Greece weather in May

Wondering what to expect of weather in Greece in May? Read on for a run-down of everything from average air and sea temperatures, to what to expect in terms of costs and crowds. We also share itinerary suggestions that are sure to make your trip all the most special.

Greece in May at a glance

  • May means warm and mild temperatures, ranging from 6°C to 24°C (61°F to 75°F).
  • This month is a particularly dry and sunny time to visit Greece.
  • May marks the beginning of the tourist season in Greece, with tourist crowds gradually increasing as the month progresses.
  • May in Greece means that the spring blooms are in full swing.

Is May a good time to visit Greece?

If you’re in the market for warm, sunny weather before the temperatures soar to sizzling heights — and before peak-season crowds descend — May is a very good time to visit Greece. 

In fact, May is one of the very best months to visit the Greek Islands, in particular. And the reasons? All the amenities will be back open after their winter and shoulder-season hibernation. In addition, you’ll be able find yourself the perfect spot on beautiful Greek beaches

At the same time, there are enough visitors to give beaches (and bars) a lively vibe, but without the intensity that can come during the later peak season months.

Thinking of visiting Greece in May? Talk to our local Greek travel experts and save yourself the hustle of planning.


Tips from Eirini

Greece Travel Expert


"May is the insider's gateway to experiencing Greece's hidden gems without the summer throngs. It's the perfect time for sailing the lesser-known Ionian islands, where the sea is just warm enough for swimming and the winds are ideal for sailing. Pack light layers for the cooler evenings"

Elafonissi beach in Crete © Shutterstock

Wondering about the weather in Greece in May? It's warm enough to enjoy beaches like Elafonissi, Crete © Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Greece in May

The average air temperature in Greece in May ranges from 18°C to 24°C (64°F - 75°F), depending on the region. The southern parts of the country, such as Athens and Crete, tend to experience higher temperatures, while the northern parts are slightly cooler temperatures.

As for the sea temperature, the waters around Greece in May start to warm up but can still be a bit chilly for swimming. The average temperature ranges from 17°C to 20°C (63°F - 68°F).

Convinced to go? See our fully customisable Greece itineraries.


Acropolis, Athens © Shutterstock

Can it rain in Greece in May?

May is a fairly dry month in Greece. While you might experience some showers, you stand a greater chance of enjoying the ideal sunny day. A 74% chance, in fact.

However, there may be some local variations. In the coastal areas and islands, the average rainfall in May is around 10-20 mm. In the mainland (including Athens and Thessaloniki), the average rainfall is slightly higher at around 25-40 mm.

For more detail on the weather in Greece around the year, read up on when to go to Greece

The Corinthian Canal in Greece © Shutterstock

Corinthian Canal, Greece © Shutterstock

What about the crowd and cost?

While May sits outside the peak season, visitor numbers are ramping up on previous months, and costs are creeping up, too. 

As a result, you’d be wise to book your flight or ferry and accommodation in advance. Just to be on the safe side, and to (maybe…) still bag yourself a pre-peak-season bargain.

Set on an enjoying spring break? Discover more of the best places to visit in May.


Little Venice, Mykonos, Greece © Shutterstock

What to wear in Greece in May

With the weather in Greece in May warming up, you can certainly give your summer clothes an airing — bring shorts, t-shirts and summer dresses.

That said, we don’t advise casting off your warmer clothes just yet. The evenings cool down, and the days can be a bit on the brisk side, too. So, you’ll also want to pack a pullover, long trousers and a cover-up shawl.

Dinaric alps on the border between Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania © Shutterstock

Vikos Gorge, Zagori region of Greece © Shutterstock

Unforgettable and fully customisable Greece itineraries

Longing for a May trip that delivers stunning scenery, epic history, fabulous food and glorious sunshine? Our customisable Greece itineraries are packed with ideas, with with a local Greece travel expert  on hand to 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 modern 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 mortuaries Zagori, and this amounts to a diversely exhilarating experience.
  • Coast of Crete — a stunning self-drive experience (10 days): if you’re longing for awe-inspiring scenery, ancient culture, and a sense of freedom, this self-drive trip along Crete’s coast has your name all over it. 
Balos lagoon on Crete island, Greece © Shutterstock

Balos lagoon, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

What to do in Greece in May

Experience traditional Greek festivals

May is a month filled with festivals in Greece. Attend events like the Athens Epidaurus Festival, the Flower Festival in Nafplio, or the Sardine Festival in Kalamata.

Explore the Peloponnese region

Discover charming towns like Nafplio, explore the ancient ruins of Mycenae, and relax on the beautiful beaches of the region.

Get your adventure on 

Being pleasantly warm, but not prohibitively scorching, May is a good time to visit Greece for adventure sports.

You can, for example, hike the Samaria Gorge located in Crete or take a boat trip to the Blue Caves and Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos.

Go island hopping

May is a top time to explore the Greek Islands. For the warmest weather in May, consider visiting Kos, Mykonos, Crete or Santorini.

They’re be warm enough for sun-bathing and swimming, and to enjoy long romantic strolls. In the case of Crete, May is also a good time to enjoy adventure pursuits — more on that below.

Samaria Gorge. Crete, Greece © proslgn/Shutterstock

Samaria gorge, Crete © Shutterstock

Planning your May trip to Greece

Fancy visiting Greece in May, 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 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.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 30.04.2024

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.

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