Greece has long beckoned travelers with its beauty. From the crystalline waters in the surrounding Mediterranean Sea and the rich historical sites that dot the nation’s map to the divine cuisine and stellar hotels, the European country deserves a spot high on travelers’ wish lists.
Greece attracts travelers year-round, but some months are better to visit than others, especially if you’re keen to visit beaches, avoid the masses, or score a deal on a hotel room. Here are the main tourist seasons to keep in mind:
- High Season: June to September
- Shoulder Seasons: April to May and October
- Low Season: November to March
Ready to plan your trip? Here are the best times to travel to Greece, whether you’re after good weather, affordable prices, or fewer crowds.
Best Times to Visit Greece for Smaller Crowds
Unsurprisingly, the most popular times to visit Greece are the late spring, summer, and early fall months. This is when the weather is ideal, and all the venues open their doors, inviting guests to stay, eat, and drink.
In June 2019, for example, 4.12 million travelers made their way to Greece. In July of the same year, 4.91 million people took the journey, and in August 2019, a whopping 5.45 million enjoyed a Greek getaway, making it by far its busiest month to visit. Numbers dropped dramatically in the fall, with just 3.9 million visitors in September 2019 and 2.1 million in October 2019.
If you don’t plan on hitting the beaches, consider a trip to Greece during the winter. While the weather is cooler (the average temperatures hover around 50 degrees Fahrenheit), the crowds are much thinner. In 2019, just 500,000 people visited Greece in January, and a mere 600,000 came in February. In fact, the nation didn’t crack one million visitors until April, making the winter much more manageable if you’re trying to avoid crowds. However, many venues and hotels close for the winter, so search for accommodations in your intended destination to see what’s available and when.
Best Times to Visit Greece for Good Weather
If you’re after warm weather but want to avoid the sweltering heat, plan a trip in late spring or early fall (April through June or September through October). In May, the average temperature in Athens, the nation’s capital, ranges from a high of 74.8 degrees Fahrenheit to an average low of 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In June, things warm up a touch — to an average high of 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit — perfect for taking a dip in the ocean.
In September, the average temperatures drop a little in Athens to an average high of 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average low of 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit. October is even chillier, with highs hitting 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low in Athens around 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, it’s cool, but nowhere near cold enough to feel uninviting. Just remember, the country is relatively large, especially if you include the best islands in Greece, so check your exact destination for average temperatures before booking.
Best Times to Visit Greece for Lower Prices
Visiting Greece on a budget is possible. All you need to do is plan accordingly. According to Skyscanner, the cheapest months to book a flight to Greece are October, November, March, and April. The website noted that July tends to be the most expensive month to fly to Greece, so it’s best to avoid the middle of the high season if you’re trying to save money.
While April is a less expensive month to fly, it’s worth noting that hotel prices slightly increase during Greek Orthodox Easter, which sometimes falls at the end of April. The end of December and the beginning of January see a similar spike. Hotels tend to be pricy during July and August, so avoid these busy months if you’re looking for lower room rates.
Worst Times to Visit Greece
There’s no bad time to visit Greece. However, July and August can be uncomfortably hot and humid — especially in Athens — with temperatures often soaring above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The capital city and Cycladic islands (including Mykonos and Santorini) are also at their most crowded and expensive during these months, so it’s best to avoid midsummer if you’re looking for more elbow room, lower prices, and a relaxed atmosphere.
On the flip side, January is the coldest month in Greece, with temperatures hovering around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While the cool weather is ideal for exploring historical sites, shops, and art galleries in Athens, it will likely be too chilly to swim in the ocean. If your dream vacation in Greece includes beach time, avoid visiting during the winter months.
Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands
Again, the best time to visit depends on what you’re after, but generally speaking, for the most delightful weather, plan a trip to the Greek islands in the late spring, early summer, or beginning of fall. Yes, you can visit in midsummer if you don’t mind the heat (and being shoulder-to-shoulder with other travelers).
For example, in Santorini, the average high in July hits 84 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The only upside is the ultra-warm waters during this time of year, with the average sea temperature hitting 77.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, the island only experiences one or two rainy days, making your chances of basking in the sun pretty good.
September is considered one of the best months to visit the Greek islands, as the weather is still sunny and warm, and the crowds have thinned out. However, you’ll want to research the island you plan to visit since temperatures vary across the archipelagos.