Greece weather and planning your vacations are three things that the traveler to Greece must take into great consideration before they go to the country.
The reason? Greece is a great all year long destination; planning good means experiencing more in Greece.
Weather in Greece in January and February
Both these months are the actual winter time in Greece. Yet, end of February can vary from extreme cold to hot and back to cold again. Winter in Greece is not a tough one.
It can be cold but not like Northern European countries or North USA. With an exception to some very specific locations in a few areas of Greece (mostly North), where temperature can drop from -5 to -20 for a few days, the rest of the country enjoys a tolerable amount of cold weather.
Thus, Greeks actually seek cold and snow during winter time in Greece so to get into their favorite activities: eating by the fire and doing some outdoor activities.
Weather in Greece in March and April
Since Spring starts in March, the whole nature in Greece blooms. March is a contradictory month. There are years where it is too cold, while in other times it is too hot. In April, temperatures are rising fast and some early swimmers attempt their first sea excursions.
Easter during this time is an unparalleled experience all over Greece, especially outside of Athens. You may want to read this and this post. Important note: Easter is a movable holiday, so dates don’t match per year.
Weather in Greece in May and June
This is “officially” the ready-start-go period for summer. Many go to the beaches, either in weekends or even week days if they are close to any beach.
Clothing is really light during these 2 months and weather in Greece is in pre-suntanning mode.
Most cafes lay their tables outside so people can enjoy, coffee, beers and snacks. If you plan your vacations in June you will find many hotels in really low prices, while sea is (in many places) good to swim in (yet it is cold in some locations).
May and June are perfect for many outdoor activities, especially in mountains and in beaches.
Weather in Greece in July and August
Hotness in all its majesty. July and August in Greece can be really hot. However, it usually goes up to 44 Celsius tops, with an exception on some location in the South parts of Crete, Greece.
Perfect weather for any kind of outdoor activity and the beaches in all places around Greece. Most Greeks plan their vacations during the last week of July and/or in August.
Many businesses close during August, but usually not the services ones. Business is “slow” in August, but vacations mood is up. Crisis or not, this is a resting period for many Greeks (as it is for you).
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Weather in Greece in September and October
Many say that these 2 months are the best for vacations in Greece. It is hot but not too hot. During September, up until mid October, you will experience better hotel prices, less crowds in Greek islands, better service.
Around 11th of September is school opening season so many Greeks return to their homes to prepare their kids for that.
This comes to your benefit. September and October are great for hiking in many forest of Greece, since the July & August hot weather is left behind.
There are many Greek islands where hiking is not enjoyable during July & August, but it is great, with all nature changing colors in September and October.
Weather in Greece in November and December
Plan to be in Greece at least once and arrange for some days in mainland Greece, or North Greece. Peloponnese is also great, during these months.
Lots of forest/hiking activities. Christmas is beautiful in Greece and many local traditions related to food and wine will provide you with great memories.
Important Points for Greece Weather and Planning
- From November to March: Most of the “summer” hotels and restaurants shut down, in almost all Greek islands (except some major ones like Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, etc). Accommodation rates drop by as much as 50%.
- Regarding April, September and October in Greece: Accommodation prices drop up to 20%. Temperatures are really tolerable. Transportation time schedules and frequency change (Internal flights, island ferries). Less crowds.
- For Easter period, May and up until August: High season for sightseeing, tours and everything. Accommodation prices in popular destinations can double while in less popular ones will also rise. Hot weather (but tolerable), bigger crowds (yet… you decide).
Athens Greece Weather
Now, Athens is a case by itself. Since it is a large city you will rarely find snow in Athens, except if you stay at the northern part of the city. But, in the mountains that surround Athens there is snow.
Along that snow there are some great summits with excellent foods and drinks. People go for hiking and they can be reached even with public transportation. Read this post for 40 things to do in/around Athens. Also check a variety of things do in Athens, suitable for many tastes.
Athens Greece weather is mild. When it is cold it doesn’t drop more then -4 to -5 degrees in the city. The city stays “on” with many lots of experiences in various distances from Athens (hourly or daily trips).
Keep in mind that Athens can be rather hot and humid during summer; not Japan style humid, but still.
Explore fantastic ideas about the Cycladic Islands from here.
Summary on Weather in Greece
Weather in Greece is ideal for many who seek the well known Mediterranean climate. It is a fantastic country with -overall- good people. Despite the crisis situation, Greeks maintain a really good level of service in the hospitality sector and constantly seek ways to improve.
It would be great to “taste” mainland Greece (with their beaches) at least once. Then you will have more options -on top of Greek islands- to visit Greece again and again.