Greece ticks all the boxes when choosing a holiday. The country kisses the Mediterranean Sea offering gorgeous beach getaways and fantastic city breaks. Foodies the world over travel to Greece to sample authentic cuisine featuring fresh natural ingredients grown locally. In June 2020, Greece was the eighth most visited country in Europe with 27.2 million travelers. With so many people descending on the country and its 6,000 islands, you may want wonder what the best time to visit Greece in 2021 truly is.
It is no secret that a lot of travelers visit the Greek islands when the weather gets warm. The beaches are not the only draw to visit. Islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Crete offer incredible nightlife in a warm, Mediterranean environment.
Crowds can be excessive in Greece during the year and if you want to explore the country, then doing so when there are fewer tourists allows you more room to relax. But what is the best time to visit Greece in 2021?
Best time to visit Greece 2021 for the weather
Greece’s peak travel season is in July and August. This is when temperatures are at their highest levels with average temperatures reaching the mid-30-degrees Celsius (around 90-degrees Fahrenheit). July and August see large crowds descend on the country for holidays. The crowds are large at this time of the year and the temperatures are high, which actually combine to make Greece a cauldron of hot, sweaty, humanity.
To avoid the crowds and the intense heat of the Mediterranean country, the best time to visit Greece in 2021 for weather is May and October. The weather is perfect at this time of the year with average temperature of around 20-degrees Celsius (68-degrees Fahrenheit).
Month by Month
May provides you with great weather as spring turns into summer. It is a pleasant time of the year when the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea splash on the islands and shores of Greece’s mainland. You can enjoy long days at the bench and great nights under the stars. May is also before the crowds land on Greece for the summer holidays.
October is ideal for travelers as the large crowds have returned home. With kids back in school and parents at work, October has fewer people vacationing in Greece overall. The ones you do see are like-minded individuals looking for a deal.
Winter occurs from late October through March and the time period is low on rainfall. January is Greece’s rainiest month of the year in Greece, so this may be a time you want to avoid it. January is the coldest time month in Greece as well. Like July and August, the winter months of October through March are not ideal times to travel to Greece. However, you can snatch a cheap travel package.
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Best time to visit Greece in 2021 for price
August is the most expensive month to travel to Greece. Most travelers visit the Mediterranean country during this month which sees prices soar. The peak season is when accommodation, flights, and food and drink are at their highest prices. If you want to save money and get a great deal, the off-season is ideal.
The weather may be great in May and October, but the prices around the country are at their cheapest between late October and April. Not only are prices for hotels and flights lower than during the peak season, there is a variety of great accommodation to book. The number of available properties makes the prices cheaper as each accommodation provider competes with the other to get business.
Much of Greece’s tourist infrastructure closes down between late October and April. Prices will be much lower, but so is the number of tourists that visit the country. If you want to explore Greece without large crowds surrounding all of the best tourist attractions and beaches, then visit during the winter season. It isn’t just the best value for money, but it gives you the chance to avoid large crowds.
Best time to visit Greece in 2021: Athens vs. The Islands
You may struggle to decide on where to go in Greece in 2021. The options are plentiful since Greece has around 6,000 islands. Of course, not all are possible for travel. However, you still have a large choice of islands to explore including Crete, Santorini, Corfu, and Mykonos. Visiting the islands may not be your cup of tea.
The islands are great beach holiday spots, but the country’s capital, Athens, provides a very different experience. While the islands are great during the warmer months of the year (April to September), you may fancy a city break to Athens. The capital city is a year-round destination unlike some of the islands.
The weather in Athens is moderate during the winter months which is great for sightseeing. Although you won’t be able to go to the beach and sunbathe, you can still explore the city’s amazing history with fewer crowds around. You can also stay for less than you would during peak travel time. You won’t want to miss sitting out at the sidewalk cafes sampling great authentic Greek food and drinks. Even with smaller tourist crowds, the atmosphere in Athens during winter is vibrant.
Greece’s islands are better to visit from May to the end of September. May and June experience fewer crowds than July and August. However, the prices begin to increase for flights and accommodation as July and August inch closer. You will want to steer clear of Athens in the summer time. Not only do the temperatures increase making it hot in the city, but the crowds do too.
Best time to visit Greece in 2021: Conclusion
If you want a beach holiday in Greece, then head off to the Greek Islands in May or October 2021. You will find great prices for flights and accommodation at this time. More importantly, you will enjoy plenty of space as the crowds are smaller in Athens and on the islands.
Even if the weather is not as warm during May and October compared to the peak travel season, the temperatures are still great for days at the beach. You will have plenty of space on the shore to explore. So, don’t miss out on the best time to visit Greece in 2021 and book your holiday today.
January brings cold wintery weather to Greece. Although temperatures in most of the country won’t drop below freezing point, Greece is not a great winter destination. Average maximum temperatures: 13 degrees Celsius (55 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
February is very similar to January. It is a cold winter month in Greece. Although weather conditions might be better than many of the Northern European destinations, Greece is not specifically a great country to travel to in February. Average maximum temperatures: 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
March marks the start of Spring and Greece will be warming up quickly. Although the weather is not perfect yet, crowds in most Greek destinations will be low. The majority of cruise ships have not yet relocated from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean either. Average maximum temperatures: 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
In April, the weather throughout big parts of Greece improves quickly. There are more sunny days and temperatures are rising each week. This is also reflected in the number of arriving tourists. Large cruise ships will start to navigate the Greek islands in April.
In May, the Greek islands as well as on the mainland will get busier. Most European countries have school vacations over Easter and other religious public holidays. This gives lots of Europeans the possibility to travel which makes Greece busier for the first time this the year. Although it gets busier, tourism levels are not yet close to the craziness of peak season. Agreeable temperatures and the number of sunshine hours are improving and combined with the relatively low number of tourists, May would be a perfect month to travel to Greece if you have the opportunity. Average maximum temperatures: 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 22 degrees Celsius (72 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
While June starts of as a relatively quiet month, things are getting busier each week. The end of the month marks the start of peak season. Weather wise, June is a great month to visit Greece with warm weather and little to no rain. Average maximum temperatures: 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 27 degrees Celsius (81 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
July marks the true beginning of peak season. School vacations across the European continent make Greece a popular and therefore busy destination. July is one of the hottest and driest months in the country. Expect massive crowds in destinations like Mykonos, Crete or Santorini.
If you decide to travel in July, we recommend that you plan ahead. If you visit popular and busy destinations, make sure you buy your access tickets in advance. Average maximum temperatures: 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
Greek peak season is at its worst in August. We recommend not traveling to the main attractions in Greece such as Mykonos or the Acropolis of Athens. Plan your visit carefully and make sure that you buy tickets in advance wherever you can. The weather will be warm and dry. Average maximum temperatures: 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
September used to be the perfect post season month to travel anywhere in Europe. Although it is less busy with families, peak season is now extended into a new popular travel month. This new trend is usually limited to the most popular and most touristic destinations.
Compared to August, the weather cools down a bit in September. This means that you can experience all the greatness the country has to offer without the crazy summer heat. Average maximum temperatures: 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 26 degrees Celsius (79 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
October is the new September in terms of traveling through Europe. One of the ‘upsides’ of global warming is that October is warmer and drier than ever before. While the weather is now very pleasant across most of Europe, crowds are low. Very enjoyable weather and low crowds make October the perfect month to travel to Greece. Cruise companies also know that the weather is improving and stay in the area for longer than before. As a result, it can get (very) crowded with cruise ship passengers on some destinations. Make sure to check our crowd predictor tool to check what cities to avoid.
Unfortunately, the European climate is changing quickly and has become less predictable. Although October brought great weather in the past years, there is no guarantee that this will be the same in 2020. Average maximum temperatures: 23 degrees Celsius (73 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 22 degrees Celsius (72 Fahrenheit) in Santorini. Click here for monthly weather forecasts.
Global warming also makes November a more attractive month to travel. The weather can still be moderate, while crowds are almost at the lowest point of the year. You can find some of the cheapest travel packages, hotel prices and flight fares in November. Similar to October, previous weather conditions unfortunately offer no guarantee for the future. Average maximum temperatures: 18 degrees Celsius (64 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 18 degrees Celsius (64 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.
December is one of the coldest and wettest months in the Mediterranean. Although crowds are small, we would not recommend a Greek vacation in this first month of winter. If you are lucky with the weather, a city trip to Athens might be worth it as it’s easy to navigate the city free of crowds. Average maximum temperatures: 15 degrees Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) in Athens & 15 degrees Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) in Santorini.