Greek Island Bucket List

Greece in November: A Guide to Visiting in Fall

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While lots of people will tell you not to travel to Greece outside of the summer months, November can still be a good time to visit.

If you’re considering Santorini, then I wrote a separate post about the island in November .

The average temperature is usually fairly mild, especially in early November. And that makes hiking, walking around towns and exploring all the archaeological sites much more pleasant.

I’ve been to a few different places in Greece this month, so here’s what you can expect if you’re visiting Greece in the shoulder season.

@greekislandbucketlist Come and see what Greece in November is like! Thinking of travelling to Greece in the off-season? Its warm enough to swim in the sea while the Christmas decorations are going up! Clips are from Santorini, Nafplio and Athens throughout the month. #greecetravel #greece💙 #greekislandhopping #athensgreece #greeceinwinter ♬ Come Check This (Quickie Edit) – FETISH

Weather in Greece in November

The weather varies depending on where in the country you’re looking at. The further north you go the cooler the average high will be for the month.

The best way to check for the area you’re interested in is to use a website like Time and Date . You can put the exact location in the search box in the top right corner, and it will give you all the details.

Southern Greece and Islands

In the southern areas and islands, it’s a typical Mediterranean climate. For example, the mean temperature for Athens, Nafplio, Corinth, Mykonos and Naxos in November is 16°C/60.8°F . For Santorini, it’s 17°C/62.6°F

The high temperature for most of these places is 19°C/66.2°F on average. But at the beginning of the month it can definitely more. I think 2023 was above average for November temperatures overall. 

If you’re going north to do a road trip near Ioannina then the mean temperature is 15°C/59°F, and you can expect a lot more rain than the places above.

In Thessaloniki, the average is around 11°C/51.8°F and even more northerly, Kastoria’s mean temperature is 8°C/46.4°C.

is november good time to visit greece

Examples of November weather in various parts of the country

Accommodation In November

Hotel availability in November will vary depending on where in the country you’re going.

On the Islands

Lots of the island hotels will close at the end of September or sometime in October. Some stay open into November, but for many, it’s only for the first week or two.

After that it’s most likely villas and self-catering apartments that are the biggest option. (Although some hotels do stay open on the islands all year round.)

On the Mainland

On the Greek mainland, there are fewer accommodation options around the Peloponnese than in the summer.

And it’s similar to the islands that apartments and houses are more readily available than hotels. But you will still find somewhere to book.

Across the board, in places that are generally thought of as summer tourism destinations, accommodation prices and hotel rates will be lower in November.

Bargains and Upgrades

Because these spots are quieter at the end of the season, you’re also more likely to get a hotel room upgrade. When I was in Santorini, I got upgraded to a suite that was a few levels above the room type I’d actually booked (which I’d been hoping for!).

Northern Areas

But northern Greece is coming into its winter tourist season, and there are lots of accommodation choices. They’ll also be priced accordingly, so don’t necessarily expect a bargain there.

Greek Islands in November

Depending on where you’re visiting and what you want to do, I agree that the low season might not be the best time of year for the islands.

The weather at the start of the month can be good enough for beach days and swimming.

is november good time to visit greece

Naxos in November

is november good time to visit greece

Epidaurus in November

And as I mentioned above, it can be one of the best months to see the historical sites. Both in terms of not being ridiculously hot and because fewer tourists are around.

But a lot of services, hotels and restaurants will have closed. The summer season ends around mid-October for most islands. For some, it’s even earlier. So you won’t be able to book very many activities and trips.

The things you might have looked forward to doing on particular islands might not be possible.

For example, if you’re heading to Mykonos in November, you won’t find a boat to take you over to Delos to see the ancient ruins . That’s a really popular and worthwhile trip from Mykonos, so it’s a shame to miss it.

I visited Santorini in November; it was quite a good time to go. The weather was mixed, but there were lots of good days.

It was a mixture of warm and mild weather with some quite windy days. (Which is typical in the shoulder seasons and even in the summer).

And for the first half of the month, there were still iconic hotels, winery tours and some other activities up and running.

Tinos , Andros and Naxos can be some of the best Greek islands to visit in November if you enjoy hiking. You do need to expect changeable weather, but you could still have a good few days of walking.

is november good time to visit greece

Andros in November

The locals still eat out in the winter months, so you’ll find restaurants that are open then, too.

Ionian Islands

I understand that Corfu in the Ionian Islands can be a good place in November. I haven’t been myself, but I know from living in the country you do just need to watch the weather.

Because it’s further north than the Cyclades, the weather can be cooler and more stormy by the autumn.

But they always say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothes. So if you’re up for wandering around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corfu town, a bit of adverse weather won’t stop you.

🥾 See also these short hikes in Paros

There’s a buzz there all year because it has a fairly big local population over the winter, and everyone still needs to go about their normal day-to-day business.

And despite what you might know about Corfu, it’s actually got excellent hiking trails. I’m excited about getting out on them, and November isn’t a bad month to do that.

Again, you can experience comfortable weather for walking, so consider that if you’re a hiker.

The other islands in the Ionian Sea are best to visit when there’s warm weather. The beaches are glorious, and that’s their main attraction. So you want the best weather for those.

Crete’s a big island with a busy population all year round. It’s also one of the most southern islands, so it holds onto the warm temperatures as long as possible.

Again, the historical sites, including Chania town, are some of the best things to enjoy in November.

Mainland Greece

I was in the Peloponnese in November, and if that’s an option for you, don’t dismiss coming at this time of year if you’re hoping for decent weather conditions.

Further to the north, the weather can feel much more wintery, and snow is beginning to fall in the mountain regions.

Athens in November is generally mild but expect mixed weather with some cloudy and rainy days. There are plenty of tourist activities running and the hop-on, hop-off buses are available too.

The city is one of the best places to visit because, like other places, the main attractions don’t have the same crowds as at other times of the year. Central Athens is a more pleasant place to be in the autumn.

is november good time to visit greece

November hiking in the Athens’ suburbs

The evenings can get a bit chilly, especially when it’s windy. But in the daytime, it can be really enjoyable to be outside. And the water temperature is still much higher than in spring if you fancy a dip in the sea.

Peloponnese

There was a mix of good weather and rainy days during my time there. One day, in particular, there was a huge storm. I was eating lunch outside under a covered gazebo, and we all had to run inside out of the torrential rain and huge gusts of wind.

is november good time to visit greece

Nafplio in November

But other days had clear blue skies, and I went swimming in the sea. 

The town of Nafplion and the ancient sites between there and Corinth had far fewer crowds than when I was there in May. In that respect, it’s a great time to visit.

Some of the biggies like Ancient Corinth, Mycenae and the Ancient Theatre at Epidauraus are in this area. And it’s an ideal time to stroll around amongst ancient history at your own pace without the hoards.

is november good time to visit greece

Clouds at Epidaurus Theatre

is november good time to visit greece

A glorious November day at Ancient Nemea

Many restaurants, shops and activities in Nafplio town had already closed for the winter months. But it didn’t feel desolate, and there were still enough places open to enjoy.

is november good time to visit greece

Some of the bougainvillea was still blooming for pretty pictures, too.

is november good time to visit greece

One of the Peloponnese’s beautiful beaches in November

If you’re exploring Greece and heading up to the stunning monasteries of Meteora, it’s a good time to take one of the hiking tours. If you’re not into that, then you’ll still benefit from cooler temperature and fewer other visitors.

Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria is a collection of over forty villages in the Epirus region of northwest Greece. I intended to go there in November for a road trip around autumnal trees and picturesque stone houses and bridges.

In the end, it didn’t happen, and I had to stay in the Peloponnese longer than anticipated. But a road trip around the area in November is absolutely the perfect way to enjoy Greece at this time of year.

is november good time to visit greece

I did get a mountain road trip on the way to Stymphalia though

is november good time to visit greece

Ferries to the Islands

The ferry schedules are very much reduced after October. You’ll probably need to travel more slowly as there won’t be the same daily ferry connections you might find in the summer. That’s certainly true for the more remote islands.

A Note on Bad Weather

Something else to note is that ferries in November can be cancelled due to bad weather. They can experience cancellations when the wind’s high at any time of year, but it’s definitely more common in November than in the high season.

is november good time to visit greece

Blue Star Ferries notice of ferry cancellations

Flights to the Islands

Like the ferries, fewer flights are operating in November. However, where they do run, the ticket prices are generally much lower than in peak season. And the flights aren’t generally cancelled because of the weather.

Do watch out, though, if you’re booked on a ferry that gets cancelled for the weather. Everyone will scramble to get a flight ticket, so act fast if you need to get back before the next ferry. The planes to Athens are on the small side with limited seats.

✈️ I use Skyscanner for all my flight bookings because you can see quickly and easily all the flights departing on a certain date. 

Free and Reduced Entry to Archaeological Sites

November to March is the winter season for government-run museums, historical and archaeological sites. That means ticket prices are reduced during these months, so get your fill of ancient Greece!

Another thing that happens this season is free entry to these archaeological sites and museums on the first Sunday of each month.

Plan accordingly if you’re in the country the first weekend because the offer is popular for local families, too. Places like the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum in Athens can get quite busy.

Annual Events

Some events to look out for in November are:

Athens Marathon

If you visit Athens in November, be aware of the Athens Authentic Marathon taking place. You can check the details and dates on the official website. (And enter if you fancy giving it a go!)

Thessaloniki International Film Festival

If you’re a film buff, you might be interested in the film festival . The website has all the details in English for you to check out.

Ok, so Christmas in Greece is still in December. But you’ll definitely start to feel the Christmas spirit in November.

I couldn’t get my head around going to the beach and swimming in the sea and then coming back to a hotel with festive trees and Christmas decorations all over the place.

If you’re from Australia, I suppose it’s nothing new. But for me, it still seems odd!

Christmassy Events in Athens

In Athens, the Christmas lights are sometimes switched on in November with a big event in Syntagma Square. And the Christmas Factory at Technopolis also starts this month.

is november good time to visit greece

What to Wear in Greece in November

Again this depends on where you’re going. For the north, bring winter clothes (not necessarily thermals). Jeans, jumpers, boots and a warm winter coat will see you through. (And wear layers if you’re going to be walking about.)

For Athens and the islands light trousers, jeans, short and long-sleeves tops, light jumpers and a denim or similar jacket are the types of things to bring.

I find it quite humid and muggy, too, and that can make the temperature feel higher. Bring your swimsuit as well as an umbrella!

More Ideas to Visit Greece in the Off-Season

If you’re unable or just don’t want to visit Greece in the summer season then here are some more ideas for off-season travel. 

Here’s what Mykonos is like in the winter . Santorini in late April can be a great place to visit as well as in October . And these are my thoughts on Paros in fall/autumn .

Greece in November: A Guide to Visiting in Fall

Suzie Young

Suzie writes informative posts for solo, nervous or first-time travellers to Greece, Turkey and other countries on her 50-before-50 bucket list. She became a Greek resident in 2020 and intends to visit every inhabited island (13 down!).

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The Best Time to Visit Greece for Good Weather, Fewer Crowds, and Affordable Prices

Greece is calling your name.

is november good time to visit greece

Greece has long beckoned travelers with its beauty. From the crystalline waters in the surrounding Mediterranean Sea and the rich historical sites that dot the nation's map to the divine cuisine and stellar hotels, the European country deserves a spot high on travelers' wish lists.

Travelers flock to Greece year-round, but some months are better to visit than others, especially if you're keen to explore beaches, avoid the masses, or score a deal on a hotel room. Here are the main tourist seasons to keep in mind:

  • High Season:  June to September
  • Shoulder Seasons:  April to May and October
  • Low Season:  November to March

Ready to plan your trip? Here are the best times to travel to Greece, whether you're after good weather, affordable prices, or fewer crowds.

Michela Buttignol/Travel+Leisure

Best Times to Visit Greece for Smaller Crowds

Unsurprisingly, the most popular times to visit Greece are the late spring, summer, and early fall months. This is when the weather is ideal, and all the venues open their doors, inviting guests to stay, eat, and drink.

According to CEIC Data , Greece received 3.64 million tourists in June 2022. In July of the same year, that number rose to 5.27 million, and in August, a whopping 5.86 million enjoyed a Greek getaway, making it by far its busiest month to visit. Numbers dropped in the fall, with 4.56 million visitors in September and 2.75 million in October.

If you don't plan on hitting the beaches, consider a trip to Greece during the winter. While the weather is cooler (the average temperatures hover around 50 degrees Fahrenheit), the crowds are much thinner. In 2023, around 635,000 people visited Greece in January, and a mere 572,500 came in February. In fact, the nation didn't crack one million visitors until April, making the winter much more manageable if you're trying to avoid crowds. However, many venues and hotels close for the winter, so search for accommodations in your intended destination to see what's available and when.

Alessandra Amodio

Best Times to Visit Greece for Good Weather

If you're after warm weather but want to avoid the sweltering heat, plan a trip in late spring or early fall (April through June or September through October). In May, the average temperature in Athens, the nation's capital, ranges from a high of 74.8 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In June, things warm up to an average high of 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit — perfect for taking a dip in the ocean.

In September, the average temperatures drop a little in Athens to a high of 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit. October is even chillier, with an average high hitting 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low around 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, it's cool, but nowhere near cold enough to feel uninviting. Just remember, the country is relatively large, especially if you include the best islands in Greece , so check your exact destination for average temperatures before booking.

Best Times to Visit Greece for Lower Prices

Visiting Greece on a budget is possible. All you need to do is plan accordingly. According to Skyscanner , the cheapest months to book a flight to Greece are October, November, March, and April. The website notes that July tends to be the most expensive month to fly to Greece, so it's best to avoid the middle of the high season if you're trying to save money.

While April is a less expensive month to fly, it's worth noting that hotel prices increase slightly during Greek Orthodox Easter, which sometimes falls at the end of April. The end of December and the beginning of January see a similar spike. Hotels tend to be pricey during July and August, so avoid these busy months if you're looking for lower room rates.

Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands

Again, the best time to visit depends on what you're after, but generally speaking, for the most delightful weather, plan a trip to the Greek islands in the late spring, early summer, or beginning of fall. Yes, you can visit in midsummer if you don't mind the heat (and being shoulder-to-shoulder with other travelers).

For example, in Santorini, the average high in July hits 84 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The upside is the ultra-warm water at this time of year, with an average sea temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, the island typically only experiences one or two rainy days, making your chances of basking in the sun pretty good.

September is considered one of the best months to visit the Greek islands, as the weather is still sunny and warm, and the crowds have thinned out. However, you'll want to research the island you plan to visit since temperatures vary across the archipelagoes.

Worst Times to Visit Greece

There's no bad time to visit Greece. However, July and August can be uncomfortably hot and humid — especially in Athens — with temperatures often soaring above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The capital city and Cycladic islands (including Mykonos and Santorini) are also at their most crowded and expensive during these months, so it's best to avoid midsummer if you're looking for more elbow room, lower prices, and a relaxed atmosphere.

On the flip side, January is the coldest month in Greece, with temperatures hovering around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While the cool weather is ideal for exploring historical sites, shops, and art galleries in Athens , it will likely be too chilly to swim in the ocean. If your dream vacation in Greece includes beach time, avoid visiting during the winter months.

is november good time to visit greece

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What Best to Do in Greece in November

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to visit Greece in November, then this post will get your answers. Visiting Greece in November may not be great for swimming but it is ideal for exploring the country with shoulder-season rates in a peaceful environment as the crowds have already gone home.

Greece in November, Dimitsana village

Another important factor in visiting Greece in November is that the entrance tickets to all archaeological sites in Greece are half-price . This is a great money saver especially if you are a history buff and want to explore as many historical sites as possible.

The port of Hydra Island with many yachts and small boats on a sunny day in Greece in November.

The top things to do in Greece in November are:

  • Visit Athens
  • Discover the Argo Saronic Islands
  • Explore Peloponnese on a 4-day trip
  • Delve into Unique Pelion Villages
  • Marvel at 3-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora

*Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

Best Things to Do in Greece in November

My most recent video.

1. Visit Athens, the Ancient Capital of Greece

Athens is a large, modern metropolis, adorned with famous monuments such as the UNESCO Acropolis Citadel and with thousands of history behind it.

The hill of Acropolis in Athens Greece, surrounded of trees in Greece in November.

Strolling lively Athens streets with only a few tourists around in November is a wonderful experience. Wandering the city offers a wide variety of relics of the civilizations and religions that have passed through Athens over the centuries.

The traditional settlement of Anafiotika in Plaka Athens Greece.

Athens’ picturesque area of Plaka, houses beautiful monuments from ancient Greece and empires such as the Roman , the Byzantine , the Ottoman , and everything in between.

is november good time to visit greece

Related Posts for Athens:

  • How to Visit Athens’ Best Monuments in 2 Days
  • Acropolis of Athens FAQ
  • 17 Incredible stops on the Athens Riviera Greece
  • Sounion Cape and the Temple of Poseidon
  • Marathon Town and Lake

You are reading ‘What Best to Do in Greece in November’

2. Discover the Argo Saronic Islands

Argo-saronic islands map.

The Argosaronic islands are close to Athens connected with many ferries during the day, and with connections between the islands as well.

Starting with the closest to Athens the Argo Saronic islands are:

  • Salamina, A e gina , Ag i stri , Poros , Hydra , Dokos, and Spetses .

is november good time to visit greece

The Argo-Saronic islands offer a wide variety of things to do and see as they are all rich in culture, history, ancient sites, religious monuments, and beautiful beaches. They are also ideal to be explored by hiking as they all have hiking trails in both forested and rugged areas.

is november good time to visit greece

You can take the ferry from Piraeus and stay a couple of days or more on each island and explore its highlights. Each island has its own characteristics and traditions to enjoy and each one of them is ideal for relaxing and low-key vacations.

Temple of Aphaia in Aegina in Greece in November.

Aegina Island has some very impressive monuments to explore besides its picturesque port:

Temple of Aphaia, Monastery of Agios Nektarios, Medieval Paleochora, Centuries-old Olive Grove, Picturesque seaside villages, Souvala spa

Find out more about the sites and where best to stay in Aegina in my related post here .

is november good time to visit greece

Agistri is a small island covered in pine forests, with pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Agistri is ideal to hike in November and visit its three small bougainvillea-laden villages, Megalochori, Limenaria, and Skala. I visited Agistri and it was a wonderful day trip from Athens!

The beautiful island of Poros and the Argo Saronic gulf taken from a drone in Greece in November.

Poros Island is another beautiful pine forest island in the Argosaronic Gulf. It has yacht marinas, neoclassical buildings, an impressive clocktower symbol, tiny alleys laden with flowers and quaint shops, archeological sites, and fantastic beaches with pine forests reaching into the waters.

Kaminia beach in Hydra Island

Hydra Island is the most popular and well-known island of the Argosaronic. It is a classy and cosmopolitan island, where Greek and international members of the rich and mighty have spent time here on its iconic alleys.

A free-of-cars island, with one of the loveliest port towns in Greece, Hydra will not fail to amaze you. Read the full dedicated post on Hydra island here .

The neoclassic houses in front of the port of Spetses island in Greece in November.

Spetses, just like Hydra, has an old-Greece cosmopolitan atmosphere, evident in the classy neoclassical buildings, the mansions, and the villas with impressive gardens. Famous for its turquoise waters, romantic port promenades, and historical monuments, Spetses is one of my favorite Argo Saronic islands. More about Spetses here .

Ferry Tip: Find out all about the schedules and prices from the best booking engine FerryScanner or FerryHopper .

3. Explore Peloponnese on a 4-day Trip

is november good time to visit greece

Peloponnese houses so many archaeological sites, castles, caves, and villages, surrounded by a spectacular coastline that you need many weeks to see in detail this magnificent area. I have gathered some of my favorite areas in a 4-day itinerary, taking into account the distances between the areas.

Day 1 – Corinth and Argolis

Evgenia standing under Lion Gate of Mycenae in Greece in November.

Corinth and Argolida regions are full of amazing sites:

In Corinth , you can visit the Corinth Canal, Ancient Corinth, and Acrocorinth , and the Isthmia Archaeological site.

In Argolida , you can visit Mycenae (UNESCO) , Nemea (great for wine tasting and for visiting the archaeological site), The Asklepion Sanctuary of Epidaurus (UNESCO.) , and Nafplion town.

Overnight at Nafplio at Ippoliti hotel .

Day 2 – Messinia

The Messene archaeological site in the Peloponnese taken from a drone in Greece in November.

Leaving behind Nafplion you travel to Messene, Pylos, and the beautiful seaside village of Methoni with a large castle area.

Nearby is Gialova town with the striking Voidokoilia beach.

Voidokilia beach and Gialova lagoon from a drone in Greece in November.

Overnight at Methoni at my favorite Ulysses Hotel or if you prefer upscale accommodation you should stay at Costa Navarino . A beautiful luxury hotel set in one of the most unspoiled and breathtaking landscapes in the Mediterranean, near Voidokoilia beach , a perfect semi-circle of a beach.

Day 3 – Ilia

4-day Peloponnese Itinerary, Kyparissia beach taken from a drone in Greece in November.

On your 3rd day drive along the western coast of the Peloponnese, stop at the UNESCO Archaeological Site at Bassae of Phigaleia with the impeccable Epikourios Apollo Temple, a site of tremendous importance and beauty.

Epicurian Apollo Temple in the Peloponnese in Greece in November.

The next stop is at Kaiafas Lake . Cross the road across the lake and stroll on Kaiafas Beach, one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Greece.

The next important site is the UNESCO Ancient Olympia Archaeological Site where you will be visiting the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

The UNESCO archeological site of  Ancient Olympia in a cloudy day with trees and flowers in Greece in November.

From Ancient Olympia drive to the traditional mountainous village of Dimitsana.

Overnight at Dimitsana Village in Enastron Guesthouse , with fabulous spacious rooms, super large and comfortable beds, a fireplace, and a huge breakfast!

The next day you can explore the stunning sites around Dimitsana Village:

Rafting in LOusios river

Hiking in the Lousios Gorge or if the water allows it, rafting as well.

4-Day Peloponnese itineraryMonastery in the Peloponnese Timiou Prodoromou Arkadia

Visit stunning monasteries: Moni Emialon and Rock built Monastery of Agiou Ioannou Prodromou. On your return to Athens stop at Vytina village, one of many beautiful mountainous villages in the area. Visit its interesting Folklore Museum, stroll the tree-lined street of love, and taste the local products.

You can return to Athens or go towards the north of the Peloponnese to another fantastic area, Kalavryta , with the gorge train (odontotos).

4. Delve into Unique Pelion Villages

is november good time to visit greece

My very favorite place to hike in Greece is Pelion Mountain located in mid-eastern Greece, some 360 km from Athens.

Imagine a deeply forested peninsula with 70 traditional, beautiful villages full of old mansions and monuments, trees laden with pears, apples, chestnuts, planes, streams, and centuries-old bridges.

What to do in Pelion Greece, over view of Milina village

The most famous villages are Tsagkarada , Milies , Portaria , Makrinitsa , and Zagora with museums, libraries, and monasteries to visit and a lot of outdoor activities.

My favorite thing to do in Pelion is after I have hiked on a cold day, I get into one of the many taverns with a fireplace and have a great meal. Pelion is famous for its local cuisine, a very traditional one, using its own farmed products.

is november good time to visit greece

As if that was not enough, the peninsula is surrounded by endless golden sandy beaches, where you can have romantic walks and dream of next summer!

You are reading ‘Top Things to Do in Greece in November’

5. Marvel at 3-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora

Greece in October, Delphi Oracle Athina Pronaia Temple

Greece is a mountainous country so some sites are much more challenging to get to them than others especially if you are visiting during the heat of the Greek summer. Two great examples are the steep uphills of the Delphi Archaeological Site and the endless steps to get to some of the Meteora Monasteries .

is november good time to visit greece

Delphi and Meteora are best visited in May and on a 3-day trip, spending a night in Delphi and one night in Meteora. A draft of the itinerary can be:

Day 1: Athens – Ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese – Galaxidi seaside town, 30 km away from Delphi. Spend your evening in the beautiful Galaxidi and stay at the best Boutique Hotel in town with the most delicious handmade marmalades: Ganimede Hotel, Galaxidi .

agios stefanons of Meteora Monasteries

Day 2: Visit the Delphi Archaeological Site, stroll Arachova town, go to UNESCO Osios Loukas Monastery, drive to Meteora, and stay overnight in Kalambaka town. The best Hotel to stay at in Kalambaka is Archontiko Mesohori Suites & Apartments .

Day 3: Visit Meteora Monasteries.

FAQ about visiting Greece in November

is november good time to visit greece

What is the weather like in Greece in November?

According to last year’s weather forecast, during November in Greece, the average temperature was between 10-20 C with 3 days of rain.

However, the temp will be 3-5 C higher or lower depending on whether you are in the north or the south of Greece, in a city, or on a mountain.

What time do the Greek Archaeological sites close?

Acropolis’ gates in winter close at 5 pm (17.00) but the rest of the sites all over Greece close at 3 pm (15.00). Avoid going very close to the closing time, they will not let you in. Be there at least an hour before closure, so that you have ample time to explore.

The good news is that between the 1st of November to the 31st of March all archaeological sites in Greece are half-price!

And even better, everyone has free entrance every first Sunday of the month . For November that would mean that on the 7th all sites will be free to visit (the sites, not the stand-alone museums).

Are there any days that the sites are closed in November?

No, there is no national public holiday during November, everything will be open for business. However, the 17th of November is a celebration of the uprising of students against the dictatorship that ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974. There will be demos near Polytechnic University in Patision, near Omonia sq.

Does Santorini/Mykonos/Rhodes close down in November?

Greek Dog yawning in Santorini island

No, they don’t !

The Greek islands have permanent residents who stay on the islands throughout the year. For instance, Santorini has 5 high schools, with a permanent population of 15,520 people! Some businesses do close down but those are usually the large hotel complexes, clubs, big restaurants, etc.

So, don’t worry about going to Santorini or Mykonos in November and it will be just you and 3 stray fat cats. You will definitely find everything that you need on the islands just at much lower prices, with better – fast – service, and in a much more relaxed environment.

FAQ for Driving in Greece in November

Meteora Monasteries road sign to the monasteries

  • If you are a citizen out of the EU, you will need an International Driver’s License to rent a car
  • Always carry chains for your tires, you never know when the next crazy blizzard will find you
  • Most of the country is connected by a highway system that uses tolls – open all year through
  • Belts are mandatory and you get a huge fine if you haven’t fastened them up
  • Children should always be kept in their special seats, fastened, in the back seat
  • Driving and talking on the phone also can give you a gigantic fine, use hands-free options
  • The high-speed roads are in excellent condition. When you get off the main highways, the roads get significantly smaller, and as all the ski resorts are on mountains, they may look a tad intimidating
  • All the ski resorts in Greece have parking places and they keep the roads clear from too much snow or add some salt to make them less slippery.

What is Best to Wear in Greece in November?

Me Evgenia Pelion Milies November

Weather in November can be from spring warm to chilly, with a bit of rain and perhaps wind – so you may have to be prepared for all kinds of weather and use the layering technique.

Read here a dedicated post on what to wear in Greece in November.

Plan My Trip to Greece

Do you need a custom travel itinerary for Greece ? Are you traveling solo, with your family or your friends and you need a tailor-made multi-day tour or a transfer within Greece?

If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!

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The best things to do in Greece in November are:

Did you visit Greece in November? Let me know what you think about visiting Greece in winter in the comments, I’d love to hear whether I managed to get it onto your bucket list! Till next time, Evgenia❤️

All rights reserved © Travel the Greek Way. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (photographs, text, links) is strictly prohibited.

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Evgenia Mataragka

Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

Latest posts from Evgenia Mataragka

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People think that Greece is only great during the summer months, but this isn’t true. The weather is still lovely in November, and it is very peaceful. It’s a good idea to visit during this time of year and you’ve given us some excellent tips.

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Thanks, Nick for your kind comment. Indeed, Greece is year-round wonderful to visit and I hope people will visit Greece and have a great time here.

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These Are the Best Times to Visit Greece

Anthony Grant

Finally ready for that dream trip to Greece ? With a coastline longer than the United Kingdom's and thousands of islands, the country is a great place to visit any time of year. But absent a last-minute flight deal (and they do come up, though nonstop options from the US are still limited), planning ahead is the way to go in order to make the most of your time in Greece.

The urban attractions of Athens thrum at full tilt all year long, while most Greek islands are at their best once winter has left the picture. Whether it's sultry Mediterranean breezes you seek or the cheapest time to book that hotel room with a sea view in Mykonos, consider this your essential guide to planning a perfect trip to Greece.

The Best Weather in Greece

is november good time to visit greece

Generally, the best weather in Greece is what you'll experience in May, June and September. Plenty of sunny days that aren't too hot make May an ideal time for long, leisurely walks in Athens. By June, the beaches of the Aegean islands are warm enough for swimming and popular islands like Mykonos aren't crowded yet.

July is when things get toasty and sometimes uncomfortably humid in Athens, and the city is crowded with tourists then, too. August, naturally, means great beach weather, and if you like your big cities to yourself then it's also a fine time for Athens, as most Athenians ditch the capital.

September has lots of advantages (namely: fewer tourists), but the days are still long and warm and better yet, it's less humid than in July and August. In Crete, the southernmost Greek island, you can go swimming well into October.

The Best Times to Visit Cities in Greece

The two biggest cities in Greece are the capital, Athens , and Thessaloniki. Both are destinations in their own right and for culture vultures there is really no bad time to go. In the peak summer season, major attractions in Athens such as the Acropolis Museum are more crowded than in wintertime, when on many days you'll have even iconic places like the Acropolis largely to yourself. Winter in Athens is also a great time to check out lesser-known museums, tune up your Instagram or warm up in a luxe Turkish bath .

is november good time to visit greece

Generally speaking, think of April to June as the ideal times to explore Athens and other Greek cities including historic Nafplio. Thessaloniki is a vibrant city with a wealth of cultural attractions, but in the height of summer it gets so humid they actually have public fans in places to keep the air circulating.

Choose shoulder season months like October and May for an optimal experience there. Most island towns are empty of tourists from November until around the time of Greek Easter, but the main town in Corfu and the Cretan cities like Heraklion are up and running all year long.

When to Visit Greece for Events

From religious holidays to cultural festivals, there are plenty of events worth attending throughout the year.

Spring Events

Greek Orthodox Easter is the most important holiday in the Greek calendar by far. In 2019, Greek Easter falls on Sunday, April 28, but festivities actually begin the week prior on the Saturday of Lazarus. Easter is celebrated in different ways throughout the country, with many variations on the candlelit processions of Good Friday and Easter Sunday celebrations themselves — but you can count on plenty of lamb roasts and fireworks. Easter in Corfu is one of the most famous, but wherever you are in Greece during this time you can expect to experience at least some of the country's very rich and colorful Easter traditions.

Summer Events

Summer is when most music and arts festivals are in full swing. The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the country's most prestigious annual summer arts festival, with events taking place at the ancient stone Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater (the Herodion) below the Acropolis as well as south of Athens at the amphitheater of Epidaurus, the best-preserved theater of the ancient world. Events include a mix of classic and contemporary (last summer, Bill Murray recited poetry in the Herodion) and are usually scheduled from late June to early August.

The Athens Festival in Epidaurus, Greece. (Photo by Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On the day of the August Full Moon Festival in Athens, museums and ancient sites are open in the evening free of charge until midnight.

Assumption is Aug. 15. It's a public holiday in Greece and considered the "Summer Easter." On this day, life in Athens pretty much grinds to a halt as Athenians dash off to the countryside or the islands. If you want to make sure you have a good place to stay anywhere outside of Athens on Aug. 15 or in the two weeks following, it's increasingly essential that you plan and reserve ahead of time.

Fall Events

The prestigious Thessaloniki International Film Festival is usually held during the first part of November. And while they're not exactly going to enrich anybody in cultural terms, Black Friday shopping events in November have recently taken Greeks by storm.

Winter Events

Christmas in Greece is nowhere near as big a deal as Greek Easter, but there are festive lights in the center of big cities like Athens. Also in Athens, New Year's Eve means festive fireworks over the Acropolis.

Fireworks explode over the Parthenon temple atop the Athens Acropolis hill during New Year's day celebrations, in Athens on January 1st, 2017. (Photo by Panayotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Best Times to Explore the Greek Islands

The best times to visit mykonos and santorini.

What ultimately draws visitors to Santorini is the views over the volcanic caldera and not the beaches, and that appeal has fueled the island's rise as a year-round destination. May and June are the best times to dodge the crowds but also enjoy some sun. Otherwise, it's probably better to wait until after mid-September.

Mykonos is a bit trickier: in May and June (and again in September) you'll have more elbow room at the island's many beaches and posh beach bars, but to get a taste of the international razzle dazzle for which the place is most famous, July and August do rock to that inimitable Mediterranean island vibe. But it's also a very expensive vibe. Unlike in Santorini, by the end of September it's already very quiet again in Mykonos.

Santorini, Greece. (Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler/Unsplash)

The Best Times to Visit Other Islands

Whether it's Corfu in the Ionian Islands, Rhodes and Patmos in the Dodecanese archipelago, Paros and the other islands that make up the Cyclades or Crete, the best time of year for an island visit is generally going to be in June, July or September. Prices are lower and hotel rooms are more readily available in June and September, and you can count on warm weather in those months, too.

Loads of Greeks and other Europeans on summer holiday can make island travel in August a real challenge — and sometimes a downright headache. And many islands have their off-season charms: For example, the Saronic Islands near Athens like Hydra and Aegina are easy and fun to visit any time of year (but beach time is mainly May through September).

When to Visit Greece to Avoid Crowds

The tourism season in Greece typically gets going after Greek Easter, with shoulder season ramping up in May and the peak season stretching from the latter part of June into July and all of August. Increasingly, in places like Athens and Crete, September is now considered a high season month.

If you want to avoid crowds in Athens, time your summer travel for June or August instead of July. In the Cycladic archipelago (which includes Mykonos and Santorini), avoid July and August unless you don't mind crowded ferries and higher prices.

In Crete, you can expect crowds at many beaches and in the cities of Heraklion and Chania from June right up until October, so consider June or early fall for Crete. By contrast, in Corfu where the beach season is not quite as long as in Crete, you'll have an easier time avoiding crowds in September.

Winter in Athens tends to be cold and damp, but there are still many sunny days and exploring museums and ancient ruins in the absence of crowds and big tour groups can be quite cool.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Greece

is november good time to visit greece

Traveling to Greece is usually priciest during peak season, so if you're looking to save, wait until the off-peak or shoulder seasons. The best hotel deals in Athens are going to be from early January through March, but weather is not at its best at that time. You can generally find good hotel deals in April, May, the first part of June and sometimes in September (but less so in Crete).

The shoulder seasons in Greece run from April through the first part of June, and then from about mid-September through mid-October.

Affordable Airfare

Unsurprisingly, airfare is at its most expensive during the summer. July, specifically, is the priciest month when, according to the farecasting app Hopper, long-haul flight prices are around $1,090 round-trip. In May, that dips to $930 round-trip. But during the shoulder seasons and in winter, prices plunge accordingly.

Currently, all American airlines offer only seasonal nonstop flights to Athens and they tend to be expensive, but there's often a workaround. Find a cheap ticket to either London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW) and then find a flight that fits your schedule with Greek carrier Aegean : a Star Alliance member with several flights a day from London to Athens International Airport (ATH). Plus, you'll typically get better service than you would from the British low-cost carriers, plus meals are included.

Affordable Hotels

is november good time to visit greece

The most expensive time to book a hotel room in Athens is generally in the summer. The cheapest times are January (after the New Year holiday) and February. The most expensive time to book rooms in popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini is July and especially August.

According to Booking.com , based on bookings made between January 2018 and December 2018, hotels in Athens are 33% more affordable in February than compared to the most expensive month of the year, which (for Booking.com ) is June. Hotels in Santorini in January are 51% more affordable than they are in August, and for Mykonos, March is 73% more affordable than August.

If you're planning to visit Mykonos in the summer, you should plan ahead as much as possible and if you find a deal (paid or points), grab it. Expect hotels on many Greek islands — not just Mykonos and Santorini but also ones like Syros and Sifnos — to be completely sold out over the Aug. 15 Assumption holiday and do not assume you'll be able to find a deal, or anything really, on the spot during that extremely busy time.

In Crete's largest city of Heraklion as well as elsewhere on the island, the high season now effectively runs through the whole month of September, making it wise to book ahead in Crete even for early fall travel.

Greece In November: Weather & Travel Tips

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Not sure what to expect of the weather in Greece in November? You’re in the right place! Here we share everything you need to know about average temperatures, rainfall, and what to expect in terms of costs and crowds, along with itinerary suggestions that’ll help you make the most of your trip.

Is November a good time to visit Greece?

  • Air and sea temperatures in Greece in November

Can it rain in Greece in November?

What about the crowd and cost, what to wear in greece in november, unforgettable, fully customisable greece itineraries, what to do in greece in november, planning your november trip to greece, visit greece in other months.

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Greek Dreams: Athens, Corfu, Santorini and Crete

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Greek Dreams: Athens, Corfu, Santorini and Crete

A private journey through Athens, Corfu, Santorini, and Crete, staying in exquisite accommodations. Explore ancient history, savor Mediterranean cuisine, and unwind in stunning settings, creating beautiful memories throughout.

Athens, Meteora & Santorini

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Athens, Meteora & Santorini

Experience Greece's best: Athens' culture, culinary adventures, Meteora's monastic marvels, and the breathtaking beauty of Santorini. An unforgettable journey awaits!

Majestic Greece: Temples, Castles, Monasteries & Myths

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Majestic Greece: Temples, Castles, Monasteries & Myths

Go on an epic fast paced 10-day journey with a private driver through Greece's ancient wonders & natural beauty. From Athens to Meteora, experience history, culture & breathtaking landscapes along with local tour guides, all culminating in a journey of a lifetime. Recommended for the months Apr-Oct.

Greek Island Hopping: 4 Cycladic Gems

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Greek Island Hopping: 4 Cycladic Gems

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Capital & islands - Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete

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Depending on personal preferences and the purpose of the trip, November can be a good time to visit Greece.

The weather in Greece during November is generally mild to cool, and warmer in the islands and the south compared to northern Greece. While it is not beach weather, it is suitable for exploring and sightseeing without the summer crowds.

It is the off-peak season in Greece, which means fewer tourists and smaller crowds at popular attractions. This can be advantageous for those seeking tranquility and lower prices.

However, it is important to note that November also marks the start of the rainy season in Greece, particularly in the northern part of the country.

Thinking of visiting Greece in November? Embark on your dream trip hassle-free with the help of our Greece travel experts .

Air and sea temperatures in Greece in November 

There’s no getting away from the fact that November in Greece brings cooler temperatures with variations between different regions.

Northern Greece ( Thessaloniki ) is certainly the coldest part of Greece in November, with average daytime highs ranging from 12°C to 18°C (54°F - 64°F), and average lows ranging from 4°C  to 10°C (39°F - 50°F).

In central Greece ( Athens ), average air temperatures range from 14°C to 20°C (57°F - 68°F), while average lows range from 7°C to 13°C (45°F - 55°F).

Southern Greece and islands ( Crete , Santorini , Mykonos ) are the warmest Greek regions in November, with the air temperatures reaching up to 22°C (72°F).

When it comes to the average sea temperatures, the averages are:

  • In northern Greece: from 14°C to 18°C (57°F - 64°F).
  • In central Greece: from 16°C to 19 °C (61°F - 66°F).
  • In southern Greece and islands: from 17°C to 20°C (63°F - 68°F)

Browse our inspirational Greece itineraries to start planning your perfect trip.

Arkasa village on Karpathos island, Greece © Shutterstock

The weather in Greece in November is still far from freezing! © Shutterstock

November is a relatively wet month in Greece. For context, there’s a 15% chance of rain in Athens in November.

Across the country as a whole, around 58mm of rain falls over eight days. That said, full days of rain are pretty rare. Just bring a raincoat and umbrella to brave it out for a couple of hours!

For more detail on the weather in Greece around the year, read up on best time to go to Greece .

Stadium in the Rhodes city in Rhodes island in Greece © Shutterstock

Rhodes' Island Acropolis © Shutterstock

Being on the cusp of winter and well outside the peak summer season, visiting Greece in November means fewer crowds. With that comes a reduction in the costs of accommodation and flights. 

While this is all the better for your pocket, be aware that some hotels and guest houses close for the winter months. You should also expect a reduction in flights and ferry services. 

Set on taking an autumn break? For further inspo, discover more of the best places to visit in November .

greece-athens-shutterstock_1226210740

Athens, Greece © Shutterstock

Though winter is on the horizon, if you’re wondering what to wear in Greece in November, you won’t need full-on winter attire.

We suggest packing lots of layers to handle the shift between day and night-time temperatures. A hoodie, jumper or cardigan will come in handy, as will a light waterproof jacket for when the rain falls.   

Santorini, Greece © Shutterstock

Santorini sunset © Shutterstock

If you’re in the market for a November break that delivers a diversity of history, culture and less-crowded walks on the wild side, take inspiration from our  Greece itineraries .

What’s more, these suggestions can be customised to your exact needs, with a local Greek travel expert  on hand to offer insider tips, and take the hassle out of planning and booking.

  • Athens — City of the God (4 days): if you’re short on time and big on culture, this 3-night trip offers immersive insights to Athens’ ancient wonders and modern verve. From taking in the Classical charm of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, to indulging in the city’s thriving food scene in local tavernas, it’s a feast for the senses.
  • Epirus and Athens — the Ancient Sites (8 days): shrouded in myths and legends of Greek gods and Roman and Byzantine warriors, sites in the Epirus region of Greece have fascinating tales to tell. Add to that exploring Athens and the magic of mountainus Zagori, and this amounts to a diversely exhilarating experience.
  • Coast of Crete — a stunning self-drive experience (10 days): if you’re longing for awe-inspiring scenery, ancient culture, and a sense of freedom, this self-drive trip along Crete’s coast has your name all over it. Crete , Greece's largest island, delivers thousands of years of unique culture and rich history alongside untamed natural beauty.

Knossos Palace ruins. Heraklion, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Knossos Palace, Heraklion, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Visiting Greece in November comes especially recommended for travellers who are into culture. Overall, it’s a good time to take advantage of visiting ancient sites and museums in crowd-free conditions. And, if you pick the right place, you can still bliss out on Greek beaches.

With that in mind, read on for ideas for what to do in Greece in November.

Soak up Santorini

Like other southern Greek islands, Santorini 's November temperatures are mild and comfortable, with average highs of 19℃, and an average low of 14℃.  The island’s legendary sunsets remain spectacular throughout the year, and it’s a dream to walk in nature, or wander charming streets as the colours shift to yellow and gold.

Sounds sublime, doesn't it? If you're tempted to visit, read up on the best things to do in Santorini , and discover the island's best beaches .

Hike in the Countryside

Greece's landscapes are breathtaking, and November can be an excellent time for hiking. Mount Olympus, Vikos Gorge, or Samaria Gorge are popular options for outdoor enthusiasts.

Swim in thermal springs

Greece is known for its beautiful beaches and crystalline waters, but it also boasts some incredible thermal springs where you can relax, rejuvenate, and swim in naturally heated waters.

These can be found in different parts of Greece, such as Loutraki, Vouliagmeni, or Edipsos and November is a perfect time to visit them.

Attend Olive Harvest Festivals

Olive harvest season is in full swing in November. Attend festivals and participate in olive picking or learn about the production of olive oil in villages across Greece.

Balos lagoon on Crete island, Greece © Shutterstock

Balos lagoon, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Fancy visiting Greece in November, or any other time of the year, for that matter? Get yourself a copy of  The Rough Guide to Greece  to start planning your dream trip. 

Alternatively, if the idea of planning leaves you cold, browse our customisable Greece itineraries.

Love the sound of exploring Greece away from the mainland? Read up on the  best Greek Islands , and get yourself  The Rough Guide to Greek Islands . 

Ancient Greece, detail of ancient street, Plaka district, Athens, Greece

Plaka district, Athens, Greece © Shutterstock

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updated 6.12.2023

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Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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The best time to go to Greece

Helen Iatrou

Jul 3, 2023 • 6 min read

is november good time to visit greece

Greece’s most significant spiritual holiday, Orthodox Easter, takes place in either April or May ©Hector Christiaen/Shutterstock

Greece is famed for its crystalline seas, ancient attractions, and warm hospitality.

Summer is when most travelers choose to explore its countless islands , while spring and fall are the best times of year to marvel at the myriad of archeological sites dotted around the country.

Winter can be cool and occasionally rainy but for those conscious about budget or interested in seeing how the locals live, the vibrant capital of Athens still delivers history, culture, and good times in spades, even when the sunshine starts to fade.

Whether you’re dreaming of the southeast Mediterranean nation’s dreamy beaches , ancient allure, or buzzing city life, these are the best times to visit Greece.

Mother and daughter sailing together in Greece as the sunsets in the background

May to October is best for island-hopping

Orthodox Easter, Greece’s most significant spiritual holiday, lands in April or May and unofficially debuts in the island-hopping season. In the final month of spring, the seas only just start to lose their winter chill and are still too cool for swimming, at least by local standards. In May, the average daily high is a warm 77°F and days are normally sunny.

Keep in mind that the deep cobalt waters of the Aegean, in the north and south, take longer to warm up than the shallower, turquoise seas of the Ionian , west of mainland Greece. The further south you sail through the Aegean archipelago, the hotter it gets, at least on land, and so the longer the warm weather season. Islands such as Rhodes and Crete are ideal for a sunny shoulder season getaway in May, September, or October when beaches are empty of schoolkids (with the exception of UK mid-term holidays).

June affords the longest days of sunshine, peaking in the second fortnight. It’s also an opportune time for your first, refreshing dip of the summer. July and August are the busiest months of the year on the islands, so expect high airfares, peak season hotel rates, crowded beach bars, bustling main towns, and packed restaurants in popular destinations like Mykonos , Santorini , and Paros , among others. Southern Europeans, including Greeks retreating to their second homes, gravitate toward the islands at this time of year.

July and August are also the hottest and driest months in Greece, with average temperatures often exceeding 86°F, and there is the potential for stifling heatwaves. Thankfully, the Meltemi, a welcome north wind that makes its appearance mostly between June and September, tempers the heat. Still, if you’re intent on visiting during July and August, be sure to book a good six months or more in advance to secure slightly better airfares and hotel rates.

By September, Greece’s seas have thoroughly warmed through and school holidays are over, meaning that you’ll have more room to yourself at that idyllic beach and a peaceful night’s sleep. Airfares and hotel rates are also more affordable. As a result, it’s now one of the most popular months of travel for those who want to enjoy a more relaxing island or mainland holiday.

By about mid-October, Greece’s seas start to pick up swell, and air temperatures begin to fall, while the majority of hotels stay open until the end of the month. It’s still an excellent time of year to visit, as long as you come prepared, with warmer clothing for cooler evenings.

Asian woman looks out at view of three blue domes, Oia island, Greece

See the ancient sites in spring or fall

From the Vergina Royal Tombs Museum dating to the times of Alexander the Great in Macedonia to the Minoan-era Palace of Knossos in Crete , ancient marvels and historical monuments liberally dot the landscape, wherever you journey throughout Greece. Stonebuilt temples, palaces, and castles act like a magnet for sunlight, so the best times of the year to plan your history geek-out is March, April, or October. The weather is comfortably cool and the crowds are noticeably thinner. As an added bonus, you can expect to pay less for flights and accommodation .

Layers of clothing, such as short-sleeve shirts and a light fleece jacket, are vital to ward off the chill but also to peel off as you hike between ruins and landmarks. Pack a water-resistant jacket and hiking shoes because showers are a real possibility, while March also brings occasional snowfall in mountainous mainland areas such as Central Greece .

Scratch below the surface of Greece’s archaic attractions and museums by booking a small group or private tour, led by a state-licensed guide. Rather than wander around the sacred ancient temples of Delphi on your own, seek out an on-the-ground expert, many of whom are also qualified archeologists or historians. It’s not just about the specific details they impart but the fascinating anecdotes you would never find in a history book. The best guides are usually booked up in the height of summer, so take advantage of their availability and deep knowledge by scheduling a visit in March, October, or November.

A young woman smiles above Athens

Fall and winter are the best times to experience Athens like a local

Greeks, the majority of whom live in Athens, return to base no later than October to resume their normal routines. But that doesn’t mean the city goes quiet. Quite the contrary.

You’ll still be able to sit outdoors at cafes and restaurants and soak up the insouciant vibes of city life. At the same time, the queues to visit the Acropolis and other ancient sites around town disappear, Monastiraki’s flea markets are quieter, and it’s easier to snag a table at a rooftop restaurant for dinner with views of an illuminated Parthenon .

And November and December, with the exception of the Christmas and New Year period, offer some of the most tempting airfare and hotel deals to be had. Between November 1 and March 30, entrance fees at ancient sites and state-run museums, like the treasure-filled National Archaeological Museum , are significantly reduced, making a December vacation a more appealing option for families on a budget.

Temperatures are still comfortably warm in November, with average highs of around 65°F. In December, the mean temperature drops to about 58.46°F, and average monthly rainfall hovers around 65mm. As winter takes hold, Athenian night owls congregate indoors at bars and clubs in inner-city Gazi, Keramikos, and Metaxourgio , where they listen to alt-rock bands, notable jazz artists on tour, and electronic music.

Best of all, Athens regains its true identity. Whether you’re walking the cobblestoned streets of old town Plaka on a Sunday afternoon, checking out the bookshops in the intellectual Exarhia neighborhood or even scaling the verdant heights of Lycabettus Hill (the city’s best vantage point for views of the capital’s vast urban sprawl) you’ll find yourself among locals going about their day-to-day lives. Most Greeks, particularly younger generations, will take every opportunity to dust off their English skills, so don’t be shy to strike up a conversation and ask for insider tips.

This article was first published April 2021 and updated July 2023

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Weather & Climate

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Best Time to Visit

The Best Time to Visit Greece

is november good time to visit greece

 Glenn van der Knijff

The best times to visit Greece are in the spring and fall. From April to the beginning of June, the heat of summer has not yet set in and the cruise ships have not arrived with their thousands of tourists. From late September through October it's usually still warm enough for the beach but much less crowded. Whenever you choose to go, you'll find a lot to see and do, wonderful Mediterranean cuisine and lively, friendly people.

Weather in Greece

Summer is hot and dry. Unshaded beaches can be unbearable and unsafe for more than short periods. July and August are the hottest months. Average temperatures are between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and can reach more than 100 F. A dry, strong seasonal wind, known as the Meltemi , blows from May to September and can bring relief from the heat. In recent years, it has also encouraged wildfires. The winter is relatively mild and seldom drops below freezing. December and January are rainy. There is little snow except in the mountains of Northern Greece and the Peloponnese.

Peak Season in Greece

From June through September, popular areas of Athens and Thessaloniki are crowded. Monastiraki Square in Athens and the adjoining market are chock-a-block, the buses and Metro are packed. Some islands have popular sunset-watching spots that become crowded at prime vantage points. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are when most cruise ships visit Santorini, and the crowds of day-trippers on the island's main road make ordinary bus and taxi travel almost impossible until after sunset.

Prices are highest from July to the end of August and during school holiday periods—when visitors compete for space and attractions with Greek families. Savvy travelers can score bargains April to May and mid-September to mid-October when vacation weather is still good.

Key Festivals and Events

The Greeks like to party and there's hardly a time of year when there isn't a festival, a celebration or an event going on somewhere. Some, however, are worth including in your trip planning.

  • Greek Easter: This is a huge family holiday with events happening throughout Holy Week. Special foods are served in the restaurants and tavernas. Highlights are candlelit processions after Mass on Good Friday. In Athens, the procession goes up Lycabettus Hill and can be seen all over the city.
  • Carnival: Also called Apokreas , this is the celebration before the beginning of Lent that culminates in wild celebrations, feasting, and Carnival processions in costumes (that have been known to be very rude). The Carnival in Patras is considered one of the world's top three.
  • The Athens and Epidaurus Festival: This festival changed its name from the Hellenic Festival because most of its key events take place at two ancient theaters - the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the slopes of the Acropolis, and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus near Nafplio. It's a month-long festival of international performances, including drama, dance, and music with top artists from all over the world.

TripSavvy / Monica Farber

Tourist Attraction Availability

Most historic attractions are open year-round, though they may have limited hours or short weeks in the offseason. Some commercial attractions, beach bars, cafes and accommodations close from the end of October until the middle of March because business slows in cooler weather. On Santorini, for example, autumn and winter winds are unpleasant and most accommodations on the caldera close by mid-October.

January is one of the coldest, wettest months of the year. This is an excellent time to visit the cities of the mainland and the areas around them. You may find hotel rates at bottom-dollar prices, but those that cater to business people won't be a great deal cheaper.

Events to check out:

  • Patras Carnival : Depending upon when Greek Easter falls, this could be the month for one of the world's top three Carnivals.
  • Gynaikokratia Festival : If you know your classical language roots, you'll know this one is for women. Gynaikokratia means women rule. Each year on Jan. 8, in Kavala and the towns and villages of Thrace, women swap roles with men for the day.

The temperature rarely tops 59 degrees F in February. You won't find snow in most of Greece but there will be snow in the mountains and in the Greek ski areas (yes there are some). Try Mt. Parnassus Ski area or Kalavrita on Mt. Chelmos in the Peloponnese.

  • Tsiknopempti: The name of this holiday, 11 days before the start of Lent, means, literally, goodbye to meat. And it's a long goodbye: restaurants, tavernas, and private family homes indulge in an orgy of meat-eating, and the smell of grilling meats is everywhere.

Days are perceptibly longer and the temperature might rise a few degrees, but don't count on it. It will be windy and miserable most of the time. But this is also the month when spectacularly diverse wildflowers begin to bloom.

  • Carnivals continue until the start of Lent, so look for local events at the beginning of the month.
  • Greek Independence Day: March 25 is celebrated with parades fireworks, and mock naval battles all over Greece to mark the start of the War of Independence from the Ottomans.

April weather is iffy. It can be pleasant and mild or windy and wet. The wildflowers are in full bloom, but if you are heading for the islands, you may find that ferry and hydrofoil services are still limited.

  • Orthodox Easter: Holy Week is significant to the Greeks. On Good Friday, after mass, candlelight processions head out into the night from various churches.
  • Rocket War : The island of Chios explodes on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday as two churches in the town of Vrontados aim fireworks directly at each other. The square between them fills with smoke, and thousands of tourists cheer.

This is the first reliably warm month with temperatures averaging in the high sixties and low seventies, rising to a high of nearly 80 degrees F once in a while. Flowers bloom, people fly kites and go out in boats, but beware: the water is probably still a little too cold for swimming in most places.

  • May Day: The first of May is an optional legal holiday in Greece, but most businesses give workers the day off. May Day is also strongly connected to workers' rights, and it's a big day for slowdowns and wildcat strikes, that could impact your travel plans.

Hot weather and the start of the high season. Expect crowded resorts, higher prices, and temperatures. The average temperature is in the high 80s F and can rise much higher.

  • Athens and Epidaurus Festival runs from June to August in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and ancient venues all over Athens.
  • Nafplion Festival : A classical music festival at the end of June or early July featuring international artists.
  • Summer Nostos : is a week-long, free festival of music, dance, sports and theatre, all of it free, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in the Athens suburb of Kallithea

Temperatures average in the high 80s F and easily reach the 90s F in most places. It is also very dry so camping is forbidden in most national parks and even hiking in some area. Be aware that there's a risk of wildfires.

  • Outdoor Cinema : Open-air cinema is a longstanding Athens tradition during the summer months. The city has eight, some with the Acropolis as the background, some in historic parks and settings.
  • Kastoria River Party : Camping, music and cooling off in the river in northern Greece.
  • Cretan Diet Festival: No, it's not a weird new way to lose weight; it's a celebration of Cretan cuisine in Rethymno, Crete.

The heatwave continues. So do the lines at the major attractions and the high, in-season prices. But on the plus side, the nights are balmy and pleasant for outdoor dining and nightlife.

Event to check out:

  • XLSIOR : A giant LGBTQ, Pride, and music festival on Mykonos.

The average temperature is 75 degrees F rising into the 80s at the beginning of the month with cool nights averaging 66 degrees F. Days are sunny with almost no chance of rain.

  • Reworks : Thessaloniki's massive international music festival, one of the top 10 for September worldwide, takes place over four days mid-month.
  • Armata , on the island of Spetses, near Athens, celebrates a famous naval victory in the Greek War of Independence. The week-long festival ends with fireworks and the burning of an effigy of an Ottoman ship in the harbor.

Temperatures drop into the 60s with the average daily temperature of about 68 degrees F. With little chance of rain, it's still mild enough for sightseeing, hiking, and touring.

  • Ochi Day : On Oct. 28, 1940, Mussolini demanded that the Axis powers be allowed to enter Greece. The ultimatum was delivered to the Greek Prime Minister at 3 a.m., and he said "Ochi" (no), bringing the country into World War II. This national holiday is celebrated with parades, concerts, and feasts.

Temperatures hover in the mid to low 60s. There are more cloudy days and a greater chance of rain.

  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival : Southern Europe's biggest film festival event, held on the first 10 days of the month.
  • Olive harvest: Throughout this month, ripening olives are gathered and pressed. Most farmers are too busy for olive festivals, but you may be able to witness or take part in a harvest in the smaller towns and villages.

Average temperatures are in the 50s F. It's usually cloudy and the rainy season is just beginning. The mountains of the Peloponnese, northern Greece, and Macedonian Greece have snow cover.

  • Christmas : Unlike other holidays that follow the Julian calendar, the Greek Church adopted the Gregorian calendar dates for Christmas, so it falls on Dec. 25.
  • Christmas in Athens gets going with the Feast of St Nicholas (the inspiration for Santa Claus, Dec. 6, and continues with festive events until Epiphany, Jan. 6. There are public displays of festive lights, fireworks, and special holiday baked treats in the shops.

With a famously busy summer season, spring and fall are the best times of year to visit Greece to avoid the hot weather and the largest crowds of tourists.

The high season in the extremely popular island Santorini lasts from June to September. May is the best month to visit because it is not too hot or cold and the peak season has not yet begun.

July and August are the hottest months with average temperatures hovering between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (29 and 35 degrees Celsius), sometimes reaching more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Weather Spark. "Average Weather in Athens, Greece Year Round." Retrieved March 23, 2021

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When is the best time to visit Greece?

  • Month-by-month

The best time to visit Greece is outside the busy summer peaks, during spring (April to June) and early fall (September and October). Temperatures are warm but not stifling, and you’ll find that destinations are open but still relatively quiet.

The period from November to February tends to be colder, but city attractions remain open and are pleasantly quiet. Summer brings steamy, hot weather and hordes of visitors at the main sights and on the islands.

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Meteora in winter, Greece

Visiting Greece in January - February

The year in Greece begins with cool temperatures and damp weather in some areas. Meteora and the Delphi area can even see snow. For the most part, seasonal destinations such as the Greek islands are closed down for the winter. But, cities like Athens remain open for business, and major sights are pleasantly uncrowded.

Events & Festivals

  • Epiphany on January 6 is celebrated by local priests blessing major bodies of water, and a chill-inducing tradition in which adventurous Greeks leap in to retrieve a cross thrown in by the priest in the hope of good fortune for the coming year.

Changing of the Guards, Athens

Visiting Greece in March

March marks the beginning of spring across the country. Although it’s still low season in most places, and many island destinations are yet to open, attractions across the mainland are open and much quieter than they will be in a few weeks’ time.

  • Greek Independence Day is celebrated on March 25 throughout the country with military parades and traditional folk dress and music.
  • March usually falls almost entirely within Lent and, starting with Clean Monday at the end of February or beginning of March, Orthodox Greeks traditionally observe this time by abstaining from meat, fish, dairy and eggs.

Greek Easter bread, Greece

Visiting Greece in April

Most years, the highlight of April is Greek Orthodox Easter, which occurs near the end of the month or in the first few days of May. The weather at this time is excellent for sightseeing or hiking, with plenty of sun and mild temperatures averaging around 68°F.

  • The celebrations of Holy Week and Easter, culminating on Easter Sunday, are usually the highlight of the month and mark the most important holiday of the year.

Local taverna, Greece

Visiting Greece in May

One of the best times to visit Greece, May is a good month to travel if you’re looking to experience both the cities and the islands. While sea temperatures can still be chilly, the weather is usually warm enough for swimming, and it’s not too hot for touring the cities. May marks the month when all the island destinations open fully for the summer season.

Theatre of Epidavros, Greece

Visiting Greece in June

June sees temperatures rising and crowds increasing but, overall, it’s a very pleasant time to be in Greece. Everywhere is open, the sun is warm, and plenty of festivals are taking place across the country.

  • Beginning in June and lasting throughout the summer, the Athens and Epidavros Festival showcases performances, including Greek plays, in ancient and modern venues across both cities, including the Theatre of Epidavros.

Kleftico, Milos

Visiting Greece in July - August

The heat of summer in July and August brings temperatures that can run north of 100°F and plenty of sunshine with very little rain. At this time of year, the cities can feel oppressive under the unrelenting sun and sights get extremely crowded, but it’s a good time for water activities, if you don’t mind the coastal towns and islands being busier.

  • The Feast of the Assumption on August 15 is a national public holiday, when people return to their hometown to enjoy the festivities.

Nafplio, Greece

Visiting Greece in September

September is a great time to visit Greece. The weather remains hot throughout the month, sea temperatures stay warm, and visitors start to thin out as children go back to school. While the main sights are still busy, September is usually better for touring compared with hotter and more crowded July and August.

Meteora, Greece

Visiting Greece in October

Visiting in October represents a good-value time to go, when you can enjoy cooler weather and fewer crowds. The islands start to wind down ahead of winter, but usually stay open until the end of the month. In central and northern areas, leaves turn to their autumnal hues.

  • Ochi (or Ohi) Day on October 28 commemorates the date in 1940 when the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said ohi (no) to Mussolini’s demand for the Axis forces to occupy parts of Greece.

Galaxidi, Greece

Visiting Greece in November - December

The final two months of the year bring cooler temperatures to Greece. Island destinations close down for the winter, while historical sites across the mainland remain quietly open.

  • Christmas, while not as important as Easter, is celebrated on December 25 as a joyful holiday shared with family.

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Greece In November -Your Ideal Destinations For Each Month Of Greece

is november good time to visit greece

☞ Table of Contents:

What do you need to pack for greece in november, what kind of traveller enjoys greece in november, where to travel to greece in november , events and festivals in november, greece in november: average weather temperatures .

Are you considering travelling to Greece in November?

Are you wondering if November is a good time to visit Greece? More than 20 million people visit Greece each year and while most make the trip for the long summer days and nights in the islands , there are dozens of different destinations to suit all tastes and they definitely don’t have to include swimming or summer. While Greece is a perfect all year destination, there is most often a misconception that the winter months are to be avoided. Let’s take this from the beginning and make a plan of what are the best places to see and do in November and the reasons why November is preferable. Also, we will discuss how to make time for some amazing events and festivals that take place in Greece in November.

A fine November day in Greece at 22 o C 

Contrary to popular belief, Greece is not a tropical destination where it never gets cold. So for your packing list, prepare for a cold autumn day with lots of layers and a jacket that can be used to protect you from rain and wind. The most adventurous can still put a swimsuit in there, just in case, and you may still find a lot of “winter swimmers” around the beaches. This is also a good thing to keep in mind if you want to visit thermal pools or if you are staying in hotels with heated pools. A scarf, beanie and gloves are great for those that are more sensitive to the cold, especially if you are primarily visiting destinations on a high altitude or northern cities in mainland Greece.

The islands are considerably warmer but can be hit hard by winds so come prepared.

☞  Related:  What You Need To Pack For Greece in September 

November is neither a party animal favourite nor a sunbather one. It is a month that appeals to those that want to travel slow or fully immerse themselves in the culture and area. November in Greece is great for becoming acquainted with the Greek rhythm of everyday life, finding small tavernas and restaurants that are local favourites and visiting as many cultural sites and galleries as is possible. The weather tends to have the sweet melancholy of autumn, with colourful leaves and moody skies completing the picture.

Solo travellers will find it easier to find affordable accommodation and couples can get moments of privacy and solitude in destinations that are often heavily overcrowded. Just like travelling to Greece in October , you may find a population shift taking place between the islands and the mainland. People living in small and difficult to access islands over the winter period will make the move back to Athens or other cities, while those that call the islands home year round will prepare for the offseason and be considerably more relaxed.

Hikers, nature explorers and athletes will find a multitude of sport and fitness-related events taking place around Greece in November and be excited to explore destinations around the country without the heavy sun rays of the summer.

Families travelling to Greece in November may prefer the more well connected and easier destinations of Athens , Thessaloniki , Crete , Meteora , Rhodes and Nafplio . While these are only some of the many options, a bigger city or island ensures a smoother transportation schedule with fewer chances of delays and plenty of activities to keep young and old occupied even if the weather is unfavourable.

If you are set on swimming then you may find November a bit on the colder side.  Interestingly, it isn’t the water so much but the outside temperature that keeps people off the beach. The average water temperature for Greece in November is around 19°C which is chilly but not freezing.

If you are looking for a quiet holiday, relaxation, peace, and time to reflect on life and its experiences, November is ideal.  You will seldom be disturbed by other tourists, even in the most popular destinations and will come away with a completely different picture of Greece than what you get in the summer.

☞   Related:  A Free Walking Guide For The Best Monuments in Athens 

Rhodes is the 4 th largest island in Greece and the largest of the Dodecanese complex.  This is great for late autumn travel since the all-year population means that there are still frequent flights and activities and restaurants on the island will still be open even though greatly reduced compared to summer. In addition, Rhodes is often nicknamed the sunny island, boasting more than 300 days of sunshine a year. In addition to convenient transport and warm temperatures, Rhodes simply has so much to offer its visitors. Its history goes back a long way and those interested can spend hours learning more about the geographical significance of this island in ancient times. The name may also be familiar as the place where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood, a towering statue depicting the god Helius (or sun) that stood at more than 30m high. 

The medieval city of Rhodes is a must-see for visitors, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its impressive architecture and the cultural significance and influences. Even better when it can be enjoyed during the offseason.

Other Islands

If you are after a longer holiday with multiple destinations or have been to Rhodes already (which by the way, is fiiine you should go again) then consider the top 5/well known Greek islands. Crete down south, Santorini that is an experience any day, Mykonos which will be a deserted paradise in comparison to its party summer clientele, and Naxos which is not a far way from Athens and has a great vibe for all kinds of travellers.

☞ Related: Our Bestseller Trip: Athens, Santorini, Crete, Mykonos

November has so many events and festivals to take advantage of, you might have a hard time trying to fit everything in!

All-around Greece

St Andrews Name Day –  If you have Greek friends or are just very well informed, you might know that Greeks celebrate name days rather than birthdays (or did nevertheless before the western custom of birthdays became popular). Name days are celebrations on a saint’s feast day. Almost every person in Greece has a name day because most Greeks are baptized into the Orthodox church and thus carry a Christian name. The 30 th  of November is a massive celebration around Greece and every household that has members that share this name. I wish I could break the stereotype but if you know one person with this name then chances are there at least a few cousins or relatives sharing it in their family. My family? Five Andrews/Andriana’s and counting!

17 th of November –   This day is observed as a holiday around Greece in celebration of the student uprising of 1973. The uprising was in response to the dictatorial rule and military regime of the Colonels that started in 1967 and would last until 1974. Athens Polytechnic students went on strike on November 14 th which began to escalate in tension and lasted until November 17 th when the strike was broken by a tank crashing through the gates of the university. Approximately 40 people are said to have been wounded or fatally injured. Universities remain closed on this day and commemorative services take place as well as wreath-laying ceremonies. Protests take place every year and the downtown area of Athens from the Polytechnic till the United States Embassy is usually flooded with people singing slogans that were used during the original uprising, namely “Bread-Education-Freedom” and the national anthem. Due to increased social unrest, heavy police presence and tension between different groups the area is best to be avoided by visitors and tourists in the area.

21 st of November-  This is one of the main and most important celebrations of the Orthodox Church that is known in Greece as “the entry of the Virgin Mary or “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” in the Catholic Church. This is a day that always falls within the Christmas fasting period, in which abstinence from dairy, meat, oil, wine and fish is encouraged. However, on the 21st of November, there is an exemption for fish and oil-eating. Some women with the name Maria, Despina, or Panagiota which are other names for the Virgin Mary, have a name celebration on this day. I say, only some because the 21st of November is often reserved for young “virgins” or unmarried women whereas the 15th of August (another day in celebration of the Virgin Mary ) is celebrated by married women. In case of doubt, the easiest thing if you know a lot of Maria’s or Mary’s is to simply ask if they are indeed celebrating!

Location Specific Events

Athens Classic Marathon – If you are a runner then you must be aware of the ultimate marathon race in the world, the classic Athens Marathon. This sport owes its name to the town of Marathon, from where Pheilippides, a Greek messenger, is said to have started running until reaching Athens, in order to announce the victorious result of the Battle of Marathon that took place in 490 BC. According to the story, Pheilippides ran more than 40 km and died from exhaustion soon after. The 38 th  annual event always takes place in early November with thousands of participants from around the world.

Thessaloniki International Film Festival –   This year marked the 60th International Film Festival in Thessaloniki that is one of the most established and popular events of the year. Events take place in the space of about 11 days in different cinemas and venues around the city with a focus on showcasing the work of “subversive filmmakers from all around the world”.

Thessaloniki Piano Festival –   This is another beloved event that has been taking place in Thessaloniki since 2012 and has despite the harsh reality of the economic situation in the country, remained a successful event that attracts plenty of local and international visitors. More than 15 events take place within the space of 2 weeks that showcase a diverse pool of talent, spanning different genres and encourage artistic expression.

Amorgos Tourism Film Festival –  Fancy an excuse for leaving the mainland or flying into the stunning island of Amorgos ? The annual Tourism Film Festival is a 4-day event packed with screenings that showcase the island of Amorgos and the Cyclades island complex in general, encourage cooperation and collaboration between the island and other film producers and visitors from Greece or internationally and celebrates artistic mediums and their contribution to societal problems like sustainability in tourism.

Chania Film Festival –   If you are in Crete island in early November make your way to the charming port city of Chania that charms everyone with its romantic vibe and Venetian architecture. For more than a week, thousands of people come together to watch the best films from around the world. There are plenty of workshops, classes and exhibitions that take place around this time as well.

Nafplio Castle Run –  Another relatively new event that has been picking up incredible support in its 6 th year running. Excuse the pun! This is a unique and challenging fitness event and the only one in the world where participants ascend a castle! Do not be fooled by the fact that this is only a 10km run, the race will challenge even the fittest athletes and will surely be a unique way of experiencing Palamidi castle and the views it gives of the city below. It is also a great excuse for an excursion in the beautiful Peloponnese peninsula!

☞ Related: 10 Castles Around the Peloponnese You Need To See  

So, here you have it. A complete picture of what Greece in November can offer visitors and a few ideas for where to go, what to see and what events to look out for. You will find most days averaging around 15-20 degrees Celcius with colder days closer to 10 o  , especially in mountainous regions. Expect at least a few days of rain and windy nights in the islands that require warmer clothes. If you are a winter swimmer, bring your swimsuit because the water is still a balmy 20 o Celsius.

☞  Related:  Your Master Guide To The Greek Islands & Where To Go

*Disclaimer: This page includes affiliate links. If you decide to book something through one of them, I might get a little bonus, but it won't cost you anything extra.*

is november good time to visit greece

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Visit Greece in the Fall: 3 Destinations You Will Fall In Love With

Visit Greece in the Fall: 3 Destinations You Will Fall In Love With

is november good time to visit greece

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The Best Time to Visit Greece

From island-hopping in fall to sightseeing in spring, there’s plenty to see and do in greece year-round..

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People chatting at sidewalk café in Thessaloniki

While many flock to the Mediterranean country’s islands and coastal destinations during the summer, there’s plenty to do year-round.

Photo by Marco Argüello

So, you’re finally planning that dream vacation in Greece but can’t figure out the best time to visit? Many travelers consider the ideal time to visit Greece to be the hot, dry summer months of June, July, and August. But there’s plenty to do beyond this period (which is also the busiest time to holiday in the Mediterranean country).

In September and October, the beaches are quieter but it’s still warm enough to swim. And if you’re looking to tour the ancient sites, spring or fall is appealing because you can still expect mostly sunny days but with more comfortable temperatures.

Here’s the best time to visit Greece, whether you intend to island-hop, peruse archaeological wonders, or avoid the crowds.

Best time to visit the Greek islands

  • Best months: April–June, September–October

April through October is the best time to go island hopping in Greece. While it can occasionally rain in the spring or fall, the weather is generally sunny and warm. It’s slightly cooler up north, while it’s warmer the further south you go. As of June, Greece’s seas are warm enough for swimming and stay that way until around mid-October.

Prices, temperatures, and crowds peak in July and August, particularly in popular island groups like the Cyclades, Ionian, and Dodecanese. During these two months, average temperatures hover around the mid-80s Farenheit but frequently reach the mid-90s, plus the odds of a heatwave are high .

Once summer breaks end at the end of August, the islands become decidedly more serene, making September and October perfect months to wind down by the water. Average temperatures range in the early 80s and 70s, respectively.

Best time to visit Greece for sightseeing

  • Best months: April–May, September–November

Spring and fall make for superlative sightseeing. Exploring ancient hot spots like Delphi, ancient Epidaurus, and Olympia on foot is much more pleasant in spring temperatures averaging 60 to 70 degrees. Rainfall and cooler temperatures are a possibility—so you may need to layer up—but you can mostly get by with a T-shirt.

Visiting archaeological sites in early spring or late fall allows for more room to move, compared to summer when cruise ship passenger tour groups descend on them en masse. Ticket booth queues are shorter or even non-existent.

Aerial view of waterfront promenade, with cars and buildings at right.

Beyond the best-known destinations, you can find plenty of peace and space as the first month of fall kicks in.

Best time to visit Greece to avoid the crowds

  • Best months: October–May

Summer is Greece’s high season, so if you would rather dodge the crowds, time your trip accordingly. Even September now sees significant numbers of visitors, particularly among those not tied to school holiday periods. By October, the beaches, towns, and tavernas of Naxos, Paros, and Kos are gloriously sedate. Blue skies on a November ramble through Rhodes’s medieval old town are almost guaranteed. This is the month when you’ll find some of the best rates for domestic flights and hotels.

With winter’s arrival, consider going to Greece’s northwestern mountain areas. Aside from the Christmas and New Year period, relatively few travelers venture to the Epirus region—where crackling fireplaces and a hearty welcome await guests of stone-built boutique lodgings. Some of the loveliest are scattered throughout the traditional villages of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Zagori, home to Vikos Gorge.

Winter is also the best time of year to capture Santorini ’s ethereal beauty without being sandwiched by selfie-snappers. Expect average temperatures of 55 degrees and a small number of hotels catering to an eclectic group of off-season travelers.

Best time to visit Athens

Rather than tacking a stay in Athens onto the start or end of a Greek island jaunt that would normally coincide with the busy summer period, consider dedicating a good week to digging into the nitty-gritty of this dynamic city.

The best time to schedule a visit to the Greek capital is during the fall, winter, or spring. This is when Athens is at its prime and, more notably, when Athenians are in town. So, you’ll gain a better perspective of what life is really like in this vibrant metropolis where the ancients coexist with their contemporaries.

Make no mistake—it can be chilly in winter. But if you’re willing to risk a rainy day or two, this is when you’ll capture the Acropolis and its monuments in golden afternoon light sans the tourist crush. You’ll have treasure troves like the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art almost completely to yourself. And foodies can more easily enjoy Athens’s burgeoning collection of Michelin-starred restaurants along with established family-run mezze joints that never go out of style.

Family Beach Fire.jpg

is november good time to visit greece

Weather in Greece in November | Plan a Perfect Mediterranean Trip

is november good time to visit greece

Key Takeaways

  • November marks the beginning of the winter season in Greece , and temperatures start to cool down. In general, the average daytime temperatures range from 12°C (54°F) to 18°C (64°F).
  • November is a relatively wet month in Greece , with an increase in rainfall compared to the summer months.
  • It's important to note that some tourist facilities and services may operate on reduced schedules during this time.
  • With fewer crowds and milder temperatures, November can be a great time to explore Greece's cultural and historical sites .

Santorini in November

Greece is a sun-drenched land of myths and beauty , where archaeological sites and sparkling turquoise waters meet. For some, this Mediterranean paradise might be synonymous with sunny summer days, but autumn brings its own unique charm and beauty.

November is an ideal month to visit Greece if you prefer a relaxed traveling pace and want to immerse yourself fully in the local traditions.

Average temperature like in November woman

It is a great time to get to know the daily rhythms of Greek life and visit as many cultural sites and galleries as possible.

Despite the cooler weather, there are still plenty of exciting things to do in Greece in November. You can visit historical sites, explore the beautiful islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas, and experience the local lifestyle and cuisine.

This guide will provide the information you need about Greece and the Greek islands in November, plus some of the top destinations worth visiting.

Why is November a Good Time to Visit Greece?

Athens in November Acropolis museum

November is an ideal time to explore the beauty of Greece without breaking the bank. The temperatures are mild , the crowds have thinned out, and hotel rates and airfare are generally lower during this shoulder season.

If that isn’t already enough to convince you, consider all the Instagram-worthy photos you can take of the breathtaking Greek fall scenery .

Another benefit is that there are many things to enjoy regardless of the weather. Sunshine-filled days are perfect for exploring ancient ruins, sightseeing, and journeying through beautiful natural landscapes.

Rainy days are perfect for soaking up the culture and history of this fascinating country by visiting museums and galleries. Not to mention that according to the weather data, the average wind speed are average snowfall levels are not even that high.

Don’t let the cooler fall weather stop you from experiencing all that Greece has to offer. You can always warm up on chilly days with a shot (or two) of ouzo, the country’s signature anise-flavored liqueur that promises holidays you won't forget!

Average Temperature in November Greece

boats in heraklion

As winter beckons, the average temperatures in Greece become cooler but still remain relatively warm compared to much of Northern Europe. The weather will vary depending on your destination, but you can expect pleasant days and cozy nights.

November is typically a rather rainy month in Greece, maybe even the rainiest month, with a relatively high average rainfall number. The gentle rain and occasional thunderstorms are the perfect opportunities to indulge in some hearty, comforting cuisine.

The average afternoon temperatures countrywide reach an average high of mid-60℉, which is great weather for walking and sightseeing. Evenings tend to get more chilly, with average lows between 50℉ and 60℉. 

Be sure to pack a scarf, some layers, and a raincoat - the weather in Greece in November can sometimes be unpredictable based on your location.

Visit Athens in November

temple of olympian zeus

There are many thrilling things to do in Athens , from experiencing history and culture to enjoying the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

In November, the town offers comfortable daytime temperatures ranging between 64℉ and a maximum temperature of 72℉. At night, the average temperature drops to around 57℉, perfect for a cozy dinner at one of the many charming Athens restaurants .

View of lycabettus

Therefore, the weather of November in the capital city allows for amazing Athens experiences .

One of the must-see cultural sites, if you spend November in Athens , is the historic Greek district of Acropolis , where you can explore ancient Greek ruins and some of the city’s most significant landmarks.

This includes the famous Acropolis Museum that exhibits artifacts found on the historic site, some older than 2,400 years.

There are also some great day trips from Athens that you can include in your itinerary if you want to immerse yourself in Greek culture and take advantage of the mild Greece weather.

A highly recommended day trip is visiting Delphi , a UNESCO-listed archeological site dating back to the 8th century BC. The Ancient Greeks considered this site as the center of the world.

rain greece

The structures were built as a religious sanctuary honoring Apollo, one of the most prolific deities in Greek mythology .

Visiting Athens in November is truly a great experience. Tourist sites are more spacious due to the lack of crowds, allowing you to soak in this remarkable city's ancient history and culture.

Visit Crete In November

crete fishing boat

If you are looking to find a warmer destination to visit in November with minimal cloud cover, Crete might be the place for you. With an average daily temperature of 66℉ (19℃), the island has sunny days and pleasant weather for the largest part of the month.

It is a much more winter-friendly destination than other locations, such as the Cycladic or Ionian islands , with the infamously cold Ionian Sea.

Crete is home to some of the best beaches in Greece to explore on warmer days. The water temperature might be too chilly for swimming, but it is still a great place to relax and take in the stunning scenery.

Sunny days are also perfect for sightseeing and discovering the variety of archeological sites in Crete and the rest of ancient Greece.

Colder, rainy days are perfect for enjoying the culture and traditions of the city. For those interested in an authentically Greek culinary journey , an  Heraklion cooking class will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.

With its eclectic mix of outdoor activities and historical sites to explore, Crete offers many opportunities for adventure. No matter what weather November brings; there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy in Crete .

Visit Santorini in November

oia sunset santorini

With its stunning turquoise sea, picturesque buildings, and sandy white shores, Santorini is a dream destination throughout the year. If enjoying a comprehensive overview of the volcanic island on a bespoke Santorini tour without crowds sounds good, November is the perfect time to visit this idyllic island .

Like the other southern islands, November temperatures are mild and comfortable, averaging a high of 64℉ (18℃) and an average low of 57℉ (14℃). The colorful autumn leaves and occasional moody skies add to the atmosphere and scenery of this Mediterranean paradise.

A great way to soak in the astonishing beauty of Santorini is by taking a Santorini sunset wine tour . The region is home to many acclaimed boutique wineries where you can enjoy the charm of the vineyards. It is also a fantastic opportunity to indulge in delicious Greek food and wine pairings.

Overall, an autumn visit to Santorini during your visit to Greece in November will surely be a memorable and unique experience. Its stunning views, sunsets, and laid-back lifestyle make it an unmissable destination on your journey through Greece. 

That being said, you must be aware that the Greek islands in November are significantly colder than mainland Greece, while the Cycladic islands like Santorini are usually rather empty. So if you're looking to experience the cosmopolitan vibe of Santorini, picking November as your preferred month to visit might not be the move.

Final Thoughts on the Weather in Greece in November

knossos crete

November offers mild weather, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to explore indoor attractions and indulge in delicious comfort food.

The cooler temperatures may not be ideal for swimming, but the beaches are still beautiful to relax on.

Overall, November is a great time to discover the history, culture, and beauty of Greece at a leisurely pace. If you want to be as organized as possible before visiting our country, don't forget to read our Greece trip planner . It is a short but valuable read!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is november a good time to visit greece.

While Greece is a lovely destination all year round, we wouldn't suggest visiting the smaller Greek islands in November. If, however, you stick to the big islands and the big Greek mainland , you will have a pleasant experience.

Pros of visiting Greece in November

  • Fewer tourist crowds
  • Lower prices
  • More authentic experience of Greek culture

Cons of visiting Greece in November

  • The weather is less ideal
  • Most Greek islands are close to empty

Is Greece still warm in November?

When visiting Greece in November , generally expect mild weather, occasionally warm days for walking and sightseeing , and average afternoon highs of mid-60s Fahrenheit. November will have cold and humid days as well as cold nights. And the seawater is also too cold to swim in, if not with wet suits.

Is Santorini hot in November?

While the average temperature of 55 to 66°F/13-19°C may feel warm compared to Northern Europe in the same season, the seawater temperatures are a little cold for swimming comfortably.

Overall, we'd say no; Santorini is not hot in November despite being hotter than other parts of the world.

Which Greek island is the hottest in November?

According to weather reports, Kos Islands is among the southeastern Greek islands near Turkey's coast. The temperature there is the hottest you can find on the Greek islands in November, along with Corfu and Crete.

images/blog/images/Greece-travel-tips/Greece-itineraries-for-10-nights/Greece-itineraries-for-10-days-intro.jpg

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  • Greece In November: A Guide To Explore The Ancient Site In A Pleasant Weather!

23 Mar 2023

Greece has been a major tourist destination of Europe ever since the 1970s and is well known for its beaches and ancient history. The place offers hundreds of historical and archaeological sites that depict the country’s history. The country mainly has a mountainous terrain, surrounded by water especially the Ionian sea and the Aegean sea. Greece comprises more than 1400 Islands, having long coastlines and beaches, only 169 of which are inhabited. But, given how overwhelming Greece in November is as a tourist destination, you must have your tickets booked and itinerary planned without leaving it for the last minute. Make sure that you have the best experience from it, without further thoughts.

Weather In Greece In November

Weather

Image Source

The temperature in Greece continues to lower during November but remains comparatively warmer than most of northern Europe, making it explorable during this time of the year. The average temperature in November remains about 15°C. Greece receives sunshine for three hours, especially during November, December and January. Snowfalls and fog days are frequently observed in November.

Top 8 Things To Do In Greece In November

Greece remains buzzing with cultural festivities, especially during November. This is a good time to explore museums and historical sites and cafés where one can get to savour culinary skills and know the gregarious Greeks one on one. Rent a vehicle and allow the serendipity to guide you as you drive through the roads of Greece. Here are the best things to do in Greece in November.

1. Uncover Lake Plastira

Uncover Lake Plastira

Lake Plastira in Greece is blessed with a plethora of natural beauty. Although the lake is an artificial one, the lake is nothing less impressive. This is what makes it different from other lakes. Oak and chestnut trees surround the lake. This pristine lake offers adventure sports like rafting and canoeing as well as horsing and hiking along the trails. This lake provides its tourists with scenic beauty and an adventure-filled afternoon.

Location: Krioneri, Karditsa Region, Greece

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2. Explore Delphi

Explore Delphi

Delphi has the claim to fame of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the top attractions in Greece. Delphi is located on the edge of Mount Parnassus and was once a popular spot for pilgrims during ancient days. Pilgrims used to come here to pay their respects to Apollo, the ancient Greek god of music, prophecy, healing, and light. In recent times, the place has temples, an impressive stadium, a theatre, and delightful ancient ruins to amaze its visitors.

Location: Phocis, 6 Miles From The Gulf Of Corinth

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3. Explore The Out Of This World Rock Formations

Explore

The Meteora is a rock formation located in central Greece hosting one of the most meticulously built, largest structures of eastern orthodox monasteries, which is the second most important to Mount Athos. There are six monasteries that are built on giant natural pillars and rounded boulders resembling a hill that dominate the local area. These magnificent rock formations of the Meteora region are truly a must-see tourist attraction. This awe-inspiring and beautiful landscape also offers some amazing opportunities for walkers and climbers.

Location: Near Kalambaka, Plain Of Thessaly

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4. Embrace The Italianate Lifestyle

Italianate Lifestyle

Corfu has lush green slopes, ancient caves, and mild weather. The place has equally been affected by the wave of tourism development and Houses some of the most amazing attractions of Greece, like the Achilleion summer palace and old town. Canal d’amour beach is a fun place to indulge in adventure sports like diving and swimming

Location: Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece

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5. Enjoy The Museum Of The Olive And Greek Olive Oil

Enjoy The Museum

The astonishing Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil refreshes anyone who has been visiting ruins, temples, and historical museums throughout his stay in Greece. The museum reveals the tale of the humble olive and how it became one of the most essentials in Greek life. You can visit various galleries that offer elaborate tours about how olive oil was used for manufacturing fuel and perfume, and there are numerous ancient oil presses that are still in working order.

Location: Othonos Amalias 129, Sparti 231 00

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6. Visit The Vergina Royal Tombs Museum

Tombs Museum

The Vergina Royal Tombs Museum in Macedonia is not to be missed if you are in the area. Here you can pay a visit to the tumulus – the ancient burial mounds, and go explore the royal tombs sitting underground. The tomb of Phillip II is the highlight here and dates from 336 BC. You will also be able to witness the items that he was buried within for the afterlife. The preparations included a shield made of gold and ivory, a suit of armour, and silver chalices.

Location: Vergina, Macedonia

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7. Hike The Corfu Trail

Hike The Corfu Trail

The eye-soothing Island of Corfu is home to the Corfu trail where tourists can go hiking. To walk along the 220 kilometers long trail, it takes about 8 to 10 days. Tourists can visualize all kinds of landscapes that fall along the way. Much of the trail is made up of dirt tracks and you will weave past turquoise lagoons and rise to scenic summits.

Location: Corfu, Ionian island, Greece

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8. Sunbathe In Style At Psarou Beach

Sunbathe

Psarou Beach is one of the most famous beach destinations in Greece, which is famous for its signature blue sun loungers. The beach is filled with bars and restaurants where visitors can have sumptuous food and drinks and dance all through the night. A strong party atmosphere prevails here. This is not one of the cheapest places to visit in Greece, however, and you will be able to get a sense of the kind of clientele from the amazing superyachts that sit just offshore.

Location: Mykonos, Greece

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Festivals In November

If you are visiting Greece in November, then make sure to indulge yourself in these happening festivals that take place in November.

1. Michaelmas

is november good time to visit greece

Celebrated on 8th November every year, it is a Greek tradition that features church parades and feasting. Festivities of Michaelmas takes place on one of the four quarter days of the financial year. It is believed that by celebrating Michaelmas in such a manner, the prosperity and wealth of the family are well-supported for the coming year.

Date: 8th November

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2. St. Andreas Name Day

St. Andreas

Every November, the locals of Patras celebrate the patron saint with festivities and a grand parade. According to Greek tradition, almost every other day of the year is dedicated to some Christian saint or martyr. When an individual in Greece is named after one of these saints, the celebration day of that saint becomes their “name day” and is celebrated just like their actual birthday.

Date: 25th November

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Tips For Exploring Greece In November

Tips

While travelling in Greece during November, keep the following points in mind:

  • Wear jeans, shirts, t-shirts and full-sleeved shirts
  • Since weather drops at night, it’s advised to carry warm cardigans, light jackets, etc.
  • Respect the locals
  • Make the bookings beforehand
  • Carry all the passport and visa-related documents with you

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Sheltering some of the world’s most significant historical sites, along with 6000 islands, Greece is known for its spectacular beauty and Amazing culture. Ancient archeological museums and sites, cliffs tumbling into clear blue waters, pebbles and sandy beaches and a balmy Mediterranean climate make Greece in November one of the prime tourist destinations and a must-visit on the vacation to Europe .

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Greece In November

When is the ideal time to visit Greece?

The best time to visit Greece is between end April to early November, when there is an abundance of sunshine and meager rainfall.

Is it cold in Greece in November?

Yes, Greece remains cold during November. Mist restaurants, shops, etc. remain closed all through the winter months.

How many days in Greece is enough?

A maximum of 10 days will be enough to explore Greece. It’s advised to visit Santorini for at least 5-6 days, 2-3 days in Mykonos and 1-2 days in Athens.

How do you dress in Greece?

In the summer months, wear tank tops, shorts, mini skirts, and light cotton dresses. During winter months, wear woolen cardigans to stay warm.

Is Greece worth visiting in winter?

Visiting Greece in winter is perfect to admire its ancient landmarks without a lot of tourists. With the groups of tourists long gone, the mainland sites are practically empty, which allows one to explore and experience the sites thoroughly. Also in November, several festivities are celebrated that adds to the joy of visiting the place during winters.

What to buy in Greece?

Things that can be bought in Greece include extra virgin olive oil, worry beads or Komboloi, a backgammon set or Tavli, Ouzo, Karagiozis set, Mastiha from Chios island, and Handmade leather sandals from Monastiraki.

Does it rain in November?

Slight rainfall accompanied by rainstorms is noticed during November.

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The Best Time to Visit Greece and the Greek Islands

Not sure what is the best time to visit Greece ? I used to live in Greece and visit frequently so I’ve put together a month by month guide to help you figure out the best time to go to Greece  depending on your interests and weather preferences.

I have broken down the best time of the year to visit Greece by season and even further by month.

Finally, I have a summary of the best time to visit depending on your interests and my overall top pick for most people.

Acropolis in Greece

What is the Best Season to Visit Greece

Not sure what season to go to Greece ? Here are some pros and cons about visiting Greece and the Greek islands in each of the four seasons. Once you have a general idea of what season you would like to visit, make sure to check out my month by month guide for more detailed information. Even in the same season, your experience in Greece will vary depending on the month you visit.

Visiting Greece in the Spring

Spring is generally a great time to explore Greece as temperatures start to warm up making it very pleasant to walk around and sightsee. Tourism starts to increase every month especially around Easter week when locals head to the Greek islands. In May, weather is warm enough to sunbathe but the sea might still feel too cool to swim.

Easter is a big holiday in Greece. The date changes every year – this year Orthodox Easter is May 5, 2024 which is fairly late in spring.

Visiting Greece in the Summer

greece packing list

Summer is the busiest and the most popular time to visit Greece. The summer months bring the iconic Greek summer experience, attracting sun-seekers from around the world. The Greek Islands become bustling with life, offering a perfect setting for beach lovers and party enthusiasts.

June offers warm to hot temperatures making it a great time to visit for those that want to enjoy beach time as well as sightsee. July and August are the hottest summer months (temperatures can reach ) so they are not the ideal months for hiking or sightseeing.

Keep in mind that popular destinations (such as Athens, Santorini and Mykonos) are very crowded during the summer, so book hotels and flights in advance.

If you would like to visit the Greek islands in the summer but avoid crowds, choose less well known Greek islands.

Visiting Greece in Autumn

Autumn is an excellent time to explore both the mainland and islands without the intense summer crowds.

Early Autumn is usually the best time to visit in terms of good weather – the weather is usually more pleasant (still relatively warm and less likely to rain).

During early autumn (September and early October), you can still enjoy the Greek summer experience (go to the beach and swim in the sea) with fewer crowds.

Late autumn (late October and November) is a bit more unpredictable-temperatures will start to cool and rainy season begins. The weather might still be warm outside but it might be too cold to go swimming. If you want to visit the Greek islands in late autumn, head to warmer southern Greek islands (including Crete and Rhodes).

Athens and the mainland will be pleasant for walking around, hiking and sightseeing.

Visiting Greece in the Winter (November to February)

While winter may not be the most popular time to visit Greece, it is not a bad time to visit Greece especially if you just want to sightsee. November offers a quieter experience, and you can still enjoy mild temperatures. December brings festive vibes, with Christmas markets and celebrations throughout the country.

The winter months are perfect for exploring historical sites without the crowds, although some islands and coastal areas may experience cooler and rainy weather.

While it can get cold and snowy in the mountains and northern Greece, the temperatures in most of Greece (including Athens) are usually not very cold so it is a good time to sightsee.

Winter is not the best time to visit the Greek islands and it is usually too cold for sunbathing and swimming. If you can only visit the Greek islands in the winter, choose warmer Greek islands in the South like Crete and Rhodes.

Winter is rainy season in Greece, so pack a travel umbrella .

Pros: Winter is low season in Greece so winter offers the fewest crowds and lowest prices.

Cons: Winter is too cold for swimming. It is more likely to rain that the rest of the year. Snow in Athens in rare but can happen. Many restaurants, hotels and shops in the Greek islands are closed for the season. Some attractions might have reduced hours.

What is the Best Month to Visit Greece

Hopefully you now have a general idea of the season you want to visit Greece. If you want to narrow it down further, here is a month by month guide.

Visiting Greece in January

January is the middle of winter and one the coldest and rainiest months in winter.

There are fewer tourists and lower prices on accommodations.

Visiting Greece in February

February is one of coldest months in Greece.  There are not a lot off tourists and you can expect lower prices.

Since most of Greece has mild weather in the winter, it is not a bad time to explore historical attractions.

Visiting Greece in March

March is a transitional month.  Spring blooms begin and temperatures are more moderate than January and February.  It is still more likely to rain in March than later in the spring.  It is a good month for walking around and exploring ancient ruins and historical sites

Visiting Greece in April

April is particularly delightful, with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time to explore historic sites.

April is considered shoulder season. Tourism starts to increase but there are still lower tourist numbers compared to summer.

The weather starts to get warmer making it a good month for those that enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities. A Most places are still too cold for swimming, but some

April is is good time to visit Santorini and Mykonos before it gets crowded but it will still be too cold for swimming for most people.  If you are hoping to spend time at the beach, head to southern islands south such as Crete and Rhodes which are typically a bit warmer.

Visiting Greece in May

May tends to be one of the best months for good weather as temparatures are warm. It is a great time to visit Greece before schools go on summer break and the busy summer season starts.

May is a good month for island hopping and beach activities but some people might find the water a bit cold for swimming especially in the first half of the month.

Around mid to late May, tourism start to increase substantially as schools let out for summer.

Visiting Greece in June

Santorini Greece

June is the start of summer with rising temperatures.  It can start to feel very hot especially later in the month.

This is a good time to visit the Greek islands.  There is bustling nightlife on the islands and some crowds but less busy than later in the summer.

June is definitely hot enough to visit the beach although some people might still find the water a bit cold for swimming in early June. By late June, the sea has warmed up making it an ideal time for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.

Visiting Greece in July

July is usually the hottest month in Greece and many places (including Athens) might feel too hot for sightseeing.

Greece is very crowded with tourists at this time as all students are on summer break.  Advance bookings are recommended for popular destinations.

The Cyclades (including Mykonos and Santorini) will be hot but the breeze makes it feel less hot than Athens and the mainland. If you want to visit the Greek islands in July but want to avoid crowds, head to less popular islands.

Visiting Greece in August

August is the peak of summer tourism with crowded beaches and nightclubs. It is perfect for those seeking a lively atmosphere.

August is one of the two hottest months in Greece in terms of temperature.  This is a great time for swimming as the sea will be the warmest.-

Many Europeans take their vacation in August, so Greece is very crowded especially the first half of the month. August 15 is a big national holiday in Greece.

Visiting Greece in September

As the summer rush subsides, September sees a gradual decrease in temperature and tourist numbers. The weather remains warm, and the sea is still inviting for a swim. This is an excellent time to explore both the mainland and islands without the large summer crowds.

I consider September to be the BEST time to visit Greece for warm weather with fewer crowds.  The temperature in early September is still hot and the water is warm enough to swim. Late September is usually still warm, but it starts to get a bit cooler especially at night.

Visiting Greece in October

October is the start of shoulder season. Attractions become less crowded and you can find lower accommodation prices.

October brings cooler but still pleasant temperatures. It is still a good time to visit, especially if you enjoy hiking and outdoor activities.

Early October is typically warm enough for swimming. Temperatures start to cool mid to late October with autumn temperatures but you might still be able to go swimming in some parts of Greece such as Crete.  Rainy season starts around mid to late October so it is more likely to rain than earlier in the month.

Visiting Greece in November

If you enjoy moderate temperatures, November is a great time to visit in Greece. Weather can be a bit unpredictable, and it does occasionally rain in November. Attractions are much less crowded, so this is a good time to visit Greece if you want to sightsee with fewer crowds.

Visiting Greece in December

December usually has mild winter temperatures so this is a good time to visit Greece if you want to sightsee with few crowds. Attractions are not  crowded at this time.  Flights will probably not be that cheap, as many Greeks that live abroad will be traveling back to visit family for the holidays.  You can enjoy festive Christmas markets and celebrations at this time, but Christmas is not as much of a big deal as it is in western Europe and the US.

Worst Time to Visit Greece

If I had to pick the worst time to visit Greece, it would be August when it is the most crowded and also very hot. Many Europeans (including Greeks) take their annual vacation in August, so beach destinations will be very busy. Athens will not be as crowded as early in the summer (as many Athenians will be on beach vacations) but there are still many foreign tourists in the city.

Should you visit Greece if you can only go in August? Yes! I used to visit Greece every August when I was still a student and still enjoyed it.

If you want to visit the popular islands in August, book early and expect high prices.

If you want to avoid crowds in the Greek islands, skip the most popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini and head to less well known islands. The end of the August will be less crowded as the first half as some students are already back in school.

What is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Greece For…

Good Weather   –  The months with the most comfortable weather in Greece are typically May through June and September and October. During this time the weather is warm but usually not as painfully hot as the peak summer (July and August).

In April and November, temperatures are still very pleasant enough to sightsee comfortably but might not be warm enough for a beach vacation.

March and December are cooler but still mild but it is more likely to rain than summer season.

The months that typically have the worst weather (colder, rainier and occasional snow) are January and February.

Swimming –  The water in the sea is warmest and pleasant for swimming from mid-June through mid-September. May and October are usually warm enough to swim but some people might find the water too cold.  Most people will find late autumn, winter and early spring, too cold for sunbathing and swimming.

Keep in mind that the sea warms up as the weather gets hotter but there is a lag of a few weeks.  In late spring and early summer the weather can be hot outside, but the sea a bit cool for swimming.  In autumn, it can start to feel cooler outside, but the water can still be warm for swimming. You can find current and historical sea temperature data here .

Most locals and tourists start heading to the beach sometime in May and June but for some people the water in Greece gets comfortably warm for swimming around late June.  When I lived in Greece (in the Peloponnese), I would usually start swimming the second week of May.

Avoiding Crowds – The busiest time in terms of tourism is the summer (and Easter week). If you want to avoid fellow tourists at popular tourist attractions, visit in the low season (January through March). Shoulder season (April through mid-May and mid-September through October) is a good balance of fewer crowds but pleasant and warm weather .

Party Animals – If partying in the Greek islands is the reason for your trip, then you will want to visit in the summer. Lots of bars and clubs in the Greek islands (such as Ios) do not open until around Easter and close down around September.

Low Prices – You are most likely to find the biggest hotel and flight bargains in January and February because there are fewer tourists visiting Greece at this time. There will be slightly more visitors in March and November, but prices are still low at this time.

Best Time to Visit Greece – My Overall Recommendation

Most people would enjoy visiting Greece (including the Greek islands) in early autumn (September and early October) .  In early fall, the weather is still warm and you can enjoy beach time and outdoor activities with fewer crowds because kids and students are back in school.  If you enjoy hot weather, September is the best month to visit. If you prefer more mild and pleasant temperatures, October is a great month to visit and might still be warm enough to swim in the ocean. The reason I chose autumn over spring is that even if the outside temperature is the same, the ocean in autumn will be warmer for swimming versus in the spring when the water temperatures are still cold.

My second choice of the best time to visit Greece depends on your interests. If you are visiting Greece for a beach vacation or nightlife, my second choice for the best time to visit Greece is June (as there are fewer crowds than July and August).  If you are visiting Greece for sightseeing, my second choice for the best time to visit Greece is late spring (especially April and May) for warm and  pleasant temperatures and pretty spring flowers.

If you enjoy hot weather, beach time and a party atmosphere, then summer is a good time to visit but it will be crowded and more expensive. If you want to visit Greece on a budget and want to avoid crowds, then consider visiting in the winter but it might be rainy and somewhat cold.

Ultimately when to visit Greece depends on you so hopefully this guide has helped you make a decision on the best time to visit Greece . If you are still not sure, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.

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Best and Worst Times to Visit Greece 2024/2025

Best and Worst Times to Visit Greece 2024/2025

Greece is famous for its stunning islands, deep history, and warm hospitality, which makes it a popular destination for summer vacations, honeymoons, and anniversaries.

For the best weather conditions, the best times to visit Greece are during spring (April to early June) and autumn (September to October). These periods offer warm and sunny weather at around 24°C (75°F), without swarming crowds and the highest prices.

Read on to find out more detailed information about visiting Greece in each month.

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1. best times for island-hopping (santorini, mykonos...), 2. best times for the cheapest prices and fewest crowds, 3. worst times to visit greece, 4. greece travel guide by month.

Greek islands make up most of its stunning scenery, not limited to the Cyclades and Dodecanese.

The best time for island hopping is between late May and early October as there are more sunny days and the weather is warm enough to swim — the seawater's temperature exceeds 22°C (72°F).

During this period, the Aegean Sea shows its full beauty with crystal-clear seawater and stunning beaches as well as warm breezes bringing salty and fresh smells, making for a perfect summer vacation. Ferries and flights are also more frequent than at other times, so you can maximize your schedule. 

But you would not be alone to enjoy this perfect time. Expect big crowds during the peak season from June to August , along with rising temperatures and prices.

To get the best prices and avoid crowds during this period, late May to mid-June and late September to mid-October would be your best choices. Most hotels and venues on the islands are already/still open and you could save at least 50% on costs without waiting in long queues and hot weather, with average highs exceeding 35°C (95°F).

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While spring and autumn are the shoulder seasons in Greece, winter (November to March) is considered to be the low season with the cheapest prices and fewest crowds. This is because of occasional rain or snow and cool weather averaging 12°C (54°F).

Most hotels and venues on the islands are closed during this period and it might be too cold to swim. But on the bright side, it won't make a significant difference to visiting historic sites and ancient ruins with a weather-smart schedule, and you won't encounter large crowds and long queues.

If you're planning to travel during festivals , such as Christmas and New Year, these are exceptions, with a sudden rise in prices of accommodation and flights from 40%. Making reservations 3–6 months prior to your trip would be helpful to get a better deal for your trip and avoid unreasonable costs.

Looking for a hassle-free vacation? Simply reach out to us at Global Highlights. Your needs would be taken care of in every respect by your professional consultant, and we would personalize a smooth and stress-free private tour just for you.

Generally speaking, Greece is a year-round destination and could offer something whenever you pay a visit, with the worst time depending on where your interests lie.

If your itinerary includes a lot of outdoor sightseeing and hiking, then you should avoid July and August because of the uncomfortably hot weather with average highs exceeding 35°C (95°F), along with the highest prices and biggest crowds of the year.

However, if islands and beaches are a must for you, then November to April would be your worst time to visit Greece. During this period, most businesses on the islands close and the weather tends to be gloomy with occasional rain/snow, making it too cold to engage in water activities. 

Are you having trouble balancing island beach time with outdoor sightseeing? Late May, June, and October would be your best times to visit Greece when the crowds and prices are relatively lower and you could participate in everything you want to make the most of your vacation in Greece.

Need more advice to plan a perfect trip to Greece? Contact us now at Global Highlights and together we would customize a hassle-free private tour for you.

Click the link for each month to check out detailed travel guide information.

  • Jan. and Feb.
  • Jul. and Aug.

Greece in January and February

Greece in January and February is similar, with gloomy days and chilly weather averaging 10°C (50°F). 

Despite the fact that it might be uncomfortably cold/wet to spend a long time on outdoor sightseeing, these months offer distinct advantages, such as fewer tourists and lower prices. Imagine having renowned attractions, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the White Tower of Thessaloniki, all to yourself.

Besides visiting ski resorts, such as Metsovo and Arachova, for winter leisure, January and February also offer festivals that let you experience warm hospitality and local culture.

You could celebrate the New Year holiday and enjoy fireworks at Athens' Syntagma Square, witness the inspiring cross retrieval ceremony during Epiphany for blessings, and join in the joyful Patras Carnival. With an array of exciting events, you would not lack interesting things to do.

Greece in March

While most island destinations remain closed, March in Greece brings cool yet sunnier weather, with temperatures averaging about 15°C (59°F). 

Santorini offers tranquil moments in the warmth of the sun and the Meteora region offers awe-inspiring spring landscapes during a weather-smart itinerary.

Moreover, Greece celebrates its Independence Day on March 25th , a time when people gather to cherish hard-won victories. Join in the parades, dances, and toasts — foreign travelers can easily blend into the joyful atmosphere.

Greece in April

April is considered to be the start of the best times to visit Greece, with sunny days and warm temperatures of about 19°C (66°F), which is great for outdoor sightseeing or hiking but may still be too cold for water activities.

Since April also signals the start of the shoulder season, you won't encounter hordes of tourists in most regions. The exception is during Greek Orthodox Easter , which falls on May 5th in 2024. 

Tourists from all over the world travel to Greece and gather in Athens to celebrate Easter, resulting in a brief surge in travel activity and prices.

Greece in May

May marks the month for the full opening of island destinations before the summer season. With warm temperatures averaging 23°C (73°F), it could be a great time for sunbathing and swimming on one of these sun-soaked paradises. Furthermore, this is the last opportunity to seize low-season discounts on popular islands, such as Santorini, Naxos, and Paros.

Not limited to islands alone, mainland Greece also shines in May. Gorgeous wildflowers blanket the mountains and plains, painting an idyllic scene that would captivate your eyes.

Greece in June

June brings about an increase in temperatures, rising to about 28°C (82°F), alongside the increasing crowds and prices. As the coolest month of the summer season, June offers perfect conditions for visiting your desired destinations. 

Hike in the Parnassos National Park in Delphi , explore the charming streets of the old town in Nafplio , or unwind on the captivating pink sands of Elafonisi Beach in Crete . Greece in June gives a warm welcome wherever you want to visit.

Greece in July and August

July and August in Greece form the peak of summer, both with scorching daily high temperatures averaging about 32°C (90°F) and swarms of holiday-makers from all over the world. Islands like Mykonos and Santorini beckon with their crystal-clear waters and lively atmosphere, inviting you to relax on stunning beaches and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

If you prefer history and culture, explore the indoor sites to escape the heat. The Acropolis Museum or the National Archaeological Museum in Athens could be great options. To avoid crowds and the summer heat, visiting at less popular times of the day would be helpful, such as in the morning before 8am or at lunchtime between 11am and 1pm.

Greece in September

September in Greece brings milder weather, with temperatures averaging about 27°C (81°F). It's an ideal time for exploring Greece without the intense summer heat or the large crowds of tourists.

Enjoy pleasant seaside temperatures on the Greek islands, embark on boat trips to explore the volcano and hot springs in Santorini, or indulge in water sports, such as snorkeling and windsurfing, in Crete.

On the mainland, consider attending one of the local wine festivals that take place in September, such as the Anhiolos Wine Festival in Thessaloniki. It would add extra fun to your journey and you could experience the rich wine culture of Greece.

Greece in October

The weather tends to be mild in October in Greece, with high temperatures averaging about 22°C (72°F) and sunny days, making it an ideal month to explore Greece.

The Greek islands have a quieter ambiance without crowds and such high prices. Most facilities would still be operating, allowing you more space to savor their beauty and tranquility.

With such good weather, October is also an opportune time to delve deeper into Greece's cultural heritage. Marvel at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Crete or explore the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Greece in November

November is the start of the low season for visiting Greece, bringing cooler temperatures averaging about 17°C (63°F). Most islands close from this month until May since it is too cool for most to relax on the beaches.

While visiting islands may not be a good choice, you could explore mainland Greece during this month as it offers a different kind of charm. Take leisurely walks to explore the bustling cities and towns, appreciate the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square, and enjoy the opportunity to connect with the locals on a more personal level.

Greece in December

December in Greece is considered to be the festive month of the low season and temperatures average about 14°C (57°F). 

While the weather may be cooler than other months, Greece is still warmer than most countries in Europe. The cities come alive with enchanting decorations and a joyful atmosphere, attracting people there to celebrate Christmas.

Explore the Christmas markets in Athens or Thessaloniki, where you could enjoy the dazzling lights, festive music, the warmth of Greek hospitality, and even find unique gifts for your loved ones.

Keep in mind to reserve your accommodation and flights 3–6 months before your trip for a better deal. Or you could simply reach out to us now at Global Highlights and we would personalize the perfect private tour for you.

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  • Greece Weather in January: Travel Tips for First-Timers
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  • Greece Weather in April: Travel Tips for First-Timers
  • Greece Weather in May: Travel Tips for First-Timers
  • Greece Weather in June: Travel Tips for First-Timers
  • Greece Weather in July:Travel Tips for First-Timers
  • Greece Weather in August: Travel Tips for First-Timers
  • Greece Weather in September: Travel Tips for First-Timers
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is november good time to visit greece

Best Time to Visit Greece and Greek Islands

Greece › Best Time To Visit by Santorini Dave • Updated: March 23, 2023

• Where to Stay in Athens • Where to Stay in Santorini • Where to Stay in Mykonos • Where to Stay in Naxos • Where to Stay in Paros • Where to Stay in Crete • Where to Go in Greece

Santorini hotel and swimming pool.

The Greek islands are wonderful from late April to early November. For swimming, sun, and beach activities it’s warmest from late May to early October.

When’s the Best Time To Visit Greece and the Greek Islands? The best weather in Greece is from late April to early November when there is lots of sunshine and little rain. The best months for swimming and sunbathing on the Greek Islands is from late May to early October . July and August are the busiest and most expensive months but are also the best for nightlife and beach parties. March to November is great for sightseeing (though July and August can be very hot when touring exposed historical sites, especially in Athens). May and June : During May and June, Greece experiences spring, with mild to warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush landscapes. The weather is typically sunny, with occasional rain showers. This period is perfect for sightseeing, exploring archaeological sites, and enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. The islands and beaches are less crowded compared to the peak summer months, making it an ideal time for a more relaxed vacation. Accommodation prices are also more moderate. July and August : July and August (along with late June and early September) are the peak tourist season in Greece, with hot temperatures, sunny days, and large crowds at popular destinations. The islands, beaches, and coastal areas are bustling during this time, and accommodation prices are higher. While it’s a great time for beach vacations, it can be overwhelming for those interested in sightseeing or looking for a more tranquil experience. September and October : September and October have warm temperatures, fewer crowds, and more affordable accommodations. The sea remains warm for swimming, and the weather is generally sunny and dry. This period is ideal for exploring the islands, visiting historical sites, and taking in the outdoors.

Beach in Greece.

The best time to visit the Greek Islands for beaches, swimming, and water sports is from late May to early October.

The Best Months to Visit Greece Best Time to Visit Mykonos : June to September Best Time to Visit Santorini : April, May, June, September, October, early November Best Time to Visit Crete : June and September Best Time to Visit Rhodes : June and September Best Time to Visit Naxos : June to September Best Time to Visit Paros : June to September Best Time to Visit Ios : July and August Best Time to Visit Athens : April, May, October, and November Best Time to Visit Corfu : June, July and September Best Time to Visit Nafplio & Peloponnese : June and September Best Months for Greece and the Greek Islands?

Mykonos beach club.

The best beaches and beach clubs in Mykonos are at their best from June to September.

Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands : The Greek islands are at their best from late May to early October for swimming, suntanning, and beach weather; and from April to early November for sightseeing, hiking, and exploring. A good travel itinerary for Greece should consider the weather patterns of the Greek islands. Best Time to Visit Athens : Athens is a good year round destination. Moderate weather and fewer tourists makes winter a great time for seeing the real Athens. Summer is hot but the skies are always blue, there’s almost no rain, and bars and restaurants fill the sidewalks with tables and chairs. Spring and Fall are the best of both worlds: good weather, smaller crowds, and a fun active atmosphere. Best Time to Visit Greece for Good Weather : For first-time visitors, good weather is usually the most important factor and the warmest weather in Greece and the Greek islands is between late May and early October when it’s sunny, warm, and the water is good for swimming. Water temperature increases throughout the summer months. The sea will be cool for swimming in May (even though the weather can be beautiful). The water is warmest in August and early September. Swimming in early May and late October is often possible but can’t be guaranteed. Best Time for Greek Beaches : If you hope to enjoy hanging out on the best beaches in Greece and swimming in the sea, the best time to go to Greece is June, July, August, and September. Best Time for Sightseeing : The best time for sightseeing in Greece is generally April through about mid-May, or October and into early November, when there will be fewer tourists to interrupt the views and the weather is frequently quite mild; perfect for walking, but usually a bit too cool for swimming at the beach (with the exception of early October). Best Time For Mountain Hiking : April and May are wonderful months for hiking in the mountains, with the green landscape blanketed with colorful wildflowers and the weather often ideal for the trek. October is another good time, when summer’s sizzling temperatures begin to cool and the autumn foliage is at its peak, transforming the mountains with the vibrant hues of fall. Best Time for Saving Money : Hotels are much cheaper in the low season (December to March) and shoulder season (April, May, October and November) than in the summer months. Transportation, food, and drink prices tend to stay the same all year long so there’s little savings in that regard. If you want good weather but cheap hotels, then late May, early June, late September, and early October are the great times. There are no guarantees, but the first three weeks of October can often surprise visitors with great weather. Best Time for Nightlife and Parties : Mykonos, Paros, Ios, and Santorini have the best nightlife, and if you’re looking to party, dance, and listen to live DJs then July and August are the main months. On Mykonos, late June and early September are also good. On Santorini, there’s good nightlife from late May until early October. Best Time for a Honeymoon in Greece : If you want a beach holiday then June to September is best. If you’re more interested in quiet, solitude, sightseeing, and romance, then anytime from April to early November would be great. Is August a Good Time to go to Greece? : One of the most common questions I get relates to traveling in Greece in August. If you want nightlife, packed bars, and live DJs then this is the best time to visit Mykonos (and Ios, Santorini, and Rhodes to a lesser extent). Yes, August is busy but even at the peak of the tourist season on the busiest islands, if you want to escape the crowds it’s usually a short walk or bus ride to some very quiet and tourist-free spots. Greek Travel Guides Athens Travel Guide Crete Travel Guide Mykonos Travel Guide Naxos Travel Guide Paros Travel Guide Santorini Travel Guide Greece Travel Guide Greece Weather by Month

Top attractions in Athens, Greece.

Athens is filled with iconic historical sights that are easily enjoyed anytime of year. (Especially the indoor Acropolis Museum.)

Santorini Caldera in Greece.

Santorini is loaded with great tours and sightseeing so has a longer tourist season than other Greek islands. If you’re interested in non-beach activities then Santorini is great from April to early November. And if you can tolerate some rain and cloud then Santorini should be considered a year-round destination.

Greece Events and Festivals

Greece in january.

  • New Year’s Day/Saint Basil’s Day – January 1 is a national holiday, celebrating both New Year’s Day and Saint Basil’s Day in Greece. Saint Basil is the Greek equivalent of Santa Claus, therefore the day is similar to Christmas Day in North America, with gift giving. A special cake is often made with a coin in it as well, known as vasilopita, and whomever gets the piece with the coin is said to have good luck. The day in general is considered a lucky time, and there are often card games that go on for hours, mostly at home, but also in coffee shops and clubs.
  • Ephiphany – Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th in many places throughout Europe, including Greece, a time when the Blessing of the Waters takes place. A cross is tossed into a lake, river or the sea, and retrieved by swimmers who get good luck in return. There is usually a ceremony, and it’s particularly elaborate in the port of Piraeus.
  • Patras Carnival – The Patras Carnival is the biggest festival of the year in Greece, and one of the largest in Europe too. Purely of Italian origin, it includes elaborate festivities with parades, street music, dancing, balls, treasure hunts, and more. It begins in mid-January and runs through mid-February every year.

Greece in February

  • Carnival – In addition to the Patras Carnival, other Carnivals are hosted through Greece, mostly in February, typically three weeks before the beginning of Lent. Some of the best festivities can be enjoyed in Athens, Skyros, Chios, Lamia, Crete, Heraklio, Zante, and Naousa. Except to find lots of drinking and feasting, costumes, parades, dancing, marching bands, and more.
  • Clean Monday – One of the most important feasts throughout Greece, Clean Monday takes places on the first day of the seventh week before Easter Sunday, also marking the end of the Carnival celebrations. A public holiday, it includes outdoor excursions, consuming shellfish, and often building and flying kites.

Greece in March

  • Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation – These two holidays are celebrated simultaneously on March 25. The streets fill with all sorts of festivities and parades. Due to the holiday, some sites may be closed and streets are sometimes blocked as well.

Greece in April

  • Holy Week and Easter – Holy Week is celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, sometimes falling in late March, but most often it’s in April. In 2022, April 24 is Easter Sunday, and Holy Week is April 17 through April 23. For Greeks, Easter is the biggest religious holiday of the year. During Holy Week, many shops have special hours and there are church services every evening. Just before midnight on Saturday, many Greeks gather at church with Easter candles, and just before midnight the lights are switched off, representing Jesus’ death, just before the priest announces that “Christ Has Risen.” That’s followed by kisses, cheering and fireworks. On Easter, friends and family gather for a big feast.
  • Athens International Film and Video Festival – This festival in Athens brings some 250 films and video and includes experimental, narrative, short-form, feature length, and documentary films from around the world.
  • The Feast of Saint George – The Feast of Saint George (Agios Georgios Day) is an important rural celebration on April 23rd each year that includes feasting and dancing, with the festivities taking place where Saint George, the patron of the shepherds, is considered the patron saint. Some of the best are held in Skyros, Skiathos, and Arachova.

Greece in May

  • May Day/International Workers’ Day – May 1 is May Day and International Workers’ Day in Greece. Major strikes and/or protests as well as parades may be scheduled on this day, popularized by the Soviet Union as a holiday for workers. For May Day, flower festivals are common as it falls during the peak of flower season. Most monuments, museums, attractions, and some shops will be closed, though most restaurants will be open.
  • Salsa Spring Festival – One of Europe’s top dance events, the Salsa Spring Festival features some of the best dance instructors and performers from around the world along with top local artists in late May in Loutraki, Korinthia.
  • Athens Jazz Festival, Athens, Greece – The city of Athens hosts the annual Athens Jazz Festival, considered one of the best festivals of its kind in Europe. It takes place over five days in late May and showcases European as well as international artists; entrance is free.

Greece in June

  • Athens and Epidaurus Festival – The biggest summer festival of the year, this festival showcases dance, theater, music and opera at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus beneath the Acropolis, as well as music and drama at the Theater of Epidaurus. It runs from mid-June through early September.
  • European Music Day – European Music Day is a national event celebrated in some 50 cities across Greece for five days starting on summer solstice, June 21st. It includes 350 events that are hosted at over 200 venues, including parks, gardens, squares and archaeological sites, by music ensembles, philharmonic and symphony orchestras, choirs, and dance groups.
  • Miaoulia Festival, Hydra – This festival on Hydra commemorates the life of Admiral Miaoulis who played a key role in the Greek War of Independence. It features parades, art shows, circus acts, dance performances, and more.
  • Navy Week – Navy Week honors the country’s long relationship with the sea in late June. Ports and fishing villages throughout Greece host parties and historical re-enactments. Crete offers a big celebration with sailing, swimming, music and dancing.

Greece in July

  • Puppet Festival, Hydra – This annual puppet festival is hosted in Hydra in early July and draws puppeteers from around the world.
  • Sani Festival, Kassandra, Halkidiki – This festival based at Sani Resort begins in mid-July and runs through mid-August. It features film screenings, classical music concerts, and avant-garde theater acts.
  • Philippi Festival, Kavala – This event is hosted at the ancient theater of Philippi in Kavala, a northern Greece city, starting in mid-July and running through late August. It showcases music and theater presented by talented young artists.
  • Hippocratia Festival, Kos – Hippocratia is actually a number of cultural events that take place to honor the traditions and customs of the island of Kos starting in July and running through October. There are classical and traditional music concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions, and more.

Greece in August

  • International Music Festival of Aegina – This annual event features music complemented by the sounds of the waves on Avra Beach, and other spots around the island of Aegina throughout most of the month of August.
  • Olympus Festival, Mount Olympus – The Olympus Festival includes plays that are performed at the restored ancient theater throughout August.
  • Chania Rock Festival – This festival, hosted in the old city of Chania on the island of Crete during the first half of August, showcases a variety of Greek and international performers, up-and-coming artists, and rock bands.
  • Houdetsi Music Festival – Held annually for four days in August in the village of Houdetsi on Crete, this festival features a mix of music from across the globe.
  • Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin – August 15th is an important day of religious pilgrimage, a feast that celebrates Mary’s ascent to heaven. As many Greeks return home to visit, travelers may have a difficult time finding a room. It’s especially elaborate in Tinos, when thousands arrive to participate in the all-night vigil at the cathedral of Panagia Evangelistria.

Greece in September

  • International Music Festival, Santorini – The International Music Festival of Santorini is held over the first three weeks of September in the heart of Fira village. It features top artists from around the world, including classical and tango music, solo recitals, orchestras, operatic music, and piano duets.
  • Pistachio Festival, Aegina – Hosted annually over four days in mid-September, the Pistachio Festival features all things pistachio, with a variety of pistachio products for sale as well as concerts, plays, exhibitions, and gastronomy nights.
  • Festival of Tastes and Traditions, Rhodes – Taking place annually over two days in mid-September in the village of Pefkos, this festival includes wine tasting, live cooking demonstrations, exhibitions of traditional products, traditional music and dancing, a parade, and more.

Greece in October

  • Chestnut Festival Elos, Crete – The Chestnut Festival is celebrated annually, typically over the last weekend of October in the village of Elos. It includes roasted chestnuts and other foods, traditional folk music, dancing, and drinking.
  • Dimitria Festival, Thessaloniki – Held on October 26th each year, this festival showcases music, ballet, and opera.
  • Oxi Day – This is a feast day party and a national holiday that includes military parades, folk dancing, folk music and parades on October 28th each year to celebrate the nation’s refusal to yield to the powers of the Axis in 1940.

Greece in November

  • Feast of the Archangels Gabriel and Michael – Churches throughout Greece named for these archangels will host ceremonies on November 8th.
  • Anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising, Athens – This November 17th holiday commemorates the anniversary of the student uprising in 1973 at Polytechnic University in Athens, which killed many students when tanks crashed into the university gates. There is a march and stoning of the American Embassy, making it best to avoid that area on that day.
  • Saint Andreas Name Day, Patras – As Saint Andreas is the patron saint of Patras, this city hosts a big celebration honoring the saint annually on November 25th. It begins the evening before with mass which continues into the morning, followed by a parade.

Greece in December

  • Feast of St. Nikolaos/St. Nicholas – This annual December 6th feast honors the patron saint of sailors through multiple processions which head to the sea, and to chapels that are dedicated to him.
  • Kladaries, Kozani – Annually on December 23, the Kladaries commemorates the shepherds who lit bonfires to announced the birth of Christ. In the village of Siatista, residents gather together to light fires and dance around them while enjoying the local wines.
  • Christmas Day – December 25th is a public holiday, and although it’s not considered as important as Easter in the Greek Orthodox religion, it’s celebrated with feasts and religious services, as well as gift giving, Christmas caroling, trees, and decorations.
  • New Year’s Eve – December 31st, New Year’s Eve, in Greece is traditionally celebrated by children singing carols outside while elders talk, play cards, eat, drink, and smoke. Today, most people celebrate the way the night is celebrated throughout the world, going to bars, attending parties, and watching fireworks displays that are hosted in the central squares of many cities throughout Greece.
  • Best Hotels on Santorini
  • Best Hotels on Mykonos
  • Best Hotels on Crete
  • Best Hotels on Rhodes
  • Best Hotels on Naxos
  • Best Hotels on Paros
  • Best Hotels on Ios
  • Best Hotels on Milos
  • Best Hotels on Sifnos
  • Best Hotels on Folegandros
  • Best Hotels in Athens
  • Best Tours & Things To Do in Santorini

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Hi Dave! Besides Crete, which other islands would you recommend visiting in May on a 10 day trip?

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With just 10 days I would not do more than one other island. Santorini is the closest island to Crete and has the most ferry connections with Crete. It’s also a great island – so that would be my first choice. Naxos and Paros would also be good reasonable choices.

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Holy Week in Greece

I am going to be in Greece (Athens & Santorini) during part of Holy Week (18 Apr to 24 Apr) and trying to sort out the best timing for my locations.

It will be a short trip and I need to fit in as much as I possibly can. Due to traffic and other holiday considerations (limited hours for museums, shops), do you recommend doing my relaxing in Santorini over Easter weekend and then my busy sightseeing in Athens afterward? Or vice versa? I would prefer to avoid big crowds wherever possible, but if there are things worth seeing in Athens that particular weekend, then I would definitely consider it.

Love your site! Thanks!

Greek Easter is usually a different date than western Easter. This year it’s April 28 for the Greek Orthodox, so you won’t be there during Easter at all.

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We are thinking of going to Crete in late November (in the next few weeks). We have never been to Greece and would like to experience some authentic island life. I understand that Crete is likely the warmest of all the islands at this time of year. We are in our late 50’s and fit. We love food, wine, music, scuba diving (thinking it would be too cold to dive now… yes?), history. Can you suggest some activities that we could do/ experience in Crete at this time of year? Thank you in advance. Cheers, Wendy

Yes, it will be too cool for swimming and diving but Crete is a great off-season destination. There are 3 medium sized cities (Heraklion, Chania, and Rethymnon) that have large local populations and lively cultures. November is usually perfect for sightseeing, hiking, food, wine, and local music. Knossos and the Archaeological museum in Heraklion are must-sees and much quieter and enjoyable outside of high season.

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Hey Dave! Me and my wife are booking our trip and we have two more nights we still need to book. We are leaving Santorini and then deciding between Mykonos, Naxos, Ios, Paros. Should we do two islands (one night each) or two nights on one island? And which islands? Thanks so much!

We love food and adventure and we don’t do any night drinking. Our first time in Greece! The trip is in late September.

Considering your interests, definitely Naxos. Great beaches, wonderful food, enchanting interior villages. And yes, spend two nights on the same island.

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Hi Dave! We are scheduled for April 2-11 in Greece, but am a little confused with Greek Easter. I am seeing it as April 8 this year, so am I correct to assume that the week leading up to the 8th is the Holy Week? I want to be sure I can get the most out of our trip, and am worried some places will be closed. (On websites it shows being closed on “Easter Sunday” so I imagine that means the 8th not the 1st.) Thanks!!

Yes, Orthodox (Greek) Easter Sunday falls on April 8 while regular (western) Easter Sunday falls a week earlier on April 1. Easter in Greece is a big thing and travel and accommodation in Greece can be a small challenge during this time (so do book in advance). The week preceding Easter is indeed Holy Week (it translates as ‘Big Week’ in Greek) and it is marked by a series of church events each evening prior to the midnight Resurrection on the Eve of Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is a day of celebration and eating when the culinary austerity followed by the more pious Orthodox Greeks during the 40 days of Lent previously comes to an end. Lambs are roasted on spits and much food and drink is consumed in a family-oriented celebration.

This means a few things for the traveller. Food in general is commonly limited to ‘vegetarian food’ particularly during Holy Week. This means that restaurants will be limiting their food choices to ‘fasting foods’ (nistísima) though meat eaters may find some relief at places catering to the non-orthodox (which includes most restaurants on the islands). Because the tourist season has not yet officially kicked off, many summer tavernas and restaurants may not yet be open in touristy places. The tourist season usually gets into gear after Easter. Therefore, your days from 2-8 April may be marked by a level of paucity in food choices (think Ramadan in Muslim countries).

Travel and accommodation is in high demand as many Greeks go to their native villages and islands to spend Easter and you may have difficulty in securing flights on popular routes or even on ferries and catamarans (full sailings are rare but possible). The follow-on is that accommodation can be in high demand so you will need to book both travel and a place to stay well beforehand. Because the Easter Sunday celebration is a family affair on the whole, unless you have an invitation from a family to participate, you may find yourself on the outside on Easter Sunday with only a handful of places open for your Easter lunch (once again, in the most touristy spots this won’t be a problem).

You didn’t say where you are going, but Athens is probably a good bet to sit out the key days of Easter as many people will have left and things will be quiet AND you will have more choices for places to eat. If you want the ultimate Greek Easter experience and would like to participate in at least two of the church celebrations, then Corfu is popular with Greek Easter pilgrims where the Epitafios and the Anastasi are worth witnessing at the large church of Spyridon in Corfu’s Old Town. The village of Pyrgos on Santorini is also an Easter highlight.

In short, Greek Easter is generally for Greeks, though foreigners are more than welcome. Just don’t expect the normal touristy Greece that you might expect until at least some time after Easter.

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Hey Dave, This site is amazing! Greece has been on my bucket list for years and hoping to cross it off. Per your site, looks like late September/early October may be the best time for weather and reduced cost. I’m looking to plan a 7-10 day trip no kids, do you have a suggestion for itineraries? Such as where to stop, how long to stay, hotels? Any suggestions would be helpful… it’s a bit overwhelming to start planning with a little framework. Thanks!

Hopefully my page on Where To Go in Greece and Itineraries should help.

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Hi Dave, Loving your work and happy to be a Patron to support this great website. For my holiday, my partner and I are planning the following however I am having a few issues/queries.

Wed 20th June – fly into Chania from Dublin, arrive late. Stay at Casa Delfino.

Monday 25th – Drive to more eastern Crete and stay in Agios Nikolaos. I looked at Elounda but the hotels seem to all get mixed reviews. I would like to be able to walk into a village or town in the evening for a meal or drinks. Hence, I am looking at Agios Nikolaos, what do you think? I like the look of Sensimar Minos Palace. Would you recommend the Beach Art hotel over this hotel and why? I also thought of the Grecotel Caramel hotel which looks amazing but is it very isolated? Is there anything near it walkable in the evening? It gets fantastic reviews!

Friday 29th Ferry to Mykonos- Do you know if a ferry does indeed connect the two islands? Looking to stay 3 nights in Mykonos Bay Resort & Villas as this is within budget (1000€ max for 3 nights). Tharroe of Mykonos Boutique Hotel would be my choice but it’s a little outside the budget! Any other hotels you would recommend?

Then I am thinking 4 nights somewhere, I was looking at these apartments in Anemomilos Apartments on the island of Folegandros. What do you think, do you know this hotel?

Can I get from Mykonos to here easily in the summer? Conscious I need to get back to Athens to fly home and feel I’m heading in the wrong direction! Does Crete connect with Folegandros as I could do Crete – Folegandros – Mykonos? Or would you recommend another island near Mykonos? Really want to chill out, nice accommodation? Hire a car and get out and see an island! What is Folegandros famous for?

Thanks in advance, Stephen

Agios Nikolaos is a wonderful little town and likely just what you’re looking for. Sensimar is a nice resort but it’s a good 30 minute walk into town so you’re not walking out your door and wandering around Agios Nikolaos. The Minos Beach Art Hotel is much closer which is why I would choose it. Grecotel Caramel has some stuff within walking distance but not the main town. Stay here if you want the resort experience and not so much if you’re looking to hit the town for lunch/dinner/nightlife on a regular basis. Mykonos Bay Resort is on a decent beach about a 10 minute walk from Mykonos Town. Has a very nice pool (but I would still prefer to stay right in Mykonos Town). Anemomilos Apartments are very nice and in the main town (Chora) of Folegandros. Wonderful views. There will likely be a Crete to Mykonos ferry (with stops in Santorini, Paros, and Ios along the way). Mykonos to Folegandros (direct) is less certain but you’ll always be able to get there, you just might have to change ferries in a different island.

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Hi there! My husband and I wanted to visit Santorini in August/September but we like very hot weather. I saw on a few websites that it only gets to about 80 degrees? Is that true?

Joanna Condoluci

Santorini often has a nice breeze that keeps the temps moderate (somewhere in the 80s) even in the summer. Most people like this but if you’re after very hot then you might be disappointed. That said, there’s always a week or two each year when you get some scorching temperatures. August is usually the hottest month but peaks can come anytime from early June to late September.

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Hi Dave, great site!! Planning a trip to Greek islands and Athens for late September and October. Would you recommend travelling the islands on your own, or taking a small cruise to cover more territory by night and explore the islands by day. If so, which cruise do you recommend? Thanks So Much

I am not a big fan of cruises in the Greek Islands so would definitely recommend doing and planning it yourself. More info here: Should I Take A Santorini Cruise?

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Hi Dave, I have come across your site recently and it is a great resource. We are planning an 8-day trip from NYC to Greece Oct. 28 – Nov. 5. It seems like Santorini and Athens are definitive top choices. But we wanted to see 1 additional part of Greece. Where would you recommend at that time of year? We were thinking Crete, but where in Crete would you recommend? Would Naxos be a good option? Thanks so much. Amit

If you want a second island to visit then Naxos. (There won’t be any Santorini-Crete ferries in November so visiting Crete is much more difficult.) If you’re open to something on the mainland then do an overnight trip from Athens to Nafplio.

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My husband and I are thinking of taking a trip but would have to go in mid to late March. Would we still get ferries to the islands, Santorini and Mykonos in particular? Maria

There will be ferries to Santorini and to Mykonos but not ferries between Santorini and Mykonos. In the off-season you’re better to visit Santorini and Paros or Naxos as the ferry connections run all-year and there’s more to see and do in the quiet months on Paros/Naxos than on Mykonos.

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Kali mera! Thank you for your recommendations. We are exploring all your suggestions. One more question – where (town/village) on Crete, Mykonos, or Rhodes would you recommend we stay? 3 families with children ranging from 7-10 years old. Judy

On the assumption that the focus will be on your children rather than yourselves, you are probably wanting a family-friendly hotel in either Crete or Rhodes and there are plenty of options in a few select places where you’ll need to do the research to locate what suits your budget and individual needs.

The Agia Marina/Platanias strip west of Chania town is a good start for Crete. It’s touristy, but not overly so and there are many family hotels dotted along the coastline. There are lots of shops, restaurants, and car-hire places and the long beach is generally sandy and shelving. Most decent-sized hotels will have pools and the family-oriented hotels generally put on a special effort for children with activities, play centres, pools for kids and often child-minding. There is also an Aqua park not far from Chania. You will find similar possibilities on the tourist strip east of the town of Rethymnon though the hotels and the beach are divided by a road – unlike in Chania. At the upper end of the budget scale there are some pretty enticing family hotels in Elounda over to the east. Some of the hotels listed on this site have great kids’ facilities so have a browse here first.

Rhodes is similar, with the family-friendly hotels scattered down the east coast through Faliraki to Lindos. Some of the larger hotels near Rhodes New Town (on the west side of the island) cater well for children so have a look here too. It’s hard to recommend one over another as they do vary considerably in price, but there are the areas that you need to be looking at.

Mykonos has a reputation for partying and nightlife but as long as you avoid the clubs and bars (and a few of the party beaches) it has a surprisingly family-friendly vibe. The beaches of Platys Gialos and Ornos are best for kids and have a good mix of family hotels and good restaurants.

Other than large family hotels (which will inevitably cost more if they are all inclusive or even half-board deals) your only other option is DIY in self-catering appartments, but then you are going to have to entertain your group’s children in more imaginative ways. All three are good islands to find what you seem to be looking for, all you have to do is start looking for that best combination of accommodation and entertainment for your three families.

See Also: Crete Family Hotels , Rhodes Family Hotels , and Mykonos Family Hotels .

I’ll be traveling to Greece mid to late August with my husband and 10yr old daughter. We have two other families (similar composition) joining us. We will do 3-4 days in Athens then an island for 5-6 days. I looked into Naxos but it has limited airbnb options. I’ve been to Greece a number of times but the other 2 families have not. We want beach, good food, and a pool wherever we stay to keep kids busy before we head to beaches or sightseeing. What do you suggest?

Naxos is the best island for what you’re looking for (though Crete, Paros, Mykonos, Ios, and Rhodes are also good choices). Agree there are few Airbnb rentals but not sure why that’s a necessity. Lots of great family hotels on Naxos .

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Hi Dave We are a family of 5 (kids 15,11,6) and will likely be travelling with my almost 80 year old dad. My eldest daughter wants to see the Parthenon in Athens and the other two want to enjoy family beach and relaxation. Not caring as much about history just yet. I was thinking thinking Corfu for one of our destinations… we are thinking about last week of July for timing. If we had a week would you have a recommendation? Thanks, Sarah Luke

Corfu is a wonderful island but not great for island hopping – if you go there you probably won’t go anywhere else. Conversely, the Cyclades are close together and it’s easy (and lots of fun) to ferry from one to the next. You could see 2 islands or even 3 in a weeks time. All the Cycladic islands are worth a visit so don’t worry about making a bad choice but Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos are particularly good for kids. Mykonos, Ios, and Santorini have fewer families but all have a great family-friendly vibe as long as you avoid the night clubs and romantic restaurants.

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Hello Santorini Dave,

Thanks for all the Greece weather tips. My husband and I are planning a 2 week vacation in Greece with our little 18 month baby. Would you advise what are the best places to visit with a baby? The trip should be first 2 weeks of September. Thanks, Nihal

Naxos is a great island for families and staying in Naxos Town (and near St George’s beach) is a great combination of convenience, good hotels, and easy access to the beach.

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HI Dave! My husband and I are planning last minute to visit Greece from the US and fly our 18 yr old son to meet us (he is currently doing a year in Germany). Planning to come April 8-15th approx. I have been researching some and I think we would love to do Athens for a short stay and then Santorini and Naxos. Santorini sounds the best to us and we arent into the party scene so sightseeing in Naxos sounds interesting. Will that be during Easter in Greece and if so how will that affect our trip? Any advice on logistics? Flying into Athens and then how best to do the itinerary from there? Likely want to fly into Santorino instead of Ferry. Thanks for all of the great info that you provide! Pam Wagner

The best plan: Buy tickets to London. Then fly directly to Santorini. Ferry to Naxos. Fly or ferry to Athens. Fly Athens to London. This saves time making two visits to Athens (when you only need one) and you don’t have to retrace your steps (also a time-waster). Use kayak.com to search for tickets.

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Hi Dave, really great and helpful your blog! I´m planning my honeymoon in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, between March 18th and March 26th. We´re not looking forward to beach weather, but is it nice for sightseeing? Or is it likely to be rainy or cloudy? Thanks a lot! Paula

Certainly be prepared for a little rain but you’ll likely get good sightseeing weather in Athens and Santorini. Mykonos doesn’t have a lot to see/experience outside of warm months so I would recommend Naxos instead.

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Dear Santorini Dave, After reading all of your many responses, I have to agree with all of the compliments going your way. Your advice is so relevant and tailored. Thanks in advance for helping me with my dilemma.

My wife and I are celebrating her 40th birthday. we are spending a day/night in Athens and then 4 nights/5 days in Santorini. I wanted to add one more island to our itinerary before heading back to Athens and on to home.

My original plan was to go to Crete for 2 days/nights. However, after reading your site, I have to admit it is not enough time to do it justice.

We want to minimize ferry/airport/getting to hotel time as much as possible and so that led me the other direction to Naxos or Paros.

Ideally, the location would give a good cultural taste of Greece, be scenic, not require hiring a car, have good food/drink, be somewhat romantic and have some nightlife (we won’t be up all night dancing, but do like to go out). Nice beaches are a plus, but subordinate to great local experience.

My original thought was Naxos, because it looked like we could take a ferry, settle in in a nearby place (e.g. nissaki) and walk to either town or beach. The portal was also an added plus. The only thing that put me off a little was a lot of the area seemed family friendly (and while I love kids – I have three youngish ones), we are traveling to be around adults. Not sure if you can weigh in on whether we will feel like we are having a romantic time if we stay in Naxos, but I’d appreciate your insight.

If we stay in Paros, my concern was it seemed a little less likely that we could get a compact experience, where we stay in a nice hotel (e.g. lily residence or astir of Paros), but still we walkable to town or water.

Our ideal would be waking up, hanging out pool or beachside, then walking in town and eating/drinking our way through different tavernas and restaurants, maybe heading back to beach or pool and then out again for dinner / nightlife. A short day trip is fine by bus or taxi, but would given the short time, that would be limited.

We are going in the first week of August next year so it will be right in the middle of busy season. Budget is not a constraint in terms of 2 days for the hotel.

Thank you for any advice on whether Naxos or Paros is best for us. Also, please confirm if it will be fairly easy to book a flight to Athens from either island.

Yes, Naxos Town and beach are very family friendly with lots of kids but I would be surprised if you found it overrun with children and couldn’t enjoy it as two adults. That said, Naoussa (on Paros) is more sophisticated with night clubs and trendy restaurants and definitely has a more adult feel (though you’ll still see plenty of kids). The beaches near Naoussa are not as nice as the beaches near Naxos Town but they’re still nice for a swim – for a sunbathing scene you’d probably need a rental car on Paros. And also, Naoussa is a bus/taxi/car ride from the port of Paros. In sum, the vibe of Naoussa is more of what you’re looking for, but Naxos is more convenient. Both are great. Flights from both islands to Athens are easy to get but do book them well in advance.

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Hi Dave, Awesome website. We are a family of 5 (kids ages 12,8,4). We are considering a trip 1st week of April for 8 days. We’d like to see some historic sites in Athens as well as visit Santorini. We are considering flying between Athens and Santorini. Would adding Mykonos be too hectic? What split in days you recommend? What sites in/near Athens do you recommend? Would we need to rent a car or local transport would be good? Thanks Lakshmi

There are direct ferries between Santorini and Mykonos in April so it wouldn’t be hard at all to add Mykonos. That said, it’s not beach time yet in April so Mykonos won’t have a lot to do for a family. Naxos or Paros are better off-season choices. Renting a car on all the islands is a good way to see more, so yes I would recommend that. In Athens the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, the historical sites in the Plaka, and the National Archaeological Museum are the highlights. Since it’s off-season I would do 3 days in Santorini, 3 days in Athens, and 2 days in Mykonos, Naxos, or Paros.

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Hi Dave, I’m glad I found your site. I’m planning a trip to Greece with my husband, 6 year old and 17 year old in mid April. Maybe 10th-18th. Hubby and teen are history and Greek mythology lovers. With 7 or 8 nights I’m thinking 2 locations. Athens and Santorini? Naxos sounds nice too. Do we need 3 nights in Athens for the sites or 4 nights? If we pick 1 island which one should it be? Looking for nice scenery, village culture, good food. I’m assuming weather would be similar on both islands. The 16th is Easter in case that changes anything. Also any advice on whether to explore Athens first or fly to an island first? thanks so much! Cynthia

3 nights (2 full days) should be enough for Athens but if you’re really keen on history then you could easily fill 3 days. If you can only visit one island then Santorini is definitely the highlight – especially in April when it’s not beach weather (Santorini’s views are great year-round). Travel during Easter week will be busy and you should book ferries in advance even though it is low season. If you’re ferrying to and from the islands then do Athens at the end of your trip (just in case ferries are cancelled you’ll have a few days to play with to get back to Athens for your flight home). If you’re flying it doesn’t really matter.

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Hi Dave – per your recommendation, I’m trying to buy ferry tickets from Mykonos to Santorini for July on the Hellenic highspeed 4, which you say is the best for people who are prone to sea sickness. I went to hellenicseaways.gr but can’t figure out which one is highspeed 4. Do you know the exact times? I would also like to check your 2nd recommendation on terajet, but again – do you know exact times? Thanks so much! your website has made my planning effortless.

Hellenic has 2 ferries running between Mykonos and Santorini this summer. The Hellenic Highspeed which leaves Mykonos at 10:15. And the Highspeed 7 which leaves Mykonos at 13:50. Both are good for stability and seasickness. Both take about 3 hours and cost the same. (I would probably take the earlier one, that way if it’s cancelled you have a second shot with the afternoon ferry).

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Hi Dave. I’ll be in Crete in May also on honeymoon, where would you recommend on the south of the island? Thanks, Marie Finn

Southern Crete covers a lot of territory and you’ve not really hinted at want you want to do or what kind of traveller you are. So here are a few tips for places that offer a mixture of creature comfort, beach, places to eat and offer accessibility.

Over on the far eastern side of Crete is the cosy little town of Ierapetra, nestled in among some of the richest agricultural territory in Crete. It wears its tourism monicker shyly, but needn’t fear as it is a very likeable town with a busy central promenade and a selection of fine seaside cafés and restaurants. The beach scene in the town centre – heading on out to the fortress – is actually pretty amenable and the water swimmable. You could hang around in Ierapetra for a few days and may move a little further west (15kms) and spend a few more days at a friendly and equally cosy seaside village called Myrtos. You could easily spot a relaxing week of your honeymoon in these two centres.

Considerably further west and in the middle section of the southern coast is the less-shy former hippy resort of Matala which wears its monicker rather retro-proudly. It has all the attractions of a holiday resort: sand, sun, ouzo-laced sunsets and plenty of places to stay. It was very trendy back in the 60s and 70s and still maintains its air of now post-hippy happiness, though people no longer make a home in the troglodyte-like caves that back the rather languid bay-wrapped beach. Better know the the other places and a bit more up-market.

On a similar note you have two more sizeable seaside villages of similar atmosphere that you may care to investigate. The first is Plakias (further west yet from Matala – 72kms) and while it never garnered a hippy heritage, it has stood the test of time as a popular traveller haunt, with yet enough creature comforts to make a honeymoon here an attractive option. Fine enough beach, the odd revved-up bar, good places to eat and a range of budget to honeymoon quality accommodation.

Keep going west and you will hit Paleochora (158kms from Plakias via a very circuitous route) the last of the four suggested locales for your honeymoon. Similar to the former, though a bit larger in size and offering two types of beaches to choose from (pebble and sand). Again it’s a ‘cozy’ village (for want of a better word) and similar in style to the previous two.

The south coast is not as well connected as the North coast inasmuch as there is no straight and direct road across the southern flank of the island. You will need to duck and weave and in the case of the Plakias to Paleochora stretch there is not even a road: transport here is by coastal ferry (or you have to go drive all the way to the north coast and then back down another road). A week is not a lot of time, so you may want to limit yourself geographically to one of the four places mentioned. Best tip for honeymooners? Try Matala!

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Hi Dave, I will be in Greece from the 22nd to 29th March of next year and was planning to visit Santorini and Athens. From what I’ve read from your blog so far (which has been super helpful so thankyou!) this is low low season and a lot less will be open and available on the islands. Is Santorini still worth a trip in late March for two 20-something girls looking to sight-see, explore, eat good food and a bit of partying? Not overly fussed about swimming. Thanks, Saskia

Yes, I think Santorini is nice in March and your best choice for what you’re looking for. No island has a robust nightlife in March but Santorini has the most and you should be able to find some fun in Fira (though nothing too crazy). Sightseeing is good in March.

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We, my husband and 2 college age daughters, are planning a trip in March(11-19th). We were hoping that we could plan on sun. Probably too cold to swim in the ocean, but sit by a pool and swim a little would be nice. We like scenery, food, a little slower pace than the big cities. After reading your info on Santorini I was sold, but I feel like I should plan on going to Crete to get better weather. We plan to fly in/out of Athens so I think both islands is too rushed. Santorini sounds great, but after landslides due to persistent rain on our last trip to Scotland, I’m trying to get the least clouds and rain possible but still great scenery. I need a compromise and hope you can help. Honeymoon atmosphere not needed, nor wild party scene. Can you help direct me? Great site! Thanks, Carla

I agree, Crete is great and should have nice-ish weather in mid-March but probably won’t be swimming as most pools are not heated. Chania is the highlight of Crete and has year-round population and visitors so will have some life to it even in March. Knossos (near Heraklion) is one of the top historical sites in Greece and worth a visit.

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We are planning a visit to Greece in early May. Where would you recommend to get the best and hottest weather for beach time? I know it’s early season but need to know where the best chance of good weather is.

Crete is the farthest south and gets the warmest weather early in the season (and late too). And within Crete, the south coast, usually gets warm weather a little before the rest of the island. Not a huge difference but enough to notice.

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Best time to visit Greece

is november good time to visit greece

Amanda Dardanis

Destination Expert

Monday March 28 2022, 17:35pm

When is the best time of year to visit?

The best time to visit Greece is usually between late April and late October when there is sunshine round the clock and rain is rare. Beach lovers should aim for June until September.

Main photo: Oia, Santorini (Alamy)

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When is the best time to island-hop?

September to early October are ideal months to island-hop in Greece (it’s when many Greeks do just that). Crowds have thinned out, room rates are lower, the days are still long and warm, and sea temperatures are bliss. Just watch out for those pesky dry northern winds (meltemi) that can ramp up around then and imperil outdoor dining and beach outings (unless you’re a windsurfer). May until mid-June are also great for beating the tourists and high-season prices but seas are brisk. In July and August, ferries to more remote islands are more frequent; while from November to March, most Greek islands shut up shop for winter.

is november good time to visit greece

What about Mykonos and Santorini?

Greece’s two most famous islands warrant a standalone category with their own specific considerations. Most don’t go to Santorini for the beaches; they’re seeking fiery romantic sunsets and volcanic caldera views — which explains the island’s virtually year-round season. For serious sun without crowds, go in May and June, or best sit it out until after mid-September.

Party island Mykonos presents a Catch-22: to sidestep the crazy prices and heaving beach bars (savvy regulars book up loungers weeks ahead), you’ll need to avoid July and August. But, then, that wouldn’t really be Mykonos. By late September, the international set has mostly departed and this Cycladic peacock mellows out.

When is the best time to explore the mainland?

Travel to Greece between April and June; or October to December. The mainland has fabulous beaches sprinkled all over — but summery pursuits are only half the story. Glorious hiking is to be had in spring and autumn — especially in the myth-steeped Peloponnese (head for The Mani and Costa Navarino) and Epirus in the north (a hybrid of Yosemite and the Scottish highlands). These milder and mostly sunny months are also ideal for exploring monumental landscapes such as Meteora and Monemvasia; traipsing heavy-hitting archaeological sites like Delphi and Olympia; and strolling romantic ports such as refined Nafplio, Greece’s first capital.

is november good time to visit greece

Is there a ski season in Greece?

Believe it or not, it does get frosty enough for a ski season — Greece is a mountainous terrain, after all. Technically, it’s between December and March; in reality, February and early March are your best bets, as sporadic bursts of warm weather in December and January often melt snow cover. Join the social whirl of cosmopolitan Arachova on Mount Parnassus, just two hours from Athens (think of it as a Winter Mykonos); ski with sea views on Mount Pelion, fabled holiday haunt of the Olympian Gods; or choose popular Kalavryta, a well-organised winter sports hub, famous for its rack railway that slices through Vouraikos Gorge.

is november good time to visit greece

When are the cheapest months for travel in Greece?

Tourism season in Greece typically cranks up after Greek Easter. If you’re looking to save, the best hotel deals on the islands are found during the shoulder seasons from April through to early June; then again from mid-September to mid-October (though September has increasingly crept into peak-price bracket on many bigger islands and in Athens). In the latter, you’ll score discounted stays from December to March. Don’t expect constant sunshine but it can be a great interlude for exploring emptied-out ancient ruins and museums. December can also be terrific for off-season hikes and comforting cuisine around the snow-capped mountains of Crete.

is november good time to visit greece

Sunshine and rainfall

Mild wet winters are chased by blazing hot, dry summers and 250 days of annual sunshine. December is the wettest month (up to 188mm rainfall). August is the hottest and driest (average temperatures hover around 28C).

is november good time to visit greece

When to avoid Greece

There’s no bad time to visit, but the summer holidays will always be the busiest, so aim for the shoulder seasons in late spring and early autumn if you can to get the sun without the crowds.

Key dates for your calendar

April-May: Greek Orthodox Easter Holy Week Whether you’re religious or not, you’ll be stirred by the sacred spectacle of Greek Orthodox Easter. This week-long celebration of candlelit processions, midnight fireworks, Lenten goodies and revolving Easter Sunday lambs on spits, is easily the most important and colourful holiday for Greeks, who return en masse to their ancestral villages and islands. Easter traditions vary across Greece — from the famous flying urns of Corfu to the burning the effigy of Judas in Monemvasia. But no matter where you are, Good Friday’s midnight mass is a guaranteed highlight. Grab a candle and join the procession as Greeks walk to their nearest church to hear mournful Easter hymns.

is november good time to visit greece

June-September: Athens and Epidaurus Festival Summer is prime outdoor festival season in Greece and the undisputed queen is the prestigious Athens and Epidaurus Festival. The action revolves around two of the world’s best-preserved ancient stone arenas: the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, beneath the Parthenon, and the 4th-century BC Theatre of Epidaurus, prized for its pitch-perfect acoustics. During this three-month blast of music, theatre, dance and visual arts, you might catch anything from Shakespeare to Beckett and anyone from Helen Mirren to Nana Mouskouri. The biggest buzz? Seeing works by ancient Greek playwrights such as Sophocles or Aristophanes staged at the actual venue where they were first performed.

is november good time to visit greece

November: Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Athens Marathon The annual Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece’s answer to Sundance, makes a wonderful excuse to check out the fantastic flavours and cool buzz of Athens’s ancient little sister up north. Held in early November, the festival sees the whole city roll out the red carpet, with parallel events in seafront bars, dockside cafes and historic squares — so you’ll experience this loose and welcoming port hub at its best.

The world’s most famous foot race — the classic Athens Marathon — also gets off the blocks in November. Every year, long-distance runners from across the globe challenge their bodies and spirits to retrace the legendary footsteps of Pheidippides in the experience of a lifetime. Not a runner? Witnessing the competitors cross the finish line at the original Olympic stadium is its own memorable marker. Expect music, live commentary and fever-pitch excitement.

Villa Tatiana (Olivers Travels)

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Greece in November: Warm Weather and Irresistible Islands

View of Parthenon Temple on Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece in November

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Greece makes for a great destination throughout the year. Though the weather in Greece in November gets a little chilly, you will still encounter lovely warm days on your trip to Greece as it is just the beginning of winter. November is a low tourist season in Greece, which means you can get some really cool deals on hotels and air travel. Be it a sightseeing tour of Athens , cave exploration in Kefalonia, and a hiking trip to the monasteries of Meteora, there are tons of activities to enjoy in Greece in November.

  • Alexandra Donovan

Greece Weather in November

Famous Melissani lake during autumn in Karavomylos, Greece

Greece’s weather in November is quite pleasant compared with its northern European counterparts. While it is true that there will be some wet and chilly days, you will encounter plenty of bright and sunny days during this time. The average November temperature in Athens, for example, is 15 °C, with highs of 18 °C and lows of 12 °C. This month is also the second rainiest month in the capital city, even though it does not see as much rainfall as other European cities. Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in the country, sees an average high of 15.7 °C and an average low of 9.3 °C in November.

Make sure to check out our travel guide on the best times to visit Greece for an in-depth seasonal overview.

Weather in Greece in November - Rainfall and Temperatures

Why visit greece in november.

Cliffside monasteries of Meteora in Central Greece

The weather in Greece in November is chilly although not cold. This means that you can still enjoy outdoor hikes, sail between islands, and do sightseeing tours on foot. Else, there are countless museums in the country where you can browse through some of the finest achievements of humanity. Below are a few reasons why this is a great time to vacation in Greece.

  • Great deals: November is a low tourist season in Greece. Look out for excellent discounts on airfares, hotels, and activities if your visit to the country falls at this time.
  • Less rush: The peak tourist season is over before November, which means you will have monuments and archeological sites practically for yourself.
  • Museum-hopping: Feeling a little too cold? Head for museums, of which the country has many, and travel back in time to the days of the ancient Greeks. November is an ideal time for museum-hopping in Greece as there are fewer crowds.
  • Magical Méteora: These stunning monasteries built atop hills and situated in a breathtaking landscape are best enjoyed while visiting Méteora at the beginning of the winter season.
  • Islands beckon: Swimming in the sea is not a good idea in November. Having said that, there is nothing stopping you from discovering the rich history and culture of islands like Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini. Please keep in mind that, with the onset of winter, you might have to wait longer for ferries to some islands.
  • Hikes and trails: The Samaria Gorge Trail, with its riverside paths and Byzantine ruins, can be a great option during November, especially since it takes less than a day. The switchbacks of Mount Athos offer yet another option for hiking enthusiasts during November. But please remember that women and beardless youths are not allowed in this area full of monastic retreats.
  • Food for thought: From meatballs and bean soups to spicy sausages dipped in sauce and stuffed cabbage leaves, November in Greece is the time to dig into the delicious winter dishes.

Where to go and what to do

Sunset watching the White Tower of Thessaloniki, Greece

Greece in November provides one of the best opportunities to discover its archeological wonders since they are less crowded. Visit the monasteries of Metéora — perched on rocks amid cliffs and remnants of an ancient river — one of the most dramatic sights in Greece. See the world-famous monuments of Athens, like the Temple of Zeus, the Parthenon, and the Acropolis of Athens, which was the religious center of the city in ancient times.

Wander around the heart of the Unesco-listed Old Town of Rhodes Island and admire its centuries-old history. See the magnificent ruins of the ancient Olympia, where the Olympic Games began in 776 BC. While on a tour of Thessaloniki , find out why it is regarded as the cultural capital of Greece as you amble around its waterfront and explore the ruins dating back to the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods. Then head for the island of Santorini , where you can hike to the top of an ancient volcano, swim in the warm waters of hot springs, and kick back on white-sand beaches. See the remarkably well-preserved remains of the Temple of Apollo on a Delphi tour and visit its archeological museum, home to masterpieces like the bronze statue of Eniochos, the charioteer of Delphi, which is one of the best bronze specimens from ancient Greece.

Greece in November combines popular historic sites with cool urban vibes. Although many think of this country as a summer paradise, November is an ideal time to discover its highlights, explore its rugged countryside and winding coastline and enjoy delicious cuisine. We suggest 7 days in Greece as the ideal length of time to explore the country. For more of our recommendations, check our guide on how many days to spend in Greece . Just in case you are interested in a personalized trip to Greece , contact our travel experts to help prepare an itinerary as per your requirements.

Additionally, make sure to check out our list of tours to Greece in November to make your next booking.

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Home > Best Time To Visit Greece – Greek Seasons & When To Go

Best Time To Visit Greece – Greek Seasons & When To Go

Post author Nick

Written by our local expert Nick

Nick is is digital nomad originally from Athens, Greece. You will now find him exploring the Greek islands, Bulgaria and beyond.

When’s the best time to visit Greece? Well, there’s no such thing as a bad time, but your perfect moment depends on your preferences.

For me, the best season in Greece means embracing the shoulder seasons to avoid the large crowds. However, my friends can’t resist the allure of Greece’s sunny weather in summer despite the bustling masses.

In my guide, I dive into the Greek seasons, helping you find your ideal time to explore my captivating country!

Greece Travel Blog_Best Season To Visit Greece Guide

When you think of Greece, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Probably a postcard-perfect beach with crystal-clear waters, right? Well, you’re not alone in that! Greece is famous for its stunning beaches, and the mental image of sun, sea, and sand is practically ingrained in our minds.

But here’s the inside scoop: Greece isn’t all about sweltering summers and sandy shores. In fact, if you want to avoid the scorching heat and overwhelming crowds, you might want to consider a trip during the late spring or autumn months.

Trust me; it’s a game-changer.

And while we’re at it, let’s clear up another misconception. Yes, we all know about the big shots like Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos – they’re like the rock stars of Greek islands. But hold on to your souvlaki because Greece has so much more to offer. Beyond those famous beachy hotspots, there’s a whole mainland waiting to be explored.

Charming cities, quaint villages, and landscapes that are more mountainous than a ski resort brochure. Yup, you heard me right – Greece is a hidden gem for winter enthusiasts. If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, this place has you covered.

So, here’s the deal: I have whipped up a handy season-by-season guide to Greece. It’s not just for beach bums – it’s for anyone who’s up for an adventure in this incredible country. Whether you’re chasing waves or carving down slopes, I have you covered.

Stick around, and I’ll show you how to make the most of Greece, no matter if it is the low season or high season.

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

Weather & Seasons In Greece

Superb beach Navagio in Zakynthos, Greece

Located in the south of Europe, most of Greece faces the mild waters of the Mediterranean Sea . This allows the country to enjoy long, pleasant summer months, often dry and very high temperatures in July and August, and mild winters with some rain.

The Mediterranean climate is not the same all over the area, and certainly not in every part of the country. Although the Mediterranean Sea features higher temperatures than other seas in the region, other elements, such as the elevation of the terrain, play a crucial role when talking about the weather in Greece.

Weather In Greece With Average Temperatures

Of course the average daily temperature change, but this table gives you a good idea as to what to pack and when to go to Greece, depending on your preferences.

Best Time To Travel To Greece

Figuring out when is the best month to visit Greece is a personal choice. It very much depends on the type of weather you like. So let’s break them down so you can decide when is the best time of the year to visit Greece.

Greece Seasons – Summer In Greece

When is summer in Greece? The end of May is when early summer begins in the country, starting much earlier in some of Greece’s southern islands.

From June to August, Greece sees the hottest temperatures almost in every corner of the country. The weather is generally stable in this period, and there are virtually no rainy days – hello, dry summers. However, when showers do appear in the peak season, they tend to last for just a few hours.

Summers in Greece are scorching, with long periods of drought. However, the climate remains pleasant thanks to the several winds blowing in the Aegean Sea . The most famous is the Meltemi, a northern wind that brings relief to the sweltering summer days .

If you’re looking to spend time during the hottest days , then definitely book your trip for the last week of July and the first week of August. These have always been the warmest weeks of the year in Greece.

Summer is a great month to visit the Cycladic Islands as well as the islands in the Ionian. If rain is something that you do not enjoy, choose places such as Corfu or Zakynthos . These islands see a lot of rainy days in the wet winter months but can be dry yet lush and green during the summer.

In summary, Summer is 100 percent the best time to visit the Greek islands!

Greece Seasons – Spring In Greece

Traditional greek door on Sifnos island close to Athens

Spring is a fantastic season to visit any area of Greece; with longer and warmer days, the landscape naturally blossoms with colorful flowers and fragrant herbs.

The mountains in northern Greece are a perfect destination since the weather is mild and pleasant, allowing visitors to enjoy long hikes in nature.

Another excellent spring destination is Crete , Greece’s biggest island, the country’s southern territory, quite close to the coasts of Africa.

Summers here are arid and hot, mainly on the southern coast, so visiting during spring makes the trip more enjoyable while still allowing visitors to swim in the sea, which is sometimes much cooler on other islands.

Greece Seasons -Winter In Greece

Best Time To Visit Greece - Aerial view of Falakro ski center, Greece. The ski resort of Falakro ski center

Winter begins between late October and November. In northern Greece, the landscape changes slowly, and high peaks can see snow quite early during the season.

Southern Greece, instead, sees the first days of cold at the beginning of December. Although many coastal settlements and islands do not have freezing temperatures, the weather is grey and rainy, which helps maintain warmer temperatures.

Greece sees its coldest days during January and February; if you plan to ski, head to Olympos, Veria, or Parnassos. If you prefer milder weather, reach the Aegean Islands, the Ionian, the Dodecanese , and Crete, where winters are much warmer.

Greece Seasons – Autumn In Greece

Agios Kirikos village on Ikaria island in Greece

Autumn In Greece is probably the most beautiful season. It is sometimes even warmer than in spring (2 to 4 degrees Celcius higher – 50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit).

The early weeks of the fall season are the best months to visit the islands . The seawater temperatures can be even higher than they were in the middle of summer after months of sun exposure.

Fall can be very hot in the country’s south, on some islands, even until the end of November. Typical characteristics are the clear skies and calm days, with little to no wind on some islands, including Karpathos or Crete.

A holiday at the end of September benefits visitors with fantastic weather, still little rain, warm sea, and other perks such as emptier cities and beaches and cheaper accommodation!

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Best time of the year to visit greece.

Sarakiniko Beach Milos island

This might be one of the tourists’ top questions before visiting the country. It all depends, of course, on the kind of traveler you are and the type of holidays you and your family enjoy the most, but in general, it is fair to say that traveling to Greece in autumn can be the best bet to find good weather and little to no rainy days.

On the other hand, those keen on skiing and several different winter sports will find winter a magnificent moment to travel around the country. Perfect for exploring those areas of Greece that are lesser-known to mass tourism. And, even if winters are cold and snowy in some regions, “cold winters” in Greece are not as rigid as in the north of Europe.

This makes the country much more pleasant for those who do not count wet winters among their favorite moments of the year!

The Warmer Months: Spring, Summer, And Fall

Meteora Monasteries_Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, the largest_Greece

Best Things To Do In Greece And Places To Visit

Right after Easter is the moment when Greece officially begins its extended summer season. Greek Easter takes place at a different date every year, but usually around the end of April and the end of May.

On most islands, the end of Easter weekend marks the official start of tourist activities. This is when most seasonal hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops , resorts, and even entire villages open up again to the public.

Prices are still very affordable, even on luxurious and exclusive islands. For instance, accommodation on Santorini or Mykonos , traditionally very expensive for 5-star hotels, can be much more affordable and easier to book during the months of April and May.

Schools usually close during the second week of June in Greece; this enhances the hot summer atmosphere with families and kids visiting local beaches even during weekdays.

This is the time of the year when regular and charter flights start arriving on the islands with a higher frequency, and many festivals and artistic activities are going on all over the country.

The weather is certainly warmer, and it is easy to find foreign tourists all over Greece.

Athens  also receives more travelers who spend a few days visiting the capital to reach some of the Cycladic Islands then. At the same time, every Greek port starts increasing the ferry routes to almost every Greek destination.

July and August are often the craziest and busiest months on every island. Prices go up, sometimes even doubled, and finding last-minute accommodation, car rental , and even a spot in a restaurant without a reservation can be mission impossible!

Cities are full of tourists and traffic. Every tourist attraction is crowded, and there are queues everywhere: museums, archaeological sites, open cinemas, and even the shower at the beach !

Traveling during the Greek sunny summers requires a calm philosophy and unique doses of patience that not every tourist has.

As a general piece of advice, avoid the Greek summer months of July and August if:

  • You are on a budget
  • You do not love crowds
  • You can’t stand scorching weather
  • You are not patient

The Cold Season In Greece: Winter

Best Time To Visit Greece - Aerial view of famous snowy Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki

The period between December and March is the coldest moment to visit Greece. Several structures are closed or working with reduced hours; everything is quieter and even cheaper!

Suppose you do not suffer from cold temperatures. In that case, this is the right time to enjoy long walks in nature, visit museums and archaeological sites , explore exhibitions and art galleries, mingle with the locals, and spend extended periods in the country.

Some islands see very clear days, sometimes with warm temperatures that allow you to wear short sleeves and enjoy long walks by the sea, Rhodes is one of them, but as a general rule, winter is not the best moment to enjoy beach time in Greece.

There are tons of other things to do instead everywhere in the country. The Northern regions of the country are the ones that see the coldest days, with abundant snow on the mountains and ski runs open to the public, sometimes starting as early as in November and always until at least mid-February.

At lower altitudes, it’s common to experience rain, fog, and humidity, making you feel cold temperatures more intensely. If you’re traveling to Greece in winter , do some research and pack wisely. Choose layers and warm materials, and pack a jacket , along with winter basics such as hats, gloves, and scarves; you will need them!

If you prefer warmer temperatures, choose regions such as the Peloponnese or islands like Rhodes or Crete , enjoying several sunny days during the winter season with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Avid skiers and winter enthusiasts will find a wide choice of destinations to explore and discover. Some of them are loved by locals who can be more passionate about winter landscapes and cold weather than you might think.

The country is home to many fantastic ski resorts that often get crowded during Christmas and winter .

Places to practice winter sports include the Velouxi Ski Resort in Karpenisi , a town in Evrytania. The resort is about five hours from Athens and is a magnificent destination for snowboarding, with its one-of-a-kind snowboard park. Greeks also love to ski in Mount Parnassos, Volos, and Kalavryta, to mention a few.

Another popular place that often receives the nickname of winter Mykonos is Kaimaktsalan Ski Center, on Mount Voras, about 40 kilometers from Thessaloniki , a great city to visit in winter too.

Thessaloniki is the second most important city in Greece. It’s a young and pretty much alive destination, where thousands of students all over Greece come to study at the most important university in the country. For this reason, the city is a vibrant destination all year round, and it does not close its doors during winter.

When deciding which destinations to visit in Greece during winter, do not forget to keep the following details in mind:

  • Prices are more convenient for hotels and accommodation in general, but the offer tends to be reduced, especially on the island
  • The routes for ferries to the islands are very reduced; some small islands count with only one or two ferries per week
  • Some islands heavily depend on the mainland to get provisions during winter; when the winds are so strong that the ferry services are suspended, it can be difficult to find basic supplies even in the biggest supermarkets; the same goes for fuel.
  • Mountain roads can be snowy, slippery, and even closed on some days; always keep chains for the snow in your car when venturing into the mountains during winter. Some villages can be cut off by heavy snow; always check the weather forecast before getting on the road!

As you can see, the country is truly a year-round destination, with experiences and unique things to do all year round, beaches, mountains, villages… you name it, Greece will probably have it ready for you.

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When To Go To Greece FAQs

When is the best time to visit greece to explore ancient sites.

Ancient sites in Greece are best explored during the mild weather of late spring (late May) or early fall (late September) when the temperatures are pleasant and there are fewer crowds.

What’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities in Greece?

For outdoor enthusiasts, early November offers cooler days that are perfect for hiking, biking, and other outdoor adventures, especially in the mountainous areas.

When can I experience the Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations?

The Greek Orthodox Easter, known for its unique traditions, falls in the spring. Holy Week culminates in a grand celebration, making late April a wonderful time to witness this cultural event.

When is the Carnival season in Greece?

Carnival season in Greece typically occurs in February, leading up to Lent. It’s a lively and colorful time, with various festivities and parades.

What’s the shoulder season in Greece, and why is it a good time to visit?

The shoulder season months in Greece, which include early May and early September, offer mild weather, fewer tourists, and lower hotel prices, making them a great time to visit for those who prefer smaller crowds and lower costs.

What’s the hottest capital city in Greece, and when should I visit it?

Athens, the capital city of Greece, experiences hot weather during the summer months, particularly in July and August. If you enjoy warm weather, this is the time to go.

Which months have the warmest water for beachgoers?

The Ionian Sea , with its warm and inviting waters, is perfect for beach lovers from late June through August when the sea temperature is at its highest.

When is the cheapest time to visit Greece for budget-conscious travelers?

To save on expenses, consider visiting Greece in the coldest months of January and February, when prices for hotels and flights tend to be lower.

What are the best months to explore the mainland of Greece?

The mainland of Greece, rich in historical sites and cultural attractions, can be best explored during the cooler days of early fall or late spring, ensuring a more comfortable experience.

What’s the weather like on the smaller Greek islands during late September?

Smaller islands in Greece enjoy mild and pleasant weather in late September. It’s an excellent time for a quieter island getaway with beautiful beaches and smaller crowds.

So, have you made up your mind already? What season will you be visiting Greece? And where are you planning to go?

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Which Greek Island Should You Visit in 2024?

By Rachel Howard and Condé Nast Traveller

The Best Greek Islands to Visit in 2024

Lord Byron was on to something when he waxed lyrical about the Greek islands. But with more than 200 inhabited to choose from, which ones are the very best Greek islands? Here regular isle-hopper Rachel Howard reveals the ones to get in a speedboat for in 2024, with recommendations on where to stay chosen by the editors of Condé Nast Traveler .

Here, we've also ranked the best Greek islands, from 1 to 29. While we love and highly recommend every island on this list—and advocate visiting all of them throughout your lifetime, if you can—we've also edited the list in order so if it's your first time planning a visit to this magical corner of the world, or you just want to branch out from your usual summer isle trip, we can help you choose where to go next. The order below reflects our well-traveled team's personal opinions, the landscapes, food, beaches, hotel options, and more.

For more recommendations, see our round up of the best Greek Islands hotels .

All listings featured on  Condé Nast Traveler  are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

View from Plaka town Milos

Best of the Greek islands for: A photogenic and dramatic coastline

Everyone knows the  Venus de Milo (which has stood in the Louvre since the 19th century). Until recently, very few had heard of Milos, the volcanic island where Aphrodite’s graceful likeness was discovered. Those in the know jealously guard their treasured island, and especially its 70 (or more) beaches — surely the most diverse and dramatic coastline of all the Greek Islands.

Little by little, though, Milos is being discovered. Instagram is saturated with no-filter shots of the undulating white cliffs at Sarakiniko, the bottle-green swimming hole at Papafragas, and colorful, rickety syrmata, tiny boat houses wedged between rock and sea. (You’ll find the best photo opportunities at Klima and Mandrakia). This painterly landscape was shaped by the minerals that have long been a source of wealth–obsidian, alum, barite and sulphur, which still bubbles up in the island’s many hot springs. As the 11,000-year-old mining industry is gradually giving way to tourism, several chic hotels have made an appearance. Go now, before the trickle of visitors turns into a tide.

Where to stay on Milos:

  • For romance: Milos Cove
  • For families: Captain Zeppos
  • For an eco-retreat: Skinopi Lodge
  • For an authentic stay: Achinos By The Sea

Best of the Greek islands for A long weekend with the art crowd  You know whennbspDakis Joannou Greece's foremost art...

Best of the Greek islands for: A long weekend with the art crowd

You know when Dakis Joannou, Greece's foremost art collector, is on Hydra. His yacht,  Guilty , is painted in gaudy 'camouflage' by Jeff Koons. Every summer, Joannou invites big hitters such as Matthew Barney and David Shrigley to create site-specific installations in the Greek island's old slaughterhouse. Even the school is commandeered for exhibitions in the summer holidays. Car-free and protected by a preservation order, Hydra has always been the artists' muse of the Greek Islands. Leonard Cohen set the scene in the 60s; now Brice Marden, Sadie Coles and Juergen Teller have homes here. Athenian artists take up residence at the School of Fine Arts, one of the vast, grey, stone mansions overlooking the horseshoe harbour. Musicians of all stripes rehearse and record at the  Old Carpet Factory , an 18th-century residence whose double-height ceilings and underground cistern have incredible acoustics.

Less than two hours from Athens , Hydra fills up with chic Greeks at weekends. They come to disconnect and slow down, but also to see and be seen. Wily cats and weary donkeys patrol the back alleys, but all the action happens along the waterfront. Oh look! There's Olivia Palermo at The Pirate Bar and Chloë Sevigny shaking her tail feather at Hydronetta beach bar. Who cares if there are barely any beaches? You can always find a slab of sun-baked rock from which to leap rock from which to dive into the clearest water in the world. See our full guide to  Hydra, Greece .

Where to stay in Hydra:

  • For a boutique stay: Orloff Boutique Hotel
  • For a beachfront stay: Onos Residence
  • For a group: Mirkella sleeps 12 people

Chapel on Sifnos island Greece

Best of the Greek islands for: Big, fat Greek feasts

Sifnos owes its foodie reputation to its most famous descendant, Nicholas Tselementes, who wrote the first Greek cookbook in 1910. Forget souvlaki and moussaka: here, chickpea croquettes and stewed capers are taverna staples. The island is peppered with potteries that produce the earthenware casseroles used for revitháda (baked chickpeas) and mastelo (lamb with red wine and dill). Traditional dishes are slow-roasted in a wood-fired oven at To Meraki tou Manoli, a local institution on sheltered Vathy bay. (While you’re there, invest in some timeless tableware from Atsonios Ceramics, in business since 1870.) In postcard-pretty Artemonas, all roads lead to Theodorou, purveyors of nougat wafers and almond sweets since 1933. You can eat in your bikini at Omega3 , where locally foraged and fished ingredients are given an exotic twist: baby-calamari tempura, smoked eel in chilled melon soup with wasabi, and chickpea sorbet with wild apricot jam and pine nuts. In 2021, Omega3’s previous energetic head chef Giorgos Samoilis opened Cantina , an equally experimental restaurant in Seralia, a pretty little bay below the beautiful medieval village of Kastro. Lobsters are plucked straight from the sea at Heronissos, then served with spaghetti on the jetty. It's just the right balance of low-key luxury and unspoiled authenticity. Rather like Sifnos itself.

Where to stay in Sifnos:

  • For romance:  NÓS
  • For a boutique stay:  Verina Astra
  • For families:  Verina Terra
  • For a laidback stay: Sifnos House
  • For something unique:  This windmill Airbnb

Oia Santorini Greek Islands

4. Santorini

Best of the Greek islands for: Honeymooners and first-timers

Cooing American and Chinese honeymooners line up to take selfies as the sun sinks behind Santorini's caldera, the flooded volcanic crater. That view may be a romantic cliché, but it still takes your breath away. A volcanic explosion blew out Santorini's heart 3,500 years ago, leaving black-sand beaches, vertiginous cliffs in psychedelic hues, and swirling rumors about Atlantis in its wake. The eruption also preserved the ancient city of Akrotiri under layers of ash, and created fertile ground for exceptional Assyrtiko grapes and Vinsanto wines. (Sample them at Domaine Sigalas and Vassaltis wineries, paired with delicate dishes that let the grapes sing.)

Apart from a boat trip to the smoldering crater of Nea Kameni and hot springs at Palia Kameni, there's not much to do but gaze at the mesmerizing views from your suite, dangling on the edge of the caldera. Most places to stay are concentrated in Oia and Imerovigli, but the inland village of Pyrgos is up-and-coming. Go for a twilight Bellini at Franco's Cafe and visit Emporio, with its smattering of old-school coffee shops and Airbnbs. For a glimpse of Santorini before the onslaught of cruise ships and Instagrammers, explore the quieter south (but keep your discoveries to yourself).

Where to stay in Santorini:

  • For laidback luxury: Perivolas
  • For glamour: Nobu Hotel
  • For romance: Andronis Boutique Hotel
  • For families: The Vasilicos
  • For groups: Elilia Superior Villa sleeps 8 people
  • For something unique: this cave house

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Best of the Greek islands for: Culture and off-season cachet

On Syros, capital of the Cyclades, you won’t find sugar-cube villages and whitewashed lanes. The colorful 19th-century city of Ermoupoli is built on twin peaks–one Orthodox, the other Catholic, the heritage of a long Venetian occupation. There’s still a strong Italian flavour in Ermoupoli’s marble piazzas, princely mansions, and miniature replica of La Scala, the showpiece of a year-round cultural scene. Syros hosts festivals of animation, dance, digital art, film, classical music, jazz and rembetiko, the Greek blues popularised by local musician Markos Vamvakaris. A few rembetiko joints have survived in the upper town, Ano Syros.

Once Greece’s ship-building centre, Syros' industry centres around the yard in Neorio. But the most splendid legacy of the shipping industry are the manor houses in Vaporia and Poseidonia. The beaches are slightly less splendid—with the exception of Delfini, Varvarousa, and Aetos in the wild north. But fabulous seaside tavernas abound:  Iliovassilemar on Galissas beach for samphire and sea-urchin salad and rockfish soup;  Allou Yialou in the pretty seaside village of Kini for lobster with orzo. In Ermoupoli, the finest places to eat and drink are around Androu Street: Ousyra , where the chef plates up Greek-ified pasta and beautifully balanced salads, and  Django Gelato , where the pistachio gelato reigns supreme, and the fig sorbet made in August can sell out in less than half an hour. Perhaps the prettiest restaurant of all is  Mazi , a vine-covered courtyard festooned with bougainvillea. Before you leave, stock up on loukoumi (rose-tinted Turkish delight) and San Michali cheese from  Prekas delicatessen , and visit Zeyelo for hand-made wooden sunglasses. For more recommendations, see our insider  guide to Syros .

Where to stay on Syros:

  • For a boutique stay: Xenon Apollonos
  • For glamour: Hotel Ploes
  • For romance: Aristide Hotel
  • For groups: Villa Syros sleeps 12 people

Folegrandos in Greece

6. Folegandros

Best of the Greek islands for: Authenticity with a bohemian buzz

The village square should be your first port of call on any Greek island: settle into your favorite café, pick up local gossip, and adjust to the languid pace of life. On Folegandros, this presents a challenge: the cliff-hanger capital, Hora, has not one but three squares, each brimming with a jumble of cafés, tavernas and dinky raki bars. We recommend  Pounta , where the Danish owner makes and sells the lopsided cups and bowls in which your coffee and Greek yogurt are served. From Hora, zigzagging steps lead up, up and away to the only real landmark, Panagia church; make the pilgrimage at sunrise (perhaps after an all-nighter at diminutive Astarti bar).

Folegandros–which means ‘iron hard’ in ancient Greek–is as barren as its name suggests. Fruit trees are protected from fierce winds by rings of stones. You won’t find sandy beaches lined with sunbeds; only limpid, pebbly coves, such as Katergo, Ambeli and Livadaki. Set in the rocks above Agios Nikolaos bay, Papalagi serves big fat prawns and whole grilled octopus on a wooden deck aligned with the horizon. Water taxis service some beaches in high season; otherwise you’ll have to scramble down rocky footpaths to cool off. On your way home, stop at Mimis or Synantisi in Ano Meria for the island speciality of  matsata (goat or rabbit stew with hand-made pasta).

Where to stay on Folegandros:

  • For views: Anemomilos
  • For families: Anemi
  • For beach access: Blue Sand Hotel
  • For a private stay: Maistros

Best of the Greek islands for Antiquities active adventures and sunshine all year round  Greece's largest island the...

Best of the Greek islands for: Antiquities, active adventures and sunshine all year round

Greece's largest island, the birthplace of Zeus,  Crete has ancient ruins, snow-capped peaks and beaches galore. Sunshine is pretty much guaranteed year round, but spring is especially lovely for rambling and sightseeing. The Minoan palace of Knossos is glorious, despite the steady stream of coach parties (go early: it opens at 8 ); but there are stunning ancient sites, such as Aptera and Malia, peppered all over the island. The 16km-long Samaria Gorge also teems with pilgrims, but there are hundreds more canyons to explore, often with only the elusive kri-kri (wild goats) for company. One of the most staggeringly beautiful hikes is through the Aradena Gorge in the wild and rugged Sfakia region, ending at Marmara, a translucent cove on the Libyan Sea, for a cooling dip and lunch at one of Crete’s finest tavernas, Dialiskari.

With the exception of Elounda–a pocket of bling popular with oligarchs–the north-east coast is scarred by over-development. Head west to the Amari valley or Apokoronas for authentic villages surrounded by olive and orange groves. Or go south, where you'll find the best beaches in Crete–try Ligres, Sougia, or Kedrodasos. Alternatively, take a back-to-nature break at Milia Mountain Retreat , a 16th-century hamlet powered entirely by solar energy. Everything on the mostly organic menu is grown, caught or reared locally. In fact, it’s almost impossible not to eat well on Crete, which produces superb cheese, honey and olive oil, as well as delicious goat, rabbit and smoked-pork dishes. Time slows almost to a standstill in the mountain villages, where locals with formidable whiskers welcome you with shots of raki (Cretan grappa) for breakfast and celebrate saints' days with a volley of gunshots. Even the road signs are peppered with bullet holes.

Where to stay in Crete:

  • For families: Domes Zeen Chania and Cretan Malia Park
  • For romance: Acros Wellness Suites
  • For a great location: Blue Palace Resort & Spa
  • For a village stay: Kapsaliana Village
  • For a private stay: Azure Awe
  • For a group: Cien sleeps 16 people

Best of the Greek islands for Character and lush landscapes  Corfu is the It Girl of the Ionian islands. The...

Best of the Greek islands for: Character and lush landscapes

Corfu is the It Girl of the Ionian islands. The cosmopolitan capital is a charming clash of Venetian, British, and French colonial influences. Evenings kick off with cocktails on the Liston (a colonnade modelled on Paris's Rue de Rivoli), followed by dinner at  Salto , an unpretentious wine bar and bistro on the edge of the Old Town.

With its pastel villages, rolling olive groves and grand manor houses, the rest of the island recalls Tuscany—but with some of the  best beaches in Europe . The smart set stay on Corfu's north-east coast (nicknamed Kensington-on-Sea) where the Rothschilds like to unwind. It's wall-to-wall Sloanes and speedboats at Agni, a tiny fishing village with three rival tavernas (Toula's is the best). From here, you can rent a boat and putter to your own cove: perhaps Nissaki, Agios Stefanos or Kerasia. These idyllic bays still resemble the 'delectable landscape' that Lawrence Durrell fell for in the 1930s–now back in vogue thanks to the ITV series, The Durrells . Or venture inland to  Ambelonas , an enchanting winery, restaurant and cooking school that specializes in unusual local dishes, such as roast pork with quince and crème brûlée with Corfiot kumquats. Steer clear of the south, especially Kavos–unless you happen to like wet T-shirt contests.

Where to stay in Corfu:

  • For a standout spa: Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa
  • For all-inclusive: Ikos Dassia
  • For romance: Domes Miramare
  • For families: Domes of Corfu
  • For groups: Emerald Oasis sleeps 10 people

Naxos old town Greek Islands

Best of the Greek islands for: Endless sandy beaches

Naxiots once made considerable fortunes exporting potatoes, cheese, marble and emery. Locals bequeathed undesirable seaside plots–useless for farming–to their laziest offspring. When tourists cottoned on to the island's scores of fabulous beaches, these wastrels found themselves sitting on gold mines. The west coast of Naxos is fringed with mile upon mile of powdery sands. Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna delight toddlers and teenagers alike with their shallow waters and beach bars. As you head south, the beaches get wilder: Plaka, where you can gallop across the dunes on horseback, Mikri Vigla for windsurfing and kitesurfing, and crystal-clear Kastraki.

Should you tire of frolicking on the shore, three supersized kouros statues are hidden in the hills and there are dozens of drowsy villages to explore. Try kitron, the local citron liqueur, at the Vallindras distillery in Halki or sample homemade wine and arseniko cheese under the plane trees in Ano Potamia village. No wonder Herodotus described Naxos as “the happiest of islands."

Where to stay in Naxos:

  • For romance:  Naxian on the Beach
  • For laidback luxury:  Kavos
  • For a private stay:  Eye of Naxos Sky
  • For families: Hidden Hill

Best of the Greek islands for Laidback family holidays  CastingnbspPenlope Cruz as a Greek peasant is improbable....

10. Cephalonia / Kefalonia

Best of the Greek islands for: Laidback family holidays

Casting Penélope Cruz as a Greek peasant is improbable. Shooting a World War II film on an island flattened by an earthquake in 1953 sounds even crazier. And yet  Captain Corelli's Mandolin put under-the-radar Kefalonia (Cephalonia) in the spotlight in 2001. The dramatic scenery still lives up to the hype: milky-white Myrtos beach, the island's pin-up; pine-fringed Horgota beach; and the giddying heights of Mount Ainos, a national park where wild horses roam. Outdoor Kefalonia organises four-wheel-drive safaris, if you can't face the hairpin bends. Surprisingly, the two prettiest seaside villages–Assos and Fiskardo–didn't make the cut. But the yachting set has discovered their photogenic charm. Everyone from John Galliano to Jon Bon Jovi has jumped ashore to taste the seafood pasta at  Tassia Restaurant in Fiskardo, washed down with local Robola and Muscat wines. (We recommend the organic muscat from the 19th century  Haritatos Vineyard in Lixouri, also an enchanting setting for wine tasting.) The rocky coastline around Fiskardo is deliciously pristine: go snorkeling at tiny Dafnoudi or Emblisi, flanked by slabs of limestone that turn the water electric blue.

Where to stay in Kefalonia:

  • For an adult-only retreat:  F Zeen
  • For families:  Emelisse Nature Resort
  • For groups:  Odyssea sleeps 12 people
  • For a private stay:  Wilderness Whisperings house
  • For something unique:  This sky high villa

Chora of Andros island early in the morning.

Best of the Greek islands for: Walking trails and wild beaches

Divided by four mountain ranges, Andros is like several islands in one. Lush valleys, rushing streams, handsome villages, and wild, windswept beaches are connected by a well-maintained network of hiking trails, making this an excellent off-season destination. Many of Greece’s powerful shipping dynasties hail from Andros; they have bequeathed the island with grand estates, splendid museums, and an elegant neoclassical capital. The marble-paved streets of Chora are full of unexpected treasures: a tiny, open-air cinema showing black-and-white classics, great pizzas and cocktails in a  converted slaughterhouse , sublime sundresses and sandals at  Waikiki boutique. Inland, there are fortified monasteries, ice-cold waterfalls, and fantastic farm-to-table tavernas like Kosses in Ano Fellos, Fofo’s in Livadia, and Tou Josef in Pitrofos to explore. And then there are the mind-blowing beaches: from the spectacular sandy bays of Zorkos, Vitali, and Vori on the north coast to the mellow beach bars at Apothikes and Chryssi Ammos, or the sunset views and old-school fish taverna at Agia Marina, there are options for whichever way the wind or your mood is blowing. You could spend weeks on Andros and still have more to discover.

Where to stay on Andros:

  • For a guesthouse stay: Melisses
  • For privacy: Onar
  • For a village stay: Touchstone House
  • For groups: Five Star Greece

Best of the Greek islands for Naturists and purists  The sleeper hit of the Cyclades Serifos is the summer retreat of...

12. Serifos

Best of the Greek islands for: Naturists and purists

The sleeper hit of the Cyclades, Serifos is the summer retreat of interior designers and architects who prefer to keep the sandy beaches to themselves. (One French home-owner is so protective of her hideaway that she tells all her friends she summers on nearby Sifnos.) Even in August, you’ll find coves where you can skinny dip in blissful solitude. That’s because the best beaches (such as Kalo Ambeli and Skala) are only accessible via bone-rattling dirt roads or donkey tracks. Better still, rent a motor boat from the laidback harbor, Livada. Make sure to moor outside Anna’s taverna on Sikamia beach for freshly caught fish and garden-grown salads.

In the cascading hilltop Hora, there’s barely any nightlife, no smart boutiques or fancy hotels. But who cares when you can kick back with fennel pie and raki at  Stou Stratou , pick up Natassa Kalogeropoulou’s minimalist ceramics at  Kerameio , and listen to Greek folk in the open-air amphitheatre? And all less than three hours from Athens.

Where to stay on Serifos:

  • For a boutique stay: Verina Astra
  • For romance: Chill & Co.
  • For groups: Lenia sleeps 12 people
  • For something unique: This 19th century captain’s house

Best of the Greek islands for Decadent parties and fivestar hotels  Mykonos had LGBTQ clubs and sunrise parties long...

13. Mykonos

Best of the Greek islands for: Decadent parties and five-star hotels

Mykonos had LGBTQ+ clubs and sunrise parties long before rave culture was even invented. Its bohemian allure hasn’t faded since the 1960s, although the once naked beaches now have nail bars, personal trainers and house music pumping out all hours. The influx of supermodels and superyachts has inspired hot new hotels and restaurants. The hippest place to show off your abs is  Scorpios , a louche beach bar that puts Ibiza's finest in the shade (book a cabana to watch the sunset). After hours, it's always Astra, where you might find Keith Richards chatting up Karolina Kurkova. The LGBTQ+ crowd has dwindled, but drag queens and oiled bodybuilders make a splash at Jackie O' , overlooking Super Paradise beach.

If the glitzy excess gets too much, escape to Fokos taverna for superfood salads and lamb chops, or Kiki's, an off-grid grill-shack overlooking Agios Sostis bay, where even Naomi Campbell has to queue for a table. Or cruise over to the tiny island of Delos, an archaeological sanctuary that once thronged with 30,000 sun worshippers (the temple is dedicated to Apollo, the Greek god of light).

Where to stay in Mykonos:

  • For romance: Cali Mykonos
  • For the party scene: Soho Roc House
  • For a laidback stay: Once in Mykonos
  • For families: Santa Marina resort
  • For groups: Bluewave XL sleeps 36 people

Zakynthos Greek Islands

14. Zakynthos / Zante

Best of the Greek islands for: Seaside holidays with toddlers or teens

Zakynthos, or Zante, has shrugged off its reputation as a destination for lads on tour (as long as you avoid Lagana and the built-up south coast) by rebranding itself as one of Greece's greenest islands. It's not just the emerald hills sliding into the electric blue Ionian: much of the south coast is a nature reserve where endangered loggerhead turtles hatch in the sand. The turtle beaches are off limits, but there are countless coves in every hue of green and blue. Favourites are tiny Xigia, with its bubbling underwater springs, and craggy Porto Limnionas, with sunbeds wedged between the rocks and palm-frond umbrellas positioned between the pine trees. Skinari is the starting point for boat trips to the most famous landmarks, the Blue Caves and Shipwreck Beach, where a rusting liner leans into the chalky cliffs. From Keri, you can cast away for Marathonisi island, another turtle sanctuary.

The mountainous interior, all sleepy stone villages poking out of pine forests, is great for hikes and bikes. ( Eco Zante can arrange outdoor activities guided by insiders.)  Askos Stone Park is a wildlife sanctuary inhabited by deer, chinchilla, and dozens of other species. After exploring the Venetian castle high above the harbour, treat the kids to thin-crust pizzas (with grown-up toppings like bresaola, aubergine, and gorgonzola) at  Alesta on cute St Mark's Square.

Where to stay in Zante:

  • For families: Porto Zante
  • For romance: Zante Maris Suites and Olea All Suite Hotel
  • For a private stay: Halcyon Seas
  • For a group: Ble Kyma sleeps 12 people

Best of the Greek islands for Deepblue seas and wideopen spaces  Its not easy to get tonbspAmorgos. In high winds the...

15. Amorgos

Best of the Greek islands for : Deep-blue seas and wide-open spaces

It’s not easy to get to Amorgos. In high winds, the fast ferries stay grounded and the slow boat takes upwards of eight hours from Athens. When you disembark at Katapola, a sleepy harbor lined with great little fish tavernas (our favorites are Prekas and Mouragio), a sign announces: 'Welcome to Amorgos. Nobody will find you here.'

That’s just the point. This craggy Cycladic island has always attracted loners, hikers, divers, and pilgrims, who shuffle up the cliff face to the Monastery of Hozoviotissa, a sliver of white dangling 300 metres above the sea. The water here is a million shades of blue and so startlingly clear you can see every sea urchin lurking on the rocky shore. Even the sage-scented hiking trails are called Blue Paths, because the sea and sky are visible in all directions.

With a population of under 2,000, the locals are outnumbered by shaggy goats that blend in perfectly with the burnished landscape and hippie vibe. But you don't have to be a recluse to fall for Amorgos. There are plenty of all-day spots and a few late-night bars where Amorgos groupies meet, summer after summer: Jazzmin, in Hora, for backgammon and cocktails; Pergalidi in Langada for herbal infusions and jazzy tunes; Seladi in Tholaria, with giddying views and a telescope for stargazing.

Where to stay on Amorgos: There are very few hotels on Amorgos, beyond basic rooms to let.  Vorina Ktismata is the exception, with seven smart apartments looking out across Hora’s white-washed rooftops.

The harbour in Paxos Greece

Best of the Greek islands for: The perfect balance of seclusion and sophistication

One of the tiniest Ionian islands, Paxos packs a big punch. Not for its five-star hotels (there are hardly any) or its sandy beaches (practically none), but for its electric blue sea and three dinky harbor towns, each one so pretty it’s impossible to pick a favorite. In laid-back Loggos, on the northeast coast, star-spangled evenings are spent on the waterfront terrace of Taxidi bar, where the owner, Spiros, often jams with local musicians. You could while away days in the waterfront cafés of Lakka, watching lissom sailors hop on and off their yachts. Protected from the wind but with a lively social scene, the main port of Gaios is characterized by Venetian architecture and a high quota of stylish Italians, who own pale stone villas hidden in the wooded interior or on the crest of the limestone cliffs along the western shoreline. For the many British Paxos aficionados, all roads lead to  Ben’s Bar , a happy-go-lucky hangout on Monodendri beach, where you can laze under the olive trees with French toast and Piña Coladas. Make sure to rent a motor boat to putter along the coast to pebble coves such as Marmari and Kipiadi, or across to Antipaxos, an even smaller island that’s a hit with the yachting set. Paths through vineyards and orchards trickle down to bays with sea so clear it looks retouched.

Where to stay in Paxos:

  • For an authentic stay: Paxos Villa
  • For a great location: Oneiro
  • For groups: Panayia View sleeps 14 people

A beach on Lefkada Greek Islands

17. Lefkada

Best of the Greek islands for: Sailors, surfers, and superstar beaches

Lefkada is something of an anomaly. Unlike the other Ionian islands, it’s accessible from the mainland via a causeway on the northern tip. Lefkada’s main town, flattened by an earthquake in the 1950s, certainly won’t take your breath away, but those famous cliff-backed beaches, Egremni and Porto Katsiki, sure will. You’ll find sheltered beaches no matter which way the wind is blowing; but if you’re here for the swell, the south coast is fantastic for windsurfing (head to Vassiliki or Sivota, home to the world windsurfing championships) and Agios Ioannis bay billows with kite-surfers. At Nidri, ignore the unlovely bars and watersports centres, and hop on a boat to explore the little isles nearby. You can swim through sea caves near Kalamos; eat seared tuna with tarama at Errikos taverna on Meganisi, a favorite of reclusive billionaires; and watch the sunset with a basil-infused Mastiha and tonic at Mylos bar, a converted windmill on Kastos.

Want to cool down or escape the summer crowds? Drive through forests of chestnut and pine into Lefkada’s mountainous interior to the somnolent villages of Karya (home to an enchanting textile museum), Eglouvi (to play backgammon under plane trees) and Exanthia (to watch the setting sun from up in the clouds at Rachi restaurant). You might even see paragliders leaping off the mountain.

Where to stay in Lefkada:

  • For romance: Ibid
  • For views:  New Morning villa

Ithaca Greece

Best of the Greek islands for: A mythical retreat for lovers and loners

Despite its legendary stature, the homeland of Homer's hero, Odysseus, remains surprisingly under the radar. Ithaca’s turquoise and emerald coves are popular with the sailing set, but few visitors venture into the forested hills. So you might be the only person exploring the eighth-century BC ruins of Odysseus’ palace, or making the heady trek to the church of Anogi, covered in Byzantine frescoes (ask for the key at the village coffee shop, where the owner will cook you a set menu of whatever is available–maybe a tomato salad, some local cheese and braised goat—straight from her garden or neighbours’ fields).

From Anogi, it’s an exhilarating two-hire hike down to Kioni, a miniature port where you’ll find  Spavento , the perfect pier-side café-bar. Go any time of day or night for ice-cream sundaes, excellent cocktails, and a soundtrack to make your heart sing. The waterside tavernas at the drowsy fishing port of Frikes are unfailingly delightful, especially  Ageri . The deep, sheltered harbor town of Vathy is barely livelier, but the mood can be deliciously mischievous at Mylos bar. Beaches are mostly small and pebbly, but the sea is as clear and refreshing as gin. Authentic, unspoiled and infuriatingly (or gratifyingly) hard to reach, rugged little Ithaca is somewhere you can still disappear.

Where to stay on Ithaca:

  • For a private stay: Ithaca Airbnb house
  • For families:  Levendis Estate

Best for Traditional villages and knockout tavernas  Tinos has more than 50 villages each vying to be fairest of them...

Best for: Traditional villages and knockout tavernas

Tinos has more than 50 villages, each vying to be fairest of them all. In Pyrgos, famous for its marble craftsmen, sculpted birds and flowers decorate every doorway. In Volax, basket weavers squat outside cottages surrounded by giant boulders, seemingly flung from the heavens by Zeus in a fit of pique. There's even a village called 'love’, Agapi, where you can tuck into wild-fennel fritters at the only taverna. Tinos takes its food culture seriously: there are artichoke, caper and honey festivals.  Marathia launched the island’s farm- (or fishing-boat-) to-table scene, elevating local ingredients into complex modern dishes. For a perfect meal in perfect surroundings, go for cuttlefish risotto and octopus caramelized in grape must at Thalassaki, served on the jetty in Isternia bay, then watch dusk bleed into the horizon from Exomeria bar.

Tinos is only 20 minutes from Mykonos, so it's a wonder it isn't overrun with tourists. The harbor is swarmed on 15 August, however, when Orthodox pilgrims flock here to kiss the Virgin Mary at the Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria, one of the holiest sites in Greece. Otherwise, the island is miraculously untouched. Solitary chapels and whimsical dovecotes stud thyme-scented hills, dropping to sandy bays whipped by the meltemi wind. There's a nascent surfer scene on Kolibithra bay, where a VW camper van has been converted into a cute beach bar.

Where to stay in Tinos:

  • For a guest house stay: Xinara House
  • For a private stay:  The Detailor

Best of the Greek islands for Stark mystique and showstopping villas  Patmos has an indefinablenbspje ne sais quoian...

Best of the Greek islands for: Stark mystique and show-stopping villas

Patmos has an indefinable je ne sais quoi–an otherworldly quality that radiates from its crowning glory, the medieval Monastery of St John. This turreted fortress, bursting with Byzantine relics, is named after John the Divine, who conjured up his apocalyptic revelations in a cave nearby. Pure-white Hora, a World Heritage Site, is where A-listers and fashion editors stay. High walls and heavy doors conceal magnificent mansions dating back to the 16th century. The almighty church has kept nightlife in check. If you must see and be seen, head to quietly glamorous Astivi or Stoa Theo's bar, on miniature Agia Lesbia, in Hora. Beach life is generally languid and low-key; Psili Ammos and Livadi Geranou are our favorite hideouts. Dinner reservations are essential at Benetos, for Med-Asian fusion on an organic farm, and Lambi for grilled fish on a purple pebble beach.

Joining the Patmos in-crowd requires commitment. There's no airport and it's a nine-hour ferry journey from Athens, which keeps the hoi polloi at bay. Seriously reclusive types hop on a fishing boat from Patmos to Marathi and play castaway at Pantelis, a divine taverna with modest rooms to let.

Where to stay in Patmos:

  • For a guest house stay: Pagostas
  • For a private stay: Patmos 360
  • For a village stay: Eirini

Rhodes windmills and lighthouse fort Greek Islands

Best of the Greek islands for: Traveling back in time

When the writer Lawrence Durrell arrived in Rhodes after World War II, he found an island devastated by centuries of crusaders and invaders. Like the fallen Colossus, it was 'a Rhodes dispersed into a million fragments, waiting to be built up again.' Since then, Rhodes has reinvented itself as one of Greece's top travel destinations. The big draw is the medieval citadel in Rhodes Old Town: stroll along the battlements and you'll spy Byzantine churches, Roman ruins, synagogues, and minarets. In the maze of alleys, seek out Marco Polo Mansion, a 15th-century guest-house decorated like a pasha's harem, with an enchanting restaurant in the garden.

Upmarket hotels are clustered around Lindos, its magnificent acropolis surrounded by slate cliffs and emerald coves. Go for the views–and the sublime octopus ragout at Mavrikos restaurant.

As you head south, high-rise resorts give way to stretches of golden sand, such as Glystra, Tsambika, and Fourni. Inland, you'll find alpine forests (Mount Attavyros), hilltop castles (Monolithos), faded frescoes (Saint Nikolaos Fountoukli) and ancient ruins (Kamiros). Marooned on the southern tip, Prasonisi is a powdery peninsula where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean. One side is calm, the other choppy–a metaphor for this island of two halves.

Where to stay in Rhodes:

  • For romance: Casa Cook
  • For history: Kókkini Porta Rossa
  • For a boutique stay:  Melenos Art Boutique Hotel

Symi Greek Islands

Best for: Castaway coves and a picture-perfect port

Little Symi has the prettiest port in Greece. As you round the headland, neoclassical mansions in every shade of apricot and peach rise like a mirage from the sea. Built by 19th-century sponge and spice merchants, the whole town is now a national monument. You need strong legs to explore–it's about 500 steps up to the crumbling acropolis–but you won't need a car. The only proper road peters out at Panormitis monastery, a major pilgrimage site. Ravishing beaches such as Agios Giorgos Dysalona (backed by monumental cliffs) and Marathounda (where goats will try to filch your picnic) are only accessible by boat or on foot. In the rugged hinterland, more than 100 monasteries are hidden among the pine and cypress forests.

With its laid-back glamor, luminous sea and almost tropical microclimate, Symi is a hit with French and Italian yachties. You'll find them eating flash-fried baby shrimp, a local specialty, at Tholos, a sensational taverna where the harbor views almost steal the show.

Where to stay in Symi:

  • For a hotel stay: The Old Markets
  • For a private stay: On The Rocks

Chora village Astypalea Greek Islands

23. Astypalea

Best of the Greek islands for: Escaping the crowds

A throwback to a gentler, slower, more elemental way of life, Astypalea is surprisingly easy to get to (daily one-hour flights from Athens). Every gap in the burnished hills frames a different view of Hora, cascading from the Venetian castle to seaside Skala. The scent of saffron biscuits wafts through the whitewashed lanes. Tucked beneath the battlements, Castro bar has a magical terrace that seems to float above the archipelago.

The nearest beach is Livadi, a sort-of-resort surrounded by citrus orchards. The rest of the island is stark and wild. Treacherous tracks hurtle down to shingle bays such as Vatses, with a rocking beach bar, and Kaminakia, where Linda's farm-to-table taverna serves the best roast goat in the Dodecanese. If you really want to be alone, rent a motorboat from Maltezana, an old-time fishing village, and putter to Koutsomiti and Kounoupes, tiny islands connected by a double-sided beach. At Vathy, a lagoon where erotic graffiti was etched into the rocks 2,500 years ago, the only taverna is called Galini (Peace). Which sums up Astypalea perfectly.

Where to stay in Astypalea: Saluti da Stampalia Suites , with seven subdued but very stylish sea-view rooms, has upped the ante on an island where most accommodation is uninspired.

Elia beach Skiathos in Greece

24. Skiathos

Best of the Greek islands for: Flopping onto a sandy beach with a good book

Skiathos may be the smallest of the Sporades islands, which counts among its number sleepy Alonissos and the pretty  Mamma Mia! location of Skopelos, but it’s by far the most popular, especially with families, who come for the baby powder-soft sandy beaches and laid-back vibe. The island has some of the finest beaches in Greece, with the tree-lined, turquoise-watered Koukounaries in the south the most celebrated and the busiest (forget about getting a sun lounger here in peak season). Those in the north of the island, which can only be accessed by a steep, winding drive through pine groves, are more rugged and windswept but no less idyllic–emerging onto Elia beach on the west coast, with its crystal-clear sea and rickety wooden taverna, is like stepping into a little slice of paradise.

As dusk falls the town starts to liven up, with most of the action centered around Papadiamantis Street, the main shopping drag. Stroll down it on the way to dinner and browse smart boutiques selling handcrafted jewelery and knick-knacks, or pick up local delicacies from the upmarket Ergon deli (reopens in May), which also has outposts in Athens, Thessaloniki and Mayfair. The buzziest restaurants are clustered around the harbour, with Bourtzi, perched atop a tiny rocky island, the best spot for sundowner cocktails and The Windmill a favorite for elegant suppers. For the most charming setting, head to Sklithri and book one of the taverna’s tables right on the beach. Order an ice-cold Mythos beer, baked feta and a platter of perfectly-chargrilled and out-of-this-world delicious vegetables then watch the sun set over the Aegean, with your toes in the sand.

Where to stay in Skiathos:

  • For a hotels stay: Elivi Skiathos
  • For a private stay: Villa Azalea

Best of the Greek islands fornbspLowkey authenticity all year round  Unusually for Greece Aegina is truly an island for...

Best of the Greek islands for:  Low-key authenticity all year round

Unusually for Greece, Aegina is truly an island for all seasons. Only about an hour’s ferry ride from Piraeus, the unpretentious port (briefly the first capital of modern Greece) has a lived-in charm. Athenian weekenders come for the excellent seaside ouzeris; Skotadis, on the harborfront is the standout. Classicists come to explore the portside antiquities of Kolona, the hilltop temple of Aphaia (allegedly the template for the Parthenon) and the ghostly Byzantine chapels at Paleochora. Canny ex-pats have snapped up properties in Pachia Rachi, a stone village with sensational views across the straits to the Peloponnese. The Dumas family, heirs to the Hermès fortune, have been discreetly spending their summers here for decades. With its soft light and gentle landscapes, Aegina has always been a muse for Greek artists and writers, including the prolific painter Nikos Nikolaou, whose former home and atelier is now an  enchanting guesthouse and museum (open on Saturdays by appointment). Thanks to a tight-knit community of locals, Athenian escapees, and cosmopolitan emigrés, there’s always something interesting afoot: live music at Proka bar or  Il Posto , a cosy Italian restaurant in Kypseli village, an exhibition in the 17th century Markellos Tower, or a travel writing and ceramics retreat at  Oikia Karapanou , one of many stately homes in various states of ruin and repair that dot this incredibly diverse island. The only thing Aegina doesn’t have is great beaches—perhaps that’s what has spared this accessible island from over-development. This is an island that doesn’t depend on foreign tourists and is all the better for it.

Where to stay on Aegina:

  • For a hotel stay: Nikolaou Residence
  • For something unique: this bohemian artist's house
  • For a group: Villa Calypso sleeps 11 people

Best of the Greek islands fornbspCastaway dreams and swimming through caves  Michael Anastassiades Lynda Benglis Savvas...

26. Kastellorizo

Best of the Greek islands for:  Castaway dreams and swimming through caves

Michael Anastassiades, Lynda Benglis, Savvas Laz, Silvia and Nicoletta Fiorucci…the number of artists, designers, and their patrons who summer on tiny Kastellorizo is remarkable. Covering less than five square miles, with fewer than 500 inhabitants, this sun-blistered fleck lies just over one nautical mile from Turkey’s Anatolian coast. You can sail across to the town of Kaş for kofte and a trawl though the flea market and be back in time for a sundowner at Faros, a day-to-night hangout in the old lighthouse beside the mosque. A confluence of Levantine influences draws a culturally curious crowd to this remote Aegean outpost. Once a thriving maritime economy, Kastellorizo was bombed during World War II and then virtually abandoned. Gradually, the handsome sponge and spice merchants’ houses in vibrant shades of turquoise and terracotta are being revived as artists’ residences (such as Fiorucci’s 4Rooms), or enchanting guesthouses like  Mediterraneo . You can dive straight from Mediterraneo’s sundeck into the port, where sea turtles bob alongside colorful fishing boats. There’s not much action beyond the waterfront strip known as the  kordoni , or shoelace: a little snorkeling, cave swimming, or boat-watching, a ramble along goat tracks, a slow supper of stuffed onions under the fairy-lit plane trees at Ta Platania, or perhaps some yoga in the wild on the even tinier islet of Ro. This is a pure and simple Greece.

Where to stay on Kastellorizo:

  • For a boutique stay:  Casa Mediterraneo
  • For romance:  Mediterraneo
  • For groups:  The Admiral’s House

Antiparos Church Cyclades Greece

27. Antiparos

Best of the Greek islands for:  Relaxed cool

This tiny island packs a surprisingly hip scene into its low-slung hills and shallow coves. Most of the action centres around the dinky port, where life drifts by in the waterfront cafés and the lively strip that leads to the square. Every season, more upmarket restaurants ( Yam ,  Lollo’s ) and boutiques ( More than This ,  Zali ) spring up alongside classic dive bars like  Doors and Lucky Luke. At dusk, all roads predictably lead to  Sunset bar for a spritz; after hours, everyone stumbles to cult disco La Luna, where both the décor and music are stuck in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

By day, the scene is way more mellow: brunch at  Margarita’s in town or  Time Marine  on Psaralyki, one of a string of shallow, narrow beaches along the southern coastline. Beyond the modest, boxy houses of the harbour town are dozens of sensational villas designed by in-demand architects. The fanciest properties are scattered around Soros and Agios Georgios bays, where you’ll also find two of the island’s best tavernas,  Peramataki and  Captain Pipinos . The latter is a short boat or kayak ride from Despotiko island, where goats roam around the semi-excavated sanctuary of Apollo. The beauty of Antiparos is that nothing is more than ten minutes away, and after a couple of days, you’ll feel like a regular, bumping into the same good-looking faces wherever you go. If you get cabin fever, you can hop on the 7-minute ferry to Paros for kite surfing, windsurfing, fine dining, or village hopping.

Where to stay on Antiparos:

  • For a hotel stay: The Rooster
  • For a private stay: Antiparos Escape Villas  and Oliaros

Best of the Greek islands fornbspDistinctive architecture and good vibes  Long overlooked because of its checkered...

Best of the Greek islands for:  Distinctive architecture and good vibes

Long overlooked because of its checkered history—this Dodecanese Island was an Italian naval base from 1912–1943, and later became the site of a notorious insane asylum—Leros is all the better for flying under the radar. The vast natural harbor of Lakki (an excellent marina for sailboats) still bears the surreal hallmarks of Fascist rationalism, an Art Deco mirage that’s like a faded version of Miami on the Med. The colorful neoclassical houses of Agia Marina and Platanos have a more lived-in feel, peppered with appealing patisseries, antique shops, and B&Bs. Italian cognoscenti and Turkish yachties have discovered Leros for one very good reason:  Mylos by the Sea , arguably the best seafood restaurant in Greece, with a hopelessly romantic setting overlooking a windmill jutting out to sea. Sunset watchers converge on  Harris Bar , another windmill poised between the medieval castle of Panagia and Panteli’s pebbly beach. Most beaches on Leros may be small and scrappy, but the water is luminous and there are just enough low-key beach bars like  Zephyros  and  Lime . Since restaurants cater mainly to Greeks, the food scene is authentic and affordable: Thea Artemis taverna on gentle Blefouti bay, Lychnari in Lakki, and the cult souvlaki joint Yparxo in Platanos are local favorites. Although there’s a tiny domestic airport, there are no international flights or big, branded resorts on Leros. Instead, there are family-run guesthouses brimming with character, where you feel more like a friend than a room number.

Where to stay on Leros:

  • For glamour:  Villa Clara
  • For (vegan) romance:  Archondiko Angelou
  • For a private stay:  Lakki Old Farmhouse

Best of the Greek islands fornbspFamily holidays with the smart society set  If it werent for Sotirios Anargyros Spetses...

29. Spetses

Best of the Greek islands for:  Family holidays with the smart society set

If it weren’t for Sotirios Anargyros, Spetses might be as barren as its more bohemian neighbor, Hydra. In the early 20th century, after making a killing in tobacco, Anargyros bought up huge swathes of the island and planted thousands of pine trees. Anargyos also founded the famous boarding school (whose grounds are a lovely spot for an evening stroll) that inspired a certain English teacher to write The Magus , and built the Poseidonion, a grand harbor-front hotel that has been gloriously restored (there’s no finer place for an aperitivo). From the heirloom-filled mansions built on shipping fortunes to the horse-drawn carriages and tasteful yachts, the whole place reeks of old money. But there’s plenty of new-fangled fun too: late-night bars ( Bikini  or retro-cool  Bar Spetsa ), two open-air cinemas, stylish boutiques ( The Closet , whose resident cats are an attraction), and expensive restaurants ( Patralis  and  Tarsanas  vie for the best fish soup). In the summer, Spetses is a sociable place to see and be seen. But it’s also lovely off-season, when you can hike the gentle green hills or cycle the coastal road that circles the island (there’s even a Tweed Run in October). Compact, well-kept, and easily accessible from Athens (2-3 hours by catamaran), Spetses is a people-pleaser for all ages and seasons.

Where to stay on Spetses:

  • For glamour:  Poseidonion Grand Hotel
  • For families:  Orloff Resort
  • For a private stay:  Magus House

This article was originally published on Condé Nast Traveller U.K.

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Woman&Home

Woman&Home

Best places to visit in Greece - the destinations loved by experts, locals and tourists

Posted: November 7, 2023 | Last updated: November 7, 2023

<p>                     <strong>Choosing the best places to visit in Greece is an almost impossible task. Home to hundreds of islands, buzzing metropolitan cities steeped in history and culture, and a coastline that spans almost 16,000km, the country truly has something for everyone. </strong>                   </p>                                      <p>                     If you’re looking for one of the best European city breaks, you could start with Athens, the birthplace of Western civilization. Nowadays it’s a city of contrasts where you’ll find archaeological sites nestled next to lively coffee shops, market stalls and cocktail bars. Or you could head to the best Greek islands, all possessing their own unique charm, cuisine, and exquisite scenery. Then there’s everything in-between: the mountainous landscapes, towering cliffs, and endless beaches that you’ll find across the country.                    </p>                                      <p>                     As someone who's traveled around Greece for the last decade, with a short stint of living in it, I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of the best places to visit. But just to be sure, I've also enlisted the help of my Greek friends and family members to cover a mixture of destinations - from some of the best islands in Europe, to accessible areas of the mainland. Whether you’re looking for sun, sea, sand, culture, or a buzzing culinary experience, as one of the best places to visit in Europe, Greece can satiate all these desires.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <em>BY ANNA PAUL</em>                   </p>

Choosing the best places to visit in Greece is an almost impossible task. Home to hundreds of islands, buzzing metropolitan cities steeped in history and culture, and a coastline that spans almost 16,000km, the country truly has something for everyone.

If you’re looking for one of the best European city breaks, you could start with Athens, the birthplace of Western civilization. Nowadays it’s a city of contrasts where you’ll find archaeological sites nestled next to lively coffee shops, market stalls and cocktail bars. Or you could head to the best Greek islands, all possessing their own unique charm, cuisine, and exquisite scenery. Then there’s everything in-between: the mountainous landscapes, towering cliffs, and endless beaches that you’ll find across the country.

As someone who's traveled around Greece for the last decade, with a short stint of living in it, I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of the best places to visit. But just to be sure, I've also enlisted the help of my Greek friends and family members to cover a mixture of destinations - from some of the best islands in Europe, to accessible areas of the mainland. Whether you’re looking for sun, sea, sand, culture, or a buzzing culinary experience, as one of the best places to visit in Europe, Greece can satiate all these desires.

Click through to read the full story… BY ANNA PAUL

<p>                     No trip to Greece would be complete without a trip to its capital, Athens. A sprawling, modern metropolis overlooked by the Acropolis, a citadel that's sat on top of a rocky outcrop since 5th century BC. Even if you're not interested in history, it's hard not to marvel at the ancient Greek monumental complex, which can be seen from virtually every corner of the city. In the summer months, you can also attend concerts, opera and theatre performances at Odeon Herodes Atticus, the ancient theatre perched on the Acropolis. It's a true bucket list experience. Once you've scaled the heights of the Acropolis, head down to check out the museum which details the history of the site and the city as a whole.                    </p>                                      <p>                     Next, head down to the heart of Athens, starting with Monisteraki and its buzzing street stalls and tavernas. If you're after street food, head to Kosta's Souvlaki where you can grab a pitta filled with pork, beef or chicken with onion, tomato and Kostas 'secret' tomato sauce. If you want to sit down with the locals for a meal (or just impress your friends with your insider knowledge), head to Avli, a rustic taverna that you can access via an unmarked door at Agiou Dimitriou 12. Once you find the door - which admittedly can be hard - you'll find a lively yard packed with small tables, delicious meals, jugs of local wine and live music.                    </p>                                      <p>                     For fine dining, head to Hytra, a Michelin star restaurant in Koukaki - a creative neighborhood, located in the shadow of the Acropolis. Enjoy the 11-course tasting menu which takes reimagines traditional Greek recipes, re-creating them with freshly sourced raw materials. If the food wasn't enough to convince you, the panoramic view of the Acropolis will be. Head there at sunset for some truly breathtaking views.                    </p>                                      <p>                     Then there are the bars and coffee shops, of which Athens has many. Go to Minu in Psyrri, a minimalistic haven where you can buy mood-boosting plants and handcrafted homeware, or simply sip your coffee and take in the urban oasis. Stay in Psyrri which is packed with cocktail bars (we recommend Juan Rodriguez but you have plenty to choose from).                     </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip:</strong> Download 'Beat' - Greece's answer to Uber. Most of the city's yellow taxis operate with the app but prices are far lower (and language barriers kept to a minimum).                   </p>

No trip to Greece would be complete without a trip to its capital, Athens. A sprawling, modern metropolis overlooked by the Acropolis, a citadel that's sat on top of a rocky outcrop since 5th century BC. Even if you're not interested in history, it's hard not to marvel at the ancient Greek monumental complex, which can be seen from virtually every corner of the city. In the summer months, you can also attend concerts, opera and theatre performances at Odeon Herodes Atticus, the ancient theatre perched on the Acropolis. It's a true bucket list experience. Once you've scaled the heights of the Acropolis, head down to check out the museum which details the history of the site and the city as a whole. 

Next, head down to the heart of Athens, starting with Monisteraki and its buzzing street stalls and tavernas. If you're after street food, head to Kosta's Souvlaki where you can grab a pitta filled with pork, beef or chicken with onion, tomato and Kostas 'secret' tomato sauce. If you want to sit down with the locals for a meal (or just impress your friends with your insider knowledge), head to Avli, a rustic taverna that you can access via an unmarked door at Agiou Dimitriou 12. Once you find the door - which admittedly can be hard - you'll find a lively yard packed with small tables, delicious meals, jugs of local wine and live music. 

For fine dining, head to Hytra, a Michelin star restaurant in Koukaki - a creative neighborhood, located in the shadow of the Acropolis. Enjoy the 11-course tasting menu which takes reimagines traditional Greek recipes, re-creating them with freshly sourced raw materials. If the food wasn't enough to convince you, the panoramic view of the Acropolis will be. Head there at sunset for some truly breathtaking views. 

Then there are the bars and coffee shops, of which Athens has many. Go to Minu in Psyrri, a minimalistic haven where you can buy mood-boosting plants and handcrafted homeware, or simply sip your coffee and take in the urban oasis. Stay in Psyrri which is packed with cocktail bars (we recommend Juan Rodriguez but you have plenty to choose from).  

Top tip: Download 'Beat' - Greece's answer to Uber. Most of the city's yellow taxis operate with the app but prices are far lower (and language barriers kept to a minimum).

<p>                     Eschew some of the more popular islands and head to Milos for a truly romantic holiday. Accessible via a short flight from Athens or a ferry ride from the popular islands of Santorini, Paros or and Mykonos, this unique island is worth adding to any travel-hopping itinerary.                    </p>                                      <p>                     The volcanic island in the Aegean sea has been growing in popularity over recent years but it still remains unblemished by swelling tourism. Brimming with beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, it offers everything you’d expect from a Greek Island. But the truly unique thing about Milos is its spell-binding lunar landscapes. Its chalk-white cliffs overlooking the azure-blue ocean feel (quite literally) other-worldly. Sarakiniko Beach boasts white rock formations which have smoothed and shaped over time, giving you the sensation you’re walking on the moon. For a truly unique experience, head to the beach before 8am and immerse yourself in the vast, chalky landscape. Drink in the view of the white-bone moonscapes, then jump into the azure sea below. The beach doesn’t offer much natural shade so if you want to avoid the hottest time of the day, plan to go to the beach for the sunset. We recommend traveling in May or early June. August is hot - and windy, which makes swimming difficult.                    </p>                                      <p>                     There is no public transport operating to the beach, so think about renting a car, scooter, or ATV. The beach is around 10 minutes from Adamas and Plaka so taxis are also reasonable.                   </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>There are no restaurants or bars at Sarakiniko beach, so come ready with water and food. It’s not far from nearby towns but you will have to hop in the car to get there. Be braced: there are also no public toilets.                    </p>

Eschew some of the more popular islands and head to Milos for a truly romantic holiday. Accessible via a short flight from Athens or a ferry ride from the popular islands of Santorini, Paros or and Mykonos, this unique island is worth adding to any travel-hopping itinerary. 

The volcanic island in the Aegean sea has been growing in popularity over recent years but it still remains unblemished by swelling tourism. Brimming with beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, it offers everything you’d expect from a Greek Island. But the truly unique thing about Milos is its spell-binding lunar landscapes. Its chalk-white cliffs overlooking the azure-blue ocean feel (quite literally) other-worldly. Sarakiniko Beach boasts white rock formations which have smoothed and shaped over time, giving you the sensation you’re walking on the moon. For a truly unique experience, head to the beach before 8am and immerse yourself in the vast, chalky landscape. Drink in the view of the white-bone moonscapes, then jump into the azure sea below. The beach doesn’t offer much natural shade so if you want to avoid the hottest time of the day, plan to go to the beach for the sunset. We recommend traveling in May or early June. August is hot - and windy, which makes swimming difficult. 

There is no public transport operating to the beach, so think about renting a car, scooter, or ATV. The beach is around 10 minutes from Adamas and Plaka so taxis are also reasonable.

Top tip: There are no restaurants or bars at Sarakiniko beach, so come ready with water and food. It’s not far from nearby towns but you will have to hop in the car to get there. Be braced: there are also no public toilets. 

<p>                     Zakynthos island is known for its wild nightlife, but don't be deterred by its party reputation, as the island offers so much more. Its airport is small but extremely well-served, meaning you can often take advantage of holiday deals on offer.                    </p>                                      <p>                     Once again, renting a car is advisable to really scale the island and experience its breathtaking views in their full glory. But if you can't, consider staying in Zante Town - the island's capital, where the central bus station is located. Full of picturesque Venetian-style houses and buildings, the town is the cultural hub of the island. But to really immerse yourself in the island culture, head to Vasilikos, the village and community which is located around 15 kilometers south of the town. This part of the island is decidedly sleepy, making it one of the best European vacations for families but solo travelers or couples would enjoy it just as much. While away the day on Gerakas Beach, a long, golden beach on the southern tip of the peninsula, home to the famous Loggerhead Turtles who nest in protected areas of the beaches. Banana beach, the biggest beach on the island is also located nearby. A long, wide beach with sparkling and shallow waters, you can also take part in an array of watersports here.                    </p>                                      <p>                     If you have a car, take a 15-minute ride to Porto Mela, a taverna perched on Dafni beach that serves up all the favorites plus a selection of fresh seafood. If you're feeling adventurous, try rabbit in red sauce (kouneli stifado) - one of the island's signature dishes. Like most Greek cuisine, it's delicious, messy, and entirely unpretentious. Most restaurants will have different stifado options with other meats on offer too. Wash it down with a carafe of local wine - the island is home to many large vineyards and it's common for families to produce their own.                   </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>While the south is rich with nature, beaches, and cuisine, don't leave Zante before visiting the north end of the island where the famous Navagia beach is located. Otherwise known as shipwreck beach, the remains of the MV Panagiotis ship have been planted on the white sand since the ship sunk in 1982. It's accessible only by boat, but avoid booking a boat to specifically go there - instead find an itinerary that includes Navagia beach as part of an island tour. In most cases, you'll pay the same price but see multiple destinations.                    </p>

3. Zakynthos

Zakynthos island is known for its wild nightlife, but don't be deterred by its party reputation, as the island offers so much more. Its airport is small but extremely well-served, meaning you can often take advantage of holiday deals on offer. 

Once again, renting a car is advisable to really scale the island and experience its breathtaking views in their full glory. But if you can't, consider staying in Zante Town - the island's capital, where the central bus station is located. Full of picturesque Venetian-style houses and buildings, the town is the cultural hub of the island. But to really immerse yourself in the island culture, head to Vasilikos, the village and community which is located around 15 kilometers south of the town. This part of the island is decidedly sleepy, making it one of the best European vacations for families but solo travelers or couples would enjoy it just as much. While away the day on Gerakas Beach, a long, golden beach on the southern tip of the peninsula, home to the famous Loggerhead Turtles who nest in protected areas of the beaches. Banana beach, the biggest beach on the island is also located nearby. A long, wide beach with sparkling and shallow waters, you can also take part in an array of watersports here. 

If you have a car, take a 15-minute ride to Porto Mela, a taverna perched on Dafni beach that serves up all the favorites plus a selection of fresh seafood. If you're feeling adventurous, try rabbit in red sauce (kouneli stifado) - one of the island's signature dishes. Like most Greek cuisine, it's delicious, messy, and entirely unpretentious. Most restaurants will have different stifado options with other meats on offer too. Wash it down with a carafe of local wine - the island is home to many large vineyards and it's common for families to produce their own.

Top tip: While the south is rich with nature, beaches, and cuisine, don't leave Zante before visiting the north end of the island where the famous Navagia beach is located. Otherwise known as shipwreck beach, the remains of the MV Panagiotis ship have been planted on the white sand since the ship sunk in 1982. It's accessible only by boat, but avoid booking a boat to specifically go there - instead find an itinerary that includes Navagia beach as part of an island tour. In most cases, you'll pay the same price but see multiple destinations. 

<p>                     You might know the name thanks to Kalamata's famous olives, but the capital of Messinia offers plenty more than just that. A pit stop for some of the best cruises and served by many major airlines, Kalamata is a seriously underrated holiday destination. Located 2.5 hours away from the capital, it's a popular hotspot for Athenians and other Greek tourists but it's still completely unspoiled by the swarms of international tourists. Make no mistake though - this is a city built for tourism, with luxury resorts, fine cuisine, and endless beaches. By summer, the beachfront is the place to be, lined with restaurants and beach bars that stay open until the early hours. In winter, the picturesque old town livens up. You can visit the castle or the archaeological museum but the best thing to do in Kalamata is just to do nothing at all and spend days wandering between beach bars, tavernas and dipping in the crystal blue water. There are endless sandy and pebbled beaches along the coastline which progressively get quieter and quieter as you edge away from the main marina.                   </p>                                      <p>                     You're spoilt for choices when it comes to cuisine, but pay a visit to the taverna of Kosta Vassiliadis (Stou Kosta). Regularly featured in top restaurant guides, everything is local and everything is fresh - from the meat, to fish to the verdant salads. The taverna is relatively hard to find unless you have a GPS but that doesn't deter the crowds: it's always packed - and for a reason. Expect to see Kostas floating from table to table chatting to everyone and introducing the food. As all the best tavernas do, they offer their own twist on the classics. The moussaka here is made with finely sliced veal instead of minced meat, layered on top of sliced aubergines and finished with a bechamel sauce. To sample the best local wares though, let your server choose your dishes for you. It goes without saying, too, that you need to sample the local olives when you're there.                     </p>                                      <p>                     The pace of life is slow in Kalamata but it has a lively nightlife. In the center, enjoy a perfectly mixed cocktail in Luna Loungeor local favorite, Bistroteca. The city can be enjoyed by all ages, making it one of best vacations for over 60s and families alike.                   </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>Take a day trip to the village of Kardamylli, under one hour away from Kalamata. The sleepy village sits below the Taygetos Mountains so is ripe for hiking, but you'll get equal pleasure just taking in the charm of the settings. The drive through the narrow, sloping mountains is picturesque and relatively short but is admittedly quite terrifying if you're not used to Greek roads. During the summer season, buses run approximately three times a day.                   </p>

4. Kalamata

You might know the name thanks to Kalamata's famous olives, but the capital of Messinia offers plenty more than just that. A pit stop for some of the best cruises and served by many major airlines, Kalamata is a seriously underrated holiday destination. Located 2.5 hours away from the capital, it's a popular hotspot for Athenians and other Greek tourists but it's still completely unspoiled by the swarms of international tourists. Make no mistake though - this is a city built for tourism, with luxury resorts, fine cuisine, and endless beaches. By summer, the beachfront is the place to be, lined with restaurants and beach bars that stay open until the early hours. In winter, the picturesque old town livens up. You can visit the castle or the archaeological museum but the best thing to do in Kalamata is just to do nothing at all and spend days wandering between beach bars, tavernas and dipping in the crystal blue water. There are endless sandy and pebbled beaches along the coastline which progressively get quieter and quieter as you edge away from the main marina.

You're spoilt for choices when it comes to cuisine, but pay a visit to the taverna of Kosta Vassiliadis (Stou Kosta). Regularly featured in top restaurant guides, everything is local and everything is fresh - from the meat, to fish to the verdant salads. The taverna is relatively hard to find unless you have a GPS but that doesn't deter the crowds: it's always packed - and for a reason. Expect to see Kostas floating from table to table chatting to everyone and introducing the food. As all the best tavernas do, they offer their own twist on the classics. The moussaka here is made with finely sliced veal instead of minced meat, layered on top of sliced aubergines and finished with a bechamel sauce. To sample the best local wares though, let your server choose your dishes for you. It goes without saying, too, that you need to sample the local olives when you're there.  

The pace of life is slow in Kalamata but it has a lively nightlife. In the center, enjoy a perfectly mixed cocktail in Luna Loungeor local favorite, Bistroteca. The city can be enjoyed by all ages, making it one of best vacations for over 60s and families alike.

Top tip: Take a day trip to the village of Kardamylli, under one hour away from Kalamata. The sleepy village sits below the Taygetos Mountains so is ripe for hiking, but you'll get equal pleasure just taking in the charm of the settings. The drive through the narrow, sloping mountains is picturesque and relatively short but is admittedly quite terrifying if you're not used to Greek roads. During the summer season, buses run approximately three times a day.

<p>                     No list of the best places to visit in Greece would be complete without mentioning Santorini. Probably the most famous Greek island, Santorini is one of the top summer destinations worldwide and home to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. The island gets extremely busy during the peak summer months, making it one of the best places to visit in September or between March and April when it's marginally quieter.                    </p>                                      <p>                     The windswept volcanic island is known for its whitewashed cubiform houses and mesmerizing sunsets. For the best viewpoint, close your day in the picturesque village of Oia. As one of the most photographed islands, you might feel as though you've already seen the Santorini blue domed churches, and volcanic coves - but experiencing it firsthand is an entirely different experience. As with everywhere in Greece, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Try domatokeftedhes - tomato fritters made with sun-blushed Santorini tomatoes. Wash them down with a glass of Assyrtiko wine from one of the island's 20+ wineries. The microclimate of the island provides a fertile environment for the rare, high-acidity grape.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip:</strong> Consider finding a private tour guide - not only can they give you insider tips but they can help you navigate the island's winding vistas. More crucially, they'll know the best routes to avoid crowds.                    </p>

5. Santorini

No list of the best places to visit in Greece would be complete without mentioning Santorini. Probably the most famous Greek island, Santorini is one of the top summer destinations worldwide and home to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. The island gets extremely busy during the peak summer months, making it one of the best places to visit in September or between March and April when it's marginally quieter. 

The windswept volcanic island is known for its whitewashed cubiform houses and mesmerizing sunsets. For the best viewpoint, close your day in the picturesque village of Oia. As one of the most photographed islands, you might feel as though you've already seen the Santorini blue domed churches, and volcanic coves - but experiencing it firsthand is an entirely different experience. As with everywhere in Greece, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Try domatokeftedhes - tomato fritters made with sun-blushed Santorini tomatoes. Wash them down with a glass of Assyrtiko wine from one of the island's 20+ wineries. The microclimate of the island provides a fertile environment for the rare, high-acidity grape. 

Top tip: Consider finding a private tour guide - not only can they give you insider tips but they can help you navigate the island's winding vistas. More crucially, they'll know the best routes to avoid crowds. 

<p>                     One of the best off-the-beaten-track islands in the Eastern Aegean, Ikaria is an unpretentious and relaxed island, nestled between Mykonos and Samos. It got its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus, who against his father's command, flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea near the island. With its beautiful beaches, endlessly friendly locals, brilliant local fare and healing thermal waters, it's not the worst place to land.                   </p>                                      <p>                     Despite its laid-back vibes, it's an energetic and vibrant island with a lively nightlife and feasts and all-ages parties that wage on until the early hours. As well as these parties, often thrown to mark religious celebrations (of which there are many), the island is also home to an international music festival, Ikaria festival as well as an annual international chess festival. Then of course there are its beaches; Seychelles Beach easily rivals the beauty of the beaches in its namesake, while Therma beach boasts mineral-rich hot springs. It's no wonder the locals are reportedly famous for their long and healthy lifespans. Speaking of which, don't leave the island without trying pefkomelo, the local pine honey.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>Look out for a Panigiri while you're there, or try to plan around one. These are traditional feast days and celebrations that start in the afternoon and last until the morning, marking Saint's name days or other religious holidays. People travel from around the country to attend these and the celebrations can be large-scale with hundreds (or even thousands) of people. Expect lots of food, dancing and general joviality.                    </p>

One of the best off-the-beaten-track islands in the Eastern Aegean, Ikaria is an unpretentious and relaxed island, nestled between Mykonos and Samos. It got its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus, who against his father's command, flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea near the island. With its beautiful beaches, endlessly friendly locals, brilliant local fare and healing thermal waters, it's not the worst place to land.

Despite its laid-back vibes, it's an energetic and vibrant island with a lively nightlife and feasts and all-ages parties that wage on until the early hours. As well as these parties, often thrown to mark religious celebrations (of which there are many), the island is also home to an international music festival, Ikaria festival as well as an annual international chess festival. Then of course there are its beaches; Seychelles Beach easily rivals the beauty of the beaches in its namesake, while Therma beach boasts mineral-rich hot springs. It's no wonder the locals are reportedly famous for their long and healthy lifespans. Speaking of which, don't leave the island without trying pefkomelo, the local pine honey. 

Top tip: Look out for a Panigiri while you're there, or try to plan around one. These are traditional feast days and celebrations that start in the afternoon and last until the morning, marking Saint's name days or other religious holidays. People travel from around the country to attend these and the celebrations can be large-scale with hundreds (or even thousands) of people. Expect lots of food, dancing and general joviality. 

<p>                     Mykonos is known for its dry and windy climate, windmills, white streets, beautiful beaches - and of course, its nightlife. Despite its party reputation, however, the island caters to all interests and ages. Packed with luxury villas, hotels and premium restaurants, it's undoubtedly the best island for celebrity spotting and real VIP treatment. Start your day people-watching in the old town of Chora with a coffee. Your order, regardless of where you are in Greece should be a fredde espresso: a potent iced black coffee that comes with or without sugar. We recommend getting breakfast in Gioras Bakery, the oldest working bakery on the island which has belonged to the same family for over two centuries. Pick up a spanakopita, a filo pastry with layers of spinach, feta and crunchy, golden pastry. For a luxury dining experience, check out NOA which offers a modern taverna menu, with a big focus on farm-to-table dining.                    </p>                                      <p>                     You're spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches, but our favorite is Agios Sostis beach. Unspoiled, compact, and remote, there are no beach bars (or shelter) at this tranquil beach, so do bring your own towels - and lots of sun lotion. The island is windy, but don't let that fool you into thinking the sun isn't blazing hot. Next to the beach is Kiki's taverna, a haunt favored by locals, and for good reason. Open daily until the sun goes down, the restaurant offers stunning fresh food at reasonable prices.                    </p>                                      <p>                     Consider taking a ferry to Syros, a neighboring island just 30 minutes away from Mykonos which has its own distinct personality. Cosmopolitan and Cycladic, the main town is built amphitheatrically on two hills, making for a unique landscape. It's definitely quieter than Mykonos but it's by no means sleepy and is packed with buzzing coffee shops, restaurants and live music venues.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>Expensive doesn't equate to good quality, so plan your meals before you head out. It's easy to be coaxed into sitting somewhere with a nice sea view, particularly in the center of Chora and the beaches of Platis Gialos, but prices can be exorbitant and the quality of the food can be comparatively low. The island is brimming with unforgettable eateries, many of which are very reasonable, so plan before you head out. Similarly, research beach bars and restaurants before you visit them - some venues at Platis Gialos charge $50 for sub-par cocktails, while neighboring ones will offer drastically lower prices for the same setting and quality.                    </p>

Mykonos is known for its dry and windy climate, windmills, white streets, beautiful beaches - and of course, its nightlife. Despite its party reputation, however, the island caters to all interests and ages. Packed with luxury villas, hotels and premium restaurants, it's undoubtedly the best island for celebrity spotting and real VIP treatment. Start your day people-watching in the old town of Chora with a coffee. Your order, regardless of where you are in Greece should be a fredde espresso: a potent iced black coffee that comes with or without sugar. We recommend getting breakfast in Gioras Bakery, the oldest working bakery on the island which has belonged to the same family for over two centuries. Pick up a spanakopita, a filo pastry with layers of spinach, feta and crunchy, golden pastry. For a luxury dining experience, check out NOA which offers a modern taverna menu, with a big focus on farm-to-table dining. 

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches, but our favorite is Agios Sostis beach. Unspoiled, compact, and remote, there are no beach bars (or shelter) at this tranquil beach, so do bring your own towels - and lots of sun lotion. The island is windy, but don't let that fool you into thinking the sun isn't blazing hot. Next to the beach is Kiki's taverna, a haunt favored by locals, and for good reason. Open daily until the sun goes down, the restaurant offers stunning fresh food at reasonable prices. 

Consider taking a ferry to Syros, a neighboring island just 30 minutes away from Mykonos which has its own distinct personality. Cosmopolitan and Cycladic, the main town is built amphitheatrically on two hills, making for a unique landscape. It's definitely quieter than Mykonos but it's by no means sleepy and is packed with buzzing coffee shops, restaurants and live music venues. 

Top tip: Expensive doesn't equate to good quality, so plan your meals before you head out. It's easy to be coaxed into sitting somewhere with a nice sea view, particularly in the center of Chora and the beaches of Platis Gialos, but prices can be exorbitant and the quality of the food can be comparatively low. The island is brimming with unforgettable eateries, many of which are very reasonable, so plan before you head out. Similarly, research beach bars and restaurants before you visit them - some venues at Platis Gialos charge $50 for sub-par cocktails, while neighboring ones will offer drastically lower prices for the same setting and quality. 

<p>                     Hydra, or Ydra as it's known in Greece is a quaint, bohemian island which is accessible via a two-hour ferry ride from Athens. It's completely car-free, meaning the only mode of transport is on a donkey, water taxi or on foot - which is how we explored it. It was a famous hotspot in the 1960s and 1970s for artists and musicians, perhaps most famously, Leonard Cohen, who lived on the island on and off for years (his house used to be marked by a plaque and street sign but in recent years, renovation works have made it harder to find). To this day, it has an artistic feel and is still a hotspot for international artists and writers. Spend your days getting lost in the backstreets and climbing the island's bastions before cooling off for a dip in its waters. While the island has some pleasant beaches, they're generally not super accessible by foot - so if that's how you're exploring the island, we'd recommend instead finding a good bathing spot, like Hydronetta - a bar carved into the coastline which serves soft drinks, snacks and cocktails from dusk 'til dawn. Here, you can access the sparkling (but often choppy) seas via a small ladder. There are pleasant beaches in the island but if you're looking for some of the best beaches in Greece, there are plenty of other islands you can go to. For us, Hydra's charm lies in the blissful lack of cars, its narrow streets and craggy coastline and its bohemian vibes. By night, there are scores of lively tavernas and fun bars that stay open until the last customer decides to leave.                   </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>We'd recommend visiting off-season, in May or October time. At this time of year, accommodation is substantially cheaper, as are the prices in local tavernas and bars.                    </p>

Hydra, or Ydra as it's known in Greece is a quaint, bohemian island which is accessible via a two-hour ferry ride from Athens. It's completely car-free, meaning the only mode of transport is on a donkey, water taxi or on foot - which is how we explored it. It was a famous hotspot in the 1960s and 1970s for artists and musicians, perhaps most famously, Leonard Cohen, who lived on the island on and off for years (his house used to be marked by a plaque and street sign but in recent years, renovation works have made it harder to find). To this day, it has an artistic feel and is still a hotspot for international artists and writers. Spend your days getting lost in the backstreets and climbing the island's bastions before cooling off for a dip in its waters. While the island has some pleasant beaches, they're generally not super accessible by foot - so if that's how you're exploring the island, we'd recommend instead finding a good bathing spot, like Hydronetta - a bar carved into the coastline which serves soft drinks, snacks and cocktails from dusk 'til dawn. Here, you can access the sparkling (but often choppy) seas via a small ladder. There are pleasant beaches in the island but if you're looking for some of the best beaches in Greece, there are plenty of other islands you can go to. For us, Hydra's charm lies in the blissful lack of cars, its narrow streets and craggy coastline and its bohemian vibes. By night, there are scores of lively tavernas and fun bars that stay open until the last customer decides to leave.

Top tip: We'd recommend visiting off-season, in May or October time. At this time of year, accommodation is substantially cheaper, as are the prices in local tavernas and bars. 

<p>                     Greece's vibrant second city, Thessaloniki offers culture, history, food and adventure, yet for some reason, it often gets overlooked as a city break destination. As far as Greek cities go, Athens can sometimes be overwhelming, but Thessaloniki is decidedly less dizzying - not to mention, much milder, meaning that summers are less sticky and humid. Although it's still throbbing with personality and has a buzzing arts, foodie and music scene, the pace is distinctly slower than the capital.                   </p>                                      <p>                     Start the day with the city's famous bougatsa, a breakfast pastry with custard encased in delicious flakey filo pastry. Walk along the seafront the city is best explored by foot. Marvel at the Walls of Thessaloniki, the churches, monasteries and Byzantine baths, all included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites (the city has 15 on the list in total). Visit the White Tower, a monument and museum at the waterfront of the city, built in the 15th century after the fall of Thessaloniki to the Ottomans. Next go to Aristotelous Square, the central square and beating heart of the city. By this point, you'll be hungry, so it's time to talk about food once again. Although there's a gentle rivalry between Athens and Thessaloniki, the country's second city is where you'll find the best cuisine.                    </p>                                      <p>                     For meat-eaters, Opsopoion Maganeiai, which translates as 'magical cooking' delivers on its promise, serving up plates of exquisitely seasoned steak cuts with a small but well-curated menu of starters. It's fairly small, so book ahead. For vegetarian choices, head to rOOTS Vegetarian & Vegan Place, a metropolitan eatery with an expansive and creative menu. Although it's easy to find vegetarian appetizers everywhere in Greece, finding a dedicated vegetarian restaurant is tricky as a lot of the cuisine is centered around meat. Beyond those places, look out for little 'ouzeries' - small venues that serve glasses of strong local liquors of tsipouro or ouzo accompanied by meze dishes. Meanwhile, the gyros in Thessaloniki are unrivaled:  pitas packed with meat, tomato, onion, fries and tzatziki (once again, vegetarian options are easy to come by too, which is unusual in Greece).                   </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>As per the rest of the country, the hottest months are in summer so the best times to catch the good weather are between July to September. However, in early November the city hosts the International Thessaloniki Film Festival making it one of the best places to visit in November if you're looking for a cultural fix. As it's an international festival, most films will have both English and Greek subtitles.                    </p>

9. Thessaloniki

Greece's vibrant second city, Thessaloniki offers culture, history, food and adventure, yet for some reason, it often gets overlooked as a city break destination. As far as Greek cities go, Athens can sometimes be overwhelming, but Thessaloniki is decidedly less dizzying - not to mention, much milder, meaning that summers are less sticky and humid. Although it's still throbbing with personality and has a buzzing arts, foodie and music scene, the pace is distinctly slower than the capital.

Start the day with the city's famous bougatsa, a breakfast pastry with custard encased in delicious flakey filo pastry. Walk along the seafront the city is best explored by foot. Marvel at the Walls of Thessaloniki, the churches, monasteries and Byzantine baths, all included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites (the city has 15 on the list in total). Visit the White Tower, a monument and museum at the waterfront of the city, built in the 15th century after the fall of Thessaloniki to the Ottomans. Next go to Aristotelous Square, the central square and beating heart of the city. By this point, you'll be hungry, so it's time to talk about food once again. Although there's a gentle rivalry between Athens and Thessaloniki, the country's second city is where you'll find the best cuisine. 

For meat-eaters, Opsopoion Maganeiai, which translates as 'magical cooking' delivers on its promise, serving up plates of exquisitely seasoned steak cuts with a small but well-curated menu of starters. It's fairly small, so book ahead. For vegetarian choices, head to rOOTS Vegetarian & Vegan Place, a metropolitan eatery with an expansive and creative menu. Although it's easy to find vegetarian appetizers everywhere in Greece, finding a dedicated vegetarian restaurant is tricky as a lot of the cuisine is centered around meat. Beyond those places, look out for little 'ouzeries' - small venues that serve glasses of strong local liquors of tsipouro or ouzo accompanied by meze dishes. Meanwhile, the gyros in Thessaloniki are unrivaled:  pitas packed with meat, tomato, onion, fries and tzatziki (once again, vegetarian options are easy to come by too, which is unusual in Greece).

Top tip: As per the rest of the country, the hottest months are in summer so the best times to catch the good weather are between July to September. However, in early November the city hosts the International Thessaloniki Film Festival making it one of the best places to visit in November if you're looking for a cultural fix. As it's an international festival, most films will have both English and Greek subtitles. 

<p>                     Perhaps one of the best hidden gems in Europe, Aeropoli is a popular destination for Greek holiday-makers but less popular with international tourists. The largest town in Mani, Aeropoli is packed with tavernas, buzzing coffee shops and vibrant bars. It's also 3km away from the picturesque village of Limeni.                   </p>                                      <p>                     Aeropoli is perhaps the best vantage point for exploring the region thanks to its countless hotels and rustic guest houses. It's really only accessible by car, but if you do have your own transport, Gytheio and Sparta are easily accessible for daytrips. Kalamata is less than two hours away, so we recommend combining a trip to both if you're planning a trip to the region. It's also close to the Caves of Diros, a large underground network of fantastical rock formations, located just 11km south of the town.                    </p>                                      <p>                     If you visit Aeropoli, don't leave without spending a day in Limeni though, a beautiful port town with sparkling emerald water and rocky cliffs. What makes the landscape particularly impressive, however, is the imposing stone towers which look more like forts or watchtowers, build high against the rugged rocks and roads, with few windows. A local told us that they were intentionally built to look menacing; with each family trying to build above the one next to them to show their seniority and power. The result is a rugged, impressive landscape that contrasts with the sparkling seas below.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>Don't visit off-season. Unlike more touristy destinations on the list, many businesses close their shutters during the winter months, and driving conditions can become difficult too.                    </p>

10. Aeropoli / Limeni

Perhaps one of the best hidden gems in Europe, Aeropoli is a popular destination for Greek holiday-makers but less popular with international tourists. The largest town in Mani, Aeropoli is packed with tavernas, buzzing coffee shops and vibrant bars. It's also 3km away from the picturesque village of Limeni.

Aeropoli is perhaps the best vantage point for exploring the region thanks to its countless hotels and rustic guest houses. It's really only accessible by car, but if you do have your own transport, Gytheio and Sparta are easily accessible for daytrips. Kalamata is less than two hours away, so we recommend combining a trip to both if you're planning a trip to the region. It's also close to the Caves of Diros, a large underground network of fantastical rock formations, located just 11km south of the town. 

If you visit Aeropoli, don't leave without spending a day in Limeni though, a beautiful port town with sparkling emerald water and rocky cliffs. What makes the landscape particularly impressive, however, is the imposing stone towers which look more like forts or watchtowers, build high against the rugged rocks and roads, with few windows. A local told us that they were intentionally built to look menacing; with each family trying to build above the one next to them to show their seniority and power. The result is a rugged, impressive landscape that contrasts with the sparkling seas below. 

Top tip: Don't visit off-season. Unlike more touristy destinations on the list, many businesses close their shutters during the winter months, and driving conditions can become difficult too. 

<p>                     Packed with quaint villages, towering mountains and exotic beaches, Pelion is a mountainous peninsula in Thessaly, the central part of the country. It's close to the major city of Volos, but there are strong transport links from Athens and Thessaloniki too. As with many parts of Greece, it's best explored by car so you can visit as many of its villages as you can, each with their own unique charm. Despite its central mainland location, Pelion feels decidedly off-grid, with its deserted beaches, sleepy villages and rich vegetation.                    </p>                                      <p>                     In winter, head to the ski resort of Agriolefkes in Mount Pelion for an unforgettable winter snow holiday, and in summer, retreat from the world in the village of Makrinitsa, a quaint village with cobblestone streets and grand houses, or Portaria - a lush, green mountainous village. And let's not forget the beaches, Mylopotamos beach is probably the most famous and picturesque, divided into two parts by a dramatic rock formation. Whether you're looking for a beach holiday, hike, or just to wander around the villages, the unique landscape of Pelion accommodates all types of holidaymakers.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <strong>Top tip: </strong>Think about what type of holiday you want and book accordingly. If you're hoping to ski, it's one of the best places to visit in January but if you want a hiking holiday, consider traveling in springtime when the temperatures are dry but cool. The busiest time for tourists is June, so, much like traveling to the rest of Greece, if you want to get the best flight deals, travel in May or September.                    </p>

Packed with quaint villages, towering mountains and exotic beaches, Pelion is a mountainous peninsula in Thessaly, the central part of the country. It's close to the major city of Volos, but there are strong transport links from Athens and Thessaloniki too. As with many parts of Greece, it's best explored by car so you can visit as many of its villages as you can, each with their own unique charm. Despite its central mainland location, Pelion feels decidedly off-grid, with its deserted beaches, sleepy villages and rich vegetation. 

In winter, head to the ski resort of Agriolefkes in Mount Pelion for an unforgettable winter snow holiday, and in summer, retreat from the world in the village of Makrinitsa, a quaint village with cobblestone streets and grand houses, or Portaria - a lush, green mountainous village. And let's not forget the beaches, Mylopotamos beach is probably the most famous and picturesque, divided into two parts by a dramatic rock formation. Whether you're looking for a beach holiday, hike, or just to wander around the villages, the unique landscape of Pelion accommodates all types of holidaymakers. 

Top tip: Think about what type of holiday you want and book accordingly. If you're hoping to ski, it's one of the best places to visit in January but if you want a hiking holiday, consider traveling in springtime when the temperatures are dry but cool. The busiest time for tourists is June, so, much like traveling to the rest of Greece, if you want to get the best flight deals, travel in May or September. 

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IMAGES

  1. Greece In November: A Detailed Guide To Help You Around In 2022!

    is november good time to visit greece

  2. A Local's Guide: When Is The Best Time To Visit Greece (By Season)

    is november good time to visit greece

  3. When Is the Best Time to Visit Greece?

    is november good time to visit greece

  4. The Best Time To Visit Greece & The Greek Islands: A Greek Holiday

    is november good time to visit greece

  5. Greece in November: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

    is november good time to visit greece

  6. Best Time of Year to Visit Santorini

    is november good time to visit greece

COMMENTS

  1. Best Time to Visit Greece: Month-by-Month Guide (2024)

    Greece in November Greece in December Quick Answer: When's The Best Time to Visit Greece? One of the best things about Greece is it's a fantastic year-round destination. The balmy Mediterranean climate means that it's warm in the summer and mild in the winter, allowing you to soak up the sights no matters when you choose to visit Greece.

  2. Greece in November: A Guide to Visiting in Fall

    While lots of people will tell you not to travel to Greece outside of the summer months, November can still be a good time to visit. If you're considering Santorini, then I wrote a separate post about the island in November. The average temperature is usually fairly mild, especially in early November.

  3. Best Times to Visit Greece

    Low Season: November to March Ready to plan your trip? Here are the best times to travel to Greece, whether you're after good weather, affordable prices, or fewer crowds. Michela...

  4. What Best to Do in Greece in November

    Visiting Greece in November may not be great for swimming but it is ideal for exploring the country with shoulder-season rates in a peaceful environment as the crowds have already gone home. Another important factor in visiting Greece in November is that the entrance tickets to all archaeological sites in Greece are half-price.

  5. These Are the Best Times to Visit Greece

    The Best Times to Visit Cities in Greece. ... Black Friday shopping events in November have recently taken Greeks by storm. Winter Events. ... Paros and the other islands that make up the Cyclades or Crete, the best time of year for an island visit is generally going to be in June, July or September. Prices are lower and hotel rooms are more ...

  6. Greece In November: Weather & Travel Tips

    Is November a good time to visit Greece? Air and sea temperatures in Greece in November Can it rain in Greece in November? What about the crowd and cost? What to wear in Greece in November Unforgettable, fully customisable Greece itineraries What to do in Greece in November Planning your November trip to Greece Visit Greece in other months

  7. Greek Islands in November: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

    Generally, expect mild weather, with the occasional warm day perfect for walking and sightseeing, and an average afternoon high in the mid-60s Fahrenheit. November also has many cold, wet days, and the nights will also be cool. And the seas are also too cold for bathing (unless you have a wetsuit).

  8. The Best Time to Visit Greece, According to a Local

    Whether you're discovering ancient ruins, exploring mainland destinations or bopping around little-known islands, you'll find fewer crowds, mild temps and cheaper-than-high-season prices. For me,...

  9. Best time to go to Greece

    Stonebuilt temples, palaces, and castles act like a magnet for sunlight, so the best times of the year to plan your history geek-out is March, April, or October. The weather is comfortably cool and the crowds are noticeably thinner. As an added bonus, you can expect to pay less for flights and accommodation.

  10. The Best Time to Visit Greece

    Glenn van der Knijff. The best times to visit Greece are in the spring and fall. From April to the beginning of June, the heat of summer has not yet set in and the cruise ships have not arrived with their thousands of tourists. From late September through October it's usually still warm enough for the beach but much less crowded.

  11. Best Time To Visit Greece

    The best time to visit Greece is outside the busy summer peaks, during spring (April to June) and early fall (September and October). Temperatures are warm but not stifling, and you'll find that destinations are open but still relatively quiet. The period from November to February tends to be colder, but city attractions remain open and are ...

  12. Greece In November -Your Ideal Destinations For Each Month Of Greece

    Greece In November -Your Ideal Destinations For Each Month Of Greece Published On: November 11, 2019 Last Updated: January 16, 2024 10.5 min read By Rania Kalogirou Compare Car Rental Prices Before You Book Jump to section: What do you need to pack for Greece in November? What kind of traveller enjoys Greece in November?

  13. When's the Best Time of Year to Visit Greece?

    Best time to visit the Greek islands. Best months: April-June, September-October. April through October is the best time to go island hopping in Greece. While it can occasionally rain in the spring or fall, the weather is generally sunny and warm. It's slightly cooler up north, while it's warmer the further south you go.

  14. Weather in Greece in November

    Key Takeaways November marks the beginning of the winter season in Greece, and temperatures start to cool down. In general, the average daytime temperatures range from 12°C (54°F) to 18°C (64°F). November is a relatively wet month in Greece, with an increase in rainfall compared to the summer months.

  15. Greece In November: A Detailed Guide To Help You Around In 2022!

    Image Source The temperature in Greece continues to lower during November but remains comparatively warmer than most of northern Europe, making it explorable during this time of the year. The average temperature in November remains about 15°C. Greece receives sunshine for three hours, especially during November, December and January.

  16. The Best Time to Visit Greece and the Greek Islands

    Weather can be a bit unpredictable, and it does occasionally rain in November. Attractions are much less crowded, so this is a good time to visit Greece if you want to sightsee with fewer crowds. Visiting Greece in December. December usually has mild winter temperatures so this is a good time to visit Greece if you want to sightsee with few crowds.

  17. The Best Time to Visit Greece & the Greek Islands (2023 update)

    Greece in June. June and July is the best time to visit Greece for beach holidays. It's warm enough around the country now to swim in the sea, in fact… you'll want to. With highs of 28°C / 81°F, lows of 21°C / 50°F and an average daily temperature of 24°C / 75°F, this is a great time to visit the Greek Islands.

  18. Best and Worst Times to Visit Greece 2024/2025

    For the best weather conditions, the best times to visit Greece are during spring (April to early June) and autumn (September to October). These periods offer warm and sunny weather at around 24°C (75°F), without swarming crowds and the highest prices. Read on to find out more detailed information about visiting Greece in each month.

  19. Greece in November: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

    Greece in November: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More No, it's not yet too cold for Greece. Expect a mix of mild to warm sunny days and plenty of rain mixed in. The weather may be less than ideal, but crowds are gone, prices are low, and you can experience the best of Greece like a local. L Linda C. New Jersey, United States

  20. Best Time to Visit Greece and Greek Islands

    March to November is great for sightseeing (though July and August can be very hot when touring exposed historical sites, especially in Athens). May and June: During May and June, Greece experiences spring, with mild to warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush landscapes. The weather is typically sunny, with occasional rain showers.

  21. Best time to visit Greece

    The best time to visit Greece is usually between late April and late October when there is sunshine round the clock and rain is rare. Beach lovers should aim for June until September. Main photo ...

  22. Greece in November: Weather, Tips and More I Bookmundi

    Greece's weather in November is quite pleasant compared with its northern European counterparts. While it is true that there will be some wet and chilly days, you will encounter plenty of bright and sunny days during this time. The average November temperature in Athens, for example, is 15 °C, with highs of 18 °C and lows of 12 °C.

  23. Best Time To Visit Greece

    Best Time Of The Year To Visit Greece. This might be one of the tourists' top questions before visiting the country. It all depends, of course, on the kind of traveler you are and the type of holidays you and your family enjoy the most, but in general, it is fair to say that traveling to Greece in autumn can be the best bet to find good weather and little to no rainy days.

  24. The Best Greek Islands to Visit in 2024

    26. Kastellorizo. Best of the Greek islands for: Castaway dreams and swimming through caves. Michael Anastassiades, Lynda Benglis, Savvas Laz, Silvia and Nicoletta Fiorucci…the number of artists ...

  25. Best places to visit in Greece

    Choosing the best places to visit in Greece is an almost impossible task. Home to hundreds of islands, buzzing metropolitan cities steeped in history and culture, and a coastline that spans almost ...

  26. Greece Travel

    10 likes, 2 comments - greece.ontravelx on March 12, 2023: "Location: Meteora, Greece Meteora is a complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries built on nat ...