Golden sandy beaches flanked by a clear azure sea is an enduring image of Greece that adds to its reputation as a sunny holiday destination. Sitting at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Greece lures visitors to its shores from all around the world. With a wonderfully varied geography, Greece can boast of some stunning landscapes adorned with a rich palette of vivid hues.
From its sprawling coastline to its looming mountains, Greece is a land of incomparable beauty. It is but a reflection of its residents who will welcome you with unbridled enthusiasm and give you a taste of the legendary Greek hospitality. With a serene pace of life, it presents you with the perfect opportunity to take a step back and switch off from the daily grind. Greece operates in a ‘relaxed mode’ and there’s no particular hurry to be anywhere. A holiday here is all about the simple pleasures of life.
You can spend your days taking leisurely walks along the ocean or enjoy a cup of hot Greek coffee as you watch the sun make its way over the horizon. Try your hand at something new or simply lounge around on the beach. And if you’re seeking adventure, Greece will not disappoint you. There are plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking and scuba diving that will take you off the beaten paths, to little pockets of Grecian delights far away from the glare of tourism.
The big cities like Athens and Santorini boast of a pulsating night life that shows off a different side of Greece. Greek cuisine is one more way of experiencing the country’s soul. The bold, clean flavours and the freshest seafood will definitely win your stomach’s approval. All this and more await you on a Greek holiday. Here’s a look at the best time to visit Greece for an exciting vacation.
Summer (July - August) is the busiest season in Greece when popular destinations like Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes are full of tourists. August is the month when the locals take their annual leave and add to the crowds of visitors.
Spring (April - June) and Autumn (September - October) are the best months to visit Greece for a peaceful holiday after the rush of summer. The days are long, and the weather is mild. If you’re looking to enjoy yourself at the beaches, the water is warm and inviting in Autumn.
Winter (November - March) is the low season of sunny Greece. While the big islands like Crete, Rhodes and Corfu entertain visitors all year round, the smaller islands wind down for winter. This would be a wonderful time to visit Greece for a laid-back holiday if you don’t mind the cold.
|Spring (North)||5 - 29°C||Pleasant and sunny|
|Spring (Centre-South)||11 - 31°C||Warm and sunny|
|Summer (North)||15 - 32°C||Hot and sunny|
|Summer (Centre-South)||21 - 33°C||Hot and sunny|
|Autumn (North)||8 - 27°C||Pleasant, with rainfall|
|Autumn (Centre-South)||15 - 29°C||Warm, with rainfall|
|Winter (North)||-3 - 15 °C||Cold, with rainfall|
|Winter (Centre-South)||7 - 20 °C||Mild, with rainfall|
Temperature - The northern islands experience a milder weather with temperatures sliding between 5 to 29°C. It gets warmer in the centre-south islands with temperatures averaging 11 to 31°C.
Weather - Most of Greece is warm and sunny with a few northern exceptions. The rains subside but stay back in some mountainous regions as thunderstorms. The temperatures begin their rise in May, but the northerly Meltmi keeps things cool.
Significance - Spring is a shoulder season in Greece. The pleasant weather and lesser number of visitors allow you to enjoy Greece in relative peace. All the tourist spots are open and are free from crowds.
Why you should visit now - Apart from the beautiful weather, Orthodox Easter celebrations is one more thing to look forward to in Spring. The fervent celebrations go on for 4 days. On the International Museums Day, May 18th, you get a free entry into all the museums across Greece. Explore the islands at your leisure and take in the spectacular sights.
Things to know before the visit - Some islands may not be fully open in early spring, especially in the North. Do confirm availability before planning your trip. Accommodation is easy to find as there are no crowds.
Tips - Pack plenty of light cotton clothes suitable for sightseeing excursions. Carry a pair of sandals for wearing on the beach. Apply your sunscreen and always keep a water bottle handy.
Temperature - The summer temperature in Greece ranges between 15 to 32°C in the north and between 21 to 33°C in centre-south.
Weather - Greek summers are hot, accompanied by occasional rains. The combination of heat and humidity makes for sweltering weather on the mainland. However, in the coastal areas and on the islands, the heat is tempered by the cool sea breeze.
Significance - Summer is the peak tourist season. In August, Greece enjoys its annual holiday. As a result, the locals join the visitors in droves. All tourist activities and attractions operate at full capacity and the country comes alive with celebrations.
Why you should visit now - This is the time to visit Greece, if you’ve always dreamt of a sunny Mediterranean holiday. Whether you want to have an adventure by the sea or just explore the natural beauty around you, summer gives you an unrestricted access. Be a part of Greece’s lively art festivals that are held every summer. From music festivals to international film festivals, you will be spoiled for choice. Do not miss one of the traditional local feasts hosted on Ikaria.
Things to know before the visit - From tourist attractions to restaurants, you will find crowds everywhere. So, factor in some extra time into your itinerary to compensate.
Tips - Carry a good sunscreen lotion and a comfortable hat to protect yourself from the sun. Wear light clothes and remember to stay hydrated. Pre-book your tickets wherever possible.
Temperature - As Autumn approaches, the temperatures average between 8 to 27°C up north and 15 to 29°C in the south. Though it remains hot until mid-September, October is more pleasant.
Weather - As Autumn progresses towards winter, the temperatures begin settling and the weather turns pleasant. October sees quite a bit of rain, but it helps cool things down.
Significance - Autumn is your perfect season if you love the perfect Greek weather, but not the crowds. Despite the mild weather, Greece remains surprisingly bereft of tourists. This gives you the right opportunity to experience Greek hospitality at your own pace.
Why you should visit now - If the lack of crowds and the fine weather do not convince you, maybe the festivals will. The Greek social calendar is chock-a-block with a number of music, film and art festivals. Greece celebrates ‘Ohi Day’ on 28th October to commemorate their defiance of Italian forces during the Second World War. It is a day marked by food and parades.
Things to know before the visit - If you’re looking to attend one of the cultural festivals, book your tickets in advance. Also note that some islands may be shut in preparation of winter.
Tips - Carry a heavy jacket and dress in layers. Also carry an umbrella and appropriate rain gear. Bring hiking boots if you plan on doing some serious trekking.
Temperature - With temperatures ranging between -3 to 15°C, northern Greece gets colder than the south where they average between 7 - 20°C.
Weather - The cold weather is compounded by heavy rainfall that continues throughout winter. Sometimes Greece receives cold air masses from Russia or Northern Europe. Whenever this happens, the temperatures plummet, even in milder areas.
Significance - This is the low tourist season in Greece and as such you’ll hardly come across any visitors. You can enjoy the solitude along with the good deals offered during the low season. If you want to enjoy the snow, you can head up to the northern plains of Thessaloniki.
Why you should visit now - While Greece may not be a winter wonderland like some of its European contemporaries, it is still a wonderful time to be in the country. You can be a part of Greece’s Christmas and New Year celebrations. You can enjoy ‘Apokries’, the three-week long Greek carnival that is one big street party. Though most tourist attractions will be closed, the nightclubs of Athens and Thessaloniki will keep you entertained on the cold, rainy days.
Things to know before the visit - Do not expect sunny weather in winter. Most of the islands will be closed for winter. Even in the big cities, some restaurants and resorts close up for the season. While you can still enjoy your Greek vacation, your choices will be limited.
Tips - The winter weather of Greece is wet and cold. Carry weather-proof gear that can also protect you from the cold. Do not venture into the sea as it becomes highly unpredictable due to the rains. Stay away from remote hiking trails. If you do go trekking inform your hotel and update them with your detailed programme.
Greece is a multi-faceted holiday destination that will surprise you every time you visit. On one hand you have centuries of history and on the other you have modern sensibilities. The food will reel you in and the hospitality will amaze you. So, if you’ve decided your best time to visit Greece, visit your nearest Thomas Cook branch or book your holiday online.