Santorini is not the same every month of the year…it has its ups and downs.
So…the best and the worst time of the year for you to visit Santorini, really depends on what you are looking for, from your holidays in this little greek gem.
If you visit Santorini with your bikini in the middle of January then there is something wrong with you… (eventhough you may get sunny weather and 20C degrees – and some swimming pools are heated).
Also, if you pack your UGG boots for Santorini in July, then there is also something seriously wrong with you…🤣
VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW:
- Best Time for beaches, swimming and hot weather (more than 30C during the day): June, July, August, September
- Best Time for a Santorini honeymoon: June (I’m explaining below why…)
- Best Time for activities, hiking, wine-tasting, restaurants and mild sunny weather: May, October
- Best Time for partying, buzz, crowds: July, August, early September
- 15th of August: massive celebration in Greece and a Bank Holiday (St.Mary’s day)
- Greek Easter: usually within April (check here)
- Many businesses, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars close: between and including November-March
- Most crowded month of the year for Santorini: August
Keep reading…there is more!
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First, let’s see how crowded the island is during the year:
(the following numbers are not official statistics but more of a feeling after visiting the island for many years and in different months)
January: 10% crowded – (Low Season – many restaurants, hotels and businesses will be closed, beaches will be empty but the island is not “dead”…Fira is the best place to stay, eat and entertain yourself)
February: 10% crowded – (Low Season – many restaurants, hotels and businesses will be closed, beaches will be empty but the island is not “dead”…Fira is the best place to stay, eat and entertain yourself)
March: 20% crowded – (Low Season –but slightly more people start to visit the island as the high season approaches, many restaurants, hotels and businesses will be closed or just about to open, beaches will probably be empty but the island is definitely not “dead”…Fira is the best place to stay, eat and entertain yourself)
April: 40% crowded – (High Season – the beggining of the high season and most restaurants, beach bars, cafes and businesses open in April as it is also the Greek Easter and lots of Greeks visit the island to start preparing for the high season)
May: 70% crowded – (High Season – All of the businesses of the island will be 100% open and operational but the island is still not full, the beaches are getting busier every day and the weather is awesome)
June: 90% crowded – (High Season – almost at full capacity but not yet super busy…everything will be open and super fun!)
July: 100% crowded – (High Season – the heart of the high season and when the island gets super busy and crowded, but still you will have a great time while the weather is super hot – do expect to spend most of your time on the beach or the swimming pool – not as busy as in August though)
August: 110% crowded – (High Season – the busiest month for Santorini, try to avoid if possible because everything becomes more complicated and takes more time)
September: 90% crowded – (HIgh Season – it will still feel like the long tail of Aigust some times but it will get less busy at the end of the month – weather still feels like summer! See also below)
October: 70% crowded (High Season – the weather gets colder but you can still possibly enjoy a swim in the sea or the pool – for many of the businesses October is their last operational month)
November: 30% crowded (Low Season – the early days of winter and the month where the weather gets considerably colder – many businesses, hotels and restaurants might be closed)
December: 10% crowded (Low Season – the heart of the low season and one of the coldest months in Santorini, no swimming, many closed businesses but always an amazing landscape and wild beauty)
To put it simply:
November-December-January-February-March: Low Season/some businesses will be closed
April-May-September-October: High Season / all businesses will be open
June-July-August: Super HIgh Season / all businesses open
(it is true that the last years, the Super High Season has started to extend in late May and early September and I do believe this trend will continue till the whole of the year is basically high season for the island)
So, let’s see one by one all of your options, shall we?
1. When Should I visit Santorini if I am looking for hot weather, swimming at the beaches or pools and I basically want to be with flip-flops all day…?
The hottest weather in Santorini is in June, July, August, September but even May and October are pretty hot – (see our Santorini Weather Guide).
In October the sea water will probably be warmer than in May as it has been warmed all summer.
Try to avoid July and August as much as possible because the island is super crowded and the shops are always very busy.
It’s not that you won’t have a great time…it’s just that you might not be able to walk on the streets of Oia at sunset time because of the thousands of people…
I always visit the island between mid-September till mid-October while the weather feels really nice to swim and all the businesses are still open.
Most businesses (restaurants, hotels, cafes, beach bars) of the island close at the end of October.
Answer: if swimming and great weather is your only concern then mid to end September and early October is the best time for you!
2. When Should I visit Santorini if my only concern is sightseeing, hiking, wine tasting and great food but not with bad or super hot weather?
April, May, October and November (for most of the time) have awesome weather with low chances of rain and tempratures around 15-20 degress and mostly sunny.
You’ve seen the amazing wineries of Santorini.
You’ve seen the best things you can do on the island.
You are not really a big fan of swimming or weather that makes you sweat if you walk 5 mins and it’s absolutely fine for you if you don’t wear a t-shirt, shorts and bikinis 24/7.
Answer: if you are the person above then you should better visit Santorini in April, May or October
3. When should I visit Santorini if I want to have all the buzz, the nightlife and the awesome beach parties and the fun?
July and August is when everything really happens on the island.
If you are going to party, you will do it in these 2 months (and it’d be awesome!)
Answer: July and August (and early September…)
4. When should I visit Santorini if I am a solo traveller?
It really depends again on what you are looking for from your travel.
Answer: if you are looking to meet people or just network with other travellers then July and August is the best. If you are looking to see the place but not being super lonely then I would say June or September is the best option for you.
5. When should we visit Santorini if we are a couple on our honeymoon?
I suppose you don’t really care who else is on the island since you will only have eyes for each other, right? 🙂
But on the other hand you wouldn’t like the island to be packed with people or not being able to find a table at one of the best restaurants of the island, would you?
Answer: I believe June or September is the best for you. Not too crowded and not too empty. Not too hot but not too cold so that you won’t be able to cuddle in your outdoor pool.
6. When should I visit Santorini if I am looking for the cheapest hotels and flights?
Answer: You should look for any off season deals which means any date between November-March. However, you may find some good deals in April and October as well.
7. When should I visit Santorini for island hopping ?
If the main purpose of visiting Santorini is to use it ayour base to visit other greek islands then you need a time when you will get the most available options of flights and ferries between the islands.
Read Also: 4 Amazing Greek Islands Near Santorini
Also, bear in mind that other greek islands are not that crowded as Santorini or Mykonos and the high season will be absolutely normal (you won’t be alone but you won’t have hordes of tourists around you). So…
Answer: June, July, August and September are the best months to do your island hopping in Greece. But especially in July and August you should expect lots of crowds in Santorini and Mykonos as well. Other greek islands (Naxos, Paros, Ios, Milos) won’t be that crowded.
8. When should I visit Santorini if we are a family with kids?
Santorini is a very family and kids friendly place to spend your holidays.
So, if you are coming with the kids you’d probably want to spend your time close to a beach like Kamari or Perissa/Perivolos where the hotels and the restaurants have lots of amenities.
You also don’t want the weahter to be crazy hot.
Answer: it’s better if you visit Santorini in May, June or September to avoid the crowds and the super hot weather
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