Greece is a large and topographically diverse country so there are many different
climates. Generally, the weather follows the Mediterranean climate pattern with hot, dry
summers and mild rainy winters.
Greece offers tourists a lot of sunshine, for which it is rightly famous, and prolonged
periods of rainy weather are uncommon. With this in mind there are really only two
seasons in Greece: hot and dry between April and September; mild and wet from October to
However, there are varying weather patterns dependent upon town/island and distance from
the coast. High mountains can also impact the climate from islands to the inland regions
but predominantly, the south is hotter and drier than the north.
On the Islands
Summer weather in the islands begins in May with daily highs in the mid-20s. By July the
daytime temperature is often in the 30s. July and August are the peak summer months when
the temperature will rarely drop below 20°C even at night. Fortunately, the islands are
visited by the cooling "meltemi" winds - sea breezes that blow from the north and
north-west. The winds are strongest in July and August when they are needed the
Mid-May to Mid-September is very dry, while July and August are unlikely to see any
rainfall at all.
Winters are mild and wet - somewhat akin to an English spring. Temperature will generally
be in the low to mid-teens, although a sunny day can sometimes see the temperature creep
up towards 20°C.
December is the wettest month of the year and over the winter there can often be strong
storms in the Mediterranean. These can bring miserable weather for a few days, with
strong winds and torrential rain. However, as most of the rain falls in heavy downpours,
there are still a lot of sunny days and it can be a very pleasant - and very quiet -
In The Mountains
Greece is one of Europe's most mountainous countries, with over four fifths consisting of
mountains or hills. The highest peak in the country is Mount Olympus. The mountains
experience very unpredictable and different weather to the lower regions of Greece and
their climate is traditionally alpine. The higher altitude means it is colder, there are
more clouds and higher rainfall.
The mountain climate prevails predominantly in the high mountain ranges of mainland
Greece but similar weather can also be seen in the high mountains of the island of
On The Mainland
Mainland Greece has a slightly different climate - it is influenced by the giant landmass
of Europe rather than the sea around the islands. There are many microclimates due to
the affect of the mountains and the prevailing winds.
Summer temperatures can be in the 40s and the city of Athens as has recorded a
temperature of 48°C in the. The countryside on the mainland is very susceptible to fire
- a frequent danger every summer in Greece.
There are many variations in weather across the Greek mainland - Eastern Greece and the
Athens are dryer while the north and west are wetter. Northern and eastern Greece have a
much more continental climate, experiencing the coolest temperatures in the country and
a more extreme range of highs and lows.