The worst time to visit Greece in terms of weather and tourist experience is typically during the winter months from December to February. This is when the weather is coldest and many tourist attractions may be closed. Keep reading to find out more about the worst time of the year to travel to Greece.
About visiting Greece
Despite its Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters, visiting Greece as a tourist can be a fantastic experience. Greece offers a rich blend of history, stunning landscapes, beautiful islands, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality. It is known for its ancient ruins, including the Acropolis in Athens, the Palace of Knossos in Crete, and the Temple of Apollo in Delphi.
The country boasts numerous islands, each with its own unique charm with diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains in the mainland to idyllic beaches on the islands. Popular ones like Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete offer beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife.
Greeks are well known for their warmth and friendliness toward tourists. You’re likely to encounter welcoming locals who are eager to share their culture and traditions and take you on a rollercoaster ride of their vibrant cultural scene with festivals, music, dance, and art exhibitions.
Fun things to do in Greece
Explore ancient ruins, archaeological museums and historical sites like the Acropolis in Athens, relax on beautiful Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos while you enjoy water sports, swimming in the crystal-clear waters & sailing to explore hidden coves. Savor delicious Greek cuisine with fresh ingredients and discover quaint villages with traditional architecture. Hike in scenic landscapes and national parks.
These and more you can try out on Viator when you visit Greece. Check below to see all the amazing experiences on Viator.com, the world’s biggest aggregator of travel experiences:
Worst months of the year to visit Greece
Is there really a bad time to visit Greece? Here are some periods in the year that may not be ideal for certain travelers to travel to Greece, based on weather and other conditions:
- Winter (December to February): Greece experiences its coldest and wettest weather during these months. Many tourist attractions may be closed, and outdoor activities may be limited due to the weather. In the winter and during adverse weather conditions, there can be disruptions to ferry services between the mainland and islands. This can affect travel plans, so it’s important to check the latest information if traveling during these times.
- Off-Season Islands: Just like the Maldives, some of the smaller Greek islands essentially shut down during the winter months. If you’re looking for a vibrant island experience, it’s best to visit during the warmer months.
- Peak Summer months (July and August): While summer in Greece is popular for its warm weather and beautiful beaches, it can also be extremely crowded, especially on popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini. Accommodation prices can be high, and you may have to contend with large crowds at tourist sites.
- Extreme Heat (July and August): If you can’t tolerate very high temperatures, visiting Greece during the peak summer months can be uncomfortable, as temperatures can soar above 90°F (32°C) or even higher.
If you wish to avoid crowds while visiting Greece, it’s best to aim to travel during the shoulder seasons, which are the periods just before or after the peak summer months. These months typically offer pleasant weather while attracting fewer tourists.
Also, if you’re wondering if Greece is crowded at the end of August, the answer is YES, Greece can be quite crowded at the end of August, especially in popular tourist destinations and on the well-known islands.
This period marks the peak of the summer tourist season in Greece, and many tourists from around the world visit the country during this time. As a result, you can expect crowded beaches, long lines at popular attractions, high demand for accommodations, and, in some cases, higher prices for hotels and flights.
Worst time to visit Greece in the month of September
If you’re looking for the worst time to go to Greece in September, it would likely be the end of the month, specifically the last week. Here’s why the last week of September might not be ideal:
- End of Peak Season: While early September is still considered part of the high tourist season, the last week marks the transition into the shoulder season. Some tourist facilities and services on the islands may start to close or reduce their operating hours.
- Cooler Evenings: Towards the end of September, evenings can become slightly cooler, so if you prefer very warm weather, you might find it less enjoyable during this time.
- Possibility of Rain: Although Greece typically has dry weather in September, there can be occasional rain showers, especially towards the end of the month. Rainfall is generally not heavy, but it’s something to be aware of.
What to do if you visit Greece during the worst times of the year
If you find yourself visiting Greece during the worst times of the year, such as the winter months (December to February) or other less favorable periods, You can still enjoy your vacation regardless. Explore indoor attractions like museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Greece has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many fascinating museums to visit. Seek out cozy tavernas and cafes to enjoy hearty dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava.
Check if there are any local cultural events, music concerts, or festivals happening during your visit. These can provide unique experiences even during the off-season. Spend more time in urban areas like Athens, Thessaloniki, or Heraklion, where you can find a wide range of indoor activities, shopping, and dining options. Also, research the specific region you’ll be visiting and inquire about any seasonal attractions or events that might be open or available during your stay.
The winter months can offer a different, cozier experience in Greece. Enjoying a cup of Greek coffee in a traditional cafe or staying in a charming guesthouse can be quite enjoyable, especially because prices would be lower for accommodations and even flights.
Ultimately, the worst time to visit Greece is during the Winter and Summer months when the weather is either too cold or too hot. Some travelers may not mind the colder winter weather or crowded summer beaches, while others may find these conditions less enjoyable. It’s essential to consider your interests, budget, and tolerance for crowds and weather when planning your next trip to Greece.