Temperatures and Rainfall
From May to October, the climate is largely dry and warm, with the mainland and most islands experiencing temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), though peak temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) are not uncommon, particularly among the southern islands such as Crete and Rhodes.
Although isolated rain showers are not uncommon even in the summer, from personal experience I’ve only ever seen rain perhaps 3 or 4 times in over 25 visits, the worst of which was a few years ago on Crete in late October. It had been an usually warm spell for the first 7 days of our trip (almost 30 degrees) but the weather turned 3 days before we left, and it rained almost constantly for the remainder of the holiday. Given that we were basically at the end of the tourist season, it wasn’t unexpected and anyone travelling early May or late October should be prepared for occasional rainfall.
Recommended Visiting Times
Walking/Hiking: early and late season
If your main aim is to cover lots of ground by walking long distances each day, it’s better to avoid high season due to the potential for uncomfortably hot conditions, which can be dangerous even for experienced hikers. We would recommend May – June or late September to mid-October as the best months to travel. Not only is the weather slightly cooler, but prices will be lower and resorts less crowded.
Be aware though that some ferry services operate reduced schedules at the start and end of the tourist season, and not all restaurants and attractions will be open.
Greece has an abundance of fantastic sights to see: a rich selection of ancient ruins, museums and castles, as well as caves, beaches, mountains and picturesque villages. If you aren’t into long hikes but still want to see what your destination has to offer, we’d recommend visiting early June to mid-July or mid-September to early October. The weather will be hotter and everywhere will be open for tourists, but you’ll still avoid the stifling August heat and peak crowds.
Sun Worshippers: peak season
If a golden tan and warm sea are all you crave, then challenge yourself with the peak season temperatures of July and August. Prices will be high and hotels full to bursting, but the glorious Greek sun will be out in full force, ready to push your sweat glands to their limits!