Vacation in Greece: What to Expect Year-Round

Every month is special for travel in the Mediterranean​

Low Angle View Of Church Against Blue Sky
••• Christophe Mathieu / EyeEm / Getty Images

No matter what time of year you're planning to travel to the Mediterranean country of Greece, you're sure to find unique celebrations, plenty of outdoor activities, and some great tourist destinations to visit. However, it's important to know what to expect when it comes to the weather so that you're able to pack for your Greek vacation.

July and August are the busiest months, but they also have the most frequent transit schedules to more remote Greek islands and perfect weather for outdoor adventures and day trips.

If you plan to explore the many natural wonders of Greece or want to enjoy an outdoor Athens tour, schedule your trip from April to October, but if you want to swim, temperatures are warm enough from mid-May through September.

While Greek tourism officials fight against the concept that there is ever an "off-season" in Greece, tourism tumbles from November through March. Expect low prices, but many island and coastal resorts will be closed, and transit schedules will also be at a minimum, making it harder to get around quickly.

Monthly Temperatures: What to Pack

Whether you're visiting one of the northern ski resorts in the winter or heading to a pristine Greek beach in the summer, knowing what to pack ultimately boils down to knowing what the weather will be during your trip.

Although temperatures vary from year to year, monthly average highs and lows typically remain the same—just remember that higher-altitude destinations like ski resorts are often much warmer than the averages listed below (based on temperatures reported in Athens, Greece).

January

If you're a fan of winter sports, visiting Greece in January is the height of ski season; however, after a brisk start with New Year's Day and Epiphany, the rest of January is relatively quiet in terms of events. Pack a warm coat and clothing that can be layered to avoid getting too hot or too cold in Greece's coldest month.

  • High: 55 F
  • Low: 45 F

February

In some years, Carnival season begins in February, which can liven up the month considerably. Otherwise, the month progressively gets warmer, so you'll still need to bring sweaters, undershirts, and a light jacket if you plan to be outdoors.

  • High: 57 F
  • Low: 45 F

March

Carnival celebrations usually start and early spring rains bring wildflowers as the weather begins to really warm up. You still might need a jacket if you're planning to catch the last of the ski season, but pack layers of clothing if you want to take advantage of the last of the winter sale prices at local indoor shops.

  • High: 63 F
  • Low: 48 F

April

In April, the weather improves throughout Greece, while prices stay low. It may be too chilly for all but the most ardent swimmers, though.

  • High: 68 F
  • Low: 54 F

May

Since most schools around the world are still in session during this month, May offers an inexpensive and crowd-free experience during one of the best weather months of the year.

  • High: 77 F
  • Low: 61 F

June

Combining the best of spring with warmer summer temperatures and still a bargain, June is the ending of the spring bargain "shoulder" season, meaning it's your last chance to catch some great deals on a cheaper vacation.

  • High: 86 F
  • Low: 70 F

July

July is one of the warmest months of the year and one of the most expensive at the shops; kicking off what's known as "high season," July is also bustling with crowds and activities. Remember to pack a bathing suit and lighter clothing because this month gets quite warm.

  • High: 91 F
  • Low: 75 F

August

August is another hot, busy month in Greece as it's one of the country's "high seasons." The August 15th Festival of Mary and Feast of the Assumption often confuses travel schedules for the days preceding and immediately following the feast, so plan for extra travel time on your trip during mid-August.

  • High: 93 F
  • Low: 75 F

September

September is another great month for the budget-minded, independent traveler because it's the beginning of another shoulder season in the country.

  • High: 84 F
  • Low: 68 F

October

Warm weather lingers most years into the first half of October while shop and tourist attraction prices slowly begin their decline into the shoulder season of late fall.

  • High: 75 F
  • Low:  61 F

November

Cool, mostly clear weather and a truly "Greek" Greece are found November. Trips to the smaller Greek islands take special planning.

  • High: 66 F
  • Low: 54 F

December

If you're planning a Greek holiday vacation, December is the month to do it. Although winter has already set in, temperatures stay relatively warm in the coastal cities. Still, you'll want to pack a light jacket and some layers of clothing to beat the winter chill.

  • High: 59 F
  • Low: 48 F

Events and "Seasons" in Greece

While Carnival, Epiphany, and the Festival of Mary are celebrated across Greece, there are a number of smaller local events to explore depending on which part of the country you visit. However, like most tourist destinations, the seasons in Greece are not just spring, summer, winter, and fall—for the traveler, the seasons break down a little differently and include "high season" and "shoulder season."

The shoulder seasons are great for bargain hunters and those who like to avoid the peak crowds. April, May and early June count for the spring shoulder season; in fall, it's mid-September through October.

Also the name of a favorite movie shot in Greece, the "High Season" consists of the months of July and August and feature the highest prices, best travel schedules, biggest crowds, and sweltering temperatures.