Are you trying to figure out the best time to visit Greece?
You must be smart to research this before heading there! Why?
Greece is a stunning travel destination for all kinds of travelers – history lovers, foodies, beachgoers, island lovers and so much more. Even a beautiful country like Greece has its moments of the absolute best times to visit and…
…times you should avoid visiting it.
Even as one of our favorite countries we’ve visited (after visiting 30+ countries), we will avoid touring Greece during certain months. And it may not be the months you’re thinking!
In this guide, we are going to share the best and worst times to visit Greece, the cheapest months, the crowded months and everything in between.
Quick Answer: When’s The Best Time to Visit Greece?
✅ The best time to visit Greece is May, June, September and October.
These months are considered the shoulder season where the average temperatures are around 73.4°F (23°C). These months have warm weather and much fewer crowds so you can enjoy exploring the stunning country. The attractions, restaurants and tours are still open but it will be much quieter than if you visit in the peak months (July, August).
❌ The worst time to visit Greece is December, January, July and August.
These are the coldest and hottest months of the year. When it’s cold in Greece, a lot of the islands’ restaurants, tours, and cafes are basically closed. When it’s the peak months (July, August), you will have to hot weather, pay more for accommodation and battle the crowds, especially on the islands.
Quick Stats On Greek Weather & Seasons
A lot of these stats vary based on where you are in Greece but we just want to give you a quick snapshot of what the weather in Greece can be like on average.
- Hottest month in Greece: August (89°F/31°C)
- Coldest month in Greece: January (50°F/10°C)
- Rainiest month in Greece: December
- Driest month in Greece: August
- Most crowded months in Greece: July, August
- Least crowded months in Greece: December, January
The summer months are from late June till the end of September which are considered the peak tourist months… The winter months are from November till the end of March which means the entire country slows down.
Everything in between is the spring and fall seasons which is the best time to visit Greece for fewer crowds, the weather is warm (but not too hot) and activities are still being offered to travelers.
Best Time To Visit Greece
“When is the best time to visit Greece?”
It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves when we planned on spending our honeymoon and a few months living in Greece over the years.
After our personal experience of visiting the mainland and the islands over different months in the year, we concluded:
There is a RIGHT and a WRONG time to visit Greece.
Here’s a few things to consider before visiting Greece and a general overview of what you can expect.
5x Things To Consider First Before Choosing
The weather can affect your experience in a place, especially as a traveler. In addition to that, there are so many other factors to consider when deciding the best time to visit a certain country.
The sunshine shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind, here are 5 things to think about:
- Price Fluctuations
- On vs Off Season
Okay, that’s 6 things but they are all equally important when it comes to choosing a time to visit Greece. Ultimately, it’s up to you and the way you like to travel. Some things will bother other people but they might not affect you.
Matthew and I love visiting digital nomad destinations during the shoulder seasons, for example. When we did our 8-month stint across Europe, we avoided Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona during the peak months. Instead, we went to lesser-known cities like Zagreb and Belgrade for July and August. That’s our personal preference because there are fewer crowds, it’s a calm vibe and that’s how WE like to travel!
After our honeymoon in Greece, we knew we wanted to be digital nomads in Athens for a few months but we needed to pick our timing. We arrived in mid-September till early November! The weather was just fantastic and there were much fewer people around (up until it hit November then we got cold lol).
Maybe you aren’t like us and you don’t mind the crowds if it means you catch all the sunshine! The best time to visit Greece might be in the peak season because you just want the peace of mind that all activities and dining options will be open.
Struggling to know which is the best time? Ask yourself these questions to help decide:
- Which parts of the country do I want to visit (mainland vs islands)?
- How many activities do I want to do?
- Do crowds of tourists truly bother me?
- What kind of activities do I want to do?
- Does the humidity affect me?
- Are there any events I can’t miss?
The answer to these questions can help share when the best time to visit Greece is for you. Make sure you think of the kinds of activities you want to do and how you want to spend your time in Greece.
The Best Time To Visit Greece
If you want good weather, fewer crowds and affordable prices – the best time to visit Greece is May, June, September and October. The temperature during these months can range from 73°F (23°C) to 82°F (28°C). “It’s not too hot and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket!” as Ms. Rhode Island from Miss Congeniality puts it.
Visiting in the early fall (September, October), you could still jump in the ocean for a swim! Matthew and I visited the Greek islands in mid-October and we went for a couple of dips ourselves.
More than that, visiting Greece in the shoulder months also means you get better deals on accommodation and lower prices for activities. Most tourists visit Greece during July and August which is one of the most expensive times to visit! If you want to get good deals and value for money – this is going to be the best time for you too!
The downside to visiting Greece during the shoulder months is that a lot of the islands actually close during the low season.
If you want to do all the activities and ensure all the bars, restaurants are open when you visit, the safest bet is to visit during peak season (July, August). However, the crowds can get very VERY overwhelming!
We visited Santorini in mid-October and the crowds were still pretty big at that time. If you visit during high season, you will be shoulder to shoulder with crowds of people, constantly fighting to reserve spots at bars and restaurants.
The Worst Time To Visit Greece
You could say, there’s never a bad time to visit Greece…
…but we aren’t so sure about that.
The worst time to visit Greece is July, August, December and January. During the peak summer months (July, August), you’ll have to constantly battle the crowds, line up for every restaurant and pay more for things. During the coldest winter months (December, January), there aren’t many tours or activities available during the lowest season in Greece. The temperatures also drop to 50°F (10°C). Most islands also tend to close during the winter!
Matthew and I visited Santorini near the end of October, we were lucky enough to book the very last Catamaran sunset tour of the season! We missed out on a couple of restaurants in Paros because they closed a tad earlier than low season. That’s going to happen if you visit but the tradeoff is that you don’t have to deal with huge crowds.
Greece attracts tourists from all over the world and it’s such an iconic travel destination – you have to expect big crowds. But we didn’t truly understand ‘big crowds’ till we saw it first-hand and it quickly becomes not-so-fun anymore.
However, it might just be worth it because you get great weather during your whole trip. Summers in Greece are pretty beautiful as everything comes to life that is until you continuously bump into people navigating the narrow streets of Athens, Santorini or other islands.
Temperature Year-Round In Greece
What’s the temperature like in Greece on average? The chart below shows the average temperature for each month of the year. The annual average temperature in Greece is around 68°F to 73°F (20°C to 23°C).
The reason Greece is such a popular destination (other than the food, history and stunning islands) is that the weather year-round is pretty great compared to other European countries like the Netherlands or France.
Precipitation Year-Round In Greece
The rainiest months in Greece are November and December. As the weather changes from fall to winter, it can start to get pretty wet having about 2-2.5 inches of rainfall.
We were in Athens in early November and there wasn’t much rainfall for us. It obviously depends but the rain seems to start around late November. The months with the least rainfall are the peak summer months, July and August!
Weather Seasons In Greece
Greece is an amazing country with diverse landscapes, delicious Mediterranean food and so many cool things to do. There’s a reason why nearly 30 million visitors to Greece every year (pre-pandemic). That’s a whole lot of people!
Greece has the full 4 seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. Every season in Greece is beautiful in its own way. Here’s what Greek weather is like throughout the year and the best things to do for each season!
Spring in Greece (April – June)
The flowers are booming, the cities are emptier than usual and the days are getting longer. Spring is one of the best times to visit Greece to enjoy the outdoors, go on picnics and wander the city admiring the pink bougainvillea flowers all around.
We suggest trying to visit later in the spring season for higher chance of things opening up. The islands tend to close in the low season so if you visit you might not get to do all the things on your bucket list!
Springtime in Greece also means that accommodation prices are going to cost less and more tourist activities are available at this time. If you want to save some money and have fewer crowds, the best time to visit Greece is going to be spring for you.
Summer in Greece (July – mid-September)
The sun is shining every day, there’s a buzz in the atmosphere and it’s the best time to jump in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Summer in Greece attracts the most amount of visitors (nearly 10 million total people) during July and August alone!
With huge crowds of tourists wanting to visit the same landmarks, it can get pretty overwhelming standing in line for the Acropolis for 30+ minutes. Prices also increase during the summer months for things like accommodation, tours and activities.
Summer in Greece can get very hot and steamy with temperatures rising to as high as 104°F (40°C). During these months, you’ll barely get any rain which means you can definitely plan all your activities without worrying about the rain ruining your day/
Autumn in Greece (mid-September – November)
Fall is one of my favorite seasons because the leaves begin to change, the huge crowds start to leave and still some of the best weather. Greece is no exception to having a great fall season!
The autumn season in Greece is part of the shoulder months that we suggest visiting. The skies are clear, there are fewer crowds, accommodation prices begin to drop and it feels like you can breathe again.
The weather in Greece during fall is around 77°F (25°C), isn’t that just perfect?! The only downside of visiting Greece in autumn is that things are starting to close down for the low season. You might not get all the opportunity to do the things you want but there are fewer crowds of people you’ll have to stand in line with for the Acropolis.
Winter in Greece (December – March)
…Some love it and some hate it! The cold is freezing, the sun is barely shining and it’s just a season to get through. Matthew and I literally chase the sun as digital nomads fleeing countries that get just a bit too cold.
Temperatures reach as low as 50°F (10°C) which isn’t actually too bad for a European winter. However, if you’re thinking you are going to jump in the blue waters – you might have to think again!
December is also the rainiest month in Greece. If you don’t like the cold or the rain can negatively affect your time, don’t visit Greece during the winter. On the other hand, it’s also the least crowded period season which means you won’t have to battle the crowds for any of the landmarks or activities.
FAQs – The Best Time To Visit Greece
Got some more questions about the best time to visit Greece? I would too 😉!
Here’s some quick frequently asked questions to help guide your decision on when is the best time for you to visit.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Mainland Greece?
The best time to visit mainland Greece is any time of the year. Lots of the major attractions don’t close as they do on the islands. Restaurants, cafes and bars will stay open throughout the year, too! It’s up to you whether you want warm weather or cold weather.
The top destinations on the mainland are Athens, Thessaloniki and Meteora. If you’re trying to decide between the 2 cities, we’ve written a guide on choosing between Athens vs. Thessaloniki!
These cities have similar weather throughout the year. We visited Thessaloniki in mid-October and it was already pretty cold compared to when we were in Athens in mid-October, the year before! In our experience, Thessaloniki got colder much earlier in the year.
Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands?
One of the best ways to figure out the best time to visit the Greek islands is actually to figure out the kind of activities you want to do. A popular reason to visit the picturesque islands is to swim in the clear, blue glimmering waters.
The best time to visit the Greek islands is the summer season. You can’t beat getting into the refreshing water when it’s super hot and steamy out!
If it’s 50°F (10°C), the chances are pretty low you are going to be laying down your beach towel and jumping in the water. If you want to visit the Greek islands, don’t go in the early spring, winter and late fall seasons.
Most Popular Time to Visit Greece?
The most popular time to visit Greece is during the summer season, specifically the month of August. Lots of Europeans have vacation days in August, making it one of the top destinations for a week or weekend getaway. We would avoid Greece in August due to the massive crowds but it’s also the hottest month of the year!
Least Crowded Time to Visit Greece?
Hate crowds? Us too! The least crowded time to visit Greece is the low season (December, January, February). You won’t be shoulder to shoulder with other tourists and the lines for major attractions will be much less in the winter. But that means it’s cold so there’s that too.
Cheapest Time to Visit Greece?
Looking to visit Greece on a budget? We have seen some insane price cuts if you visit during the low season in Athens, Thessaloniki and even the islands. The cheapest time to travel to Greece is the winter season (December, January, February).
Best Time to Visit Greece For A Honeymoon?
You’re honeymooning in Greece? What a dream!
Matthew and I also spent our honeymoon across Greece in Athens, Paros and Santorini! We went during the shoulder month of October which we loved for several reasons – fewer crowds and more value for money. But we did miss out on some restaurants that closed early for low season. So if we had to choose again?
The best time to visit Greece on your honeymoon is September. The huge summer crowds have left and it’s a lot quieter in the city/islands. The sunny weather is still going strong in September and a lot of the tourist activities (restaurants, bars and tours) are still available to book.
Bottom Line: When Is The Best Time To Visit Greece?
The best time to visit Greece is during the shoulder season months of May, June, September and October. You still get to enjoy beautiful weather, have fewer tourist crowds around and it’s going to be much more affordable!
We love visiting Greece – I mean we have been 3 times in the last 4 years! But…we will avoid Greece in the peak season months of July and August because we do not want to deal with such huge crowds of people.
Greece is a stunning travel destination for any kind of travel experience you could be looking for. The most important thing is that you just visit Greece whenever you have the opportunity!