In Greece, the month of May is when the warm weather starts to settle in, and the sun begins to shine brightly. Even though the whole country is preparing for summer, the number of tourists who are visiting during this month are still minimal, making May a perfect time to visit highly frequented destinations. Since the weather is still mild enough, it is also a great time to take a road trip as your car won’t feel like an oven.
If you feel like an island escape, head to gorgeous Santorini. While it may be a year-round destination, May is a perfect time to visit as you can enjoy everything the island has to offer without the crowds. Beaches will be quiet, and exploring the ruins of the ancient city of Akrotiri or climbing to the top of Profitis Ilias mountain won’t be a strain.
A magical Cycladic island farther south, Milos is a stunning example on how Mother Nature can craft beauty out of rocks. Thanks to its volcanic past, the island, dubbed ‘the island of colours’, boasts fantastic rock formations and beaches worth a visit. Home to the statue of Venus, the island has over 70 beaches, all lined by turquoise waters, and features a beautiful and wild inland. Visit small villages such as Adamas, Plaka or Pollonia, spend a day on the magnificent beach of Sarakiniko and explore the Kleftiko. If you can, plan a day trip to Kimolos, another underrated island where you can admire a phenomenal rock mushroom.
The culturally and historically rich Peloponnese offers a plethora of ancient sites to visit, including the palaces of Agamemnon in Mycenae and Nestor in Pylos, the well-preserved theatre of Epidaurus, and the sanctuary of Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games took place for millennia. Peloponnese also bears witness to the Venetian, Frankish and Turkish invasions with several structures still in place in Nafplio and Methoni, as well as the Byzantine strongholds of Mystra and Monemvasia. Take a wine tour in Nemea, explore the heights and wild beauty of Arcadia via the Menalon Trail or relax in elegant luxury at a Costa Navarino resort. You may quickly discover that, sometimes, you don’t need to sail to an island to find what you are looking for.
On the 12th of May, Akrotiri celebrates the feast of Agios Epiphanios, while on the 29th of May, Fira celebrates another saint, Agia Theodosia. On these occasions, locals form a procession and parade around the village with the saint’s icons and banners. In the evening, a feast takes place, with local food and wine, while locals and visitors (everyone is welcome to a panigiri) join in for a night of dancing and music until the early hours of the morning.
May is an excellent time to visit Peloponnese and the islands, as temperatures are high and the chances of rain are very low. For major hot spots, visiting in May also means cheaper accommodation and sightseeing with fewer crowds.
May is the month when the first signs of summer begin to show, with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F). At this point, the average low is just 15°C (59°F), and the average high can rise to 24°C (75°F). As the month progresses, the chance of rain drastically diminishes.
Santorini and Milos connect to the mainland via ferry and airplanes, and you can easily rent a car to explore the islands while you’re there. While there are many Ktel bus connections, to experience Peloponnese and discover its unique beauty and major sites, you will certainly appreciate renting a car so that you can move around more freely.