Paradise beaches, picturesque alleys, breathtaking views, turquoise waters, white houses, magnificent sunsets, are the first images instinctively associated with Greek islandsthe tourist destination par excellence every summer season.
What are the Greek islands you must visit in winter?
Nor does the magic of the Greek islands dissipate into thin air during the winterwhen the islands are emptied of tourists, they rediscover their most authentic nature and above all maintain mild temperatures even in the coldest months.
But what are they? The warmest Greek islands to visit in winter?
With over 5000 islands and islets in Greece, in search The warmest destinations where you can winterwinter it holds enough possibilities and some surprises capable of dispelling even the cliché that these locations are active only in the summer months.
The climate in Greece in winter
Let’s start by saying that the winter season in Greece lasts from the beginning of November to the end of March with January which is usually the coldest month of the year, when the islands most dedicated to summer tourism seem to sleep gently lulled by the waves of the Mediterranean, showing a new and equally fascinating aspect of their nature.
If on the one hand the reduction of ferry services makes it less easy to travel, on the other hand air and hotel prices are significantly reduced, thus making the islands accessible even in winter, when they are still warmed by average temperatures of around 15° with peaks around 18° .
The sun high in the sky does not yet warm the sea water enough for a pleasant swim, but it offers the ideal climate for relaxing in the open air or for long walks or excursions in nature.
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In this relaxed and calm dimension you will have the feeling of fully enjoying the Greek islands away from the crowds of tourists and with temperatures that are still mild.
A great opportunity to go to islands like Crete, Santorini and Mykonos, Rhodeswhich thanks to the community of residents and their students remain active even in the off-season with little risk of rain and at most days exposed to the winds as happens in the Cyclades, while the Ionian islands, such as Corfu and Zakynthos, enjoy mild winters but are a little more rainy.
Crete It is the largest and southernmost of the Greek islands with a sunny climate throughout the winter between 10° and 15° degrees, one of the mildest in Mediterranean Europe.
Its southern location makes it easy to get out and see all that this ancient site has to offer.
Museums remain open and the four main cities offer an array of archaeological wonders to explore, including the Palace of Knossos, miles of hiking trails, beautiful historic centers such as Rethymno and Chania, and numerous cultural events taking place throughout the year.
Its smallest town, Agios Nikolaos, in the east of the island, records very low rainfall even in winter.
Among the islands of the Cyclades, this one Thera It enjoys a greater reputation among summer holidaymakers, but even in winter it remains a warm and very exciting destination with average temperatures hovering around 12 – 14ºC.
Winter in Santorini is synonymous with wonderful walks on the slopes of a still active volcanic caldera with enchanting sunsets.
Its romantic atmosphere, white houses overlooking the blue sea, black sand beaches and volcanic hills, are the characteristics that make it one of the best islands to visit in winter, especially in its largest village, the Fira, ideal for a short trip. season stay.
also Syrosthe capital of the Cyclades remains inhabited and lively under its bright winter skies that give average temperatures of around 10 – 13ºC.
Ancient medieval towns such as Hermoupolis and Ano Syros maintain a vibrant life with historical sites, natural views and local taverns open all year round.
Another hot destination in the Cyclades islands is Naxos with its mountain villages such as Apeiranthos, archaeological sites and pristine beaches frequented only by locals.
Immersed in the Aegean, far from Athens, Lesbos It’s a fantastic island to visit even in winter, thanks to its mild temperatures, sometimes wet and windy, its student population and its lush nature consisting of rolling green hills, ideal for hiking and bird watching.
With guided jeep tours to lesser-known parts of the island that explore corners of rare beauty that are too hot to visit in summer.
Another Greek destination that is warm all year round is Rhodes, a gem with mild winters recording average high temperatures of around 15°C, with a historic center of Byzantine and Venetian architecture recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There is not much to do in Rhodes from visiting the enchanting town of Lindos, exploring the interior of the impressive Palace of the Grand Masters and the rest of the old town, to relaxing on pristine and remote beaches that remain deserted in winter.
Just off the coast of Athens, the Saronic Islands maintain pleasant temperatures, sandy beaches, lush green nature and authentic taverns even in the winter months.
Among them, the island of Hydra stands out for its natural landscapes where even in winter you can walk peacefully among stone houses and unspoiled nature. From here you can also sail to other nearby islands of Spetses, Poros and Aegina.
With its average winter temperature of 14°-15° degrees, Corfu is establishing itself as a perfect holiday destination even in the off-season.
The jewel of the Ionian Sea is a popular destination during the Christmas and New Year holidays thanks to its beauty and cosmopolitan soul.
Its beaches remain habitable under the winter sun, but its interest also lies in its magnificent historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Venetian, Byzantine and Greek architecture.
Imposing seaside monasteries, ancient fortresses and mountain villages can be explored with adventurous excursions on trails immersed in the island’s lush nature.
What to do in the Greek islands in winter?
When winter arrives on the Greek islands, it brings with it an aura of calm that is hard to find in the other months of the year, at this time it is nice to join the locals to enjoy the islands without the crowds and frenzy of summer tourism.
Various cultural events, local festivals, music competitions and village fairs associated with traditional foods and ancient dances are organized during these months.
Clear skies and air tempered by the warm rays of the winter sun create excellent conditions for excursions and other outdoor activities to discover the wonderful local nature even far from the coasts, almost all the islands are crossed by winding paths from village to village another with a magnificent view of the sea, historical monuments and olive groves.