The Greek islands are especially popular summer destination, so just for this, the best time to visit Greece is out of summer season. With the end of summer season the rhythms have abated and the seaside areas have returned to the traditional life of the residents. Most souvenir shops are shuttered like most jewellers, tavernas, and bars, as well as several hotels if they haven’t further bookings. Nevertheless the natural beauty of the Greek islands is manifested in its entire splendor in spring and in fall alike.
Besides, the most southern islands due to their geographical location have longer summer while as longer are their shoulder seasons, even longer than those of the most thronged islands. At the southernmost places of the Aegean particularly, swimming in relative comfort is possible even on December.
The seasons of marine tourism in Greece are roughly as follows:
- high season from mid-July to late August
- shoulder seasons from mid-June to mid-July and September
- low seasons April to mid-June and October to mid-November
- offseason from mid-November to end of March
Most people choose to take their hotel or sailing holidays in the high season, although crowding in fact bothers them. Have you really thought that in high season when you leave for vacation, the city where you live becomes more agreeable devoid crowding? Are you tired of seeing hordes of camera-toting tourists gushing out of a bus bursting into an attraction area while other tour-bus hordes of summer doing the opposite? Are you bored of picturesque taverns being crammed with tourists and rowdy while you would like to enjoy every authentic sound of the environment?
Would you like to listen to the fishermen crooning next to where you moored and fill your gaze of the colors their boats have, but unfortunately glossy yachts jostle around you? … Perhaps you have already concluded that the best time to visit Greece is when less people visit.
Indeed, if the incomparable nightlife on the islands isn’t your primary goal, you are sure to enjoy much more everything else the Greek Islands have to offer. Besides always there are possibilities for sheer enjoyment if you’re in the mood for exploration and a bit of adventure. In almost every place there are at least one or two bars that gather regulars, fewer tourists now and more of local young people. But even in the off season there is at least one open taverna in the port of the islands that are named on a medium map.
With regard to swimming in the sea it is rather a matter of personal preference of each. Swimming in the sea is pleasant for all from June through September. Around mid-July, which is the center of summer, the heat is so strong that you want to be either in the sea or sailing windward. The sea is warmest in September though. However, there aren’t few who find swimming in Greek seas pleasant as early as mid-April or as late as the beginning of November as the weather is usually calm and balmy. The highest daily temperature in Greece appears in the first hours after noon. The temperature chart shows the average monthly highest value observed statistically for the coast of Athens. Should you need more detailed information please follow the link for the Greek weather statistics.
Something important to balance in your own conclusion as for the best time to visit Greece is the duration of daylight. Although nightlife can be just as enjoyable regardless of the duration of the night in Greece, the more the daylight the more you can sail or enjoy the exploration of the hinterland and the sights.
As you can see in the chart, more daylight there is between April to September with peak in June where at 21st is the longest day of the year. More specifically, on 21/6/2015 the daytime in Athens was 14 hours and 49 minutes!
We all know that as we move away from the high season, the more important are the differences in prices on hotels and airfares, if for example someone wants to allot the days of vacation ashore in a hotel and at sea aboard a boat. So if you are interested for a yacht charter in Greece, you should be aware that bareboat charter rates in the off season are also very low. However even in high season there is a possibility to get low price on a good and glossy boat, as long as you know how to evaluate. Nevertheless the lower prices should be just one of the plenty considerations that would shape your liking.
Here are 12 more reasons in support that the best time to visit Greece is out of the summer season:
- The weather in Greece is most enjoyable. In spring and fall the weather remains warm but less hot than the summer. The seas are usually calmer and because meltemi is off the northern beaches are now the best. However, while Greece is well known for the sunshine it is not impossible to encounter rainy weather.
- The sunlight is softer and the colors acquire their true dimension out of the strong and glaring light of the midday summer sun. The sun rays fall under different angles illuminating aspects that most visitors do not get a chance to observe.
- The sun is more beneficial than harmful and you can get summer tan perhaps even without sunscreen depending on skin type.
- There’s less huddle in fishing ports of other boats wanting to moor. In extremely heaving and difficult ports such as Fira of Santorini, you are not only sure to find a berth but also you can leave there the boat and do the hinterland.
- The incomparably beautiful beaches which are bustling precisely for this reason, revert to pristine in their astonishing sceneries.
- In the Choras (the capitals) of the islands tranquility reigns without the loud music of the bars that were vying for what music will prevail.
- You can watch serenely the famous sunsets without feeling that you’re just another onlooker among many others.
- The frequented ancient sites are no longer swarming with tour groups. You can often have churches, museums, or even entire sites to yourself and explore them free from disturbance.
- There is prompt service to popular restaurants where in the summer you would wait long for an empty table, while the culinary experience is better.
- There are more options in very good quality fish because the local catching of the island suffices to cover the reduced now demand.
- Each island has its own unique identity in the context of Greekness and visiting off the summer season is the best way to discover it. Like this, you are going to watch the habits and lifestyle of the residents rather than that of visitors and to meet locals instead of the tourism professionals.
- The famous places of the mainland Greece are far more beautiful in spring and fall. So if for example you want to combine an island hopping in the Saronic Gulf with an in between visit to Mycenae and Epidaurus, spring and fall are the seasons that you would prefer.
Therefore, as far away from the summer season, is right there the best time to visit Greece and to experience the Greek islands for less, as they truly are within their serene ambience.