Greece is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. This Mediterranean country offers incredible historical sites like the Acropolis, iconic views in places like Santorini, and lively nightlife in Mykonos, along with plenty of art, culture, and breathtaking scenery throughout the country.
A question many people ask is: “What’s the best time to visit Greece?” While there’s no definitive answer to this question, there are some guidelines you may want to follow based on what you’re looking for (great weather, no crowds, etc.).
In this post, we’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of visiting Greece in each season and look at the best times to visit based on your interests.
Greece: At a Glance
Greece is located in southeastern Europe, boarded by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Türkiye. While you may be familiar with some of the country’s more famous islands like Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos, there are actually thousands of islands scattered throughout the Ionian and Aegean Seas, giving the country one of the longest coastlines in the world.
Greece thrived in ancient times and is often called the cradle of Western civilization. Perhaps its most famous landmark is the Acropolis, which includes the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. These sites have enormous architectural and historical significance and can draw 16,000 visitors in a single day.
Greece has a Mediterranean climate, meaning it’s hot and dry in the summer and cool and wet in the winter. During the summer, it can be very hot and there’s little rainfall. Summer heat in Greece is no joke — Athens is often cited as the hottest capital city in Europe. In the winter, northern and mountainous regions can see snow while southern islands remain mild.
Hot Tip: The currency in Greece is the euro, so be sure to have some handy. We also recommend using a credit card without foreign transaction fees whenever possible.
The Best Time To Visit Greece by Season
Spring (March, April, May)
If you’re looking for mild weather and smaller crowds, consider visiting Greece in the spring. April and May are great times to visit as long as the beach isn’t the first priority on your to-do list (it’s still a little chilly for the beach during these months). Average daytime temperatures range from about 60 degrees in March to about 77 degrees in May.
Most of the Greek Islands are fully open by May for the summer tourism season.
Holy Week and Easter (March or April, depending on the year) are important times in the country, so you may see prices increase during these events.
Summer (June, July, August)
It probably comes as no surprise that summer is the most popular time to visit Greece. Unfortunately, this also means it’s the most crowded time in Greece.
July and especially August are the hottest and busiest months in the country. If you’re planning on visiting historical sites in Athens or popular islands like Santorini or Mykonos, be prepared for extreme heat and huge crowds.
Average daily temperatures range from about 86 degrees to 90 degrees, but it’s not uncommon to see days that exceed 100 degrees.
Fall (September, October, November)
Early fall — especially September — can be a great time to visit Greece since it’s still warm but crowds start to thin once kids are back in school.
September has an average daily temperature of 83 degrees, but after that, cooler days start to appear. The average daily temperature in October is 73 degrees and it drops to 64 degrees in November.
While October might be a little too cool for swimming, it’s a wonderful time for sightseeing. The rainy season starts around the end of September, so keep that in mind when you’re visiting Greece in the fall. And don’t forget to pack a travel umbrella or rain poncho!
Winter (December, January, February)
Winter is the low season in Greece, with crowds and costs at a minimum beginning in November all the way until March. Many tourist attractions have shorter hours and some islands can even close for the whole season.
Winter can actually be a decent time to visit Athens, though. While the weather can be chilly, it’s not frigid, with average daily temperatures hovering around 55 degrees. There are lots of Christmas festivities throughout the city in December, making it a fun time to visit the capital.
Popular attractions like the Acropolis will be less crowded during the winter and it can also be a great time for cheaper airfare and hotel prices. According to Google Travel, December is the least expensive month to visit Greece.
The Best Time To Visit Greece by Interest and Island
The Best Time To Visit the Greek Islands
Greece is known for its islands. The best times to visit the Greek Islands are the summer months of June and July. August is a popular month to visit but it can be incredibly crowded. Some islands are also great to visit as early as April or May and as late as September.
Generally, winter is not a great time to visit the Greek Islands. The weather can be cold and wet and many hotels, restaurants, and shops shut down for the season. This is especially true on the smaller islands. Ferry schedules are also reduced during winter, so travel between the islands can be more difficult.
Hot Tip: No matter what month you visit, you can use points and miles to fly to Greece.
The Best Time To Visit Mykonos
The best times to visit Mykonos are the late spring or early fall. During these times, temperatures are still warm, but it’s less crowded and hotel prices are lower.
Of course, if you’re after the iconic summer beach-party vibe the island is known for, you’ll need to brace yourself for heat and crowds if you visit during the popular summer months of June, July, and August. The summer weather is hot, dry, and windy with average temperatures peaking around 84 degrees in July and August. August also tends to be the most crowded month so try to avoid traveling then if you can.
It’s possible to visit Mykonos during the winter. The weather, while unpredictable, is relatively mild, with low temperatures only dipping into the upper 40s.
While you’ll avoid crowds and pay less for your trip, keep in mind that many restaurants, shops, and attractions may be closed and ferry service can be limited. However, if you’re interested in strolling the almost empty streets to take in all of the island’s beauty, winter can be a great time to visit Mykonos.
The Best Time To Visit Santorini
Santorini, also known as Thira, might be the most popular island to visit in Greece and is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable in all of Europe. Summer is the busiest time on the island, with most visitors coming in July and August. To avoid crowds, schedule your trip in the shoulder months of April, May, September, or October when crowds are thinner but the weather is still warm.
November through March are the coolest months with high temperatures between 57 and 60 degrees and lows ranging from 50 to 57 degrees. While winter is a good time to visit to avoid crowds, it’s also the wettest season in Santorini, so be sure to pack accordingly.
The Best Time To Visit Crete
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, and as the southernmost island in the country, it’s one that can be visited year-round.
Generally, May, June, and September are the best months to visit Crete for the perfect balance of great weather and fewer crowds. As with most of the Greek Islands, July and August are the hottest and most popular times to visit, so crowding can be an issue.
Hot Tip: Not sure where to stay? Check out these boutique hotels in Greece (including the Greek Islands).
The Best Time To Visit Corfu
Corfu is a Greek Island in the Ionian Sea known for its beaches. If you want to soak up some sun on the beach, the best time to visit Corfu is in the summer (July and August specifically) when the weather is hot and dry. However, that’s the most crowded time on the island, as well. If you’d like to avoid crowds as much as possible, try to visit in the shoulder months of May, June, and September for a nice balance of good weather and reasonable crowds.
The Cheapest Time To Travel to Greece
The cheapest time to visit Greece is during the winter. This is a time when crowds are almost non-existent and prices for things like accommodations, flights, and even food are at their lowest. Keep in mind, though, that certain areas of Greece, especially the islands, will see many shops and restaurants close down for the season, so plan your trip accordingly.
Hot Tip: According to Kayak, February is the cheapest month to fly to Greece. To save money on flights, check out these booking websites.
Greece is an incredible country to visit and is high on many travelers’ bucket lists. In addition to famous ancient ruins like the Acropolis in Athens, there are thousands of islands to visit. You’ll find gorgeous beaches, delicious food, mountains for hiking, and plenty of small towns to explore.
The best time to visit Greece can vary based on what you’re looking for, but generally, you’ll want to shoot for the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall. These time periods offer a nice balance between weather that’s not too hot and crowds that aren’t too thick. Whenever you decide to go, Greece is definitely a country you’ll enjoy visiting.