Attracting more than 1.5 million visitors every year, the beautiful island of Santorini is considered one of the most popular destinations in Greece.
The majority of visitors pick July and August, since this is the best time of the year to enjoy the sunshine and the sea is at its warmest temperatures.
At the same time, this may often be the only option due to work and school vacation schedules.
However, if you are able to visit outside the peak season time frame, you will certainly be rewarded. June and September for instance, guarantee that you will have the sweetest summer weather but without the crowds.
There are several things to do later in autumn or spring as well, while winter has also been gaining an increasing amount of attention.
In brief, the best time to visit Santorini for sightseeing is June and October.
Organized tours are available the whole year, although the right time for sea-related activities and sports is from May to September.
The widest variety of hotels and restaurants is offered from June to October and special deals are more common during spring.
Visit in High Season (Summer)
Most travellers tend to choose the high season as the best time to see Santorini, which is July and August.
During these months, the nightlife is more vivid than any other time of the year, the caldera’s viewpoints are crowded and the sea waters reach their warmest temperature.
All the facilities are open and ready to welcome hordes of visitors.
The sun is shining bright during the high season in Santorini.
Unlike other locations in Greece, Santorini rarely suffers from heat waves over 30℃.
The Aegean Sea’s summer breeze keeps the island cooled down and the weather is usually between 19℃ and 27℃.
Things to do
Long hikes and bike rides are not to be found in this list; on the contrary, intense physical activity is not recommended so that you can prevent heat strokes.
On the other hand, watersports, sailing or low-intensity tours are fantastic options. Take a closer look at all tours and book the best one for you! It is also possible to book your sunbeds and sun umbrellas in advance so that you can enjoy the volcanic beaches with no issues.
Discover a complete list with the best things to do.
You will also have the opportunity to merge with the locals and have fun in various traditional celebrations, such as the Prophet Elias celebrations on July 20th and the holiday for the Assumption of Virgin Mary on August 15th.
Last but not least, the high season is the best time to visit other islands, since the frequency of ferry crossings makes island hopping easy and enjoyable. Mykonos, Paros, Ios, Naxos, Milos, Amorgos and other islands are available among other destinations and can be found among our favorite island-hopping packages from Santorini.
Keep in mind that once you decide to visit during summer, every facility needs to be booked 4-8 months in advance; the earlier, the better in Santorini’s case. This includes accommodation, airplane tickets or ferry tickets, as well as your favorite tours or island hopping packages. Dining reservations several days in advance will also be necessary to avoid waiting forever for a vacancy.
Visit in Shoulder Season (Spring & Fall)
The shoulder season in Santorini is from mid-April to June and September to late October.
With most facilities still being open and fully functioning but without the high season’s crowds, this is hands down the best time to visit the island.
More precisely, June and September are ideal, since the weather is very similar to that of mid-summer days.
During the shoulder season, you will manage to get some privacy and tranquility that will allow you to enjoy the charming volcanic landscape with no worries.
Prices are considerably lower compared to the high season and there will be more options as well.
Late spring, early summer and early autumn in Santorini bring almost no rainfalls and no heat waves, while the winds are significantly softer compared to the summer.
The temperature is mild, most of the time between 15℃ and 22℃, while daylight hours are long and the sunshine gets more enjoyable than ever.
Thing to do
With the weather conditions being this good, this is the best time of the year to engage in any activity you wish.
Walking, hiking and exploring are definitely recommended, while water sports and swimming are certainly on the table.
The nightlife slows down a little so it is better to check out which facilities are available. Some of them operate until as late as mid-October.
Less tourists translate into less traffic and this means that you will be able to approach landmarks and viewpoints more comfortably.
The beaches will also have a peaceful and private atmosphere but the water might be cold.
If you happen to visit during the Orthodox Easter (usually in late April or early May), this is the best time to experience an authentic side of Santorini, since many Greeks arrive on the occasion of the Easter celebrations.
The feasty atmosphere guarantees an amazing springtime experience and creates the opportunity to meet the locals.
When it comes to September and October, wineries visits and hiking are on top of the excursion list once again.
Although availability may not be as limited as it is during the high season, it is always a good idea to play it safe and book your tickets, accommodation and tours ahead of time.
Keep your timetable flexible so that you can have seaside fun on the warmer days and go sightseeing on cooler ones.
Visit in Low Season (Winter)
The off-season in Santorini starts in November and finishes in mid-April.
Although this time of the year has been the least popular one for a long time, during the last few years, an increasing number of travellers has been showing interest in seeing the island during the chillier winter months.
The reasons why this is happening are mostly economy related; the low season is ideal for those who want to save money, since hotel and airline ticket prices significantly drop.
Budget-friendly travelling in Santorini has now become totally possible, as more and more facilities remain open during the whole year and if this is a top priority of yours, the off-season is the best time to visit Santorini.
This is the best time to visit indoor places of interest, including the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and Megaron Gyzi, among other museums, cultural institutions and ecclesiastic monuments.
Alternatively, you can have relaxing spa days and indoor dining or visit some of Santorini’s praised wineries and get to know more about the island's viticulture and traditional products.
The most popular places to visit on the caldera are Oia, Imerovigli, Fira and Firostefani and small rural villages are not really recommended as they can get too quiet.
Swimming in the sea is only possible for winter swimmers or those who enjoy the occasional ice bath.
Information about hotels
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