Trekking in Greece: climate and season

The best time of year for hiking in the Greek islands

Almost all of Greece is a hiker’s paradise: a fantastic land between the mountains and the sea, offering opportunities to discover ever-changing landscapes. But what is the best time of year to visit Greece and its islands if you plan to do some hiking?

First of all, an important distinction: The most popular hiking routes are always kept in order, but other routes follow natural paths surrounded by vegetation, and still others proceed along gravel roads connecting remote mountain villages. In view of this, it’s important to plan your trip at a time of year offering ideal weather conditions.

Spring (April and May) is normally the best time of year for hiking; the countryside is green, dotted with wildflowers, and rain is infrequent. Autumn (September and October) can also be a very good time of year. Most organised hiking trips take place in April-May or September-October because this is when the temperatures are most comfortable, unlike the blazing heat of July and August. Spring is also the best time for hiking in Greece if you want to experience the local lifestyle in perfect tranquillity, avoiding high season, when tourists invade the country’s beaches and sites of particular interest. Autumn is also a good time, as the climate is mild and most of the tourists have gone home. This means hikers can fully enjoy the landscape and the pleasures of travelling.

Another factor to take into consideration when choosing the best time of year is events at your specific destination: if you decide to visit Ithaca, for example, you ought to know that the island hosts its summer festival (Panigiri) in the months of June and July, a major tourist attraction offering opportunities to enjoy traditional local food and dancing. If you intend to visit Rhodes and hike in the Valley of the Butterflies in Petaloudes, you ought to travel in August, when these marvellous creatures completely cover the plants, a sight unequalled anywhere on earth.

It’s also worth remembering that the months permitting significant savings, especially on accommodations, are March, April, May, October and November, while high season in the Greek islands is from the end of June until the beginning of September. August is, of course, the hottest, most crowded, and most expensive month to travel.