Best Time to Visit Greece

Updated: 29th April 2021

Poisdon temple near Athens - Best time to visit Greece - On The Go Tours

Greece at a Glance: Best Time to Visit

Recommended time to visit: May - September. This is the summer season, when the weather is warm and sunny, with little or no rain. July and August are peak months, when European holidaymakers make the most of the school holidays.

Less popular time to visit: October - April is winter, when many of the islands essentially shut down and people return to the mainland. Athens and other large cities can still be visited on a city break and prices are much better, though the weather isn't as good.

Exciting time to visit: Easter is an important holiday in Greece, with fireworks and parties taking place up and down the country. Easter varies by year, but nearly always falls in April or May.

Best time for beaches: If you'd like to avoid the crowds but still make the most of the weather then May - June and September are best for beaches and island hopping cruises.

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Seasons and Weather

If you want to avoid heat waves and large crowds, the best time to visit Greece is between mid-April to early-June or September to mid-October. The height of the summer months (mid-June to August) often bring uncomfortably high temperatures and, as this time of year corresponds with school holidays across Europe, it also brings hordes of tourists. With this comes higher accommodation and flight prices.

What's summer like in Greece?

The climate in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean climate with two real seasons - a warm and dry summer, and a mild and wet winter. Summer is a long season with temperatures climbing to a pleasant degree as early as late February. However, March and even April can be somewhat unpredictable months with the occasional rain shower and windy conditions. On the plus side though, at this time of year the landscapes are decorated with wild flowers.

The shoulder months between May and June still offer lovely weather conditions but without the crowds. It's warm on the islands and the waters are nice enough for a swim. Peak tourist season doesn't start until mid-June and lasts until early September. During this time the islands are buzzing with people, both travelers and locals alike. If you're visiting during this time it's best to book hotels, flights and local ferries as far as in advance as possible to avoid disappointment and secure better prices.

Between September and mid-October the soft light and delicate colors are particularly suited to photography. The sea water retains the heat of the mid-summer months so swimming is definitely still on the cards.

What's winter like in Greece?

By late-October many parts of Greece begin to experience stormy conditions with more frequent cloud cover and rain showers. The tourist season comes to an end and prices drop off considerably. Few international travelers visit the Greek islands between November and February so crowds are thin.

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Climate in Athens

Temp Min °C8111319212728282419136
Temp Max °C141918262733343429251912
Rainfall (mm)551889218150127155323

Climate in Santorini

Temp Min °C141716202126272726221913
Temp Max °C161818222429303128252115
Rainfall (mm)5616283162009281769
Carnival in Greece - Best time to visit - On The Go Tours

Festivals and Events

The Greek calendar features a number of fun festivals worth visiting for, particularly during the summer months. From religious Orthodox celebrations to colorful festivals that encompass dance, music and food, there's something to appeal to everyone. Here's an insight into a few of the best.

What are Easter celebrations like in Greece?

Easter is a spectacular celebration in Greece. It's one of the most important events of the year with festivities throughout the week leading up to Easter Sunday. During this time candle-lit processions take to the streets and firework displays fill the night sky. As a religious event, many of the week's celebrations are focused around church with daily services and hymn singing. At home, Greeks feast on lamb.

What is Carnival like in Greece?

Known as Apokriátika in Greek, the annual Carnival is a three-week event before the 40-day Lent. The celebrations date back to the pagan world of ancient Greece when the god of wine and fertility, Dionysos, was worshiped and his rebirth signalled the start of spring. During the 19th century, celebrations took inspiration from the famous Venetian carnival and still to this day Apokriátika is known for its glamorous parades featuring colorful floats and dancing, and wild parties where revellers don fun costumes and masks.

Greece Trip Styles