The first question any traveler asks before starting to plan a vacation in Greece is: “When to go to Greece?” or “When is the best time to visit Greece?” During the high and peaks travel seasons, the prices are high and it takes a lot of research and booking in advance to find something affordable. If you are choosing a vacation package then booking early might not be a problem, but what do you do when you prefer independent traveling?
However, the simplest answer to the above question would be: the best time to visit Greece depends on what you plan to do here.
Peak and Shoulder travel seasons
If you are looking for warm weather – including sunbathing – you can head to Greece in June or September . It’s warm but not hot or crowded. You can head to the islands but try to avoid the Halkidiki peninsula, which typically is at its best during the peak season.
October is very pleasant in the Dodecanese islands and Crete. The scenery is super and the air is balmier. May is quite predictable, with lovely weather in Crete , the Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands and the Cyclades .
Winter in Greece ranges from pleasant (in Rhodes and Crete) to snowy and cold (in Northern Greece). December to March are the least predictable months weather wise and you will have to do plenty of planning if you want to travel between the islands.
The best city to visit during winter is Athens , particularly for the shopping. You can visit the museums without running into crowds and you can definitely soak up the real local atmosphere.
What about Christmas and Easter?
How about the prices?
The prices are at their peak between June and September. As soon as the high season ends, some services begin to be less reliable. Out of season, you will find cheaper rates but limited number of hotel opened on the islands.
It’s safe to say that May-June and September-October is the ideal time to visit Greece. The weather is still hot; it’s quieter than during the peak season and the businesses are still open on the islands (and mainland). Now you can plan to visit the historical sites without bumping into crowds. And the nightlife is still amazing, particularly during the weekends. Now you can risk just turning up on an island and finding accommodation.
If you must travel during summer, do book in advance. If you live in Europe, you’ll be able to find discounted packages from early March. Shop around and choose what suits you best.