Greece a mystical land, home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Its natural beauty and history have turned it into one of the most popular travel destinations across the Globe. More than 30 million people visited the country last year.
Because Greece has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters, it makes it a year-round destination. Of course, the best time to travel to Greece depends completely on the activities one wants to engage in and the region.
Visiting Greece during peak season
The peak season is always between July and August. The islands are full of tourists, the bar streets and neighborhoods are like beehives and some popular beaches are packed. However, the weather during these months can easily go above 100 °F. Prices are normally inflated and the plane tickets cost more than at any other time of the year.
Tourists who want to spend most of their vacation swimming should know that the water temperature in August says between 75° and 80° F. High temperatures and crowds might also make sightseeing a bit difficult.
One good thing about traveling to Greece during peak season is that Athens becomes less crowded as Greeks also prefer to travel to the islands for their vacation.
Traveling to Greece during winter
Greece is a peninsula. Part of its territory is on the mainland, and the other part consists of a cluster of islands and the climate can vary. Winter in most of Greece is mild, with temperatures averaging 60 °F in the southern area of the country.
Because tourism is not high during winter, this is the best time to visit archeological sites, temples, and to enjoy the Greek history and culture. You can even enjoy the ski resorts. Yes, Greece has some amazing slopes, even if the country is better known for its beaches.
The mainland has a big permanent population, which makes most of the tourist attractions available year-round. Many islands have a very small permanent population which makes them almost dormant during winter.
Big islands like Rhodes and Crete are still great to visit. The Old Town of Rhodes is a medieval fortress normally packed with shops and tourists, that empties out in winter and is able to be visited freely. During winter Crete will delight you with the contrasting scenery between the green island and the surrounding snowy mountain tops.
Christmas and Apokreas (the carnival season) and two wonderful celebrations you can take part in if you choose to travel to Greece during winter.
And the best thing about all of this is that travel expenses and accommodations will be very affordable.
When is the best time to travel to Greece?
Definitely in spring, early summer, and early fall. The pre-tourist season starts around April, but the months of May, June, September, and October come with beautiful warm weather and fewer crowds. Rain is rare and the Meltemi winds will cool you off if the weather gets too hot. The water temperature is perfect for swimming from May to mid-October, and you won’t melt trying to visit historical landmarks.
For those who need a cultural fix, Athens and the city of Thessaloniki are the places to go. Nobody likes a bunch of other tourists in their photos, so visiting during these months will help you avoid crowds.
During spring, you can experience the Orthodox Easter which Greeks celebrate with traditional food that you should definitely try. Starting early June tourists can experience the Athens and Epidaurus Festival that takes place in an ancient theater located below the Acropolis.
Visiting Greece in April and October will also allow you to travel on a tighter budget, as flights and accommodations are cheaper.
Overall the best time to visit Greece depends entirely on what you want to experience. The country is limitless when it comes to entertainment and leisure.
Read my in-depth Greece travel guide about the places you shouldn’t miss if you go visit this beautiful country and a lot of other details such as visa, transport and more.