Best Time to Visit Greece

Updated: 11th June 2019

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

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 travellers 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 colours 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 travellers visit the Greek islands between November and February so crowds are thin.

Thinking of visiting Greece? Download a copy of our Europe brochure for inspiration.

Climate in Athens

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

Climate in Santorini

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C141716202126272726221913
Temp Max °C161818222429303128252115
Rainfall (mm)5616283162009281769

Upcoming events

To help plan your visit to Greece here's an overview of the next year's festivals and events:

2020:

February 9th - March 2nd - Carnival (countrywide)
April 12th - Easter Sunday (countrywide)
July TBC - Hellenic Festival (Athens)

There's also a number of national holidays in Greece and on these dates many businesses and some tourist sites will close for the day so plan your visit accordingly.

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 colourful 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 worshipped 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 colourful floats and dancing, and wild parties where revellers don fun costumes and masks.

What is the Hellenic Festival?

Founded in 1955, the Hellenic Festival (previously known as the Athens & Epidaurus Festival) takes place each summer and showcases musical, theatrical and artistic performances. These take place in some of Greece's most evocative venues including the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone theatre dating back to 161 AD. The festival attracts performers from all over the world, as well as visitors looking to experience first-class artistry in historic settings with the Acropolis as a backdrop.

See Also

To help you plan your trip to Greece, check out our handy Travel Guide resources:

Best Places to Visit - ancient monuments and stunning islands in Greece
Tourist Visas - what to know before you go
Top Travel Tips - information about money, food and vaccinations

Greece Trip Styles