Best time to visit Greece and the Islands for good weather, honeymoon, swimming & cruising

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What’s the best time to visit Greece? Well, that’s a tricky question with no short answer! The best time to visit Greece depends on many factors including what type of traveler you are, what the purpose of your visit is, where you want to go and the list goes on and on. But let us tell you one thing: If you think the best time to visit the Greek islands is in summer, you’re in for a surprise!

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the best seasons to visit Greece, how to make the most out of your visit, and many more useful pieces of info about your trip!

When is the best time to go to Greece in a nutshell

  • Honeymoon
  • Couples
  • Romantic

Cyclades → Mykonos (June to mid-July & September), Santorini, (April, May, and October)

Mainland → Athens (Mid-July-August), Peloponnese (Mid-July-August)

Ionian → Corfu (June to mid-July and September), Paxoi (Mid-July-August)

  • Yachting
  • Sailing

Cyclades → Mykonos (June to September), Santorini, (June-mid July & September, and mid-July to August)

Mainland → Athens (June, July, August, and September)

Ionian → Corfu (July, August, and September)

  • Parties
  • Touristic
  • Hang out

Cyclades → Mykonos (August),Ios (August)

Ionian → Corfu (mid-July to August)

Dodecanese → Rhodes (June to August)

  • Relaxation
  • Chill out

Mainland → Athens (April, May, and October)

Dodecanese → Rhodes (April, May, and October)

Crete(April, May, September, and October)

 

Tourist seasons in Greece

 

A view of the Aegean Sea in Greece

At a first glance, summer seems to be the only season to visit Greece. The weather is hot, the sun shines, and the water is warm enough for swimming. However, there are way more options to consider!

Average temperatures in Greece throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

12

14

17

21

26

31

34

34

29

24

18

14

Min (in °C)

6

7

8

11

16

21

24

24

19

15

11

8

 

November to March

 

The period from November to March is considered low tourist season in Greece. The weather is chilly most of the time, but warm sunny days are frequent, especially in November and March.

 

Given that the restaurants and hotels on the islands are closed, this is not the best season for a Greek island holiday. However, wintertime is perfect for a holiday on the Greek mainland. Athens is way less crowded in the winter, so you’ll get to experience the authentic side of the city like a local. What’s more, this time of the year is ideal for excursions to popular winter destinations, like Arachova, Kalavrita, and Olympos!

 

April, May, and October

 

If you want to enjoy the good weather in Greece without putting up with hordes of tourists and overcrowded attractions, visiting Greece in late spring (April and May) and middle-fall (October) is your best bet.

 

The Greeks celebrate Easter in April or May, so they usually spend this time on the Greek islands or in the countryside. Around this time, peak season also begins with many businesses starting to operate on the islands and the first tourists starting to arrive.

 

October on the other hand, marks the end of peak season in Greece. The weather is still good, the water is still warm enough for swimming, and the hotels and restaurants are still open. Neither the islands nor the mainland overflow with tourists, while prices are much lower than they are in summer.

 

June to mid-July and September

 

June to mid-July and September are the best months to visit the Greek islands if you want to enjoy all the perks of a summer holiday in Greece minus the August crowds. The period from June to mid-July is ideal for those planning on visiting Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, or another super-popular island. That’s because tourist season has begun and travelers have started going to the islands, but the planes aren’t overbooked, the restaurants and bars aren’t packed, the beaches are not overcrowded, and hotel prices are usually lower than in August.

 

This is also the case for September. In September, the sea is ideal for swimming, as the water is warmer than at the beginning of summer, while hotels aren’t overbooked and there aren’t any waiting lines at the most popular attractions!

 

Mid-July and August

 

The period from mid-July to August is considered peak season in Greece. During that time, the Greek islands overflow with tourists and it’s quite impossible to find a table at the bars and restaurants of the most popular Greek islands if you haven’t made a reservation well in advance.

 

Mid-July and August obviously aren’t the best months to visit Greece if you want to relax or spend some quiet time with your family. However, for those who want to meet new people, party like there’s no tomorrow, or have a taste of the cosmopolitan side of the Greek islands, August may be a good option. Just make sure that you pre-book everything at least 3-5 months before your trip!

 

The best time to visit the Greek mainland

 

Acropolis Hill in Athens

 

The best time to visit Athens

Athens is a top destination in Greece all year round, as it offers a variety of places to go and things to do. However, every season has something different to offer in terms of activities, sightseeing, and experiences. Generally, winter is the best season to visit Athens if you want to have a taste of the local culture, while spring and summer are better for sightseeing.

 

Temperatures in Athens throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

13

14

17

21

26

31

34

34

29

24

18

14

Min (in °C)

7

7

9

12

16

21

24

25

20

15

11

8

 

The best time to visit Athens for a honeymoon or a romantic holiday

If you’re planning a romantic trip to Athens with your significant other, our number one advice is to avoid peak season (ie. July-August). Hordes of tourists and overcrowded streets aren’t the most romantic things, right? Your best bet lies in shoulder season. April, May, and October are the perfect months to enjoy a relaxing holiday in Athens. During these months, you can do a bunch of romantic activities, including Saronic cruises, rooftop dining, watching movies at open-air cinema theaters, and sunset watching at the Athenian riviera. The weather is still good, but the crowds aren’t as bad as in August!

 

The best time to visit Athens for yachting, sailing, swimming, and beaches

June, July, August, and September are the best months to enjoy the sea in Athens. Regarding yachting and sailing in Athens, if you want to avoid the crowds and find a place to park your yacht easily, we suggest that you avoid August because the ports are quite busy then. June and September are the best months for both sailing and swimming, as the weather is hot and the water is warm, but the beaches and the ports aren’t overflowing with people and boats.

 

The best time to visit Athens with family/kids

If you’re planning on visiting Athens with your family, then we suggest that you opt for your visit to fall either from June to mid-July or from November to March. The first period is perfect for a summer vacation, while the latter for a winter vacation. However, during both periods, the Greek capital isn’t overcrowded and entrance to the most popular attractions is usually hassle-free!

 

The best time to visit Athens for a relaxing holiday

April, May, and October are the best months to visit Athens for a relaxing low-key holiday. Even if you go to Athens during the Greek Easter period (late April or early May), you don’t have to worry about the crowds, as the Athenians leave the capital to celebrate Easter on the islands or at the villages of the Greek mainland. Also, the temperature in Athens during these months can climb to 20-25 °C, which creates the perfect conditions for relaxing outdoor activities, from lazing by the pool to sipping cocktails on the city’s best rooftop bars.

 

The best time to visit Athens for parties

Parties take place in Athens throughout the year, you just have to know where to go. In general, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the Carnival are occasions for bigger parties and celebrations throughout the city. So, if this is what you have in mind, the best time to visit Athens is from November to March. If, on the other hand, you fancy legendary beach parties and endless nights of dancing and drinking at the Athenian Riviera, your best bet is to visit Athens in summer!

 

The best time to visit the Cyclades islands

 

The best time to visit Santorini

 

Blue-domed chapels in Santorini

Santorini is probably the most popular island destination in Greece. And how couldn’t it be? Enthralling sunsets, sugar-cube houses, lunar beaches, infinity pools, and luxury caldera-hanging hotels create a unique scenery for a romantic vacation!

Although it seems that summer is the only season to visit Santorini (and the entire island complex of the Cyclades), that’s not the case. Scroll down to discover all the options you have!

 

Temperatures in Santorini throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

14

14

16

18

23

27

29

29

26

23

19

15

Min (in °C)

12

12

14

16

20

24

26

26

24

21

17

13

 

The best time to visit Santorini for a honeymoon or a romantic holiday

It’s not a secret: Santorini is a wildly popular destination for a honeymoon and a romantic holiday! Everything on the island looks like it has been popped out of a romantic movie: the breathtaking sunset, the dramatic caldera, the exclusive hotels…the list goes on and on. There’s no doubt that summer is the most romantic season to visit Santorini.

 

But, here’s the catch: peak season (mid-July to August) is when the island overflows with tourists, which is not romantic at all! So, if you want to go to Santorini in summer with your significant other, the best time to do so is from June to early July and September. Alternatively, you can opt for a spring or fall holiday in Santorini. April, May, and October may be less popular months to visit Santorini, but -and trust us when we say that- they are the best option for a relaxing crowd-free holiday!

 

The best time to visit Santorini for yachting, sailing, swimming, and beaches

The best time to visit Santorini if you are a sea lover is from spring to early fall. More specifically, if you want to enjoy the island’s beaches and go swimming, the best time to visit Santorini is June-mid July and September, as well as mid-July to August. During these months, the weather is warm with temperatures that reach 29 °C, while the water temperature is pleasant enough for swimming. However, keep in mind that Meltemi winds blow in the Cyclades in August, which means that wind conditions aren’t ideal for yachting. Make sure that you check the wind forecast before your trip!

 

The best time to visit Santorini with family/kids

There’s one rule for family trips to Santorini: August should be avoided -unless your interpretation of a relaxing family vacation is waiting in long lines and trying to navigate through alleys packed with tourists! The best time to visit Santorini with family/kids is either in April, May, and October or June-mid July and September. If you want to discover the authentic side of the island and relax, opt for the first, while if you want to enjoy the beaches opt for the latter.

 

The best time to visit Santorini for a relaxing holiday

The same rule that applies to a family holiday also applies to a relaxing holiday in Santorini: August is not an option. Santorini is less crowded between November and March, but the weather conditions aren’t ideal for a holiday, as it’s usually chilly and windy during these months. So, the second-best option is April, May, and October. The tourist period starts in April and ends in October, so during these months the island isn’t crowded and hotel rates drop, so you can enjoy a longer (and definitely more relaxing) stay.

 

The best time to visit Santorini for parties

Santorini is not known for its party scene, like other Cycladic islands (see Mykonos and Paros), but there are still many things going on during the summer. If you want to have a taste of Santorini’s party scene, the best time to visit is the second half of July and the whole month of August.

 

The best time to visit Mykonos

 

Traditional windmills in Mykonos

Adored and frequented throughout the years by international jet-setters, moguls, Hollywood stars, and rock legends, Mykonos is the ultimate party destination in Greece. No wonder it’s also known as the Ibiza of Greece!

 

Every summer, Mykonos bursts with life, music, and dancing -particularly in August, which is the peak of the tourist season. But, there’s also a lot to do on the island during other months that are considered low season!

 

Temperatures in Mykonos throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

12

12

15

18

23

27

30

29

27

22

17

13

Min (in °C)

6

6

8

11

14

18

21

21

18

15

11

8

 

The best time to visit Mykonos for a honeymoon or a romantic holiday

If you’re planning on traveling to Mykonos for your honeymoon or a romantic getaway, your best bet is to avoid August, because that’s when the island gets really busy. Our suggestion is to opt either for the start of peak season (June-mid July) or for the end of peak season (September). During these months, the island isn’t as crowded as in August, so it will be easier for you to enjoy the beaches and the scenic cobblestone alleys of the town. However, if you’re dreaming of a quiet honeymoon, opt for April, May, or October, when the weather is still good, but the island isn’t overcrowded.

 

The best time to visit Mykonos for yachting, sailing, swimming, and beaches

The best time to visit Mykonos for sailing and swimming is from June to September when the temperatures are high and the water is pleasant for swimming. Like other Cycladic islands, Mykonos is affected by the Meltemi winds that blow in the Aegean in August, so we suggest avoiding this month for yachting. As for swimming, the entire summer period is ideal, but beaches are usually packed in August. Keep in mind that the water is warm until October, so if you want to enjoy the quiet version of the beaches, September and October are the best months to visit Mykonos.

 

The best time to visit Mykonos with family/kids

If you’re planning on visiting Mykonos with your family, peak season (and particularly August) should be avoided. To relax, enjoy the island, and make the most out of your holiday, opt for either April, May, and October or for June-mid July and September.

 

The best time to visit Mykonos for a relaxing holiday

Mykonos’ crazy party scene doesn’t make it a top choice for a relaxing holiday, but there’s the right time for everything! When the island doesn’t overflow with tourists (ie. during the shoulder season), it is a beautiful destination for a quiet vacation. April, May, and October are the months when you can both enjoy the good weather and relax.

 

The best time to visit Mykonos for parties

Wild beach parties are the main reason why hordes of tourists flock to Mykonos every summer! Numerous parties take place in Mykonos throughout peak season (June-September), but the island’s party season peaks in August. August might be the most overcrowded month in Mykonos, but it’s also the most fun time to be there, as there are many events and parties to attend, as well as tons of people to meet.

 

The best time to visit the Ionian islands

 

The Venetian Fortress in Corfu

 

The best time to visit Corfu

Sitting right in the middle of the emerald Ionian Sea, Corfu is a top destination for families and clusters of friends alike! Thanks to its natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and pristine beaches, Corfu receives tourists almost all year round. It is arguably the perfect island for several holiday types, from a cultural Easter break to a long summer vacation.

 

Temperatures in Corfu throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

14

14

16

19

23

28

31

31

28

23

19

15

Min (in °C)

5

6

7

10

13

17

19

19

17

14

10

7

 

The best time to visit Corfu for a honeymoon or a romantic holiday

If you’re dreaming of a romantic beach holiday with your significant other, then the best time to visit Corfu is from June to September. However, keep in mind that the period from mid-July to August, is the island’s peak season, so it may be overcrowded. To enjoy the more peaceful side of the island, we suggest that you opt for June-early July or September.

 

The best time to visit Corfu for yachting, sailing, swimming, and beaches

The best time to visit Corfu to enjoy the sea and the beaches is from May to September. Regarding sailing and yachting, the best months to visit the island are July, August, and September. That’s because in mid/late spring (April/May) and early summer (June) rainfalls are frequent in the Ionian, so the weather conditions aren’t good for yachting and sailing. As for swimming, the best period for a dip into the Ionian waters is from May to October. However, keep in mind that although the temperature is already high in May, the water temperature is still a bit low.

 

The best time to visit Corfu with family/kids

Corfu is a popular destination for a family vacation, that’s why it often gets overcrowded in August. If you want to take advantage of the good weather conditions, but skip the crowds, the best months to visit Corfu are April, May, June-early July, and September. The Orthodox Easter is celebrated on the island in April/May, so if you choose to visit Corfu during that time you’ll have a taste of the local culture as well.

 

The best time to visit Corfu for a relaxing holiday

If you want to escape your hectic routine and relax in Corfu, your best bet is to visit the island in shoulder/low season, which means that the summer months should be avoided. April, May, September, and October are the best months for a peaceful holiday in Corfu, as the crowds haven’t arrived yet or they have already left.

 

The best time to visit Corfu for parties

Corfu has a vivid nightlife scene, particularly in summer. Many resorts, including Dassia, Kavos, and Sidari have a lively beach party scene and an abundance of bars and clubs that attract hordes of youngsters every summer. If you want to enjoy the island’s crazy nightlife, the best period to visit Corfu is from mid-July to August, when the tourist season peaks!

 

The best time to visit the Dodecanese

 

The Acropolis of Lindos in Rhodes

 

The best time to visit Rhodes

Rhodes (or the Island of the Knights) is a Dodecanese island that has mild temperatures and good weather conditions almost all year round. Thus, it has an extended tourist period that stretches from April to October, and sometimes even November. However, like in every other Greek island, peak season in Rhodes lasts from June to August, with August being the busiest month.

 

Temperatures in Rhodes throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

15

15

17

20

23

27

29

29

27

24

19

16

Min (in °C)

10

10

11

14

17

21

23

24

22

18

14

12

 

The best time to visit Rhodes for a honeymoon or a romantic holiday

The truth is that Rhodes is a popular destination for romantic trips and honeymoons. If you want to spend some quiet time with your significant other and avoid the crowds, April, May, and October are the best months to visit Rhodes. June-mid July and September are also good options, but a little bit busier ones.

 

The best time to visit Rhodes for yachting, sailing, swimming, and beaches

The best time to visit Rhodes for yachting, swimming, and other water-related activities is summer. From June to August, the temperatures are high and the weather is sunny, creating the perfect conditions for swimming in the waters of the Aegean or cruising the Dodecanese island complex. If you want to avoid peak season, though, you can opt for September, when the water is still warm, the weather is still good, but the island isn’t crowded.

 

The best time to visit Rhodes with family/kids

If you’re planning on visiting Rhodes with your family, April, May, and October or June-early July and September are your best options. That’s because during these months the island isn’t packed, so it will be easier for you to visit every place that’s on your bucket list and do fun activities with the kids.

 

The best time to visit Rhodes for a relaxing holiday

When it comes to going on a relaxing holiday to Rhodes, there’s one rule: avoid peak season! For travelers who want to enjoy a peaceful stay far from the crowds, the best months to visit Rhodes are April, May, and October. With about 11 hours of sunshine every day, springtime is a great option if you want to take advantage of the good weather, but avoid the crowds.

 

The best time to visit Rhodes for parties

Summertime is party time in Rhodes! The period from June to August is when epic beach parties take place in Rhodes, with August being the busiest party month. Some areas in Rhodes, like Faliraki, Kalithea, and Lindos, are popular for their crazy nightlife. Every August, these villages overflow with youngsters from all over the world who flock to the clubs and beach bars to drink and dance till the morning.

 

The best time to visit Crete

 

Balos beach in Crete

Crete island is an all time classic destination in Greece! Having good weather conditions, high temperatures throughout the year, exhilarating nature, enduring history, stunning beaches, and world-famous cuisine, Crete is popular with tourists and locals alike. Also, thanks to the island’s large size, it’s hard to get overcrowded -even during peak season!

 

Temperatures in Crete throughout the year

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Max (in °C)

16

16

17

20

24

28

29

29

27

24

21

17

Min (in °C)

8

8

10

12

15

18

22

21

19

16

13

10

 

The best time to visit Crete for a honeymoon or a romantic holiday

Crete is considered one of the best romantic destinations in Greece. Its picturesque towns, stunning architecture (remnant of its Venetian occupation), and pristine beaches make it a top destination for romantic couples almost all year round. To enjoy the island’s natural landscape at its best, reap the benefits of the good weather conditions, and avoid the crowds, our suggestion is to visit Crete in April, May, or October. The second-best option -in terms of crowds- is June-mid July and September.

 

The best time to visit Crete for yachting, sailing, swimming, and beaches

The weather (and the water temperature) in Crete is warmer from May until September, so this period is perfect for swimming, sailing, and doing water sports. The island’s beaches get busier from late-July to August, so if you want some privacy, opt for the end of peak season (September/October).

 

The best time to visit Crete with family/kids

Crete is an ideal destination for families, particularly in summer. But, here’s the catch: except for being the most popular season to visit Crete, summer is also the most expensive season. So, if you are travelling on a budget, we suggest opting for April, May, and October or (the second-best option) for June and September.

 

The best time to visit Crete for a relaxing holiday

If you want to relax away from the crowds and enjoy a peaceful stay by the beach, your best bet is to avoid peak season and opt for the less-crowded shoulder season. This means that the best months to visit Crete are April, May, September, and October. During these months, you’ll also take advantage of the good weather conditions and enjoy nature at its best, avoiding summer heat and the summer crowds.

 

The best time to visit Crete for parties

Some areas in Crete, like Malia and Hersonissos, are famous for their wild party scene. Others, like Chania or Heraklion, are known for their laid-back nightlife. Although the entire summer period offers parties in abundance, the party season peaks in August, the busiest month in Crete.

 

Events in Greece per month

 

New Year’s Day, Carnival
Valentine’s Day, Carnival, Tsiknopempti
Carnival, Greek Independence Day
Holy Week & Greek Orthodox Easter, Rouketopolemos in Chios
Labor Day
Epidaurus Festival in Athens, Summer Nostos Festival in Athens, Nafplion Festival in Nafplion, Eject Music Festival in Athens, Rockwave Festival in Athens, Athens Photo Festival in Athens
River Party in Kastoria, Cretan Diet Festival in Crete, Hippocratea Festival in Kos
Assumption of Virgin Mary, XLSIOR Festival in Mykonos
Reworks Music Festival in Thessaloniki, Armata Festival in Spetses, Fistiki (Peanut) Festival in Aegina
Ochi (No) Day
Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Thessaloniki
Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve

 

The best destinations to visit per month

Athens, Arachova, Kalavrita
Athens, Arachova, Kalavrita, Patras
Athens, Patras, Arachova, Delphi
Athens, Crete, Saronic islands
Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes
Santorini, Milos, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes
Santorini, Mani, Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes
Milos, Mykonos, Corfu
Santorini, Milos, Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes
Crete
Athens
Athens, Arachova

FAQs

 

What is the cheapest time to go to Greece?

The cheapest time to visit Greece is low season (November-March). But, even though this is an ideal period money-wise, it’s not the best time to visit the Greek islands, as the weather is chilly and usually unpredicted. The second best option is shoulder season, April-May and September-October. During these months rates aren’t as high as in peak season (June-August), while there’s lots of sunshine and fewer tourists.

 

How many days in Greece is enough?

How many days you should spend in Greece depends on many factors, like how many places you’re going to visit, where you’re planning to stay, etc. In general, spending a week in Greece is enough to see the main points of interest, visit the best beaches, and have a taste of local culture. If you’re planning to visit more than three different destinations in Greece, just one week won’t be enough!

 

What is the rainy season in Greece?

Most rainfalls in Greece occur in the winter season (November-March). During these months the weather is rainy and humid, particularly in the Greek islands, while in northern Greece it’s cold and snowy. Rainfalls can also occur during the summer, rarely though.

 

What is the best time to go to Santorini?

The best time to visit Santorini is either in April, May, and October or in June-early July and September. Our suggestion is to avoid August at any cost, as the island gets overcrowded and rates very high!

To sum up…

Summer might be the most popular time of the year to visit Greece, but it’s not the only (or the best) option for every destination. Generally speaking, if you want to avoid the mass crowds, opt for shoulder season (late spring or early fall). This time of the year the weather is sunny and the sea warm enough for pleasant swimming, but the hordes of tourists are absent!

 

What’s your favourite time of the year to visit Greece? Tell us in the comments and don’t forget to share this article on the Social Media if you liked it!

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