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January may be the coldest month of the year, but there is still plenty to see in Greece.
This cluster of 40-plus picture-perfect villages set among pine trees is a wonderful winter getaway. Also featuring many stone bridges, streams and rivers, the region is greatly blessed with natural beauty.
Mount Pelion, Pelion
A paradise for hikers and lovers of tranquillity and peace, Mount Pelion is home to many hiking paths and picturesque mountain villages where you will find traditional tavernas serving hearty meals.
The month of Carnival, February still has cold days but with less rainfall. Discover how Greece celebrates the beginning of Lent, 40 days of fasting and prayer before Easter.
A Carnival destination for the past 180 years, Patras is worth visiting for the occasion. With over 40,000 people attending each year, the Carnival, with its parade, is a major event in the harbour city.
Xanthi, the noble lady of Thrace, has been a favourite Carnival destination since 1926. Including a series of parallel events, the Carnival peaks at the Carnival Parade on the last Sunday of the Carnival season. The parade culminates with the ‘burning of the Tzar’, an old tradition.
End the Carnival season in Galaxidi, about 120 kilometres (74.5 miles) from Athens, on the Gulf of Corinth. There, residents and visitors celebrate Clean Monday with a coloured flour war, a century-old tradition.
In March, the weather is slowly improving, the days pleasantly warm, and the throngs of tourists are still nowhere to be seen.
Your best bet for warm days is Crete. With a temperate climate, the south of the island is ideal during this time of year. Not only is nature waking up from its hibernation, but you get to enjoy the budding show without rubbing shoulders with thousands of tourists.
With an average temperature of 14ºC (57.2ºF), Rhodes is also a great destination. Take your time and explore the Old City Walls, Grand Master Palace and the Acropolis of Rhodes and Lindos. Alternatively, you can take a day trip to one of the nearby islands for a change.
With a few rain showers and increasing sunny days, April is synonymous with Easter, a magical time in Greece. While archaeological sites and museums are closed, traditional Easter traditions are worth discovering.
Corfu, Ionian Sea
For a unique Easter experience, Corfu is the place to be. Drawing from the Orthodox Christian faith, pagan traditions and the Venetian influence, the celebrations are distinct from the rest of Greece, with one tradition being the throwing of pots from the windows on Easter morning in Corfu town and the neighbouring villages.
Chios also has its own way of celebrating the special day, with a rocket war between two rival churches in Vrontados, a few kilometres away from Chios town, on the evening before Easter.
Patmos, the island where the Book of Revelation was written, is another place where the Holy Week is a special time. Even if you are not religious, you cannot help but feel the deep spiritual importance the celebrations have for the locals.
The month of May might start with a few cloudy days, but it usually ends sunny and warm. This month is the best time to visit as you can still enjoy off-season prices and reductions in many touristic places.
This is the perfect time to enjoy Santorini as you won’t find the streets of the clifftop villages of Oia or Fira overcrowded. Discover the ancient city of Akrotiri, or spend your day exploring the various wineries on the island.
Peloponnese, southern Greece
Time to brush up on your history lessons and discover the magnificent ancient sites in the Peloponnese. Olympia, Mycenae and Epidaurus, the pillars of Classic Greece, are ideally located for an impromptu road trip around the country.
This underrated Cycladic island may not be as popular as it should be, but anyone who has visited this geologic wonder will agree that it deserves a chance. The island’s highlights include the breathtaking lunar landscape of Sarakiniko and the striking architecture of its villages, such as Plaka and Pollonia. Make sure to take a boat trip to Kleftiko, an incredible area with unique rock formations where you can swim in turquoise waters.
June marks the beginning of the summer for many and the arrival of the tourist masses, yet in moderation.
Serifos, with its clifftop capital Chora, pristine beaches and hidden coves, is a great summer destination for scuba divers and hiking enthusiasts. But the average beachgoer will also be satisfied. While you will find the typical Cycladic architecture and dry soil, the island has a unique charm, which makes it a bit different than the rest of the islands in the group.
A tiny gem among pearls, Tinos is an excellent location to start the summer. The island may be known for its mix of Orthodox and Catholic faith, but its calm, sandy beaches and scenic inland and coastal villages make it a pleasant island where living is easy.
Tucked between Skiathos and Alonissos, two islands you could visit as day trips, Skopelos is a beautiful island blessed with calm beaches and a stunning landscape of verdant forests and small villages with unique architecture. The island has become more popular thanks to the Hollywood blockbuster Mamma Mia.
July means that summer is officially here. Temperatures reach 25ºC (77ºF) and above, and the days are hot. Plus, any excuse to get near the water is welcome.
While it is a great time to set sail to the islands, take the time to make a pitstop in Athens. Mingle with locals and spend your post-cultural exploration at a café to relax before hitting the clubs and popular bars. Or you can simply head to the beaches and discover the Athenian Riviera.
Kefalonia, Ionian Sea
Head west to Kefalonia to discover its scenic landscapes and natural beauty and to soak up the sun at some of the best beaches in Greece.
Paros easily charms Greeks and tourists with its traditional Cycladic-style architecture, whitewashed churches and turquoise waters. Plus, the Meltemi winds, which blow over the island group every summer, will make sure your nights won’t be too hot.
August is the warmest month, and with Greeks enjoying their holidays as well, the summer season is truly at its peak.
Avoid the crowds and venture out to low-key destinations such as Ikaria. This island of long life features spectacular nature, excellent cuisine, stunning beaches and charming little villages.
On the mainland, the Halkidiki Peninsula is ideal for a change of scenery. Shaped like Poseidon’s trident, this peninsula is home to lush forests, pristine beaches and crystal clear waters and has plenty to offer to the discerning visitor.
Lefkada, Ionian Sea
Often referred to as the Caribbean of Greece, Lefkada amazes visitors with the bright colour of its waters, its white-sand beaches, its spectacular landscapes and tranquil villages.
The summer holidays are coming to an end, and the masses of tourists are slowly dwindling. This is the perfect time to visit the highly frequented islands as the weather is still warm.
Santorini is still charming in September, and while you may have to suffer from the incessant flow of people in the smalls streets of Oia, the beaches are a perfect escape.
Mykonos, another hot spot, is returning to its old self, with clubs and bars filled to the brim with happy party people. Samos also deserves a mention, with its beautiful beaches and scenic sunsets.
Elegant Amorgos may be under the radar, but there is something magical about it that the discerning visitor will get to experience even in September. Secluded and hidden beaches and coves, beautiful inland villages and peculiar landscapes are what you can expect.
In October, the weather is still mild, and although a few rainy days are certain, the month is still perfect for late-afternoon swims.
October is a great time to visit Crete. The locals, with their warm hospitality and delicious cuisine, are always happy to welcome adventurous tourists who resist the mass tourism trend and explore the island during autumn. It is also an excellent time to take a trip to the second largest city in the country.
Thessaloniki, northern Greece
For an urban escape, Thessaloniki will easily charm any visitor willing to discover it. With its varied food scene, its distinct blend of architecture and its waterfront, there is not much not to like.
Meteora, Central Greece
Want to see something that will blow your mind? Head to Meteora and discover these unique clifftop monasteries where life seems to have come to a standstill.
The cold is slowly making an entrance; like the people in the north say, winter is coming. However, it is not here yet. November is the time when nature is simply magical.
The romantic and tranquil Nafplio is perfect in the fall. Explore the old town, wander the narrow streets and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Palamidi Fortress. Alternatively, the city is a great base from which to explore the nearby attractions such as the wine region of Nemea or the many archaeological wonders.
Connected to the mainland by a causeway, the fortified city of Monemvasia is Instagram-worthy. Once you’ve discovered the town’s various charms, nothing will prevent you from exploring the region and its hidden gems.
Nafpaktos, Central Greece
Nafpaktos, with its Venetian castle and harbour, is not famous abroad, but Greeks rank it high among the most picturesque cities in the country.
Now that winter is here, all that there is left to do is enjoy the cold weather. Blessed with high mountain ranges, Greece is also a top-notch winter destination.
The Evritania region, with its fair share of traditional villages, mountains and historic monasteries, has plenty to offer. Karpenisi, the capital of the region, is often dubbed the Switzerland of Greece, and after a stay at the ski resort, you will quickly see why.
Another epicentre of snow fun is Kalavryta, in Mount Helmos, Peloponnese. As one of the biggest and most organised ski resorts in the country, it has 12 ski runs, two chair lifts and five ski lifts.
Parnassos, Central Greece
A favourite destination for Athenians is Mount Parnassos, at an altitude of 2,260 metres (7,414.6 feet). For your post-ski session, head to Arachova where you will find a vibrant night scene as well as elegant hotels and traditional guesthouses.