Questions about seasonality and best time to travel to Greece

Brief information about seasonality in Greece.

In general, the islands “close for winter” at the end of October (beginning of November) and, depending on the island, the season is either extended or is a bit shorter. Greek islands which are smaller and less touristic have a shorter season, larger islands like Crete, Corfu and Santorini have extended seasons sometimes up to full year. Hotels have different opening/closing dates but the general rule for islands is that they open in April and close at end October. It should be noted that islands which have shorter holiday season (usually the smaller or less know of the Cyclades) are still very quiet in April and best visited from May onwards.

Frequently asked questions about date of travel to Greece.

cruise ship icon

Can I visit the Greek islands in the winter?

You can visit the larger Greek islands in the winter ( Crete, Rhodes, Corfu ); the experience on the island will not be the same as in the summer. It is a different product than the summer offering.
For example, the hotel stays would be in city hotels and not beach resort hotels; the daily activities would be cultural/historical/local life and not leisure beach – ie. in Santorini you would not be able to enjoy a Sunset Cruise; but you could visit the excavations in Akrotiri which are spectacular.
cruise ship icon

When is the busiest time of the year for the Greek islands?

The busiest time on the islands is during the summer months of July and August.
cruise ship icon

I Want to travel to Greece in the winter, where would you propose to go to ?

The mainland of Greece is not only very beautiful but also offers amazing experiences. For example a classical itinerary to Athens -> Nafplion -> Olympia -> Delphi -> Kalambaka combines the highlights of ancient Greek history with beautiful scenery. Example of difference in experience:
In summer, the ancient sites are quite busy, visiting them in the off season you will be able to enjoy greater space and less crowding.
cruise ship icon

Would the smaller Greek islands of Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Milos be fun in Winter (December-March)?

Winter in Greece does get cold and the small island hotels are, in general, not open. Even if there are a handful of open hotels the ambiance and things to do are much to limited for guests to enjoy the island; the main towns of these islands depend of tourism, so restaurants and caffes are mostly closed. Keep in mind also that the sea is cold.
During winter it is wonderful to visit the town of Nafplion and the mainland of Greece.
cruise ship icon

I am mostly interested to enjoy beach life in Greece when and where should I travel?

Greek islands have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Islands like Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Corfu, Crete, Milos are some of the most known and most visited. From Mid April up to end of October the waters are best – a bit cold up to end of April.
The beach life culture ( surfing, Kayak, kitesurf, ski ) starts on most islands in May.
cruise ship icon

When is the best time to visit the Meteora?

The Meteora are amazing in the spring and autumn, the rich vegetation combined with the spectacular scenery is at its best in the Spring.
Somewhat of a more seldom occurrence is to see the Meteora with snow, which is a unique sight – possible in Jan->March
cruise ship icon

Which is the Best time of the year for Family travel to Greece?

Greece offers very good (mostly beach) hotels for families. The island of Crete is very well suited. As family holidays are usually based on school holidays, the months of July and August are the most common.
Another great opportunity though for family travel at Easter break , or Christmas.
A unique family holiday to the mainland would also be a very interesting cultural experience. Greece has such a rich history and families on tour really enjoy these learning and fun moments. It is a great combination of family bonding and historical exploration. For example: family run in the Olympia stadium (the birthplace of the Olympics) or a family hike the Meteora trails or a food tour in Athens tailored to include ice creams…
cruise ship icon

When and where should I take a sailing Trip in Greece?

Greece has three main sailing areas, each with different weather patterns. Sailing season is from April to November. ( yachts are available 12 month but the experience is only for the very dedicated sailors in the off season months )
Saronic islands: Throughout the season weather is good and islands are relatively lively. Good area to sail as crossings very short and islands easy to reach.
Cycladic islands : July and August have prevailing high Northern winds (called the Meltemi) and could cause disruption to itinerary.
Ionian islands : Generally light winds throughout the season.
cruise ship icon

What is open in the Greek island winter season?

The general concept to keep in mind is that: the more that a destination economy relies on tourism, the more venues/restaurants/cafes will be affected when season ends. For example: Athens is not affected in the low season , but the island of Mykonos is; so Mykonos restaurants will in a large percentage closed.
Greek Mainland:
On the mainland, at the large cities all restaurants and local life remains as is for the 12 months fully operating.
Greek Islands:
The larger islands are affected less than the smaller ones are. On the larger islands like Crete, Corfu, Rhodes the main cities are mostly open in all aspects. Even within the main cities though some of the venues close; offering the unique opportunity to the traveller to see/eat/enjoy the town as the locals do.
The smaller islands in the off season have extremely limited local life as many of the locals move to the large cities of Greece. From April onwards the venues open.
cruise ship icon

Are ancient sites in Greece open in the winter season?

Ancient Greek sites and museums operate 12 months a year. Winter timings differ from summer timings.
cruise ship icon

When are the 2024 public holidays in Greece?

The list of 2024 Public Holidays in Greece:
Monday 01-Jan-2024 Monday New Year's
Saturday 06-Jan-2024 Saturday Epiphany
Monday 18-March-2024 Monday Ash Monday
Saturday 25-March-2024 Monday Independence Day
Wednesday 01-May-2024 Wednesday Labor Day
Friday 3-May-2024 Friday Orthodox Good Friday
Sunday 5-May-2024 Sunday Orthodox Easter Sunday
Monday 6-May-2024 Monday Orthodox Easter Monday
Monday 24-Jun-2024 Monday of the Holy Spirit (Whit Monday)
Thursday 15-Aug-2024 Thursday Dormition of the Holy Virgin
Monday 28-Oct-2024 Monday The Ochi day
Wednesday 25-Dec-2024 Wednesday Christmas Day
Thursday 26-Dec-2024 Thursday 2nd day of Christmas

ASTA member   ETOA member   HATA member   ACD member   ETC member
Lincensed by the GNTO
Silver 2022 Events Award Tourism awards 2021 silver medal Tourism awards 2021 Bronze medal Tourism awards 2018 silver medal 2018 Certificate of excellence 2017 Certificate of excellence
ISO certifcation

© 2024 - Siva Travel Services Greece