Greece has long beckoned travelers with its beauty. From the crystalline waters in the surrounding Mediterranean Sea to 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.
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 Time of Year to Visit Greece for Good Weather
There’s no bad time to visit Greece. However, if you’re after warm weather, 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. In June, things warm up a touch — to an average high of 82.6 degrees — 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, with an average low of 69.6 degrees. October is even cooler, with the average high hitting 71.4 degrees and the average low in Athens sitting at 62.1 degrees. 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.
Related: Sailing Around Greece in the Fall Offers a Second Chance at Summer
Most Popular Time to Visit Greece
Unsurprisingly, the most popular times to visit Greece are during 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, 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 of the year to visit. Things drop off dramatically from there, with just 3.9 million visitors in September 2019 and 2.1 million in October 2019.
Like all things, the tourism numbers for Greece got a little skewed over 2020 and 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in November, Greek tourism minister Vassilis Kikilias told reporters that the nation saw arrivals increase by 79.2% between January and August, when compared to the same period in 2020. These numbers indicate that tourism in Greece is back and people may be willing to spread out the season just a little bit longer.
Related: 6 Best Places to Visit in Greece, According to Locals
Least Crowded Time to Visit Greece
If you’re not interested in hitting the beaches or working on your tan, consider a trip to Greece during the winter months. While the weather is cooler (the average temperatures hover around 50 degrees), the crowds are much thinner. In 2019, just 500,000 people visited Greece in January, and a mere 700,000 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 do close for the winter (due to the lack of demand), so be sure to search for accommodations in your intended destination to see what’s available and when.
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, but be warned, temperatures can get hot.
For example, in Santorini, the average high hits 82.4 degrees, while the average low stays at a rather warm 71.6 degrees. The only upside is the ultra-warm waters during this time of year, with the average sea temperature hitting 77.5 degrees. Over the month of July, the island also only experiences a single day of rain, making your chances of basking in the sun pretty good.
Cheapest Time to Visit Greece
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 September, October, and November. The website added, if you book a flight in September, you could save up to 13% when compared to the average yearly flight price. Visiting during the shoulder season (March and April, or October and November) also brings more affordable prices.