Greece’s weather is famous for its summer sunshine and balmy, warm evenings, and is a major factor for the country’s huge number of annual tourists. Primarily Mediterranean, it features wet, mild winters and almost unlimited summer sun along the coastline, with the islands and regions south of Athens getting the best of it in regards to reliability. Regions to the east of the central Pindus mountain range are drier than those to the west due to the rain-shadow effect of the peaks.
The climate of Northwestern Greece, heading towards Macedonia and in the central Taygetos Mountains of the Peloponnese, tends towards Alpine, with heavy snowfalls in winter on the high peaks. The inland regions of Northern Greece see a temperate climate with hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters, as well as regular thunderstorms. Even Athens has the occasional snowfall.
Temperatures, rainfall, and sunshine vary considerable over the diverse topography of the country, for example, Athens seeing lows around 50°F in January, several degrees lower than most of the islands and the southern region. In August, however, the capital sees temperatures up to 86°C, where the islands and southern destinations may see spikes of up to 95°F. July is best month for sunshine with up to 12 hours a day, falling to only four and five in the rainy winter season.
Best Time to Visit Greece
Inevitably, summer is the best time to visit for beach-lovers, although dedicated sightseers may find the high heat levels distracting. Spring in Greece is a stunning time, the land carpeted with flowers before the parched, dry summer season sets in. For outdoor activities such as hiking, the shoulder seasons are best, and party animals should remember that many hotspots close during the low season between October and May. At the beginning and end of the high season, bargain accommodation can be had, and prices rise dramatically in the peak holiday months of July and August.