The best time to visit Greece is September, when you can still expect excellent weather but fewer tourists because it is considered a shoulder season month.
Here's everything you need to know about the best time to visit Greece and the Greek islands. Includes the best time to travel to Greece for sun, sea, beaches, outdoor activities and more!
Choosing the best time to visit Greece
Planning your next vacation, and wondering when is the best time to visit Greece? Let me help!
After six years of living in and writing about Greece, I've traveled around Greece in all months and seasons. During that time, I've come to appreciate those shoulder season months when the weather is still awesome, but the number of other visitors is lower.
In fact, in August, you're more likely to find me in Athens than traveling. Why is that you ask?
Well, if you're from the US and Canada, you should know that the main European holiday month is August. Literally everyone on the continent takes a vacation at the same time – and a lot of them love Greece!
If you are at all flexible when you can travel, August is the month to avoid coming to Greece in my opinion.
Not only are there far too many people around, but all the hotel prices shoot up in price as well. Wait until September, and you'll enjoy Greece a whole lot more.
Of course, Greece is a lovely country to visit at any time of the year. And this would be a super short article if I stopped now!
So, here's some more travel advice and insights – From when to visit Greece for tourist free summer sun on the Greek islands, to the best time to visit Athens, here's what you need to know.
Best months to visit the Greek islands
Some of the Greek islands close down completely in low season during the winter and only open for the summer months. Other islands get super busy at certain times of year, particularly in August.
Here are the best months to visit the Greek islands.
- Best time to visit Santorini: April, May, June, September, October, November
- Best time to visit Milos: June to September
- Best time to visit Mykonos: June, July, September
- Best time to visit Crete: June-September
- Best time to visit Zakynthos: June, July, September
- Best time to visit Naxos: June to September
- Best time to visit Kefalonia: June to September
- Best time to visit Patmos: June to September
When to visit Greece for weather and activities
Here's a condensed guide on the best time to travel to Greece for various activities and interests.
- Best time to visit Greece for the Weather: May and June, September and October.
- Best time to visit Greece for Swimming: Between April and October.
- Best time to visit Greece for Sightseeing: Between April and June, and September and October.
- Best time to visit Greece for Greek Island Hopping: Between May and October (avoid August!).
- Best time to visit Greece for Cycling: Between May and October (Avoid August!).
- Best time to visit Greece on a Budget: Between October and March.
- Best time to visit Greece for Skiing: Between December and April.
Let's take a look at the best time to go to Greece in more detail.
The best time to travel to Greece is…
There's no time like the present!
Whenever people ask me “When is the best time to visit Greece?”, I reply “Right now!”. Greece is a fantastic country to visit all the year through no matter what the season.
With that said, some months are definitely better than others depending on what your image of an ideal vacation is.
As an honorary local, let me introduce you to the best time to go to Greece based on as many different holiday types as I can think of.
I've also included some of my own travel experiences in Greece where I think they might help. For specific and practical information after you've decided when to go, take a look at my travel tips for Greece.
When to go to Greece
If we are talking about general summer type vacations, the standard answer on when is the best time to visit Greece, is between the months of April and October.
The season for tourism traditionally starts after Greek Orthodox Easter, and finishes towards the end of September, mid-October.
During this time, you can be more or less guaranteed of good weather for your beach holiday, the sea is warm enough to swim in, and the tourist infrastructure is open for business.
In particular, late May to September is ideal.
There is one small problem though, and that's August. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE seems determined to visit Greece in August!
This is a real shame for a number of reasons.
Peak Season In Greece – August
Firstly, the weather can be insanely hot during August. Higher temperatures sound great in theory, especially if you are coming from colder climes, but in practice it can really sap the energy from you, making sightseeing a bit of a drag.
For this reason, when people ask me when is the best month to visit Greece, I always say to avoid August!
Secondly, it's peak season, and there are just too many tourists. These are added to by the Greeks themselves who also decide to take their own summer vacations at this time en masse.
Thirdly, prices shoot up for accommodation during this month of the year, and it can become harder to find rooms by the coast. In short, if you do have a choice on when to visit Greece, maybe you might want to avoid August.
Athens in August: The Exception to the Rule
There's always an exception to the rule however, and so it is in this case when it comes to visiting Greece in August. You see, whilst everyone makes a mad dash to visit the coast in August, Athens is left virtually deserted.
August in Athens is actually my favourite time of year in the city. There's minimal traffic, at least 75% fewer people, and you can even find car parking spaces. Crazy right?! So, if you want to visit Athens during a quieter period, maybe August isn't so bad after all.
Note: I've no direct experience with staying in Thessaloniki at this time, but I suspect it may be similar.
What If I Don't Have A Choice?
I totally understand that some people are restricted by their circumstances, and that high season in August may be the only month they can take a holiday in Greece. If you are in this position, it pays to plan ahead.
My advice is to book your Greece flights and accommodation well in advance, especially when it comes to those super-popular Greek islands such as Santorini and Mykonos. Make sure you get a room with air-con as well, as you might need it!
Best times to visit Greece
If you do have some choice over what time of year to visit Greece though, this following quick guide might help. I've put down a bunch of different Greek vacation ideas based on activity as well as by month.
If you don't quite fall into any of these categories or want to ask a question, please leave a comment on the guide at the end. I'm always happy to help people with their Greek vacation plans!
Please note – I'm including August in the lists, but I hope my message about trying to avoid it got through!!
Best time to visit Greece for weather
There's lots of sunny weather between May and mid-October, with July and August being the very hottest months. If you see rain during these months, you should consider yourself witnessing something of a rare miracle, especially on the more southerly islands!
Talking of which, there is one small issue to keep in mind. The ‘Meltemi winds‘ can occur from mid-May to mid-September. These are dry, surprisingly strong winds that come in from the north Aegean Sea. There's no real predicting when they will happen, as they just arrive and last for 3 or 4 days before dying down.
The Meltemi winds have the bonus of being great if you are into windsurfing and want to cool down from the heat. They are not so good if you want to relax on a beach, and the wind happens to be blowing in the wrong direction!
If they do happen when you are on holiday on a Greek island, ask the locals if they know of any beaches which might be sheltered from them.
Best time to travel to Greece for Cycling
I'm on something of a mission to encourage people to cycle more in Greece! What it lacks in cycling infrastructure it makes up for in varied landscapes. Check out my recent Hercules Bike Tour of the Peloponnese!
If you are planning to cycle in Greece, the best months are May and June, along with September and October. These months will provide warm weather with less chance of rain.
Last year I cycled in Greece during August for a week, which was pretty hot. It reached above 36 degrees for most days. Don't be like me!
Best time to visit Greece for Sightseeing
Personally, I find it a lot easier to wander around some of the excellent Greek archaeological sites in cooler weather than when it's very hot.
With this in mind, the best months for sightseeing at ancient sites in Greece are May and June, along with September and October.
Check out this guide on things to do in Athens in October.
You still get the benefits of the ‘summer hours' for archaeological sites then as well. During the winter months, the opening hours are reduced, with many main sites closing at 3 in the afternoon.
Best time to visit Greece for Swimming
Some hardy souls will tell you that you can swim in Greece all the year around. Winter swimming is not not quite for me, and the latest I've braved the waters has been November, getting in again in late March.
The rest of the year you are going to find the sea temperatures quite lovely for swimming. The very best time for swimming in Greece is mid June until late September.
Best time for Greek Island Hopping
The summer months and early autumn are the best time to travel between the islands of Greece. The number of available ferries scales up in accordance with demand, and it's easier to get from one island to another.
If you're thinking of exploring the Cyclades, the Mediterranean Sea is generally warm enough to swim comfortably in from mid June onward. Early summer can be a good time for beach vacations.
In fact, many Greek islands don't have much in the way of tourist facilities outside of this period in any case. It's not unusual for many residents of the smaller islands to spend their winters in Athens. Read this look at the best Greek islands in May if you want to travel earlier.
Interested in Greek island hopping, or want to include a few Greek islands in your travel itinerary? Check out my Greek island hopping guide, with practical information and tips such how you should allow for possible ferry delays and strike action.
Don't plan your timetable too tight! You might find this guide on the best time to visit Santorini useful. There is a little information inside about other Greek islands to visit from Santorini as well.
Greece Time To Go For Skiing
What – Skiing in Greece? I hear you ask. Yes, you read it right. Greece has a couple of excellent ski resorts, with perhaps the most popular being Mount Parnassus near Arachova. It's just a few hours drive from Athens, and is also quite close to Delphi.
The ski season in Greece starts in December, with January being the most solid month. The ski season can go on until May and late spring depending on the snow that has fallen.
If you were visiting Delphi on a day trip from Athens in April, you might perhaps consider staying longer if you hear that the slopes are still open.
Best time to visit Greece on a Budget
Greece is a very affordable country to visit at any time of year, but the cheapest time to go to Greece is during the off-season.
The absolute best time of year to visit Greece on a budget, is between the months of October and April. Accommodation is easy to find and often at a much discounted rate during this period.
This is a great time to visit Greece in terms of value for money, although some of the tourist infrastructure does close down.
I loved visiting Santorini in November for example, as the temperature was still pretty good but there were virtually no tourists.
Counterbalancing this though, was a reduced selection of places to eat and drink at night. Still, I enjoyed my time on Santorini in November, and found it the ideal time to hike from Fira to Oia.
Budget minded travelers might want to check out this guide on the Greece currency, ATMs and using cash.
Best Time For Traditional Festivals
If you're looking to experience Greece like a Greek, you should really try visiting during the Easter week. This is the most important religious event in the Greek calendar, and is celebrated throughout the country.
As this is a public holiday, you might find getting a hotel room in a popular place over Good Friday and the Easter weekend challenging. Book in advance if you can!
If you'd like to find out more about Easter Sunday and some of the traditions attached, take a look at this guide to Greek Easter.
On reflection, I would say the best month to come to Greece is in September. The average temperatures are still nice and warm, there are few rainy days, and there are fewer crowds.
A runner up would be shoulder season month June, although the later in June you make it the better. It's more laid-back, and the crystal clear waters are warming up nicely. Read more here: Greece in June.
For good weather and beach time the summer season is best. To walk around ancient ruins, autumn is a good choice.
Greece Travel Planning Tips
If you've more or less decided when you want to take a vacation in Greece, you might be interested in these resources.
- Booking.com – Easily book hotels and accommodation online
- Get Your Guide – The tour booking website I use myself when traveling
- Ferryhopper – By far the best website to book Greek ferry tickets online.
Enjoyed this Greece Travel Guide? Why not pin this blog post about the best time of year to go to Greece for later?
The best time of year to visit Greece
FAQ About When To Travel To Greece
Readers trying to work out when to plan their vacations to the Greek islands and mainland often as questions similar to:
What is the best month to travel to Greece?
Greece is renowned for its spectacular summer weather, brilliant sunshine, and blue skies from May through September. This is typically the ideal time to visit Greece, but you must balance the excellent weather with the number of tourists. As a result, I'd choose September as the best month to go to Greece.
What is the cheapest time to go to Greece?
Budget conscious travelers will want to avoid peak season travel in August if they are looking to save some money. The cheapest time to go to Greece and still enjoy good weather are the shoulder seasons. May and June, and September and October are all good months to go.
What month is the hottest in Greece?
The warmest month in Greece is August. The highest average high temperature in August is 31°C, and on many days of the month, the hottest temperatures may exceed 40°C.
What is the best month to visit Santorini?
I've found that October and November can be good months to go to Santorini. In addition to there being fewer people around, the sky has less haze than summer, meaning that sunset photos are fantastic!
What is the coolest month in Greece?
December through to March are the coldest months in Greece. The weather can also be quite variable, and while there may be some glorious sunny days, its not unusual for snow to fall in some parts of the country.
When is the best time to visit Mykonos?
If you want to enjoy the beaches, hot weather, and nightlife in Mykonos, the best time to visit is between mid July and early September.
Where can I catch winter sun in Greece?
While typically Greece has mild temperatures in the winter when compared to the rest of Europe, the coldest months of December, January and February can have quite chilly, damp weather. The best Greek islands to try for sun in the winter months are Crete, Rhodes, Karpathos, and Kos.
Dave is a travel writer from the UK who lives in and writes about Greece. As well as creating this guide about when is the best time to go to Greece, he's also written many more travel blogs and itineraries for destinations all over the country. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond:
Lot of good information on your website, thank you! me & my husband are considering visiting Greece for the first time beginning of April 2023 (1st week) for 7days, need your advice 1)will ferries be operational early April? 2) what tourist attractions/restaurants will not be open? Is there a website we can check this and their open/close hours 3)we would like to do sight seeing, what islands would be best to visit? 4) is it easy to find vegetarian food? Is English spoken language, what about signage at tourist attractions, is it in English?
Thanks in advance….
Dave Briggs says
I’ll try to answer as best as I can!!
– English is spoken everywhere so no worries on that front
– It’s easy to find vegetarian food. Greek Orthodox religion has many fasting days (meat free days0 so Greek cuisine already caters for this
– Ferries operate year around – however some tourists routes don’t operate in winter. It will depend which islands you want to visit
– Tourists attractions like archeological sites are open year through (apart from Delos near Mykonos)
– Other facilities will depend on where you want to go
Let me know which islands you are considering, and I can give you more info!
Great page you have there. I am planning a trip down to Greece for 10-11 days sometimes end Nov to early Dec 2022. It is the only available period for us to travel this year.
1) How is the weather like during this period of end Nov to early Dec 2022?
2) Will it be consider as low peak and how is the crowd level like?
3) This is my first time in Greece thus my plan is like 4 days in Athens and 4-5 at Santorini?
4) Do you have any nice hotels recommendation for both Athen and Santorini?
Dave Briggs says
So this time of year is definitely the low season!
There will be regular Athenian crowds in Athens, but no really significant tourist crowds. The cruise ships will also have stopped by then.
Athens is a major city, so in November and December there is always plenty to do. Keep in mind that archaeological sites may close early in November and December – sometimes 15.30.
Daylight hours are also shorter.
Santorini will be very quiet but not totally closed down. If you get a clear day, your photos will actually look better than in the summer! (In the summer there is a haze).
I don’t have places to eat to recommend – in Santorini some places may also be closed down. Actually one recommendation in Santorini – Go to Lucky’s Souvlaki!
Probably I would say just 4 days in Santorini is enough at that time of year. 5 is too many.
You could add an extra day to Athens but take a day trip to Delphi or Mycenae.
Weather in November can be variable – Pack for rain and chilly nights, but have shorts and T-shirts on standby!
Hi Dave –
Thank you for your wonderful site. Great information.
We will have 1 week in Greece in mid November (2022) unexpectedly due to a conference.
What islands would be the best for weather to bring a family with young kids? Thinking about renting a house and enjoying the weather.
Trying to avoid mosquitoes.
Are you able to provide recommendations for your top several choices? I have been to Santorini and Crete already.
Dave Briggs says
So good news – The mosquitoes shouldn’t be around then!
Not so good news – It might be chillier than you’re expecting.
In November the nights get much cooler, and the sea is probably too cold for swimming for most people.
I would probably consider an island which has other things to do should the weather not be great.
Also a more southerly island.
Might I suggest looking into Rhodes or Kos? The weather tends to stay better for longer, and they both have plenty of other things to see and do. Overall the kids might prefer Rhodes – an outstanding medieval castle there!!
Litsa Ryan says
I am so thrilled to have come across your site. Thank you so much for putting all this together.
This is just an initial first message to connect. We are planning to visit Corfu third week of May 2023, and once I have done my homework I am certain I will be needing your guidance. We just want to spend one week in Corfu and take our time to see as much of the island as possible. We are not really sun worshippers and prefer nice comfortable weather to be able to walk around and hike and just enjoy the island. Thank you very much. Best regards, Litsa
Looking to plan a trip in 2023. Biggest challenge is going to be, with a toddler! Would love to find a villa/cottage/condo something with a kitchen to be able to return to daily. Maybe one night or two away, if you suggest. Anyway, we will be able to travel for 2 weeks. Budget 10k USD. I worry about a ton of traveling because of our little one….where would you plant yourself for a good chunk of time that has the easiest exploration close by? Great blog, very help information!!! Thank you!
Dave Briggs says
It depends which part of Greece you want to visit. It sounds like if you want to be based in one place, Crete might be a good match for you. There’s a great mix of ancient sites, kid friendly beaches, nice villages etc. There’s also more options there for rentals of the type you are looking for – but almost certainly you would need to rent a car.
We’re planning to book our greece vacation for 12 days from Oct 12.
We’re doing Santorini (3 days)- Paros (3 days)- Athens (5 days).
Do you think it would be too cold to swim in October?
Also, do you know if Paros would be a ghost town mid October? We would love to visit Antiparos as well!
Dave Briggs says
I’ve been able to swim up until the end of October. The water temperature is still nice, it’s just the general weather that might vary from day to day.
Both Santorini and Paros will have life still going on. Antiparos might have started closing down though. Best to ask when you are there, as it’s worth the trip over!
Hi Dave. I’m planning a trip to arrive early May. We’ve actually already booked to fly into Santorini. Originally, our plan was to do Santorini, Ios, Mykonos then Athens. We’ve since learned that Ios can be very quiet in May (we are two young people looking for some fun). Do you have any suggestions for which islands to visit if we are looking for nightlife in early May (or just for most things to be open)?
We’ve thought about changing our flight to start in Crete instead. What are your thoughts?
Thanks a lot!
Dave Briggs says
Difficult call on this one as 2022, while better than previous two years, is still not what we would call ‘normal’!!
Santorini is not really known for nightlife with clubs, however in May you can expect plenty of people to be around, so it won’t feel like a ghost town!
Most nightlife for Ios revolves around when students take their summer holidays – so May can be a bit early. Send a message to Astra Cocktail Bar and ask them when/if they are opening this year. If they are not opening, it would be difficult to see much in the way of nightlife there.
You might find it’s a little early for Mykonos as well. Typically July and especially August are the best months for nightlife.
In Athens, you can find things going on all the time, so that’s not going to be a problem at all.
For Crete, Malia would be the ‘go to’ area – again though, perhaps a little early for epic nightlife. The Stalis area (just down from Malia) will have a few late bars and things, but this is pubs rather than nightclubs.
Bottom line – May is great for getting things cheaper, you’ll get some early sun on quiet beaches, but epic nightlife on the islands might be a bit thin on the ground.
Elizabeth Roberts says
Hi Dave! Love your site. I am traveling to Greece for 7 days (travel days on the ends of that) with my 13 yr old son in late January 2022. Would love your help/thoughts on how we should spend our time. Thinking 2-3 days in Athens. The other places we are most interested in include: Delphi, Olympia, Nafplio, and Hydra the island. Too much to do on one trip? Rent a car? How would you combine all these if you would? While we ski and skiing at Mt Paranathos sounds novel I’m not sure that is how I want to spend my first trip to Greece. Plus I don’t want to pack ski clothes, jackets snow pants etc. Want to get by with only a backpack for each of us. I know it won’t be warm but are pants and long sleeve shirts enough that time of year? Bring a sweater? Bring a rain coat? Anything else we should consider? Thank you!!
Dave Briggs says
So in January you can expect some colder weather and shorter days. Some of the archaeological sites will close at 15.30, as it might be dark at around 17.00.
2 full days of sightseeing in Athens is enough to see all the major places of interest.
Delphi is a lovely trip – You could do that one as an organised tour from Athens if you prefer which would give you 3 or 4 nights in Athens in total (depending on your flights etc).Hydra could be another tour from Athens, giving you another night in the city if you think that sounds good.
As for Nafplio – You should consider visiting Mycenae on the way through. Epidaurus is another amazing site near Nafolio.
In regards to Olympia – Overall the site in terms of visuals is a little bit disappointing given your tighter schedule. It would be a long drive there as well. If you had to sacrifice something, this would be the one to let go I think (unless you have a special interest – don’t let me put you off!!).
A rough idea would be
Day 2 Athens
Day 3 Hydra (some trip include 2 other islands as well – but check what is available at that time of year)
Day 4 Delphi
Day 5 (Hire car. Drive to Mycenae and then to Nafplio)
Day 6 Drive to Epidaurus sightseeing
Day 7 back to Athens or trip extension.
If you avoid the mountains, no need for heavy winter clothes. Warm clothing is advisable, perhaps a collapsible umbrella. Warm sock and shoes. Sweater. Light rain coat.
I hope this is of some help!
Hi Dave – just discovered this amazing site. Thank you so much! 3 of us are planning a trip to Greece for 7 days beginning in mid-March. We have to adhere to the teachers calendar and also need to use travel funds by end of March 2022. With that said, what do you recommend as far as visiting any of the islands. I’ve read several of the posts on here and it sounds like Crete and/or Santorini. If we only have time for one, what would you recommend?
Dave Briggs says
Hi Nancy – If you are just visiting one destination in Greece, then I’d suggest Crete. if you plan to spend time in Athens or the mainland first, then I’d suggest Santorini as your go-to island. Crete wouldn’t really be worth visiting for just a couple of days whereas Santorini is about right for a 2 or 3 day stay (but no more really).
Mrs Susan Mahoney says
Hi Dave, I need to stick to the school holidays, is July any cooler than August? Looking at Kos, Rhodes, Crete or Corfu. I am not sure if the temperature is much different between the islands. Thanks.
Dave Briggs says
July is marginally cooler than August.
From the islands you mentioned, Corfu would be slightly cooler than the others.
But as we have seen from this year, heatwaves make things all the more unpredictable nowadays!
Dave thank you for an informative blog. What about visiting Santorini in March.? I am tentatively thinking this over. It is shoulder season So I can avoid tourist crowds and rates however I am wondering is the temperature and weather not amenable? Will many things be open to see and do?
Dave Briggs says
This would be pre-season opening (although up until 2020, the Santorini season was getting longer and longer!)
There will be places open, but not all. The weather will be warm – not warm enough for swimming or sunbathing probably, but nice enough.
It would be a good month for tourist-free photos!
I visited there a few weeks ago – check out this blog post on our other site for itinerary ideas: https://realgreekexperiences.com/4-days-in-santorini-what-to-do
Just stumbled upon your blog and it’s very informative! Thanks for the work and effort put towards this. I am in the midst of planning a trip to greece this summer. Unfortunately I can only go in August due to work vacation restrictions. I have never been before and would like to visit Athens and at least one beach destination.
I have no interest in seeing Santorini or Myk. I’m planning to be there for 12 days. I am just looking to explore, relax, and have good food. Ideally I am looking for places that are easy to get around as I will not have access to a car and don’t feel comfortable driving in a new country. My budget is middle of the road.
Is there anything you would advise based off of this? I am especially struggling with picking an island/beach destination to stay in. When would be a good time to book hotels? Thank you
Dave Briggs says
This is a relatively tricky one due to the season.
It also depends what middle of the road budget is – it definitely means different things to different people!
Here’s some options that might be worth considering:
1. Athens – Kalamata (Kalamata has some lovely beaches. The Peloponnese is lovely. No island of course). Guide here on how to get from Athens to Kalamata
2. Athens and then a small Cyclades island like Schinoussa or Iraklia. The great bonus to these two islands (and you could actually do both given the time you have), is that they are small enough to walk around so no vehicle needed. We’ve got a book available on Kindle>>> a guide to Schinoussa and Iraklia.
Also free guides on the site here: Schinoussa and Iraklia
You can look at ferries to Greek islands here: Ferryhopper
I suggest booking hotels as soon as possible. If you use Booking, you may find they have cancellation policies that work in your favour if you change your mind, but make sure before booking anything!.
Your site is lovely. A few of us with 2 little are visiting Athens is early March for a 3 night stay. We will have 3 full days and then leave in the afternoon on the 4th day. What are your suggestions to do? We will probably dedicate a full day to Athens. Thinking about doing a day trip to Nafplio. Are there any nearby islands that are worth going to in March for a day trip independently? I know the major popular islands are too far and require a separate trip.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you very much!
Dave Briggs says
I’d suggest that two full days in Athens would be a nice amount of time, although you can see the highlights in one. I’ve two guide here:
1 day in Athens
2 days in Athens
There are a range of day trips you could then take. One nice one is to Delphi, but you can also go to Nafplio. The island of Hydra can also be reached on a day trip.
Take a look here for day trip suggestions: Athens day trips
Hi Dave just back from travel agent and have booked landing in Athens 2nd Sept 2020 for 2 to 3 weeks. We already live in an amazing coastal area along the east coast of Australia. I notice that just about everybody asking advice on itineraries always include the very well known Islands eg Mykonos. Santorini, I have found that most popular tourist attracting coastal areas in Australia are not always where in my opinion the pick place to be so with this in mind what would you you suggest would be a well rounded itinerary to take in breath taking coastal/islands and the best of self drive scenery?. We are not a well travelled family (in fact no travel) but fit and outgoing the only Island that is a definite visit at this stage is Kythira (family ties)
We are two adults and two adult children on a budget.
Dave Briggs says
Apologies for the late reply, as I was enjoy the chaos of Morrocco for a while!
In terms of road trip itineraries that seem to match your requirements, I’d like to suggest the following:
Road trip around Crete
Road trip in Mani (and the rest of the Peloponnese)
I would say that if you can only visit Santorini once, then do it, but expect a lot of tourists at that time of year.
A nice alternative would be Tinos Island where you could hire a car and check out the villages.There’s also plenty of great beaches.
Bottom line: The Peloponnese in Greece (even though not an island) has some great places to see such as ancient Greek ruins, Venetian castles, and some of the best beaches in Greece.
Hoping to take the husband and 2 kids (7&9) to Greece end of September to October for about 3 weeks. Trying to come up with a rough itinerary and we would like to visit Athens briefly, Crete, another island (not sure which – open to suggestions :)) and maybe Santorini briefly. Do you think that is too much for 3 weeks? I’m also trying to figure out if we can wing it a bit and book ferries/hotels for the islands when we get there and just book flights in and out of Athens?
We don’t want to be travelling every day and love a bit of relaxing, beaches but also sight seeing and a bit of adventure.
Dave Briggs says
Apologies for the late reply, as I was away for a few days!
3 weeks is a great amount of time, and you can definitely add another island in.
At that time of year, you can be a lot looser with pre-booking things, apart from Santorini – I’d suggest you organise that accommodation in advance or at least start looking at where you might like to stay.
Keep in mind Santorini doesn’t have fantastic beaches – but Crete does!
As an additional island, I’d like to suggest Rhodes – great mix of beaches and castles! Also, the weather is nice there in early October.
I’ve got a plan here you could adapt – Athens – Santorini – Crete – Rhodes
Planning a 17 day trip to Ios, Santorini and Mykonos with a group of friends and we are debating between visiting during the last week of June and the first week of July, or the last week of July and the first week of August 2020. We are a young group looking for a good amount of nightlife, hot days on the beach etc. Our biggest concern, with relatively limited data and info on the internet is probably the WIND. We come from one of the windiest places on earth (think glasses and food blown off tables if a door is open, umbrellas lifted out to sea, anoraks, earache, its just generally unpleasant throughout summer from Dec to April ranging from 11 to 24 knots for sometimes 2 weeks on end with strong gusts day and night) so naturally we would prefer some calm. Is there any noticeable wind probability/severity between those two proposed date ranges? Or will it likely be the same (some sources indicate June to be less Windy than July and August) ? We are aware of other factors like prices and crowds during that time of the year but getting sand blasted, missing ferries etc are our main concern.
Dave Briggs says
Chances are you think you come from one of the windiest places on earth, but you are about to find out you actually live somewhere quite calm!!!!
Ok – just joking… kind of.
The winds you have heard about are the Meltemi winds, and typically blow in July and August.
There can be some VERY windy days – we experienced this ourselves on Cycladic islands last year in late August.
With your own wheels, the solution is to drive out to beaches on the opposite side of whichever island you’re on if the wind is too strong.
The next best solution, is to get a hotel with a pool just in case.
I would say that late June would be the best choice – but you know how the weather changes from one year to the next. You’ll also find it a touch cheaper than August.
Note – Mykonos has nice beaches. Santorini, however, doesn’t have great beaches at all. So don’t spend more than 2 or 3 nights there (you won’t need much longer in any case).
Hi Dave, We are planning on a 10 night trip to Greece – Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. Our choices of dates are April 12th which would include Greek Easter where we would be in Athens and then dates in early May. I am considering the April date as I have read that the week leading up to Greek Easter is fun filled but I am concerned about everything being closed on Easter Sunday and Monday in Athens. I would love your advice if as to whether we should pick the April date or go in early May.
Dave Briggs says
I think visiting Athens for Orthodox Easter might be a nice idea. There’s some local processions you might be interested in, but also enough tavernas and other places open for visitors. You might need to check on the opening hours of archaeological sites and museums though.
However, I question if visiting Mykonos in April is a little early. Most people go for the beaches and the vibe, so things might not be in full swing in April.
Here’s a further read about spending Easter in Greece.
My family and I (my husband and 2 teenage boys) are planning a trip next August (I know…it’s just the only time we have off!). We will be coming to Greece from Italy (probably Bari) by ferry. We will have 10-11 days to spend in Greece, flying home to Canada out of Athens. I was wondering if you could suggest a realistic plan that involves Santorini and 1 or 2 other islands for beach time, allowing us to finish in Athens and have a couple of days there for sightseeing… Would Corfu be a good place to start, as it seems to be part of the ferry route? is it easy to get to Santorini from there? We are very happy to travel by boat and also happy to go off the beaten path…
Thanks so much!
Dave Briggs says
You closest islands would be Corfu/Ithaca/Kefalonia – all great places, but you can’t connect with Santorini easily.
The best choice might be to get to Athens, and then move out to Santorini from there. I’d recommend Naxos over Mykonos for the kids.
Might I suggest a rough itinerary as follows: From Igoumenitsa go overland to Meteora. From Meteora, go down to Delphi. Delphi to Athens. Athens straight to Santorini. Santorini to Naxos. Naxos to Athens.
If you just want beaches and islands, go overland to Athens, then Athens to Tinos (hire a car for a few days), Tinos to Naxos, Naxos to Santorini, Santorini to Athens.
Check out my main guide to greek island hopping for more, including guides to the various islands mentioned!
We are looking to cycle in Greece beginning in mid April. Have looked at many of your sites, initially found you with the Hercules tour of the Peloponnese. We plan to travel as inexpensively as possible, and wild camp where appropriate. Do you have a daily budget estimate, including local food and market eating?
Dave Briggs says
Greece is a great country to cycle around – but prepare for hills!
Bike budgets are always a tricky one come up with.
I wasn’t particularly trying to save costs on my Greek tours, and ended up spending 750 euros per month for one person based on cheap hotel rooms for 80% of the time.
For two people (because of shared accommodation) that could be say 1300 Euros for 2 people.
If wild camping religiously, cooking two meals a day, and eating one meal out, you could get by on as little as 10 – 15 euro a day each.
Happy tailwinds cycling in Greece!
BTW – I have a bike touring newsletter you might be interested in. You can find the signup form on this page – Bike Touring Tips.