Santorini is a stunning Greek island in the Aegean Sea, famous for its whitewashed villages, blue-domed churches, volcanic caldera and breathtaking sunsets. But when is the best time to visit this island paradise and what can you expect from the weather?
The answer depends on what you are looking for in your Santorini vacation. Do you want to enjoy the warm and sunny weather, swim in the crystal-clear sea, relax on the black sand beaches and party at the lively bars and clubs? Or do you prefer to avoid the crowds, explore the island’s history and culture, hike along the scenic trails and admire the views without breaking a sweat?
In this blog post, we will help you decide when to visit Santorini by giving you a month-by-month breakdown of the weather, temperature, rainfall, sunshine hours and events. We will also give you some tips on what to pack and what to do in each season. Let’s get started!
Spring (March to May)
Spring is a great time to visit Santorini if you want to enjoy mild weather, blooming flowers and fewer tourists. The average temperature ranges from 13.7 °C (56.7 °F) in March to 20 °C (68 °F) in May, with highs of 16 °C (61 °F) to 23 °C (73 °F) and lows of 11.4 °C (52 °F) to 17 °C (63 °F). The sea temperature is still cool, around 16 °C (61 °F) to 19 °C (66 °F), but it starts to warm up in late May. The rainfall is moderate, with an average of 65 mm (2.6 inches) in March, 30 mm (1.2 inches) in April and 15 mm (0.6 inches) in May. The sunshine hours are plentiful, with an average of 8 hours per day in March, 10 hours in April and 12 hours in May.
Spring is the best time for hiking and sightseeing in Santorini, as the weather is comfortable and not too hot. You can explore the ancient sites of Akrotiri and Ancient Thera, visit the museums and art galleries, stroll around the picturesque villages of Oia, Fira, Imerovigli and Pyrgos, and enjoy the stunning views of the caldera and the sunset. You can also join a wine tour and taste some of the local varieties, such as Assyrtiko, Nykteri and Vinsanto. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a boat trip to the nearby volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, where you can swim in the hot springs and walk on the lava fields.
What to pack: Spring can be unpredictable in Santorini, so it’s best to pack layers that you can add or remove depending on the weather. You will need a light jacket or sweater for the evenings, as well as a raincoat or umbrella for possible showers. You will also need comfortable shoes for walking, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat for sun protection. If you plan to swim, bring your swimsuit, towel and flip-flops.
Summer (June to September)
Summer is the peak season in Santorini, when the island is full of visitors who come to enjoy the hot and sunny weather, the beautiful beaches and the vibrant nightlife. The average temperature ranges from 24.3 °C (75.7 °F) in June to 26.6 °C (79.8 °F) in July and August, with highs of 27.5 °C (81.5 °F) to 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) and lows of 21.1 °C (70 °F) to 23.7 °C (74.7 °F). The sea temperature is warm, around 23 °C (73 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F), perfect for swimming and water sports. The rainfall is minimal, with an average of 5 mm (0.2 inches) in June, 1 mm (0 inches) in July and August and 15 mm (0.6 inches) in September. The sunshine hours are abundant, with an average of 13 hours per day from June to August and 11 hours in September.
Summer is the best time for beach lovers and party goers in Santorini, as the weather is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and having fun. You can choose from a variety of beaches, such as the black sand beaches of Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari, the red sand beach of Akrotiri, the white sand beach of Vlychada and the pebbly beach of Amoudi. You can also try some of the water activities available, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing and jet skiing. At night, you can join the crowds at the bars and clubs of Fira, Oia and Kamari, where you can dance, drink and mingle until dawn.
What to pack: Summer is hot and dry in Santorini, so you will need light and breathable clothing, such as shorts, t-shirts, dresses and skirts. You will also need your swimsuit, towel, flip-flops, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat for the beach. You may want to bring a light jacket or shawl for the evenings, as well as some nicer outfits for going out. Don’t forget to pack your camera and a good book for relaxing.
Autumn (October to November)
Autumn is another good time to visit Santorini if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy warm weather with a chance of rain. The average temperature ranges from 20.3 °C (68.5 °F) in October to 16.8 °C (62.2 °F) in November, with highs of 22.9 °C (73.2 °F) to 19.1 °C (66.4 °F) and lows of 17.7 °C (63.9 °F) to 14.5 °C (58.1 °F). The sea temperature is still pleasant, around 22 °C (72 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F), but it starts to cool down in late November. The rainfall is moderate to high, with an average of 60 mm (2.4 inches) in October and 70 mm (2.8 inches) in November. The sunshine hours are decent, with an average of 8 hours per day in October and 6 hours in November.
Autumn is a good time for sightseeing and relaxing in Santorini, as the weather is still warm but not too hot, and the island is less busy than in summer. You can visit the attractions that you missed or revisit your favorite ones without the long queues and the crowds. You can also enjoy some of the local festivals and events that take place in autumn, such as the Ifestia Festival in September, which celebrates the volcanic eruption that shaped the island with fireworks and music; or the Festival of Megaron Gyzi in October, which features concerts, exhibitions and cultural activities.
What to pack: Autumn can be unpredictable in Santorini, so it’s best to pack layers that you can add or remove depending on the weather. You will need a warm jacket or coat for the evenings and rainy days, as well as a raincoat or umbrella for possible showers. You will also need comfortable shoes for walking, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat for sun protection. If you plan to swim, bring your swimsuit, towel and flip-flops.
Winter (December to February)
Winter is the low season in Santorini, when the island is quiet and most of the tourist facilities are closed. The average temperature ranges from 12.2 °C (54 °F) in January to 12.3 °C (54.1 °F) in February, with highs of 14.2 °C (57.6 °F) to 14.4 °C (57.9 °F) and lows of 10.1 °C (50.2 °F) to 10.2 °C (50.4 °F). The sea temperature is cold, around 17 °C (63 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F), not suitable for swimming unless you are very brave or have a wetsuit. The rainfall is high, with an average of 115 mm (4.5 inches) in January, 80 mm (3.1 inches) in February and 100 mm (3.9 inches) in December. The sunshine hours are low, with an average of 5 hours per day from December to February.
Winter is not the best time for beach lovers and party goers in Santorini, as the weather is cold and wet, and most of the beaches, bars and clubs are closed or empty. However, if you are looking for solitude and tranquility, winter can be a good time to visit Santorini and experience its authentic side. You can explore the island at your own pace, without the hassle of traffic and crowds. You can also enjoy