Summer in Greece

Summer in Greece is sunny, warm, and ideal for your vacation in Greece and the Greek islands. It can get very hot in July and August with temperatures in the range of 35 Celcius or 96 Fahrenheit degrees.

If you cannot stand the high temperatures in Summer in Greece, then plan your vacation in Greece in May, June or September. May is considered the best month for outdoor activities in Greece.

woman sitting by the pool in summer in greece

The Magic of Summer in Greece

The Beginning of the Greek Summer

Summer weather in Greece begins in May and lasts until October, offering a variety of experiences. From the sunny, pleasant weather of the Aegean islands to the hot, dry summers of the mainland, Greece promises a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.

Celebrate Summer Festivals

Greece’s summer festivals are a kaleidoscope of culture and fun. These events, which peak in July and August, showcase beautiful customs, music and cuisine. They are the soul of Greek summer, bringing the streets and squares of cities and islands alike to life.

Weather patterns and regional variations

Hot Dry Summers

Greece is known for its hot dry summers, with minimal rainfall Greece, especially on the islands. The sunny, pleasant weather makes it perfect for beach vacations and exploring the ancient ruins that dot the landscape.

Meltemi Winds

The Meltemi winds, strong and dry seasonal currents, predominate the Aegean Sea in July and August, mainly blowing from northerly directions. These winds are especially strong in the Cyclades and Crete, where their speed intensifies due to the island channels. Playing a crucial role in reducing summer heat and enhancing visibility, the Meltemi winds are vital in maintaining comfortable temperatures, thereby making the Greek islands more hospitable during summer months.

Refreshing Summer Rains

Occasionally, refreshing summer showers provide a welcome respite from the heat. These short showers add to the beauty of the Greek countryside, making the already picturesque scenery even more vibrant. Summer rain is unlikely in the Cyclades or Crete, but is common in the Ionian Islands and northern Greece.

Cooler Northern Summers

While most of Greece basks in the warmth, the cooler northern summers offer a different experience. Regions such as Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace, with their Greek mountain villages, offer a cooler alternative to the typical Greek summer.

Top destinations and their climates

Athens Summer Weather

Summer weather in Athens is predominantly warm to hot. During this season, which typically lasts from June to September, temperatures often soar into the high 30s Celsius, about 100°F. Athens enjoys extended periods of sunshine during these months, averaging between 10 and 11 hours of sunlight daily. Rainfall is rare, with July often being the driest month.

Particularly in July and August, the warmest months, temperatures in the city can exceed 40°C (104°F). The summer heat in Athens is characteristically dry rather than humid, which makes it more bearable. Evenings in Athens during the summer remain comfortably warm, with temperatures rarely falling below 20°C (68°F). These mild evening conditions are ideal for outdoor activities and for enjoying Athens’ vibrant nightlife.

Summer in Santorini

Santorini experiences a mild and dry summer, typical of the Aegean climate. From June to September, the island enjoys warm temperatures averaging in the mid-20s to low 30s Celsius (mid-70s to high 80s Fahrenheit). The region benefits from the cooling Meltemi winds, which are especially refreshing during the hotter months of July and August. These winds moderate the heat and keep the climate comfortable. Santorini is known for its clear, sunny skies during the summer, with minimal rainfall. Evenings are pleasantly cool, perfect for enjoying the island’s famous sunsets.

Summer in Crete

Crete’s summer, which lasts from June to September, is characterized by hot and dry weather. Temperatures often range from the high 20s to mid-30s Celsius (low 80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit), with the southern parts of the island typically warmer. Rain is rare in the summer, especially in July and August, making these months ideal for beach activities and exploration. Nights are warm but not uncomfortable, providing a delightful ambience for nighttime festivities and leisure in Crete.

Summer in Thessaloniki

In Thessaloniki, summers are warm and moderately humid, lasting from June to September. Temperatures during this period generally range from the mid-20s to the high 30s Celsius (mid-70s to high 90s Fahrenheit). Unlike the southern parts of Greece, Thessaloniki can experience occasional rainfall during the summer, although it’s usually brief and not frequent. The city’s coastal location brings a welcome sea breeze that provides relief from the daytime heat. Summer nights in Thessaloniki are warm, ideal for enjoying the city’s lively waterfront and cultural events.

Summer in Corfu

Corfu’s summer climate is warm and humid, influenced by its location on the Ionian Sea. From June to September, temperatures on the island range from the mid-20s to the low 30s Celsius (mid-70s to high 80s Fahrenheit). Summers in Corfu are characterized by higher humidity and more rainfall than other Greek regions, with occasional thunderstorms. However, these are often short-lived and followed by sunshine.

Best Times to Visit Greece in Summer

The best time to visit Greece for hot weather and fewer crowds is in June or September. During these months the weather is warm and sunny and the risk of an intense heat wave is less. The big summer crowds have not yet arrived or have already left. For example, visiting the archaeological site of Delphi, the Acropolis, or Knossos in Crete, during these months allows tourists to explore the ancient ruins without the intense heat and crowds of the peak summer months.

July and August are the peak travel months in Greece, with high temperatures and very few rainy days. These months coincide with the peak tourist season, resulting in crowded tourist sites and higher prices. However, this is also when the country hosts a variety of cultural and entertainment events, such as the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, which attract tourists from all over the world. Due to the high temperatures during this period, it’s advisable to plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the peak hours of the sun.

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