Greece’s climate is primarily the Mediterranean. The summers are long and dry, winters wet and mild and the monsoons are long with heavy precipitation. The weather is balmy and warm almost throughout the summer months and is ideal for an indulgent vacation and for water sports. The islands of Greece face mercurial temperature shifts through the day and night but are the best bet when it comes to choosing tourist destinations in Greece based on the weather.
Tall rugged mountains form the center of the Greek peninsula. The mountainous regions of Greece -Western Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus, and Central Greece to the northwest and the prefectures of Laconia, Achaia, and Arcadia in the mountainous Peloponnese – experience a climate very different from the balmy coasts. The climate in these parts is Alpine. The winters are cold and characterized by heavy snowfall. High precipitation on the coasts occurs primarily as a result of being on the windward side of these tall rugged mountains. The ski resorts of Mt Vermio, Mt Parnassos, Mt Mavrovouni, and other Greek mountains benefit greatly from the heavy snowfall during winters.
Islands of Greece
The weather in the islands of Greece is temperamental. The islands are about 10 – 15 °F cooler than the mainland. While the days are sunny and warm the nights tend to get chilly and windy. Crete remains warm for the larger part of the year. Tourist season in Crete lasts from about mid-April right through November. The Greek islands experience summer from April. By July the temperatures peak and August remains just as warm. The brunt of the heat in the Greek islands is taken off by the cool Melterni winds blowing in from the northwest. Rainfall is common in the winter months.
Mainland Greece has very different weather from both the islands and the mountainous regions. The coastal regions make for great summers and balmy, gorgeous sunsets. The weather of coastal or mainland Greece including Athens is influenced by European climatic influences. The Meltemi winds cause precipitation. Summer temperatures in many parts of mainland Greece soar as high as 113°F and snowfall in winters are not uncommon in the low-lying areas. Athens in particular is prone to extreme variations in temperature. Northern Greece is cooler and drier than the southern coasts. The continental weather of the eastern coasts and the northern mainland accounts for a temperature variance of about 40°F in these parts.
Best Time To Visit Greece
The popular tourist destinations of Greece – the islands and Athens start to attract tourists by May. Average temperatures range between 65°F and 75°F and the precipitation is minimal. Average rainfall of fewer than 0.6 inches is recorded in May. June is hotter and drier with an average temperature of about 80°F and precipitation as low as 0.2 inches. July averages about 85°F with steady precipitation. August and September temperatures hover around 75°F and rainfall is at 0.4 inches. Skiing and other winter sports are just as popular in the winter. There is the fear that rain and winds could literally blow your plans for a cozy vacation on mainland Greece in the winter months.
Spring and fall are the best seasons in Greece. Going by this, May-June and August-September are ideal months to plan a vacation. Even as early as Orthodox Easter, hotels and travel facilitators open shop. June – August are the favorite months with many, though. A number of cultural festivals are hosted in the country in these months. Then again if peace, tranquility, and calm are what you are looking for, and if you do not mind some rainfall the winter months are perfect for your trip to Greece.