What is the best time to travel to Greece? Weather in Greece
Greece is known for its glorious summer weather, blazing sun, and clear blue skies from May to September. This is usually the best time to visit Greece: the country is full of life and temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius. It is also high season.
There is also a slight temperature difference between the north and the south of the country. Towards islands like Crete and Rhodes, it remains quite mild even in the autumn months.
The climate of Greece is Mediterranean on the coasts and on the islands, with mild, rainy winters and warm, sunny summers. The northern cities, in the inland areas of Epirus, Macedonia and Thessaly, have a slightly continental climate, with fairly cold winters, during which northern air masses can also bring snow, and very hot (sometimes torrid) summers. ), and sunny. In the northern mountainous areas, winters are cold and snowy, while in the summer some thunderstorms can break out in the afternoon.
What is the best time to travel to Greece?
The best period to visit Greece is from May to September, considering that the summer months are particularly hot from July to August with a large influx of tourists, these are months where it is preferable to visit the islands and the coast, avoiding mainland cities.
Winter in Greece is mild and slightly rainy, tourist areas in this period are not very popular and you may find many facilities closed and few routes to visit the smaller Greek islands. Excursions and tours by sea are usually subject to time, in some periods it is difficult to find availability. The prices of hotels and apartments are usually low compared to other periods of the year.
If you are not a fan of mass tourism and extreme heat, the ideal time to travel to Greece is spring and autumn. Spring runs from April to May and fall from September to October. These are months with fewer tourists, and most of the cities and tourist islands start with all services. Hotel and apartment prices are much lower than during the summer. Consider that it is not the best period for beach tourism. Although the end of May and the beginning of September can be considered excellent to enjoy the beaches.
Climate of Greece in summer
Summer in Greece is warm and sunny, as is often the case in countries with a Mediterranean climate. The weather in Greece during the summer is constantly sunny, so much so that the average sun is even higher than in other areas of the Mediterranean.
Only in the north and in the mountainous areas, there are sometimes thunderstorms in the afternoon, especially in June (in July and August they are rarer): in Thessaloniki there are 6 days of thunderstorms in June. Naturally, in mountainous areas the temperature decreases as the altitude increases, especially at night.
While on the islands and on the Greek coasts the heat is quite exhausting, but it is tempered by the breeze, creating a pleasant climate to enjoy the beaches and natural beauties. On the continent, especially in inland areas and in large cities, the heat is very intense. In Thessaloniki, in July and August, the average maximum temperature is 35/38 degrees, but in hot weather it easily rises to around 40/41 ° C.
Athens, located in front of the sea, is confirmed as the warmest capital in Europe: the average daily temperature in July and August in this city is 28° C in the coastal areas, but reaches 32 in the downtown neighbourhoods. Highs of 38/40°C are not uncommon. Also, it must be remembered that Athens is a city with many inhabitants and especially tourists, who create quite a bit of confusion during the summer.
In summer, in the Aegean (especially in the Cyclades) and the Bosphorus blows the wind called "Etesio", a wind from the north that blows especially during the hottest periods (July-August), and, although the climate is pleasant, it can make the sea rough. This wind can blow for periods of two to four days, but sometimes for entire weeks. The ethyl is due to the pressure difference between the western Mediterranean, where the high pressure is established in summer, and the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, where a thermal depression forms, due to the exceptional warming of the Iranian plateau and the deserts of the Middle East. For this reason, these winds cannot be considered simple breezes, and can be insistent and annoying.
Climate of Greece in winter
On the south-central coasts and on the Greek islands, with a typically Mediterranean climate, winter is mild and rainy. Precipitation is especially abundant on the coasts exposed to the west (such as Corfu in the Ionian Islands, falling more than 200 mm of rain in December) and on the islands near Turkey.
On the Greek islands, winter is often windy, with rain at night and early in the morning. Snowfall is rare on the islands, and generally occurs only on the northernmost islands.
Winter temperatures in Greece decrease progressively towards the north of the country: the average January temperature ranges from 10 ° C Heraklion, to 5 ° C Athens, to 2 ° C Thessaloniki. In the plains and in the northern valleys, where the climate is more continental, winter is quite cold, although precipitation is not abundant.
In inland and mountainous areas, winter is very cold, especially in the north, on the border with Macedonia and Bulgaria. They are usually areas with a lot of snow throughout the winter. At the same altitude, the temperature in the mountains of northern Greece is lower than that recorded in the Apennines. In Flórina, located in the extreme north, on the border with Macedonia, at 800 meters above sea level, the average January temperature is 1°C. In a year there are an average of 27 days with snow.
On Mount Olympus, the highest peak in Greece at 2,917 meters, it is possible to do cross-country skiing. In the Peloponnese, the large peninsula connected to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth, the highest peak is Mount Taygetus, with a height of 2,404 meters.
Sometimes Greece is "covered" by cold air masses coming from northern Europe or Russia: in these cases, the temperature drops considerably even in areas with a temperate climate, and snow can appear on the plains further north. Also in Athens, which generally has mild winters (with temperatures similar to those in southern Italian cities like Bari or Naples), during these short periods it is cold, and with the most intense cold waves it can even snow.
Greece Weather in Autumn
Autumn in Greece comes quite late, so in September the weather is usually typically summer, especially in the south and on the islands, and remains mild even in November (except in mountainous areas). However, from October, the rains begin; at the same time, the meltemi stops blowing.
The weather on the islands, and on Crete in particular, remains mild well into September and even October, known as the “little summer of Ayios Dhimitrios”.
But if you've had enough sun and sea throughout the year, there's plenty of beauty, history, culture and cuisine to discover further inland.
Now can be a wonderful time to visit some of the country's magnificent vineyards during grape harvest, sample local Mediterranean olives and other delicacies, or explore the ancient streets and monuments of Athens.
Greece Weather in Spring
Spring is a nice, sunny season in much of Greece, especially its southernmost islands. In the northern and mountainous areas, they can be subject to short-term torrential rains from the month of May.
In addition, in May, in the Aegean, the meltemi (also called etesio) also begins to blow, a wind that blows from the north or northeast during the summer season.
To enjoy the beautiful weather without the crowds, spring is a great time of year to visit Greece. While some areas of the mainland may still be a bit colder, islands like Crete and the Peloponnese are already reaching balmy temperatures, with the clear blue skies and shimmering seas for which Greece is famous.
How to dress in Greece?
In summer: remember to bring light clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, a sweatshirt for the night, especially in the Aegean islands where the "Meltemi" wind blows, or in the mountains. For the mountains, trekking shoes, and appropriate clothing for outdoor exercise. Umbrella.
In winter: for inland and mountainous areas: winter clothing, jacket, cap, gloves, scarf. For Athens and the north-central coastal areas: winter clothing, sweater, jacket, raincoat or umbrella. For Crete and the southernmost islands: mid-season clothing, sweater, jacket, raincoat or umbrella.
Always remember to carry a comfortable suitcase or backpack, easy to transport through the narrow streets of the Greek islands. Try to travel light so you can easily move by plane or boat.
At any time, a good camera to remember your trip to Greece forever!