Greece, a country of stunning natural beauty and rich history, has long wooed global travelers and digital nomads alike.
Surrounded by the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea, the country offers mouth-watering cuisine, gorgeous hotels, and thousands of years of interesting history. No wonder the country sits on top of the travel wish list for many.
If you’re planning to visit Greece anytime soon, as a digital nomad, long term traveler or simply on vacation, this month-by-month breakdown of the best time to visit Greece will help with your travel plans.
The Hellenic Republic (the official name of Greece) is a Mediterranean country bordered by North Macedonia, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Albania. The country also has maritime borders with Libya, Italy, Egypt, and Cyprus.
The country is famous for many ancient philosophers like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Pythagoras. Greece is known as the birthplace of Western democracy and is also known for inventing the Olympic Games and theater.
The country is also known for Greek islands, food & wine, monumental temples, oracle sites like Delphi and Dodona, the nine Greek Muses, Greek pantheon deities, and so much more.
If you don’t mind crowds and want to enjoy sunny beach holidays and explore the rest of the country without worrying about rain, visit Greece during the peak season (July & August).
For pleasant weather and budget traveling with fewer tourist crowds, visit Greece during the shoulder seasons (April to June and September to October).
To participate in the religious celebrations, visit Greece during April or early May depending on when Easter week falls. Internal travel can make this time quite busy despite there being a low tourist count.
Greece experiences four seasons namely:
Spring (April to June): The northern Greek islands have temperatures between 5°C and 29°C, while the center-south islands have temperatures between 11°C and 31°C.
Spring brings sunny and warm weather with a few northern exceptions where thunderstorms linger around.
Summer (July & August): During summer months, Greece experiences hot weather conditions with temperatures ranging between 15°C and 32°C in the north.
The center-south islands have average temperatures ranging between 21°C and 33°C. Occasional rain increases humidity, giving the mainland hot weather.
However, in coastal areas, cool sea breezes temper the heat.
Autumn (September & October): In Autumn, northern Greece has a temperature range of 8°C to 27°C while southern Greece experiences average temperatures between 15°C and 29°C.
Warm weather continues till mid-September, but temperatures dip in October because of some rain.
Winter (November to March): Northern Greece experiences temperatures between -3°C and 15°C and southern Greece experiences temperatures between 7°C and 20°C.
Heavy rainfall continues throughout winter. Cold air masses from Northern Europe and Russia often enter Greece, leading to further temperature drops.
For travelers, the Greek climate can be further divided into:
- Peak Season: Summer months (July & August) are peak tourist months. Even locals add to the crowd because of their annual leave.
- Shoulder Season: Spring months (April to June) and Autumn months (September & October) are best to enjoy without the summer rush. The weather is mild and the days are long, making beach holidays a perfect choice.
- Low Season: Winter months (November to March) are best if you don’t mind the cold and want to enjoy a laid-back holiday with the cheapest prices.
The best time to visit Greece depends on what you want to do, your weather preferences, and your budget.
For instance, if you want to go to the prominent Greek islands like Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes, they are accessible throughout the year.
To enjoy Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations, you must be there in the last week of April.
Here is a month-by-month breakdown of the best time to visit Greece:
January is the coldest month in Greece with overcast days and plenty of rain. Because of the low season, you can enjoy the best deals on accommodation and tours.
Though rainy, you can still enjoy sightseeing and exploring the ancient ruins in and around Athens with proper travel gear.
The main highlights are the New Year, Epiphany, and Patras Carnival. The Patras Carnival is loud and the streets are filled with crowds socializing with each other.
Rainfall is less but the winter chill is still noticeable. Because of fewer crowds, you will get the entire country to yourself. Visit Santorini to bask in the winter sun or reach Athens for historic sightseeing.
The best Greek islands to try in both January and February are Rhodes, Crete, Kos, and Karpathos.
February is the month of the Carnival with the best parties concentrated in Athens and the Greek island of Crete.
The Carnival is all about dancing, eating, drinking, and parading around. Clean Monday (a public holiday) marks the end of the Carnival when people go outside and fly kites.
Winter chill still lingers but it is a lot sunnier with less precipitation. It is still low season and hence, fewer crowds. It is the best time to visit Athens and Delphi without pushing through tourist queues.
The Greek Independence Day is in March and you can expect parades, drinking, food, and a lot of fun.
On the Greek islands, the temperature can reach up to 21°C, giving you scope for uninterrupted enjoyment of island serenity because of fewer tourists.
Image Credit: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando
It is the beginning of Spring. A lot of sunshine kills the winter chill, but you can still enjoy cooler weather.
The weather is perfect for beach-goers, but the water is still uncomfortably cold for a refreshing swim.
Greek Orthodox Easter falls mostly in April (last week), but it can be in the first few days in May.
Prior to Greek Easter is the Holy Week lasting from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. The Orthodox Easter is the most important religious event in the Greek calendar.
Like April, May is also in the shoulder season with a lot more sunshine and clear blue skies. Mainland Greece has glorious weather this month, making it ideal for sightseeing and terrace-top lunch and dining experiences.
The sea is warm enough for swimming and ferry routes are open, making May the perfect time to enjoy Greek island hopping. Also, mild temperatures with plenty of sunshine make hiking enjoyable.
The Athens Jazz Festival and Korinthia’s Salsa Spring Festival are prominent events this month.
June borders the high season, so expect some tourist crowds, and the price advantage will dissipate gradually. Late June marks the beginning of early summer in Greece.
June brings warm weather and days are long, making it the perfect time to visit Greece for sightseeing. Also, sea temperatures are pretty warm by mid-June, making swimming a comfortable experience.
June is also the best time to visit Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Corfu, and Rhodes.
European Music Day, Navy Week (in late June), and the Athens and Epidaurus Festival are the main events.
By now, summer is at its peak and the days are sunny and hot. This is also the peak season, which means that all prices are high. So, book well in advance.
You will find umbrella-lined beaches, and it is perfect for visiting as many Greek islands as you can.
Mainland Greece will be very hot, making sightseeing a little uncomfortable. Wear light clothes and use sunscreen to stay comfortable in the hot sunny weather.
This is the time for arts and cultural festivals like the Festival of the Aegean, Athens Festival, Sani Festival, etc. The River Party in Nestorio is a popular one.
This is the peak of the peak season and prices are insanely high everywhere. It is not ideal for digital nomads looking for cheap accommodation.
August is when most people plan their Greek holidays. Tourist crowds are everywhere. On 15th August, the Greeks celebrate Panagia – a national holiday.
Aside from that, August is also the time for the Olympus Festival, August Moon Festival, Houdetsi Music Festival, Chania Rock Festival, and the International Music Festival of Aegina.
Image Credit: Reworks Festival
September officially marks the end of the hot summer season and the beginning of autumn. However, early September or early autumn is still riddled with tourists, but the crowds start thinning by mid-September to late September.
Good weather remains with plenty of sunny days allowing you to get a beach tan. This is a great month to travel across the country and visit the ancient sites.
There are several events like the 12-day-long Athens International Film Festival, the Reworks Festival, and the end of the Epidaurus Festival.
Image Credit: Ελένη Δελή
Autumn is in full swing in October with sunny days and cool nights. There will be some rainy days at the end of the month.
Seasonal places start closing but Mykonos and Santorini are still happening places. Some smaller islands will become quiet. But you can still enjoy a beach holiday with sea temperatures warm enough for a relaxing swim.
Crete’s Chestnut Festival is one of the prime attractions along with Thessaloniki’s Dimitria Festival. On October 28 the Greeks celebrate Ochi Day commemorating their defiance of the Italian forces during WWII.
Winter officially starts with some surprisingly sunny days in early November, but do expect overcast and damp weather at times. You can also enjoy warm afternoons despite decent rain.
The beaches will be quite chilly but mainland Greece will be a good place to visit ancient sites. Most Greek islands close down activities in November because it is the low season.
Thessaloniki International Film Festival is the main event in November.
December gets quite chilly and blustery with increased precipitation. Prices drop, too! However, it is still fun for snow lovers and skiers who can enjoy the mountains. (Although it’s not well known for skiing, there are some great ski resorts for beginners.)
It is a good time to visit Athens or visit one of the many museums that the country has to offer.
Christmas preparations begin long before the actual day. Once Christmas is over, preparations for New Year’s Eve begin. Fireworks and crowded bars are common at this time.
April and early May is the best time for cycling, hiking, and sightseeing in Greece. The isles start warming up but it is not uncomfortably hot. Wildflowers are also in full bloom. A pleasant October and a slightly cool November are also good times.
June to September and even early October is the best time for a beach holiday in Greece. There is plenty of sunshine and the sea is warm. To beat the midday heat, take some shelter.
The most popular party scenes are at Santorini, Ios, Paros, and Mykonos, and they become super busy in July and August with DJs and live music.
Shoulder seasons (April to June and September to October), are always the best time to travel to Greece if you are looking for low prices and fewer crowds. This is when beaches are sunny and yet empty enough.
Historical sites are not buzzing with tourists, giving ample photo opportunities without someone photobombing your perfect shots.
Shoulder seasons (April to June and September to October), are the cheapest months to visit Greece without the winter chill and tourist buzz. However, if you don’t mind the cold, the low season (November to March) is when the prices are at their cheapest with almost no tourist crowds.
As a digital nomad, it is best to avoid visiting Greece during the peak season (July & August), because the prices will be high, internet connectivity will be congested (and from experience the internet can be very patchy in Greece depending where you are), and it gets super hot.
Pick the shoulder seasons, especially September and October. This is when temperatures start dropping, prices start dropping, and you can acclimatize for the colder months if you intend to stay longer into the low season when the prices are cheapest.
The perfect time to visit Greece depends on your personal preferences. Peak season or high season (July & August) is great if you want plenty of sunlight, don’t mind the crowd and have a bigger budget.
To avoid crowds, enjoy warm sunny days, and the best weather; the shoulder months (April to June and September to October) are the best. Prices are also much lower during the shoulder seasons, making it a perfect time for digital nomads or long term travelers to pass through and spend some time here.
If you don’t mind chilly nights and rainy days, winter months are the cheapest time with winter festivals in December and January being particularly attractive.
No matter what’s on your mind, Greece is a beautiful and exciting country to visit. I hope this article on the best time to visit Greece has helped with your travel plans.
Have an amazing trip. 🙂