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Best Time to Visit Greece – Discovering the Optimal Seasons to Explore the Country

    If you are planning a trip to Greece, it’s important to choose the best time to visit to make the most of the country’s incredible offerings. The ideal time to visit Greece largely depends on your preferences, such as your interests in different attractions, your tolerance for crowds and your budget.

    The weather, events and seasonal tourism trends also play a crucial role in determining the optimal travel period. In this guide, we will give you a comprehensive insight into the various factors you should consider when planning a trip to Greece.

    If you’re looking for the best time to visit Greece, there’s one thing you should definitely keep in mind: Greece is a fantastic destination all year round. However, there are a few important tips that will help you find the best time to visit the country based on your preferences! Let’s get started right away.

    Greece Through the Seasons

    If you prioritize comfortable weather and an opportunity to explore the mainland and the islands, late spring to early autumn is a perfect choice. During these months, the climate is generally pleasant and warm, allowing for sightseeing and beach activities. 

    If, on the other hand, you seek a quieter experience, shoulder seasons like late autumn and early spring offer the advantage of less crowded attractions, milder temperatures and lower accommodation prices. One must bear in mind, however, that visiting during the off-season may limit access to certain popular island destinations. 

    In any case, careful planning will help ensure a memorable and fulfilling visit to Greece, tailored to meet the priorities and preferences of each traveler. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of visiting Greece depending on the season:

    Visiting Greece in Winter


    During winter months, Greece experiences cooler temperatures. In fact, November through March are considered the coolest months. The winter season is definitely not ideal for beach activities, but it’s an excellent time for those who want to explore historical sites and avoid large crowds. 

    Winter is also considered low season in Greece, meaning that accommodation and activities are usually much cheaper than the rest of the year. 

    Large cities like Athens and Thessaloniki are particularly fun to visit during the winter, and especially during the holidays, when Greek Christmas and New Year’s traditions take place. Finally, some parts of Greece, especially the mountainous areas, can see snowfall, making it a great destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

    Visiting Greece in Spring


    Spring is a wonderful time to visit Greece. With the arrival of March, April and May, the weather begins to improve, making the season perfect for numerous outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking and, of course, sightseeing. The good weather usually starts at the end of March and by the time May arrives, the sun is shining and the water is starting to warm up.

    If you plan your visit during Orthodox Easter, which usually falls in April or May, you can experience the most important spiritual holiday. In addition, spring is also a great time for island hopping as the seas gradually lose their winter chill.

    Visiting Greece in Summer


    Summer is by far the most popular time to visit Greece. The weather is ideal, with temperatures ranging from hot and dry inland to slightly cooler on the coast. During this time, the islands become busier and tourists flock to the beaches and ancient sites.

    Late spring, summer and early fall are the busiest times for visitors. While the heat can be intense in summer, the crystal-clear waters are perfect for a refreshing swim.

    Visiting Greece in Autumn


    Autumn, like spring, is a fantastic time to visit Greece. It lasts from September to November and offers mild temperatures and fewer crowds.

    From September to early October, it’s usually still warm enough for the beach, but much less crowded. This allows for a more relaxed experience and the opportunity to fully enjoy the natural beauty and cultural attractions that Greece has to offer.

    Monthly Analysis of Weather and Activities

    Now that you have a better understanding of the situation in Greece throughout the seasons, let’s discuss a few more details. Greece is known for its Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The weather varies depending on the region and time. Therefore, a visit to Greece is suitable in different months, depending on the activities and festivals you want to visit.

    In spring, the weather in Greece starts to warm up. This is a great time to visit archeological sites, explore the mainland and see the stunning blooming of wildflowers. May is considered the best month to visit Greece for outdoor activities and local cultural events.

    Summer in Greece is characterized by hot and dry weather. This is the best season for beach vacations, water sports and island hopping. However, it is also the busiest time with large crowds and inflated prices.

    Autumn offers pleasant weather conditions for exploring both the mainland and the islands. In early fall (September and October) it is still relatively warm and it rains less often, so you can enjoy the Greek summer without the crowds of the high season. It’s also an excellent time for outdoor activities, such as hiking and sightseeing, which benefit from the mild temperatures.

    Winter in Greece is generally cold and wet. Snowfall can occur in the northern parts of the country during this time. Despite the cooler weather, winter could be a good time of year for a family trip to cities like Athens, as fewer tourists make for a more intimate experience.

    In summary, the best time to visit Greece depends on your preferences in terms of climate, activities and visitor numbers. Regardless of when you decide to visit, the country has something to offer all year round.

    Regional Analysis: Best Time to Visit Different Parts of Greece

    Best Time to Visit Athens and Mainland Greece

    Acropolis winter clouds athens DP

    The weather in Athens is usually at its most pleasant in May, June and September. During this time, there are many sunny days that are perfect for leisurely walks and exploring the city’s many historical sites.

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    Generally speaking, for most cities and destinations in mainland Greece, the period between late April and early November offers a great weather window for travel, with blossoming landscapes and mild temperatures. Of course, July and August are usually the hottest months of the year. But with the right planning, you can combine a visit to Athens with a summer island vacation in Greece!

    Best Time to Visit Greek Islands

    The Greek islands, including popular destinations such as Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos, are best visited in the low season in late spring (May) and early fall (September). During this time, the weather is pleasantly warm and ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The sea is also warm enough for swimming and offers perfect conditions for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.


    While July and August are the most popular months to visit the Greek islands, there are several advantages to visiting in May, June or September. Firstly, the islands are less crowded compared to the peak summer months of July and August, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. You can explore iconic sights such as the caldera on Santorini or the vibrant nightlife on Mykonos without the overwhelming tourist crowds.

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    Plus, accommodation and travel costs tend to be lower during these shoulder seasons, making it a budget-friendly option. The local culture and hospitality are also more accessible as the locals are less busy catering to the many summer tourists. In summary, the period between late spring and early fall is the best time to visit the Greek islands.

    Best Time to Visit Crete


    As with all Greek islands, visiting Crete in summer (July and August) is the most obvious and popular choice. However, Crete is also a fantastic destination in late May, June, September and early October. During these periods, the weather is pleasantly warm and ideal for beach activities and exploring the island’s rich cultural and historical sites.

    Visiting Crete at these times also offers significant financial benefits. Prices for accommodation and tourist activities typically drop by up to 20%, giving you better value for your trip. The island is also less crowded compared to the peak summer months, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

    Whether you want to hike the Samaria Gorge, visit ancient ruins or simply laze on beautiful beaches, the low season offers the perfect mix of pleasant weather, fewer tourists and cost savings.

    Planning a family visit to Crete? Have a look look at our fully customizable family-friendly tours in Crete.

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    Analysis by Activities and Preferences

    When planning a trip to Greece, it is important to consider the various activities and personal preferences that might determine the best time for your visit. Let’s take a closer look at these to help you decide when to start your Greek adventure.

    • Beaches and Swimming: If your primary focus is to enjoy Greece’s beautiful beaches and swim in crystal-clear waters, visiting between June and August is ideal. The weather is warm and perfect for sunbathing, while the Aegean Sea becomes pleasantly warm for swimming. Water sports enthusiasts may also prefer this period as it offers the best conditions for their pursuits.
    • Sightseeing and Culture: For travelers interested in sightseeing and absorbing Greek culture, the months of May, June, and September provide a comfortable climate without the extreme temperatures of mid-summer. During these months, archaeological sites such as the Acropolis in Athens are less crowded, and the heat is more bearable for walking tours.
    • Hiking and Outdoor Activities: Greek landscapes offer numerous hiking opportunities, especially on islands like Crete and Santorini. The cooler months of April, May, and September are excellent for hiking and outdoor pursuits, as the temperatures are mild, the trails are less crowded, and the clear skies provide expansive views.
    • Culinary Activities like Food Tours and Cooking Classes: Culinary activities are equally pleasant throughout the season from April to October, providing a delightful way to immerse yourself in the worldwide-known Greek flavors.

    In summary, different activities and personal preferences play an important role in determining the best time to travel to Greece. By considering the specific interests and goals of your trip, you can make more informed decisions about when to travel to this beautiful and diverse country. 

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    In general, the months between late April and early October are best if you want to combine the activities analyzed above. Depending on the weather conditions, you can adjust your itinerary to make the most of your visit.

    Best Time to Visit Greece: Festivals and Events

    Crete Greece dancing paniyiria festivals

    Greece is a country rich in cultural heritage, and its numerous festivals and events showcase its vibrant traditions and customs. While there are many events to attend throughout the year, visiting Greece during some of the most significant festivals can provide a unique and memorable experience.

    Easter is certainly a significant event in Greece, especially for the Greek Orthodox community. Orthodox Easter usually falls around a week or two after the Catholic Easter, depending on the lunar calendar. The Holy Week celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday are marked by various religious and cultural events, such as processions, church services, and traditional ceremonies. 

    Another noteworthy festival in Greece is the Carnival, held annually in cities and towns across the country. The carnival season usually takes place in February or early March and is characterized by colorful parades, costumes, street parties, and other lively events. In particular, the Patra Carnival is the largest and most famous in Greece, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.

    Paniyiria, traditional village festivals, take place all around Greece, especially during the summer months on islands like Crete. These festivals are a great way to appreciate Greek traditions, featuring local music, dancing, food, and religious ceremonies. They offer a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and community spirit.

    Other popular cultural festivals in Greece worth considering for your visit include:

    • Athens & Epidaurus Festival: From June to August, this festival hosts a variety of theater, dance, and music performances in Athens and the ancient theater of Epidaurus.
    • Thessaloniki International Film Festival: Held in November, this prestigious event showcases a selection of national and international films, featuring screenings, workshops, and panel discussions.

    Whether you’re interested in experiencing Greek traditions, culture, or simply soaking in the festive atmosphere, planning your visit around these events can make your trip to Greece even more unforgettable.

    Practical Tips for Planning Your Visit

    When planning your trip to Greece, it’s essential to consider various factors such as accommodation, flights, and the overall budget. Start by researching and booking your flights early to get the best deals. Flights can become expensive, especially during the high season, so it’s wise to compare different airlines and opt for the most cost-effective option.

    Next, consider your accommodation. Greece offers a wide range of hotels, villas, and guesthouses catering to different budgets and preferences. Advance booking is highly recommended, particularly during peak seasons when popular hotels can become fully booked. 

    Budget for your vacation is another critical factor. You should list down potential expenses, such as food, transportation, and activities to get a rough estimate of your total spending. A well-planned budget can help you prioritize your activities, avoid overspending, and ensure a stress-free vacation experience.

    Greece is a popular destination for families, and you might want to consider some important things if you plan to visit with children. Understanding the local customs, weather conditions, and any necessary vaccinations might be essential for a smooth vacation.

    Getting around Greece can be easily done via public transportation, such as buses, trains, and ferries. Nevertheless, if you prefer more flexibility, renting a car can also be a viable option. Make sure to research car rental rates, fuel prices, and road conditions before embarking on a road trip.

    Finally, it’s always a good idea to have some basic knowledge of the local language. Although most Greeks, especially those in the tourism industry, can communicate in English, learning a few essential phrases can be helpful in navigating the country and interacting with locals.

    For more information, make sure to check our guide “Things to Know Before Traveling to Greece with Kids”

    Wrap Up

    When planning a trip to Greece, considering the best time of year to visit is crucial for an enjoyable experience. The optimal period may vary depending on individual preferences and activities.

    Visiting Greece between late April and early November is generally a good choice, as the weather becomes more pleasant with the arrival of spring. For travelers seeking the picture-perfect beach vacation, the summer months of June to August are the ideal time to visit. 

    However, if you’re looking to explore Greece’s rich archaeological sites without facing the sweltering heat and overwhelming crowds, spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) are great alternatives. These periods offer more comfortable temperatures while still providing good weather for sightseeing.

    Ultimately, the best time to visit Greece depends on your itinerary and priorities, whether it’s soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, exploring ancient ruins, or immersing yourself in local culture. Take these factors into account, and you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your Greek adventure.


    What are the peak tourist seasons in Greece?

    Peak tourist seasons in Greece are during the summer months, specifically from June to August. This is when the country experiences its highest temperatures, numerous summer festivals, and parties. 

    During which months can travelers typically find the best weather in Greece?

    The best weather in Greece can be found between late April and early October. However, the ideal months for pleasant temperatures with fewer crowds are May, June, and September.

    How does the travel experience differ between the Greek mainland and the islands?

    The Greek mainland offers a wealth of historical sites, national parks, waterfalls, and wildlife, while the islands are famous for their beautiful beaches, stunning vistas, and quaint villages. 

    What are the cost considerations for visiting Greece in different seasons?

    Visiting Greece during the peak summer season (June-August) can be more expensive due to higher demand for accommodations and activities. Traveling during the shoulder season (May, June, September, and October) can help visitors save money without sacrificing good weather conditions. 

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