacation? Simply reach out to us at Global Highlights. Your needs would be taken care of in every respect by your professional consultant, and we would personalize a smooth and stress-free private tour just for you.

More detailed information about budget breakdown:  How Much Does a Trip to Greece Cost >>>

Generally speaking, Greece is a year-round destination and could offer something whenever you pay a visit, with the worst time depending on where your interests lie.

If your itinerary includes a lot of outdoor sightseeing and hiking, then you should avoid July and August because of the uncomfortably hot weather with average highs exceeding 35°C (95°F), along with the highest prices and biggest crowds of the year.

However, if islands and beaches are a must for you, then November to March would be your worst time to visit Greece. During this period, most businesses on the islands close and the weather tends to be gloomy with occasional rain/snow, making it uncomfortable to engage in water activities. 

Are you having trouble balancing island beach time with outdoor sightseeing? Late May, June, and October would be your best times to go to Greece when the crowds and prices are relatively lower and you could participate in everything you want to make the most of your vacation in Greece.

Need more advice to plan a perfect trip to Greece? Contact us now at Global Highlights and together we would customize a hassle-free private tour for you.

Click the link for each month to check out detailed travel guide information.

  • Jan. and Feb.
  • Jul. and Aug.

Greece in January and February

Weather in Greece in January and February is similar, with gloomy days and chilly air averaging 10°C (50°F). 

Despite the fact that it might be uncomfortably cold/wet to spend a long time on outdoor sightseeing, these months offer distinct advantages, such as fewer tourists and lower prices. Imagine having renowned attractions, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the White Tower of Thessaloniki, all to yourself.

Besides visiting ski resorts, such as Metsovo and Arachova, for winter leisure, January and February also offer festivals that let you experience warm hospitality and local culture.

You could celebrate the New Year holiday and enjoy fireworks at Athens' Syntagma Square, witness the inspiring cross retrieval ceremony during Epiphany for blessings, and join in the joyful Patras Carnival. With an array of exciting events, you would not lack interesting things to do.

Greece in March

While most island destinations remain closed, weather in March in Greece brings cool yet sunnier, with temperatures averaging about 15°C (59°F). 

Santorini offers tranquil moments in the warmth of the sun and the Meteora region offers awe-inspiring spring landscapes during a weather-smart itinerary.

Moreover, Greece celebrates its Independence Day on March 25th , a time when people gather to cherish hard-won victories. Join in the parades, dances, and toasts — foreign travelers can easily blend into the joyful atmosphere.

Greece in April

April is considered to be the start of the best times to visit Greece, with sunny days and warm temperatures of about 19°C (66°F), which is great weather for outdoor sightseeing or hiking but may still be too cold for water activities.

Since April also signals the start of the shoulder season, you won't encounter hordes of tourists in most regions. The exception is during Greek Orthodox Easter , which falls on May 5th in 2024. 

Tourists from all over the world travel to Greece and gather in Athens to celebrate Easter, resulting in a brief surge in travel activity and prices.

Greece in May

May marks the month for the full opening of island destinations before the summer season. With warm temperatures averaging 23°C (73°F), it could be a great weather for sunbathing and swimming on one of these sun-soaked paradises. Furthermore, this is the last opportunity to seize low-season discounts on popular islands, such as Santorini, Naxos, and Paros.

Not limited to islands alone, mainland Greece also shines in May. Gorgeous wildflowers blanket the mountains and plains, painting an idyllic scene that would captivate your eyes.

Greece in June

June brings about an increase in temperatures, rising to about 28°C (82°F), alongside the increasing crowds and prices. As the coolest month of the summer season, June offers sunny weathers and perfect conditions for visiting your desired destinations. 

Hike in the Parnassos National Park in Delphi , explore the charming streets of the old town in Nafplio , or unwind on the captivating pink sands of Elafonisi Beach in Crete . Greece in June gives a warm welcome wherever you want to visit.

Greece in July and August

July and August in Greece form the peak of summer, both with scorching daily high temperatures averaging about 32°C (90°F) and swarms of holiday-makers from all over the world. Islands like Mykonos and Santorini beckon with their crystal-clear waters and lively atmosphere, inviting you to relax on stunning beaches and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

If you prefer history and culture, explore the indoor sites to escape the heat. The Acropolis Museum or the National Archaeological Museum in Athens could be great options. To avoid crowds and the summer heat, visiting at less popular times of the day would be helpful, such as in the morning before 8am or at lunchtime between 11am and 1pm.

Greece in September

September in Greece brings milder weather, with temperatures averaging about 27°C (81°F). It's an ideal time for exploring Greece without the intense summer heat or the large crowds of tourists.

Enjoy pleasant seaside temperatures on the Greek islands, embark on boat trips to explore the volcano and hot springs in Santorini, or indulge in water sports, such as snorkeling and windsurfing, in Crete.

On the mainland, consider attending one of the local wine festivals that take place in September, such as the Anhiolos Wine Festival in Thessaloniki. It would add extra fun to your journey and you could experience the rich wine culture of Greece.

Greece in October

The weather tends to be mild in October in Greece, with high temperatures averaging about 22°C (72°F) and sunny days, making it an ideal month to explore Greece.

The Greek islands have a quieter ambiance without crowds and such high prices. Most facilities would still be operating, allowing you more space to savor their beauty and tranquility.

With such good weather, October is also an opportune time to delve deeper into Greece's cultural heritage. Marvel at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Crete or explore the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Greece in November

November is the start of the low season for visiting Greece, bringing cooler temperatures averaging about 17°C (63°F). Most islands close from this month until May since it is too cool for most to relax on the beaches.

While visiting islands may not be a good choice, you could explore mainland Greece during this month as it offers a different kind of charm. Take leisurely walks to explore the bustling cities and towns, appreciate the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square, and enjoy the opportunity to connect with the locals on a more personal level.

Greece in December

December in Greece is considered to be the festive month of the low season and temperatures average about 14°C (57°F). 

While the weather may be cooler than other months, Greece is still warmer than most countries in Europe. The cities come alive with enchanting decorations and a joyful atmosphere, attracting people there to celebrate Christmas.

Explore the Christmas markets in Athens or Thessaloniki, where you could enjoy the dazzling lights, festive music, the warmth of Greek hospitality, and even find unique gifts for your loved ones.

Keep in mind to reserve your accommodation and flights 3–6 months before your trip for a better deal. Or you could simply reach out to us now at Global Highlights and we would personalize the perfect private tour for you.

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Aegina, Greece

The 13 best places to visit in Greece

From sprawling cosmopolitan cities to breathtaking beaches, here's where to add to your Greece bucket list

Demetrios Ioannou

There are many beautiful countries in Europe, but there is nowhere like Greece . The white and blue houses. The mountain views. The glistening blue waters and the secret hidden coves. It’s sometimes barely believable that Greece exists, but it does! And the best part? It’s absolutely massive, and there’s so much to explore. 

Different Greek islands do different things, so if you’re making the trip, you should first figure out what kind of holiday you’re after. Are you looking for something beachy, nature-y or a bit more cosmopolitan? Lemon trees, sunset cocktails or pure, unadulterated clubbing? Whatever you're looking for, our local writer has picked the best islands, cities and towns to visit. 

RECOMMENDED: 🏝️  The most  beautiful Greek islands 🏨 The best  hotels in Greece 🏛 The best things to do in Athens 🧿 The best things to do in Mykonos

Demetrios Ioannou  is a writer and photographer from Athens.  At Time Out, all of our  travel guides  are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our  editorial guidelines .  This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our  affiliate guidelines . 

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Where to visit in Greece


1.  Athens

Obviously, if you’ve heard anything about Greece, you know about its beautiful capital Athens. Athens is that perfect mix of traditional but trendy, ancient but modern, full of nature but cosmopolitan at the very same time. Here you’ll find huge, open roads covered in restaurants and bars, but coming off them are tiny little cobbled side streets to explore. Old buildings give way to fascinating galleries. You can grab an ouzo and pitch up at a beautiful outdoor cinema, looking up at the stars. Plus you’ve simply got to see the Parthenon at least once in your life. Athens is a sprawling, incomparable beauty that is like no other. Add it to your bucket list. 

Why go?  Europe’s oldest capital and the birthplace of democracy, Athens is crammed with several thousands of years of history and is as unmissable as any great Euro city. 

Discover Athens: 🧿  How to spend a weekend in Athens 📍  The best  things to do in Athens 🥙  Really good  restaurants in Athens 😎  Explore  Kypseli, Athens’s coolest neighbourhood


2.  Aegina

A little over an hour away from the port of Piraeus, the island of Aegina is the closest to the Greek capital and a popular destination for tourists and locals. In 1827, after the Greek Independence War had ended, it served as the first capital of the newly founded Greek state for a while. Today, the island is mostly famous for pistachios, chock-a-block full of pistachio trees, and thought to be the best in the world for the stuff. It’s worth visiting the famous Aphea Temple, dedicated to goddess Athena, the Saint Nektarios Monastery and the nearby uninhabited Islet of Moni, where wild peacocks and deer stroll uninterrupted. 


3.  Crete

You’ll need a car to explore Greece’s biggest island, but if you’re after golden beaches, crumbly old towns, world-class museums and UNESCO Heritage sites,  Crete  ticks every box. Chania in the west is the liveliest part of the island, while Sitia in the east is famed for its pristine coves and sandy beaches – a perfect rural and picturesque escape. Nature seekers could hike Samaria, Europe’s longest gorge, culture hunters should track down the Minoan palaces, and kids are guaranteed a good time at the island’s countless waterparks.

Why go?  Much more than just an all-inclusive beach holiday hotspot, Crete is a mish-mash of fabulous stuff to see, do, eat and drink. 

Discover Crete:

📍  The best things to do in Crete


4.  Santorini

The scenery in  Santorini , one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, seems crafted by the Greek gods: whitewashed villages crown the island with views over its majestic coastlines, rural vineyards span huge stretches inland and the beaches are black, red, and out of this world. There’s a ridiculous amount for explorers, foodies and culture vultures to discover, from archaeological sites to swimming spots and brilliant wine and food. And trust us: this place is  even  more beautiful IRL than it looks on the ’gram.

Discover Santorini:

📍  The best things to do in Santorini 🏨  Amazing hotels in Santorini 🏖️  Where to stay in Santorini  


5.  Zakynthos

Better known as Zante, Zakynthos draws a party-ready crowd to its notorious Laganas nightlife strip, but this sunstruck Ionian isle – known by the Venetians as ‘the flower of the East’ – is also blessed with some of the Med’s most beautiful scenery. This includes the spectacular Shipwreck Beach, whose bright-blue waters hemmed in by sheer white cliffs can only be reached by boat, and Zakynthos Marine Park, home to slippery seals and savvy turtles. It’s truly wild – in multiple senses of the word.


6.  Tinos

Famous for its carved marble-fronted buildings – and, increasingly, its burgeoning food scene – Tinos is yet another jewel in the Cyclades archipelago. To get there, you’ll need to fly to Mykonos and catch a ferry. It’s worth the journey: some of the best Greek wines are produced here, and chefs from all over Europe have opened restaurants among its sage-scented hills. Most are situated in the main town of Chora – we recommend the traditional Greek menu at Thalassaki.


7.  Naxos

The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos is also one of the least explored – which means you can expect secluded sandy beaches and a low-key, laidback atmosphere that’ll make the pressures of everyday life feel worlds away. Packing an incredible amount of variety into an incredibly small space, this is a place where you can venture up into tiny high-flung mountain villages or laze on an endless chain of silky sand beaches away from the madding tourist crowds.


8.  Corfu

Italianate villages, ornate palaces and romantic beaches are on the cards if you visit the lush island where the Durrell family once lived. With its sundry influences left by past invaders,  Corfu  is a place where you can drink ginger ale with your Greek salad, stroll streets packed with Byzantine and Venetian architecture and meet modern-day monks in Paleokastritsa’s spectacular medieval monastery. And after a hard day’s sightseeing and stuffing your face, you’ll obviously want to jump straight into the Ionian Sea – never not a stunning shade of turquoise blue.

Discover Corfu:

📍  The best things to do on Corfu


9.  Rhodes

Way back when – and we’re talking way, way back –  Rhodes  was home to the Colossus, one of the world’s Seven Wonders. An earthquake may have destroyed that ol’ thing in 226BBC, but the island’s Unesco world heritage-classed old town is still steeped in charm and history – thanks to a series of dazzling topsy-turvy medieval inns and fourteenth-century knight’s houses that stand to this day. Head outside the city, and the mountain villages and cliff-top towns you’ll come across are just as magical as any fairytale location. And with plenty of chic shops, decent restaurants and lively bars, you’re guaranteed some modern magic, too.

Discover Rhodes:

📍  The best things to do in Rhodes 🏨  Amazing hotels in Rhodes


10.  Kastellorizo

At the edge of Greece, right opposite the Turkish coastal town of Kaş, you'll find Kastellorizo (aka Megisti), the island furthest from the Greek capital. It's a flight or a boat ride away from the island of Rhodes in Dodecanese, and though it's a bit of a journey to the island, it's absolutely worth it. This is a remote paradise with colourful buildings, seafood for days and seriously chilled out vibes. Plus, it has a fascinating history – make sure to visit the castle of the Knights Hospitaller overlooking the Aegean Sea, and the glorious 4 th century BC Lycian tomb below it. The fort-monastery of Agios Georgios of the Mountain also boasts one of the best views on the island (you just need to get up 315 steps first).


11.  Thessaloniki

Once the second city of the Byzantine Empire – and later a thriving Ottoman port city connecting east and west – Thessaloniki has only been part of Greece since 1912. And that really shows. This place doesn’t feel like Greece you see in tourist brochures: its central market, Kapani, has all the colour and chaos of an Istanbul bazaar, and much Ottoman architecture remains throughout the city centre – you can even visit the house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey, was born. The harbourside Ladadika area hums with some of the wildest, most fun nightlife in the Balkan peninsula, with most bars and clubs open until 6am and beyond. The old town is perfect for the aimless morning-after mooch – and the ouzo and  bougatsa  breakfast pastries in these parts are unrivalled.


12.  Kalamata

The city of Kalamata in the Peloponnese is home to the ancient ruins of Messenia, the picturesque Navarino Lagoon beach, and also those very famous olives you may recognise the name from. Few tourists venture to these parts, which is great news for you. To explore the wider region, base yourself at the Ant Farm – a beautiful farmhouse just outside the city, where you can stay in one of ten treehouses nestled within the olive trees.


13.  Mykonos

Dubbed the ‘Greek Ibiza’,  Mykonos  is where you’ll find world-famous DJs headlining superclubs while a jet-set crowd mingle on yachts and private jets. But this Cyclades island is not just for the uber-privileged: there are plenty of cute hotels, affordable gourmet restaurants and quiet corners still relatively untouched by the tourism industry. So when you’re done hanging out at the beach clubs and traditional tavernas, just follow the tangled web of dirt-smattered backroads – chances are, there’ll be a heavenly beach waiting at the end.

Discover Mykonos: 📍  The best things to do in Mykonos 🏨 Amazing hotels in Mykonos

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10 things I wish tourists knew before visiting Greece, from a local

  • I'm from Athens, and I've seen plenty of tourists make mistakes while traveling to Greece .
  • Pace yourself if you're planning on staying out at the bars and clubs all night.
  • It's worth it to do some research on smaller islands and local cuisine before your trip.

Insider Today

Thanks to its ancient ruins, picturesque beaches, and incredible food, Greece is one of the top tourist destinations. In 2023, over 32 million people visited.

I was born in Athens and currently split my years living between the US and Greece , so I've spent plenty of time in the beautiful European country.

Here are 10 things I think tourists should know before visiting.

There’s so much more to see in Greece than the popular islands.

greece best time to visit

It seems like everyone visits Mykonos, Santorini, and maybe Paros, but Greece has over 220 inhabitable islands. Plus, most of them are more budget-friendly than the popular spots.

I recommend looking into places like Kimolos, Astypalaia, Paxoi (also known as Paxos and Paxi), or Folegandros.

The Greek mainland is also beautiful. There's a lot to see there, from UNESCO sites at Delphi and Meteora and the turquoise waters of the Peloponnese to the stunning mountains and villages of Epirus.

Athens is more than the Acropolis.

greece best time to visit

Athens has great nightlife , restaurants, museums, and cool neighborhoods like Plaka, Exarcheia, Psyrri, and Pangrati.

Tourists who just swing by to check the Acropolis off their list are missing out. I've always found it to be one of the liveliest cities in the world.

You don’t need to tip 20%.

greece best time to visit

Greek servers generally rely on hourly wages, so there isn't the same tipping culture as the US .

I normally just round up the bill or leave a couple of Euros on the table as a tip — unless I had exceptional service or dined at a more formal (and tourist-oriented) restaurant.

Pace yourself when drinking alcohol.

greece best time to visit

A lot of travelers take advantage of Greece's lax attitude toward alcohol restrictions. Coupled with the fact that Greek bars and clubs close pretty late (like 4 a.m. late), some tourists get sloppy.

Locals usually intersperse drinks with food and water so they can last the whole night, and I recommend tourists do the same.

Slow down and take Sundays off.

greece best time to visit

Greeks have a pretty relaxed relationship with time — people often arrive late and stores may open half an hour after they said they would.

Service in Greece can seem slow to people from more fast-paced places, especially on the quieter islands . A lot of stores and supermarkets are also closed on Sundays, even in Athens.

I know this can be annoying at times, but I recommend just enjoying the slower pace of life.

Don’t try to visit too many islands on one trip.

greece best time to visit

So many people ask me if they can fit four or five islands into a seven-day trip, and I never recommend it. Take your time and enjoy each destination for at least a couple of days.

Half the joy of the Greek islands is getting to destress. If you're hopping from ferry to ferry and running around to cover the highlights, you'll miss out on the best parts of the country.

Be sensitive about natural disasters.

greece best time to visit

I never thought I'd have to say this, but I have seen multiple tourists in the last few years posting about how "pretty" the skies or sunsets are thanks to the glow from raging wildfires .

At a time when a lot of Greek people are wondering if their houses are still standing or their loved ones have gotten to safety, it's a pretty insensitive thing to do.

Don't skip out on experiencing a traditional taverna.

greece best time to visit

Athens and other popular Greek destinations now have a lot of upscale restaurants with cuisines from all over the world. But make sure to eat in a traditional taverna at least once.

A taverna is a casual restaurant with family-style dining. Diners can spend hours in them chatting with friends while sharing food paired with some great wine or ouzo (a Greek aperitif).

Greek food is more than just gyros.

greece best time to visit

Well-known dishes like gyros and souvlaki are truly delicious, but Greek cuisine is so much more than that.

For example, a lot of Greeks start their day with a tiropita (cheese pie) and freddo coffee. Each region also has local specialties that I recommend inquiring about.

In tavernas, popular menu items include calamari, octopus, all kinds of fish, grilled and fried cheeses (like saganaki and halloumi), and side dishes like fava.

Learn a few local words.

greece best time to visit

Most younger Greek people understand English, but you may run into problems communicating with older people — especially in more rural areas.

Even if a local person can understand you, I think it's nice to learn a few simple words and phrases like "good morning," "thank you," and "how are you?"

It's nice when tourists make a little bit of an effort.

greece best time to visit

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Gay travel guide: The best places to visit in Greece

greece best time to visit

LGBTQ+ travel is all about inclusivity, which is great because when you visit Greece, you truly get it all. Bustling city streets, islands full of queer nightlife, and quaint beachfront romance can all be part of your gay Greek travel experience.

Stunning landscapes and legendary hospitality prove that the inviting local culture is as warm as the sun-drenched beaches. From ancient history to vibrant modernity, you don’t need an archaeologist to discover the best places to visit in Greece.

Is Greece LGBT-friendly?

Two people walking down a stone-paved street lined with medieval structures.

Greece offers a rich cultural tapestry that’s as diverse as its landscape. While this guide will focus on gay-friendly Greek destinations, there are places where LGBTQ+ travelers may not be as welcomed. It’s essential to familiarise yourself with local laws and customs.

Typically, small islands and rural locations in Greece are more conservative than touristic islands and large cities. While this is true in even the most progressive countries, it’s important to note that the Greek Orthodox Church has a significant influence on society. The church has also made its opinions on gender identity and sexual orientation well known with a clear opposition to LGBTQ+ rights.

Despite opposition from the church and some politicians, Greece recently became the first Orthodox nation to recognise same-sex marriage. The same legislation grants parental and adoption rights to same-sex couples.

While anti-discrimination laws in Greece protect LGBTQ+ locals and travelers, incidents of violence against the community continue to occur. Within a month of the celebrated bill confirming LGBTQ+ marriage and parental rights, an attack on two transgender people in Thessaloniki overshadowed the historic legislation. The advancement of gay rights in Greece doesn’t mean safety and acceptance are universally guaranteed across the country, especially for transgender travelers.

Exercise caution and discretion in smaller towns and conservative areas that are less touristy. While the public is generally open-minded, public displays of affection can draw unwanted and negative attention in many areas of Greece.

While it’s rare you will need them, here are some emergency numbers to keep handy while visiting Greece.

  • Emergency: 112
  • Ambulance: 166
  • Tourist Police: 171

The best places to visit in Greece for gay travelers

I'm thrilled to recommend my favorite Greek destinations. From the well-known to local hidden gems, I have curated this list of the best places to visit in Greece with the LGBTQ+ traveler in mind. Of course, our community is as diverse and unique as the destinations themselves, and I’m certain there is something for all of us.


A white sand beach with an opening to a lagoon and port with anchored boats.

Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, is easily one of the best places to visit in Greece for any gay traveler. It quickly developed a reputation as one of Greece’s up-and-coming gay destinations and is especially popular with the lesbian community. Visitors of all backgrounds make their way to Thessaloniki for the laid-back atmosphere and coastal vibes that will put you instantly at ease.

The city is known as a cultural centre of Greece, is capital of the Macedonia region, and boasts a large student population. As you may imagine, this type of city boasts a popular nightlife, but there are stunning beaches in Thessaloniki and incredible sites from Roman, Byzantine, and mediaeval history.

Thessaloniki Pride is the highlight of the LGBTQ+ calendar in Thessaloniki. In 2024 the event is expected to break attendance records as Thessaloniki will be the official Euro Pride host city. The city won a bid to host the event in 2020, but it was sadly canceled that year.

With pent up anticipation, Thessaloniki is ready to launch Euro Pride on Friday 21 June with a long-awaited opening ceremony concert and full, ten-day calendar of festivities. The main event of Euro Pride will be the parade, fair, and closing concert on Saturday 29 June.

People strolling through a plaza surrounded by old town buildings with the Acropolis in the background.

The Greek capital needs no introduction. Athens is steeped in history, art, culture, cuisine, and it’s as iconic as its namesake, Athena, herself. While it’s an obvious pick for a list of the best places to visit in Greece for gay travelers, it’s far from a basic one.

History lovers should climb the Acropolis and stand in awe of the Parthenon and ancient Greek monuments. The cobblestoned neighborhood below, Plaka, sits in the shadow of the Acropolis and feels like a small village with adorable cafes and cute shops. Do some souvenir shopping, stop for a meal, or visit one of the tavernas in this adorable part of the city.

If you’re looking for gay nightlife in Athens, head to Gazi, a neighborhood known for bars, cafes, and nightclubs that cater to the LGBTQ+ community. Athens is a natural starting point and a destination in Greece where the acceptance and progress of modern Greece resonates the strongest.

Since 2005, Athens has hosted a lively Pride Celebration in Klafthmonos Square. Athens Pride 2024 is slated for 14-16 June, one week before Euro Pride in Thessaloniki begins. Everyone loves a combo deal, and this makes 2024 perfect for visiting Greece’s capital and second-city for back-to-back weeks of Pride.

A man sits on a white wall looking at the tranquil blue sea against the clear blue sky.

Long considered a playground for the gay community, Mykonos is the most popular Greek island for the LGBTQ+ tourists. The vibrant nightlife, open-minded locals, and picturesque landscape are the reasons why.

Chora, or Mykonos Town, the island’s capital and hub of attractions, is the place to stay if you want to be in the centre of the scene. It’s everything you imagine a Greek island city to be - a maze of streets lined by whitewashed cubic houses with bright blue wooden doors.

No trip to Mykonos is complete without a trip to Elia Beach. You’ll see why it’s named among the best gay beaches in Mykonos, Greece if not all of Europe. If you’re looking for a party you can find a plethora of beach bars including at LGBTQ+ venues. The gay nightlife in Mykonos is just as enticing, or you can sit in the shadow of the iconic Mykonos Windmills along Little Venice as the waves of the bay crash onto the walkway.

Finding gay and gay-friendly accommodation is not a problem in Mykonos, but expect to pay a premium on the island. This is especially true during late August when the party scene is flooded with LGBTQ+ tourists, especially gay men visiting the XLSIOR Festival. This international gay party attracts over 30,000 visitors and is taking place 22-28 August 2024.

The soft blue hues of the sun setting over the sea cast a warm glow over the white buildings and blue-domed churches of the island's iconic architecture.

It may not have the gay nightlife of Mykonos, but Santorini is a vibrant island paradise that should be atop your travel list. Santorini is a naturally formed volcanic island with breathtaking topography jutting up from the Aegean Sea. Popular with couples, the island is world-renowned for its sunsets and the best can be viewed from the northern city of Fira.

Santorini is home to ancient ruins, wineries, and colorful beaches. From the volcanic eruption that formed the island, different layers were exposed and gave way to the famous Black Beach, Red Beach, and White Beach. It won’t take long for you to see why Santorini is one of the best places to visit in Greece.

Aerial view of a white village and harbour among rocky hills with turquoise sea waters.

The stunning island of Sifnos is getting increasingly popular with travelers but until recently it maintained hidden gem status, known only to Greek locals. In fact, I never would have known about Sifnos until I tagged along on that family vacation with my Greek friend.

Despite its increased profile, Sifnos is one of the best places to visit in Greece for mellow island vibes and a relaxed atmosphere. Sifnos is an ideal escape for couples, rainbow families, and travelers seeking an affordable Greek island getaway.

On Sifnos, you’ll find remote beaches, cosy fishing villages, and well-maintained hiking trails. It’s also a great island to sample Greek cuisine. There are traditional tavernas and restaurants all over Sifnos and ample nightlife, especially in Apollonia, the island’s largest city. Don’t forget to visit local shops for souvenirs from Sifnos, because the island is famous for its pottery.

A small path across a neighbourhood of colourful buildings lined with potted plants.

Even if it isn’t as well known to the gay community, Crete is one of the best places to visit in Greece. It’s full of exquisite dining, shopping, and history, so it truly has something for everyone.

LGBTQ+ travelers can feel safe in Crete, but exercise caution outside of the main cities. Still, Crete is full of resorts, beaches, and bars that welcome queer visitors. The main cities of Heraklion and Chania are especially LGBTQ-friendly destinations.

For couples, consider the city of Elounda, it’s one of the most romantic places in Crete.

How do I plan a gay holiday in Greece?

Before you sashay away to your Greek holiday, you may feel overwhelmed. LGBTQ+ Greece has been millennia in the making, and you’ve only been planning this trip for a minuscule portion of that time. Fear not - trip planning can often seem intimidating, but with some help, it can be an Aegean Breeze.

To ease your mind let’s cycle through some planning tips and address the most frequently asked questions about travel to Greece. Soon you’ll have everything sorted and a packed itinerary with the best places to visit in Greece ready to be discovered.

When is the best time to visit Greece?

A typical cobbled promenade in Greece with outdoor cafes and whitewashed buildings.

It will come as no surprise that peak season, from mid-June through August, is the busiest tourist season in Greece. During this period, you should expect peak crowds, the warmest temperatures, and prices that match the increased demand.

The shoulder seasons, just before and after peak season, often provide great weather, lower crowds, and more affordable prices on flights and accommodation. Consider the periods of April through early June or September and October for shoulder season. You’ll enjoy outdoor activities without the summer heat and historical attractions with lower crowds.

Winter season from November through March offers mild temperatures with few crowds. Greece isn’t known as a winter destination, although you can enjoy ski resorts in the northern mountains. In this period you’ll experience a different side of Greece that many tourists don’t bother exploring.

Since ancient times, Greek culture has been full of celebrations and festivals. Lucky for you, this hasn’t changed and festivals are a great time to book a trip to gay Greece. Greek cultural, music, and religious festivals are held throughout the year and in June 2024 you can head to Thessaloniki Pride, which marks 2024 Europride.

How do I get to the best places to visit in Greece?

Most travellers from abroad begin their Greek holiday in Athens International Airport, but some of the most popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos have their own airports.

Once you arrive, you’ll discover that getting around is just as exhilarating as spending time in the best places to visit in Greece. You’ll find the Greek public transportation system reliable, organized, and convenient.

Trains and buses connect much of mainland Greece and ferries connect travelers to the sunny Greek islands. Be sure to plan ahead and pre-purchase transportation when possible. This is especially important when travelling between islands where there may be limited ferries or flights per day.

Even far-flung Greek destinations are reachable without a car, but a car hire is often the most efficient way to travel around Greece.

How do I use money in Greece?

In 2001 Greece adopted the Euro, which is convenient if you’re visiting other countries on the Euro. If it’s your first time visiting the country or you haven’t had a Greek vacation in some time, you may be wondering, “do I need cash in Greece?” The short answer is yes, but you can get by with a debit or credit card in most cases.

Card payment was not as common when I first visited Greece, but over the last decade, it’s become the most popular form of payment. Tipping is also customary in Greece and it’s expected to leave a 10-15% tip for excellent service. Having some cash handy for smaller establishments and tips is wise.

How do I prepare for a vacation in Greece?

A man standing outside of his parked car with the door open, looking out over the landscape.

English is widely spoken among the younger generations and staff you may encounter during your vacation in Greece. Still, learning some basic phrases will enhance your time in Greece and show that you’re embracing the local culture. The Greek people are warm and friendly, so greeting someone with “kalimera” (good morning) or “kalispera” (good afternoon) can go a long way.

Stay up to date on the local weather forecasts before you travel to Greece and pack accordingly. Summer weather in Greece can be incredibly hot, even at night. If you plan to visit churches, monasteries, or other sacred places during your trip to Greece, you’ll need modest clothing for these sites.

Remember to stay well-hydrated, especially in the summer sun or when consuming alcohol. You don’t want to miss a day of Pride fun in Thessaloniki because drinking in the June sun left you dehydrated. Tap water in Greece is safe to drink, but bottled water is also available for those who prefer it.

Follow these tips, bookmark this LGBTQ+ travel guide of the best places to visit in Greece, and you’ll have a Greek trip for the ages.

For more gay-friendly travel advice check out LGBTQ+ travel page.

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greece best time to visit

Greece island hopping: A guide to the best routes and how to explore Greek culture

Greece ’s wide scattering of differently sized, culturally distinct islands makes it a dream for a multi-stop trip. Come May and June , ferry services ramp up for summer, with hops between different islands taking as little as 20 minutes.

Some islands are vast and ripe for exploring, requiring a taxi, hire car or moped to get across their width. In others, you’ll simply find a bijou port and a forested interior, fringed by rocky or sandy coves you can stroll to. Wherever you go, you’ll find waterfront tavernas, petite churches, hushed beaches and sunkissed portside bars. Plus, there are Greek Isles hotels that will seriously make you want to linger.

But where to start? Greece’s ferry networks are complex, with different services available at different times of year; it’s best to use a journey planner such as to check ahead for timings and operators. Services can run late, so leave plenty of time between your last ferry and your flight home – an easy (and stressful!) first-time mistake to make.

Read more on Greece travel :

  • The ultimate Greece travel guide
  • The perfect holiday destinations in Greece for every type of traveller
  • The hotels in Rhodes

Best for first timers: The Argo-Saronics

Route: athens-poros-hydra-spetses.

Close to the capital of Athens and its port, Piraeus, these islands huddled around the Greek mainland are fab for a first go if you’re not sure island hopping is for you. Spend a few cultured nights in the capital, then hop on the ferry to nearby Poros, just over an hour away: here you’ll find a smart little red-roofed port topped with a clock tower and a handful of hotels and apartments. Dine by the waterfront, then go off in search of the emerald waters at Love Bay.

Just 35 minutes’ boat-ride from here is Hydra, a tiny but glamorous speck which has attracted artists, musicians and photographers since the Sixties. Bask in its romantic port and sunset bars, then walk the coast road to find secret pebble bays, or take a boat trip to its quietest corners.

Next up is Spetses, 40 minutes away – the mellow, car-free island where recent film The Lost Daughter was shot. Seek out its Cave of Bekiris, tiny whitewashed churches and one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece; then take the 2hr 50min catamaran all the way back to Piraeus for a flight out of Athens.

These undiscovered islands don’t get as much footfall as the Cyclades (below) so you can go in peak July and not feel too much of a crush. However, September is a delightful, quieter time to visit.

Where to stay

In Athens, historic Asomaton is walking distance from the sights.

On Poros, try the mellow Saga Hotel for a bougainvillea-draped pool.

On Hydra, guesthouse Hydra Icons has 360-degree views from its rooftop.

On Spetses, Niriides Guesthouse is a chic three-star with a family-run feel.

For classic looks: The Cyclades

Route: santorini-milos-sifnos-serifos-paros-mykonos.

There are two key ingredients for a successful island-hopping adventure: cheap and plentiful flights into and out of your start and end point, and plenty of ferry links in between. In the Cyclades, where the houses are tiny and whitewashed and the cliffs and bays dramatic and undeveloped, there are UK flights to both Mykonos and Santorini – so compare prices and consider flying into one and out of the other. You could start on Santorini for its jaw-dropping cliffside views, killer sunsets and upmarket dinners, taking the two-hour Seajets ferry on to Milos after two or three days.

Klima’s brightly painted fisherman’s houses are the top sight here, but head to lunar-like Sarakiniko Beach, too (this island is beach central) and take a boat to the Caves of Milos. Next up is Sifnos, 40 minutes away, where you’re spoilt for pretty whitewashed villages to potter around (don’t miss Chrissopigi Monastery); then to Serifos, 20 minutes on, an unspoiled spot with a particularly beautiful Chora, or port town. You’ve just got time for a stop on Paros (a 90-minute service that runs every few days) – which has a slightly more modern feel and a bit of nightlife – before a 40-minute boat on to Mykonos, for ample flights home.

Best time to go

These islands fill up during July and August, so go in early June or mid-September for the best combo of weather and quiet-ish landscapes.

On Santorini, the delightful Vasilicos guesthouse is family-run and tailored to you.

On Milos, Milos Summer Time is all cerulean-painted shutters and sea views; on Sifnos, the Sigma Residences are the trendy pad du jour.

On Serifos, the team at stylish Nostos Boutique Hotel will help you get out and explore

On Paros, affordable Ayeri Hotel is slightly out of the port crush.

On Mykonos, Marisso Hotel is a chilled overnight before a flight home.

For unspoiled nature: The Ionians

Route: lefkada-kefalonia-ithaca-kefalonia-zakynthos.

Substantially larger, with more towns and trails to dig into, these forested isles are some of the nearest to the UK. Flights into Preveza (connected to Lefkada island), Kefalonia and Zakynthos give you flexibility on route and order. We’d suggest flying into Preveza for the first few nights on Lefkada, staying in relaxed Nidri or Vasiliki for boat trips out to its mind-blowingly beautiful beaches. From Vasiliki you can take the West Ferry to Fiskardo on Kefalonia’s north coast (1hr 45m), then spend up to a week seeing undeveloped beaches, pine forests and gorgeous Venetian towns on this dazzling island.

Heading east to Sami port, take the 20-minute boat on to Ithaca, a petite, forgotten-feeling speck of gorgeous wild beaches, tiny port towns and chic guesthouses. From here, you could nip back to Kefalonia and fly home; or voyage 3hr 45m onward to Zakynthos, home to some of the Ionians’ most beautiful beaches. Take in its poster-child “Shipwreck Beach”, Navagio, snorkel with loggerhead turtles or take boats to vivid caves before flying home.

Ferries run between May and September, so go May to early June or September for the best chance of quieter bays and plenty of ferry seats.

On Lefkada, chilled out apartments like Santa Emelia cost from as little as £75 a night.

On Kefalonia, Anthi’s Beach Apartments fit in with the tranquil vibe of Fiskardo.

Further south on Kefalonia, southerly F Zeen is a fitness-focused splurge.

On Ithaca, Korina Gallery Hotel is near the restaurants and boats of Vathy harbour.

On Zakynthos, try the chic Tsamis Zante Suites.

Read more: The best hotels in Athens

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  1. Best Times to Visit Greece

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  4. 25 Best Things To Do In Athens (Welcome To Greece!)

    greece best time to visit

  5. 10 Best Greek Islands you need to visit this 2020

    greece best time to visit

  6. The Top 10 Things to do in Athens Greece. Must See Attractions!

    greece best time to visit


  1. 17 Best Places To Visit in Greece

  2. Greece best time to visit #travel #europe #island #greekislands #greece #greecetravel #vacation

  3. Top 10 Best Greece Places

  4. Top 10 Best Greece Places

  5. Top 10 Best Greece Places

  6. Top 10 Best Greece Places


  1. Best Time to Visit Greece: Month-by-Month Guide (2024)

    Overall, the best months to visit Greece are anywhere between the end of April and the beginning of November. April is when the good weather starts to come out in Greece and by the time May hits, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the water is starting to warm up.

  2. Best Times to Visit Greece

    Best Times to Visit Greece for Smaller Crowds. Unsurprisingly, the most popular times to visit Greece are the late spring, summer, and early fall months. This is when the weather is ideal, and all ...

  3. Best time to go to Greece

    Learn when to visit Greece for the best weather, culture, and attractions. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of each season, from spring and fall to winter and summer, and how to plan your trip around Orthodox Easter, ancient sites, and city life.

  4. These Are the Best Times to Visit Greece

    Generally, the best weather in Greece is what you'll experience in May, June and September. Plenty of sunny days that aren't too hot make May an ideal time for long, leisurely walks in Athens. By June, the beaches of the Aegean islands are warm enough for swimming and popular islands like Mykonos aren't crowded yet.

  5. The Best Time to Visit Greece

    Glenn van der Knijff. The best times to visit Greece are in the spring and fall. From April to the beginning of June, the heat of summer has not yet set in and the cruise ships have not arrived with their thousands of tourists. From late September through October it's usually still warm enough for the beach but much less crowded.

  6. The Best Time to Visit Greece, According to a Local

    For me, the best time to visit Greece is from September until the end of October. The weather on a lot of the southern islands, such as Rhodes and Crete, is still warm enough to swim, with average ...

  7. The Best Time To Visit Greece [By Seasons and Interests]

    The Best Time To Visit Greece by Interest and Island. Greece is a great place to visit any time of the year. Image Credit: Katie Seemann. The Best Time To Visit the Greek Islands. Greece is known for its islands. The best times to visit the Greek Islands are the summer months of June and July. August is a popular month to visit but it can be ...

  8. Best Time To Visit Greece

    The best time to visit Greece is outside the busy summer peaks, during spring (April to June) and early fall (September and October). Temperatures are warm but not stifling, and you'll find that destinations are open but still relatively quiet. The period from November to February tends to be colder, but city attractions remain open and are ...

  9. The Best Time to Visit Greece: A Complete Guide

    Athens Caryatid Temple. Greece is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.The peak tourist season in Greece is during the summer months, from June to August. However, if you are looking for a more relaxed vacation and do not mind cooler temperatures, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall may be the perfect time to visit.

  10. When's the Best Time of Year to Visit Greece?

    Best time to visit the Greek islands. Best months: April-June, September-October. April through October is the best time to go island hopping in Greece. While it can occasionally rain in the spring or fall, the weather is generally sunny and warm. It's slightly cooler up north, while it's warmer the further south you go.

  11. Best Time To Visit Greece

    In general, in order to avoid high temperatures (up to 100°F/+40°C), the best time to visit Greece would be between mid-Apr to mid-June and between early September to mid-October. The closest the month to August, the hotter it will be. Average Air Temperature in °C. Best Time To Visit Greece Weather. Month.

  12. Best time to visit Greece for great weather and deals

    Best for: Exploring the coast, summer sales. From early June onwards, millions of tourists land in Greece to discover its countless islands, architectural wonders, and delicious food. Temperatures can reach the high 90s on the warmest days, and the water in the surrounding Aegean and Ionian seas heats up accordingly.

  13. Best time to visit Greece

    The least crowded time to visit Greece is during the winter months, but be sure to confirm that your desired destination is still up and running in the off-season. Sightseeing: The shoulder season is also the best time to visit the many archaeological sites in Greece when there are lesser crowds and cooler weather.

  14. Best Time to Visit Greece and Greek Islands

    Best Time to Visit the 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.A good travel itinerary for Greece should consider the weather patterns of the Greek islands.; Best Time to Visit Athens: Athens is a good year round destination.

  15. The Best Time to Visit Greece and the Greek Islands

    Visiting Greece in Autumn. Autumn is an excellent time to explore both the mainland and islands without the intense summer crowds. Early Autumn is usually the best time to visit in terms of good weather - the weather is usually more pleasant (still relatively warm and less likely to rain).. During early autumn (September and early October), you can still enjoy the Greek summer experience (go ...

  16. The Best Time to Visit Greece & the Greek Islands (2023 update)

    Greece in June. June and July is the best time to visit Greece for beach holidays. It's warm enough around the country now to swim in the sea, in fact… you'll want to. With highs of 28°C / 81°F, lows of 21°C / 50°F and an average daily temperature of 24°C / 75°F, this is a great time to visit the Greek Islands.

  17. Weather in Greece & Best Time to Visit

    Best time for islands and coastline. Temperature-wise, to get the most out of your days spent on the beach, the best time to visit the Greek islands is June, early July and September, when the weather is at its best and you get to avoid the frequent heat waves and tourist crowds of August and mid-July. The sunniest days can start as soon as May ...

  18. Best Time to Visit Greece

    The best time to visit Greece is from May to October. Temperatures range from 70-90°F (21-32°C). However, like many other European countries, it can get quite crowded during the summer months between June and September. If you want to avoid the peak season crowds, then the best time to visit Greece is in spring (April to June) and fall ...

  19. The Best Time to Visit Greece & the Greek Isles: Full Guide

    March marks the very beginning of Greece's travel season along the Mediterranean coast and the Greek Isles. Rainfall gradually becomes less and less common as the weeks progress, and by late April, temperatures typically hover in the mid-to-high 70s or low 80s. This is a great time to visit Greece if you're intent on touring cities or ...

  20. Best Times to Visit Greece

    The best time to visit Greece for good weather spans from late spring to early autumn. Specifically, the end of April through June, and September to early October, offer the most ideal weather conditions. During these months, you can enjoy warm, sunny days with temperatures around 24°C (75°F), perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the ...

  21. How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Crete, Greece

    Best Time to Visit . The best time to visit Crete is from June to August when the weather on the island is at its prime. ... 10 Best Greece Cruises, According to Travel Experts.

  22. When is the best time to visit Greece?

    The best time to visit Greece is during May, September, or the first days of October. Generally, you can visit Greece all year round and have a wonderful time. But the typical tourist season in this country is from the Easter period, through October. The peak season is in summer when Athens and the Greek islands offer their hospitality to tourists.

  23. Best and Worst Times to Visit Greece 2024/2025

    With the sunniest weather of the year and the warmest temperatures average highs above 35°C (95°F), this period is ideal for enjoying the beautiful islands and beaches. But for outdoor activities and sightseeing, the best time to visit Greece is during the spring (April to early June) or autumn (September to October) seasons.

  24. 13 Best Places to Visit in Greece, By Someone Who Lives There

    2. Aegina. A little over an hour away from the port of Piraeus, the island of Aegina is the closest to the Greek capital and a popular destination for tourists and locals. In 1827, after the Greek ...

  25. Things You Should Know Before Going to Greece, According to a Local

    Thanks to its ancient ruins, picturesque beaches, and incredible food, Greece is one of the top tourist destinations. In 2023, over 32 million people visited. I was born in Athens and currently ...

  26. Gay travel guide: The best places to visit in Greece

    Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, is easily one of the best places to visit in Greece for any gay traveler. It quickly developed a reputation as one of Greece's up-and-coming gay destinations and is especially popular with the lesbian community.

  27. Greece island hopping: A guide to the best routes and how to ...

    Greece's wide scattering of differently sized, culturally distinct islands makes it a dream for a multi-stop trip. Come May and June, ferry services ramp up for summer, with hops between ...