Do you ever wonder when the best time to visit Greece is? This is a year-round destination that can cater to your specific preferences depending on season.
No-one can deny Greece is most popular for its sandy beaches and magnificent sunsets over the Aegean Sea, and for good reason. Santorini is picture-perfect and Mykonos is the definition of cosmopolitan, so you can imagine anyone’s shock when they hear Greece also has ski resorts!
What, you’re shocked, too?
Here’s a guide by the season so you can plan your trip accordingly and discover the best time to visit Greece based on your own needs and preferences. We’re certain Greece has a place for everyone!
Enjoy your stay to the maximum! Check out our villas to rent in Greece!
Best Time to Visit Greece for Sightseeing is Autumn
What’s great about Autumn in Greece is that it’s an absolutely magical time for walks and sightseeing, combined with a visit to the islands. Traffic is low, prices start dropping and the weather hits that sweet 25 degrees Celsius that’s great for, let’s face it, everything! Whether you want to watch the sunset at Oia and head for a swim in Crete, visit the Acropolis or get lost at the narrow streets of Plaka, or even explore more hidden gems of Greece like the Peloponnese, September through mid-October is the best time to visit Greece.
If you’re more into archaeology and nature, October is the ideal month for you. Peloponnese has evolved in recent years, becoming a destination worth exploring, whether you’re into budget or luxurious holidays. The scenery is magnificent, and it includes archaeological sites and castles to heavenly beaches and dreamlike views.
You can start at Nafplio, not far from Athens, for a romantic weekend, then head towards Tiryns and Mycenae to explore ancient ruins. Epidaurus with its theater and Ancient Olympia will have you in awe in minutes, while villages like Mani, Mystras, Kardamyli, Monemvasia or Methoni will sweep you off your feet with their natural beauty. That’s a road trip worth taking and it will leave you speechless!
Pro tip: Visit Cape Tenaro, the southernmost point of mainland Greece for an endless blue view.
Fall is also a sweet time to visit Meteora, a rock formation in central Greece home to the one of the largest and most uniquely built complexes of Orthodox monasteries, near Trikala and Kalambaka.
You can mix your trip up and visit Delphi the next day, another marvelous autumn destination worth visiting while in Greece. Delphi is the ancient sanctuary of the oracle Pythia, whom Ancient Greeks consulted for all their major decisions regarding omens and wars.
Both Meteora and Dephi are considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, and if sightseeing, museum visits and culture is your thing, then definitely Fall is the best time to visit Greece for you.
And of course the Acropolis Museum in Athens cannot be missed, together with a walk up the Parthenon. The Museum first opened its doors to the public in 2009 and has since been considered one of the top archaeological museums of the world. More than 4,250 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square meters, and can be your starting point before you set out to explore the city of Athens.
Winter is for Nature
What many people are not familiar with, is that Greece is an enchanting winter destination as well! Since for most people across the globe Greece is synonymous with islands, it does come as a shocker to learn that 80% of Greece is covered by mountains! This means that the best time to visit Greece if you like hiking, climbing or simply walks in nature and traditional Greek villages, winter is most fitting.
Karpenisi in Central Greece has its own ski resort and is a beautiful place worth exploring if you like snow. If you are staying in Athens, you can always pay a visit to mount Parnassus. Parnassos Ski Center is easy to reach from Athens and features several slopes for your ski tracks.
Pro tip: Head over to Arachova if you’re more of a chalet person who prefers spas with a drink and nice dinner!
Northern Greece, however, is probably the best place to visit during your winter holidays in Greece. Some of the most popular ski centers are Seli, Vasilitsa, Kaimaktsalan, and 3-5 Pigadia, all immersed in beautiful scenery and close to villages with traditional architecture and warm people ready to make you some hot soup afterwards.
Kerkini Lake and Tzoumerka are also some magical destinations with a plethora of activities and local experiences that will make you fall in love with Greece on a whole different level.
Pelion also features some splendid villages with traditional architecture and stunning view, like Makrinitsa. You can also follow the Centaur’s Path in Portaria village, a hidden gem in Pelion, surrounded by splendid nature. Note that Pelion is perfect both for winter and summer holidays, as it also features beaches of unique beauty, too.
And of course you can never forget what a marvelous destination Greece is for spending your Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Athens is more affordable than most European destinations like Prague and Vienna who seem to monopolize Christmas holidays, so it’s not the first thing that comes to mind while planning your holiday getaway. However, the capital of Greece has shown tremendous change over recent years with great events and celebrations and is also just a breath away from snowy mountains and breathtaking scenery!
Best Time to Visit Greece for Weather is Spring
March is the first month of Spring and when temperatures start rising, making it perfect for some mainland exploration. Early spring can still be rainy and cold, so make sure to pack a jacket or sweater with you. If you’re interested in visiting Greece during Spring, you may find it more useful to fly towards a less known airport, not Athens. You may be able to get great deals from major European cities towards Thessaloniki or Kavala airports, and enjoy Greece off the beaten track – works like a charm.
Thessaloniki is an up-and-coming destination with a plethora of cultural and culinary experiences for every taste, and you’ll absolutely love walking across its sea front. What’s also great about flying (or driving!) to Thessaloniki is that it’s near many archaeological sites, like Vergina, famous for its museum and the Royal burial cluster of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
April normally coincides with the celebrations for Orthodox Easter, a magical time in Greece. While you may find most archaeological sites and museums closed during the Holy Week and Easter Sunday, traditional Easter celebrations all over Greece are worth discovering.
Corfu is an absolutely magnificent destination in April, where you’ll be able to witness first-hand the peculiar tradition of pot-throwing on the morning of Holy Saturday. Yes, you read that right: people are actually throwing pots off their windows and balconies!
The symbolism is to create an “earthquake” that is like the one that occurred following Christ’s resurrection from his tomb. On Easter Sunday People say the phrase “Christós Anésti” (Christ is risen) to one another. The response is “Alithós Anésti” (he has truly risen).
Another perfect Greek spot to spend your Easter holidays would be a Greek island. For Greeks, Easter also signifies the beginning of island hopping, with Mykonos attracting its first wave of visitors. Come prepared with a jacket, because nights are chilly and mornings are windy! If you’re still looking to discover less known parts of Greece, perhaps a smaller island with traditional celebrations, like Patmos (also known as the Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea, for maximum devoutness), Folegandros or Hydra might be the ones for you.
Pro tip: No matter where you are on Easter Sunday though, there will be food in abundance.
May is the best time to visit Greece if you want to combine warm weather and swimming with low prices, as it’s still considered low season in most parts of the country. May won’t reach the highs of July and August neither in temperatures nor in crowds, which makes it the perfect time for a romantic getaway in beaches with only but a handful of people, and works wonders if you’re on a budget!
Summer is for Swimming
Do we really need to say more? We’re sure that the first image that comes to anyone’s mind upon hearing the word Greece is the sea, which has long been synonymous to Summer – and we bear this with pride. White sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and hot summer sun blend in effortlessly to create a magical scenery that has been loved and praised by many over the years.
If you dream of skinny dipping in hidden beaches, eat at a local tavern on the sand, or just take a nap under a tree’s shade while listening to the waves, June is the best time to visit Greece for you! Early summer is still low-season for most Greeks, who take their annual leave mostly in August. This means that there are so many places you can visit that are not yet packed, allowing you to enjoy more privacy, perfect for your honeymoon as well.
In June the weather is excellent for some sightseeing, combined with a little island hopping with plenty of elbow room yet! You can also get many deals on some exclusive villas in Skiathos, Santorini or Pros, so do your research thoroughly.
July and August are the heart of the summer! In many parts of mainland Greece, temperature in July and August can reach (or pass) 40 degrees Celsius, so keep that in mind while planning your trip. Being at the beach on a hot summer day means that taking a dive into the blue sea almost feels like an out-of-this-world experience!
Some of the most popular Greek destinations, like the Cyclades, Crete, Rhodes, or islands in the Ionian Sea welcome the majority of their visitors during these summer months, so this may not be the best time to visit Greece if you don’t like heavy crowds. However, this is the time most major events also take place, like parties with famous DJs in Mykonos and dinner parties with private chefs on a sailing boat around Delos.
If culture is your cup of tea, head to the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Greece’s foremost cultural festival and one of the oldest performing arts festivals in Europe (since 1955). Famous for its amazing acoustics, and surrounded by beautiful natural surroundings within the Ascleipus Sanctuary, seeing a play (in Greek, with English subtitles) here will create memories for a lifetime.
However, if you want to be immersed in a purely traditional Greek experience, no other than the “Panigri”, then August is your best shot, too.
Pro tip: If you’re travelling for the experience, if you want to live like a local in the places you visit, and if you really want to get acquainted with the Greek culture, grab your friend’s hand and dance along with hundreds of people on the 15th of August. We suggest Ikaria, Antiparos or Astypalaia for a Greek vacation like you’ve never imagined.
Greece is indeed a marvelous destination and you will not be disappointed if you choose to spend your holidays here. Whether you are into Christmas holidays with family in the winter, romantic getaways in Spring, luxurious parties and top-notch villas in the summer, or discovering nature’s beauty in Autumn, we are certain Greece has a place for you.
And if you want to know when is the best time to visit Greece, the answer is simple: NOW!