Greece In January: Weather & Travel Tips

Wondering what to expect of the weather in Greece in January? Here we share detail on average temperatures, rainfall, and what to expect in terms of costs and crowds. In addition, we’ve also suggested some itineraries that’ll help you make the most of your trip, along with ideas for what to see and do in Greece in January.

Greece in January at a glance

  • Average temperatures range from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F).
  • January in Greece marks the rainy season, particularly in the northern regions and islands, with an average of around 10 to 12 rainy days throughout the month.
  • You can expect fewer crowds during January and for that reason, lower costs on accommodation.
Kerkyra, capital of Corfu island, Greece © Shutterstock

The weather in Greece in January is especially warm in Corfu © Shutterstock

Is January a good time to visit Greece?

Though Greece is typically seen as a summer destination (hello, beautiful Greek beaches!), for some traveller types, January can be a good time to visit the country. 

First up, if you’re travelling on a budget and are keen to discover Greece’s unique ancient sites, January presents crowd-free opportunities to view said sites. 

Being out of season, visiting Greece in January also means you’ll also have your pick of places to stay, at bargain prices.

Overall, visiting in January means you’ll experience a different, lesser-seen aspect of Greece. That is to say, you’ll see it shrouded in wintry atmosphere, without the crowds that can distract from authentic experiences during the busy peak summer season.

What’s more, visiting Greece in January also offers the opportunities to enjoy winter sports, though you could head south to enjoy a pleasingly mild winter break. 

Considering taking a trip to Greece? Embark on your dream trip hassle-free with the help of our Greece travel experts.

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes © Shutterstock

January is a good time to visit Greece's cultural sites, among them The Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes © Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Greece in January

There’s no getting away from the fact that Greece is in the throes of winter in January. Average temperatures are, at best, cool. By which we mean, average highs of 14°C in Athens, dropping to 5°C at night.

It’s colder still in the north, but warmer the further south you head. 

As for the sea, expect average temperatures between 12°C and 14°C. Brr!

Top tip: for the warmest January temperatures in Greece, try Crete, Rhodes or Kos. These islands boast average daytime temperatures of 12°C-15°C.

Want more detail? Read up on the best time to go to Greece.

A fine fresco in Knossos Palace, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

A fine fresco in Knossos Palace, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Can it rain in Greece in January?

We not going to lie — January is one of the rainiest months in Greece. In general, the weather can be a bit erratic — a mix of clouds and rain showers broken by sun. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom! You can expect clear skies in two of every three days, especially in the south.

Conversely, note that the mountainous north sees snowfall in the winter months  — more on that later. 

Not quite sure where you want to go? For further inspo, discover more of the best places to visit in January. 

View at Lindou Bay from Lindos Rhodes island, Greece © Shutterstock

Wrap up warm to walk ravishing Rhodes island in January © Shutterstock

What about the crowd and cost?

In good news for seclusion seekers, visiting Greece in January means fewer crowds. 

Travelling on a budget? You’ll be happy to hear that January being low season means there are big bargains to be had when it comes to accommodation and flights.

Just be mindful of the fact that some accommodation closes for the winter months, especially beach resorts. Many clubs shut up shop through winter, too. 

You should also expect a reduction in flights and ferry services, so be sure to check your travel options before setting your heart on a particular Greek destination. Rest assured, though — plenty of beautiful places will be open, and available at giveaway prices.

Inspired to go? Discover the best places to visit in Greece in winter.

Acropolis, Athens © Shutterstock

Athens, Greece — awe-inspiring around the year © Shutterstock

What to wear in Greece in January

Wondering what to wear in Greece in January? Shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops and sun dresses are out. It’s all about warm layers, scarves, hats and gloves, plus comfy shoes to enjoy scenic strolls and sight-seeing excursions.

Given the likelihood of rain (or snow, depending on your exact destination!), you’ll also want waterproof outer attire and a brolly. 

If you’re heading to the warmer south, you could bring some lighter-weight outfits for the sunnier days. Just bear in mind that the temperature is unlikely to get higher than the mid-teens.

Santorini, Greece © Shutterstock

Santorini sunset © Shutterstock

Unforgettable, fully customisable Greece itineraries

Fancy a crowd-free January break that offers a stack of unique experiences? Take inspiration from our Greece itineraries.

What’s more, these suggestions can be customised to your exact needs, with a local Greece travel expert on hand to offer insider tips, and take the hassle out of planning and booking.

  • Athens — City of the Gods (4 days): if you’re short on time and big on culture, this 3-night trip offers immersive insights to Athens’ ancient wonders and modern verve. From taking in the Classical charm of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, to indulging in the city’s thriving food scene in local tavernas, it’s a feast for the senses.
  • Epirus and Athens — the Ancient Sites (8 days): shrouded in myths and legends of Greek gods and Roman and Byzantine warriors, sites in the Epirus region of Greece have fascinating tales to tell. Add to that exploring Athens and the magic of mountainous Zagori, and this amounts to a diversely exhilarating experience.
  • Milos — an exclusive island idyll (9 days): get to know the Aegean’s most exotic island while staying in a private luxury villa by the sea.
Sarakiniko beach in beautiful island of Milos, Greece © leoks/Shutterstock

Sarakiniko beach, Milos, Greece © leoks/Shutterstock

What to do in Greece in January 

As we said at the outset, visiting Greece in January can be rewarding for travellers on a budget who are into cultural experiences. Alternatively, you could opt to enjoy some winter sports. With all that in mind, read on for ideas for what to do in Greece in January.

Attend local festivals

In January, the Greeks celebrate the New Year and Epiphany. It is a perfect time to learn about local traditions and participate in festive events, including the blessing of the waters and the famous "retrieving the cross" ritual.

Experience Thessaloniki

Second-largest city in Greece offers a vibrant cultural scene. Visit the White Tower, explore the Archaeological Museum, and stroll along the waterfront promenade, known as the "Lefkos Pyrgos."

Ski in mainland Greece

While Greece isn’t known for being a skiing destination some regions of the country have mountains that see snow through the winter months.

For example, Mt Parnassós asttracts skiers from Athens, while the Peloponnese offers downhill action at Kalavryta on Mt Helmós. Add to that stunning mountain scenery, and visiting Greece in January can amount to an unlikely alpine-esque experience.

Catch some sun on the islands

While it’s true that Greece’s smaller islands pretty up close for winter, larger islands like CreteCorfu and Rhodes, are pretty lively throughout the year. 

When it comes to the islands, the further south you go, the warmer the temperature. So, while you won’t be stretched on out sun-warmed sand, or floating in impossibly warm waters, the likes of Crete offers ample opportunities to enjoy ancient culture and buzzy nightlife through the winter months. 

In fact, ouzo’s warming capacity could be said to come into its own in winter!

Idyllic Agios Stefanos on the Greek island of Corfu © Shutterstock

Idyllic Agios Stefanos, Corfu © Shutterstock

Planning your January trip to Greece

Fancy visiting Greece in April, or any other time of the year, for that matter? Get yourself a copy of The Rough Guide to Greece to start planning your dream trip. 

Alternatively, if you’re not keen on the whole shizzle of planning, browse our customisable Greece itineraries, and talk to our local Greece travel experts.

Love the sound of exploring Greece away from the mainland? Read up on the best Greek Islands, and get yourself The Rough Guide to Greek Islands

  • Greece
  • Athens
  • Crete
  • Peloponnese
  • Corfu
Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 26.03.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

Ready to travel and discover

Get support from our local experts for
stress-free planning & worry-free travels

Plan my trip ⤍