The Best Time To Visit Greece

Article posted on 23rd April 2021

When Should You Go to Greece?

Greece is known for its divine summer climate making it an amazing summer holiday destination for all, including families and couples. However, if you plan to explore more of this beautiful country and visit its stunning ancient ruins you may prefer to visit when the temperatures are a little cooler.

A little winter sport?

Get over the January blues with a trip to glorious Greece that offers beauty and relaxation all year round. Since winter brings more rain and cooler temperatures of 15°C to Greece, it is probably best to spend this time sight-seeing the mainland rather than visiting the islands. Due to fewer tourists you will benefit from shorter queues for the popular tourist destinations such as the Acropolis and will have a greater opportunity to experience the authentic Greek culture.
You may be surprised to learn that some parts of Greece actually become winter wonderlands during the winter period with skiing being a popular pastime, and January being the best month to go. The most popular destination is Parnassos as it is the biggest downhill ski resort in Greece and is located only two hours away from Athens. Other popular ski resorts include Kalavrita Ski Centre, and Elatochori Ski Centre on the northern slopes of the infamous Mount Olympus.

Festival February

February still sees cloudy days and showers with the sunshine just starting to make a comeback and an average temperature of 10°C on the mainland. Head for the islands if you want a few degrees of extra heat although the sea is still going to give you goosebumps.
If you want to immerse yourself further into the Greek culture then try the Patras Carnival where the celebrations include music, dancing, games, BBQs and a stunning floats parade. Considered a Greek style fiesta, this is not an event to be missed if you are nearby during February.
February means half term month and there is another really good festival to entertain the family called Apokries which takes place from February to March and dates back to ancient times. Here you will witness colour costumes and masks, traditional dancing and lots of feasting, meaning that a great time is guaranteed.

Liberating March

The prices are still attractive and crowds are low in March but it is variable time in terms of weather. If you get lucky it can feel like a beautiful spring day. There is definitely more sun but do pack something for the rain just in case. And be warned - Athens once recorded a temperature of -2C in this month. In short, be prepared for anything.
Independence Day in Greece takes place on March 25 and, even if you don't fully understand the history, you will be able to take part in the colourful celebrations as the country marks its liberation from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. You might struggle to find a restaurant that is open on that day though as it is a celebration for all the people but you could well enjoy a military parade with all the spectacle that goes with it. Alternatively in March why not enjoy the one of the most picturesque half marathons of your life in Athens?

April adventures

For those that prefer a milder climate, April is perfect for you as the average temperature ranges between 17°C to 25°C, and with around 8 hours of sunshine a day you can enjoy plenty of rays but in more comfortable conditions. The more tolerable temperature means you can plan for lots of outdoor adventures as a family, but where to go? The Islands are beautiful at this time of the year but it is also an excellent time to stay on the mainland before the temperatures start soaring in the summer.
Make Athens your base then investigate the stunning ruins and ancient stories that can be found around the country. Metéora, a short drive away, is well worth a few days of your time as you gape in awe at the monasteries that sprout from the top of the rocky, mystical landscape. It is a once in a lifetime experience.

Jazzy May

May brings warmer temperatures coupled with fewer crowds making May Half Term a perfect time to visit Greece with your family. From dips in the ocean to strolls in the beautiful pine forest, our Gregolimano resort is a perfect place to discover.
Since Club Med Gregolimano is by the sea, coastal breezes will also provide relief from any heat. The warm late spring climate brings Grecian summer evenings perfect for al fresco dining and for a sunset cruise with Club Med. These peak summer months are also best for nightlife, with there often being many beach parties throughout the season.
For fans of Jazz music, the annual Athens Jazz Festival takes place at the end of May and sees musicians from around the world perform. This is considered one of the best festivals of its kind in Europe and admission is free for the public.

June sunshine

We are now hitting the summer months and for many people that means beautiful beaches on dreamlike islands. In June temperatures start rising to an average of 24°C with the chances of sunshine touching 90%. The evenings will start getting a bit sticky as well.

If you love your history then why not pay a visit to the mystical site of Delphi where the oracle once advised kings and emperors on their future? The Delphi Festival offers a range of amazing musical experiences, both classical and contemporary, in places of natural beauty. You can also enjoy poetry readings and theatre events - and nobody knows theatre better than the Greeks.

The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the leading cultural event in the country and one of the oldest in Europe, and takes place in June. Some of the greatest music, dance, and theatre artists in the world take part and you could catch something in the amazing surrounds of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, although the festival is expanding in terms of venues, ambition and timescales every year.

Flaming July

In July we are reaching the height of the summer season and definitely one of the most popular times to visit Greece. It is understandable why. These months experience temperatures of up to 34°C and are the driest months with the longest hours of sunshine at an average of 12 hours a day, meaning it is perfect for topping up your tan and enjoying some glorious heat. Santorini, Mykonos or Crete: all the big names are ready and waiting for you to visit and see them in all their summer glory.

These high temperatures will mean that you will want to save your sight-seeing and excursion for the mornings when it is cooler and then you can relax by the pool or sea during the hotter midday hours. For something a little different, why not try the Hydra Festival which celebrates all things puppetry? It is a chance to see some of the best in the business put on a show that kids and adults alike will love. It also makes for an interesting break from the beach.

August moon theatre

The summer is considered the best time for island hopping in Greece because the seas are calmer and ferries are more frequent and less crowded. You have the option of travelling between the islands by ferry or plane, or, for a more relaxed experience you can go on a Mediterranean cruise which requires less planning in advance.

August is a time to enjoy the highest sea temperatures during the year meaning when it is perfect for watersports such as water skiing, paddleboarding and swimming. It is one of the year’s hottest months in Greece in general with temperatures reaching a regular 27°C so the sea provides the perfect place to get relief from the muggy conditions.

August also brings with it the August Moon Festival which celebrates the moon being at its brightest and most beautiful at this time of year. Many towns around Greece host special night time events. You could even travel to Athens where moonlit performances of theatre and dance are hosted in the sunning settings of the Acropolis and Roman Agora.

Ideal September?

For those seeking a quieter holiday but still want the warm weather then September is the best time to visit because temperatures are still high at 29°C but it is outside of the school holidays so hotels and beaches will not be as busy. It also means that sight-seeing may be better during these months as there will be fewer crowds and cooler temperatures so you can spend more time exploring. Many archaeological sites will still be operating with ‘summer hours’ and will be open for longer so you can fit more into one day.

Although August does offer great conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling, September enjoys these same conditions such as warm sea temperatures, but due to it not being high season you are likely to have more privacy and ocean space when exploring the exotic marine life Greece has to offer.

The balance of October

Like September, October in Greece offers the best of both worlds. Expect weather that delights but not so hot that it hinders your activities and fewer crowds getting in your way on the beach or at the major attractions, An average temperature of 23.5°C means that island life is as attractive as any other time and urban explorations will result in fewer clothes sticking to your body. Take the opportunity to tick active things off your bucket list such as climbing Mount Olympus or exploring the beautiful Samaria Gorge in Crete.

Love the movies? Make a trip to Greece in October for the Athens International Film and Video Festival. It is well known as a big supporter of underground films and those from more marginalised communities. There will be blockbusters but it is a great experience for those who love discovering new ideas and tomorrow’s auteurs.

Remember November

A chill is returning to the air of Greece in November but it still cannot be classified as anything but ‘lovely’. Temperatures can range from 17°C to 20C meaning no jacket required but maybe an extra layer should be packed in your bag just in case.

Sightseeing in Athens is particularly good this month and you’ll be able to get a closer view of famous sights such as the Acropolis without having to bump elbows with other tourists. The second Sunday in November also sees the Athens Marathon if you’re fit enough and on a grand tour of the world’s great races. The Athenians invented the distance and nowhere else can give you a sense of how the original 26.2 miles actually felt.

If you have never visited Thessalonica then this is a good month to give it a go with a music festival taking place amongst its charming streets as well as concerts featuring contemporary Greek musicians and the chance to take part in a workshop to enhance your own skills.

End of the year excitement

December is still a great time to visit Greece. The weather will be colder (but can reach highs of 14°C), you might not want to go swimming but there are plenty of opportunities to explore the magical islands and amazing inlands of the country while trying a different type of seasonal cuisine or seeing old attractions in a new, snow-covered light. It is also the best time to visit Lake Vouliagmeni where underground caves offer the chance to experience the joys of a thermal spa.

Christmas in Greece? Why not? The country has embraced some of the traditions of Santa and reindeers but with its history of being part of the Othodox Church the main excitement is around New Year’s Eve when presents are handed out and Agios Vasilis is celebrated instead of St Nicholas. You will also notice other cultural differences such as the tradition of decorating sailing boats with Christmas lights. Hang around until January 6th when Greece celebrates the Epiphany with a slew of festivals across the country that will get your camera clicking with their colourful parades.

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