When is the best time to visit Greece? Well, it depends on what type of traveler you are. 

Greece is one of the most gorgeous and most visited countries in all of Europe. It isn’t hard to see why. Everything is beautiful in Greece, from the black sands of Santorini to the breathtaking ridges of the Pindus Mountain range. It’s bubbling with ancient history and unique culture. And is there really anything better than authentic Greek food? Heck, dishes like souvlaki, gyros, even just plain old olives are enough of a reason to visit! But the question still stands: When is the best time to visit Greece? 

There are many factors to consider when planning your trip around the best time to visit Greece. Where are you going? What weather do you prefer? Do you prefer crowds or more isolated travel? How much is tucked away in your travel budget? These questions vary from traveler to traveler, therefore the best time to visit Greece can be a little subjective. Regardless of when you go, however, you may want to freshen up on your Greek just a little bit. 

Today we’re going to go over different factors to consider before packing up and flying to to your Mediterranean destination. Though let us be clear: while there may be some best times to visit Greece throughout the year, there is never a wrong time to visit this incredible country!

How much to flights to Greece cost? 

the best time to visit greece - cost

We’re pretty sure this is one of the questions most travelers have before booking a vacation, regardless of their travel budget. While it’s usually a safe bet that cheaper flights typically fall in the middle of the week, this isn’t always the case. The time of year that you fly can also weigh heavily on flight costs. If you’re flying during the holidays, for example, you’re going to have to do some digging to find those cheap flights!

Still, cost of travel can heavily impact the best time to visit Greece for many travelers. That being said, here is some useful information you may want to know. 

Book your trip to Athens

Regardless of the time of year, Athens tends to be cheapest city in Greece to fly into. If the best time to visit Greece for you strongly depends on how much your flight is going to cost, then we recommend flying during the…

Shoulder Season

The off-season for most tourists to Greece, otherwise known was the “shoulder season,” tends to be during the spring and fall months. Flights to Athens during this time tend to be roughly 20 percent cheaper than during higher tourists seasons. This would also be the cheapest time – and arguably the best time to visit Greece – if you’re looking to visit cities other than Athens, as ferries to one of Greece’s 6,000 islands will be less expensive during the shoulder season, as well. 

Hotel prices will also be dramatically less expensive between April through the middle of June, and again in September and November. If you’re a budget traveler, the shoulder season is the best time to visit Greece for you. If you have a little more to spend, you may opt for flying during the….

High Season

Unsurprisingly, the summer months are the most expensive time to visit this gorgeous Mediterranean country. In fact, in addition to March and April when a lot of younger kids and college students are on Spring Break, it’s one of the most expensive times of year to fly just about anywhere. 

If you’re flying during the high season, flights to Athens and Santorini can cost up to 50 percent more in the summer than during the shoulder season. Still, there are many perks to traveling to Greece during the summer, including many worthwhile festivals that only happen during the high season! 

Depending on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend, the high season has a lot of perks that the shoulder season does not and can be considered by many to be the best time to visit Greece. It all depends on what kind of traveler you are. 

Temperatures vary significantly from season to season

the best time to visit greece

If you can’t stand the heat, a summer in Greece probably isn’t for you. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, however, the best time to visit Greece could easily coincide with a less expensive time to visit, as well. There are advantages to both the cool and warm months in Greece. If your’e looking to be a little more active and a little less sweaty, you probably already know which season is for you: 

Shoulder Season

The weather in Greece varies significantly from the main land to many of the Greek islands. Still, overall temperatures during the shoulder season can be significantly cooler than the summer months in Greece. Though the sea temperatures will be cooler and not as conducive for swimming in, there are a lot of advantages to visiting Greece during cooler months. 

For starters, you won’t be sweating your butt off when visiting all of the popular tourist sites, like the Parthenon. The shoulder season also tends to be a better time of year to go hiking in Greece.  The paths aren’t as crowded and the sun isn’t pounding as heavily on your back. For outdoor enthusiasts, the shoulder season is likely the best time to visit Greece. 

But like we said, the temperature depends on where you plan on traveling. Here are some things to consider when visiting the two most popular cities for tourists to check out in Greece. 

Athens

Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the most heavily populated cities when it comes to tourists. It’s also known for mildly rainy and cool winters. If you’re visiting Greece in the winter months, you can even expect an occasional snowfall. Overall, temperatures in Athens during the shoulder season can drop at lower as 7° C and usually get as high as 20° C. 

Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular and beautiful Grecian cities for tourists to flock to. You can expect rain in Santorini from October-March and more rain than you would experience in Athens. During the winter months, you shoulder prepare for cold days as temperatures typically run at 10°C, on average. 

High Season

Though the flights are more expensive during the high season, there are a lot of advantages to visiting Greece during warmer months that you won’t get during the shoulder season. If you’re interesting in visiting this beautiful country for its nightlife and summer craze, then the best time to visit Greece is definitely during the high season. Because the temperatures are warmer, the high season is also the best time to visit Greece if you’re looking to take a dip in the sea. 

Athens

Summers in Athens are hot. Temperatures can get as high as 35°C to 40°C, which can make for an uncomfortable day walking through the country’s capital. However, daylight hours will be much longer during the summer months in Greece. In fact, you can expect up to 14 hours of daylight during the high season in Greece, as opposed to the 10 hours of daylight the country usually gets during the shoulder season.

Santorini

If rain isn’t your forte, then the high season is the best time to visit Greece, especially when it comes to the gorgeous island of Santorini. Yes, it will be very hot still. However, because you’re on an island the warm summer winds can make the blazing sun rather tolerable.

As you can see, there are pros and cons when it comes to the weather during all seasons, making the best time to visit Greece very subjective to every traveler. However, if you identify as a beach bum and want to spend as much time lying out in the sand ​while snacking on olives and grapes, the best time to visit Greece will, unsurprisingly, also be during the most expensive time of year to travel there. 

Sea temperatures

the best time to visit greece - Sea temperatures

The Greek seas are unlike any other. The endless kilometers of the Greek coasts and the literally thousands of Greek islands are two of the top reasons that millions of tourists flock to Greece every year.

If your purpose for visiting Greece is largely due to the gorgeous sea, then you’ve probably already got the Cyclades on your radar. The Cyclades are some of the most famous and heavily visited islands in all of Greece. There is so much diversity in the Cyclades that can accommodate all travelers, from the crazy night life to quieter coastlines, from historic sites to modern day lifestyle. 

This is also one of the most popular Grecian destinations to visit if you’re looking to take to the sea! Sea tourism is popular in the Cyclades, and there are plenty of water activities to take part in. You can go sailing, diving, yachting, boating, fly boarding, kite soaring – the list goes on!

Unfortunately, these activities highly depend on sea temperatures. Take a look at the sea temperatures from season to season to figure out the best time to visit Greece. 

Shoulder Season 

As with beaches you’ll come across in America, the water will be colder during the fall and winter months. You can easily still enjoy the beauty of the Greek coastline and all of the islands during the shoulder season, but partaking in water sports will not be as likely. You won’t be able to swim, but you can still stroll along the coastline and appreciate all of the aquatic beauty Greece has to offer. 

High Season

You already know what we’re going to say: the best time to visit Greece for travelers who want fun in the sea and sun is going to be during the high season. AKA, the most expensive time of year to visit Greece. Luckily, the best time to visit Greece’s beaches and the Greek islands is during a six month span from May to October. Therefore you have some flexibility when it comes to booking your flight. If you want to experience Greek sailing and swimming in the Greek oceans, the summer months are unsurprisingly your best bet. Santorini’s sea temperatures can get as high as 24°C during the summer months, whereas sea temperatures typically average around 16°C to 20°C during the spring months. 

If you love the ocean and sea and want to spend as much time on the water as possible, the best time to visit Greece will be different for you than for tourists who are more interested in touring historical Greek sites. If you’re a foodie, however, the best time to visit Greece could be a completely different story. 

Feast on Grecian fruit!

the best time to visit greece - Grecian fruit

Greek cuisine offers an incredible culinary experience. It’s an essential component of Greek culture – so much so that Americans have been trying for years to replicate the delicious dishes of Greece. As with any country, there are different foods available during winter and summer months. 

The best time to visit Greece is going to vary if you’re a fruit or veggie person. So if eating delicious and authentic Grecian food is your end goal when visiting this beautiful country, then pay extra close attention to this section. 

Summer Foods

Eating fruit in Greece during the summer is unlike any other food experience. The most popular fruit to bite into during a summer in Greece is undoubtedly the watermelon. Can you imagine a better day than lying on the beaches of Mykonos while biting into a juicy slice of watermelon? We certainly can’t. 

The “fruits of the sun” in Greece are apricots, peaches, and nectarines. They also make for a delicious jam to top on a pastry while taking a break at a Grecian coffee shop in-between sightseeing. Cherries are also popular during the summer months are renowned for coming from Macedonia and Agia. In the areas of Kalamata and Evia, this county is famous for their mouthwatering figs. Top them on a Greek salad and you’re good to go. 

Finally, there are the Grecian grapes. Grapes have been an integral component and popular image in Greek mythology and history since the times of Homer. Vineyards of white, red, and pink grapes cover the Greek islands. If you’re a wino, there are dozens of delicious vineyards in Greece to explore.  

Though the summer months (and of course, the high season) is the best time of year to experience Greek fruit, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of delicious dishes that are most popular during the cooler month (AKA, the shoulder season) as well! 

Winter Foods

Remember how your parents urged you to eat your vegetables as a kid? Well, if you’re in Greece during the winter, you won’t need any encouragement to eat all the veggies you can get. There are many popular, vegetable-filled Greek dishes that you can find during the shoulder season. You’ll likely find that the most popular vegetable, however, is cabbage. 

What can we say? Greeks love their cabbage. If you also identify as a cabbage fanatic, then you’re in luck: the shoulder season is the cheapest and best time to visit Greece for cabbage-filled meals. For starters, there are stuffed grape leaves to consider. Greek stuffed cabbage leaves, or lahanodolmades, is a traditional dish made of cabbage leaves filled with a mixture of minced meat and rice topped with an sauce made from egg and lemon, called avgolemono in Greek. The dish is simple and delicious. 

Another popular winter veggie you’re sure to find on Greek dinner table is leeks. Prasorizoor leek rice, is a simple vegan dish that goes with just about anything. You can easily pair it with Fasoladaa traditional Greek bean soup that you won’t find as easily during the high season. 

Depending on if you’re a fruit-lover or in search of hearty, Grecian meals, the best time to visit Greece will vary from foodie to foodie. No matter what season you visit, however you will not be disappointed with any of the Greek cuisine. 

Though different seasons have different perks, is no bad time to visit the beautiful country of Greece.

the best time to visit greece

There is no wrong time to take a trip to this gorgeous Mediterranean country. Every single one of the 6,000 Greek islands and the gorgeous mainland has its own slice of Greek history and culture that will make you fall deeper in love with this beautiful place. Let’s face it: there’s a reason why Greece consistently ranks as one of the most popular tourist destinations. According to World Tourism Organization, the country received about 27 million visitors in 2017 alone. 

From the gorgeous seas and coastlines to the fantastics historical and archaeological sites, there is no shortage of places and experiences to marvel over in Greece. Thought the best time to visit Greece will vary depending on what you’re looking for in your travels, you can rest assured knowing that you will have the trip of a lifetime no matter when you go!

What are you waiting for? Throw out that gyro you picked up from the “Greek” restaurant down the street and get to packing. You have an entire country waiting to be explored!

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Maura is a writer and comedian from Richmond, Va. While Maura will always consider Virginia home, she's happiest when she's hopping around the globe. Her favorite way to learn about a new culture is through its people and food (seriously, she could eat all day.) Find her on Instagram with travel suggestions on where she should eat next!

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