Athens in May 2023 – is it worth going on vacation? Weather, water temperature, how to dress, prices in hotels and on excursions. What to do in Athens in early May and late spring, where to go in Greece – found out good Time for Trip.
May is not the best month in terms of beach holidays. In any case, if we are talking about Europe: the air in some places, maybe, warms up to +30 °C, but the sea does not think to match!
Is it any wonder that travelers who have heard about such wether’s tradition are not inclined to scatter valuable vacation days. And therefore they prefer to use the official May holidays to the maximum! If the tourists plan trips in Europe trough this period, then the short ones.
This is usually the best strategy. But, as with any rule, there are exceptions.
We invite you to explore one of them – in May, Athens, the capital of Greece, deserves at least a 3-5 day trip.
That is, of course, they are not alone. After all, the distances in Greece by American standards are simply ridiculous. And by renting a car, in a week you can drive around literally the entire continental part of the country.
In order not to waste time in Greece, in May it is worth seeing not only Athens. But also pay a visit to Delphi and Meteora, make an extensive tour of the Peloponnese.
You can see the ruins at Olympia, explore the mysterious city of Mystra, spend some time at the legendary Sparta. Yes, and soak up the beautiful beaches somewhere near Kalamata will obviously not be superfluous!
And then, if there is time, rush to the islands – Crete and Corfu at the end of spring flaunt emerald greenery and the sea has an incredible color. So bright that it makes you suspect a fresh paint job!
Equally, experienced tourists know that May is perfect for a holiday in Rhodes. The warmest island in Greece, geographically close to Turkey.
Weather in Athens in May
Contribute to active pastime – the habit of constantly inspecting something on your own or with a guide will haunt you all free time.
And how could it be otherwise, if one clear day will kindly replace another? And the warm atmosphere, filled with the aromas of blooming nature, provokes walking not only from dawn to sunset, but even at night.
Truly, May in Athens is perhaps the best time of the year. Truly magical, promising, teasing, exciting the imagination and charging with unprecedented energy.
After all, it would seem – you will get tired, examining the ancient ruins all day long (located mostly on the hills) at temperatures of +25-30 °C? But no – the next morning you will be ready for similar feats again. What’s there – on a velvet evening you truly can’t leave the streets of Athens
Closer to the Facts
In 2022, at the beginning of May the air temperature in Athens lived in a rather modest range of +19-21 degrees Celsius during the day. But a year earlier, noticeably large values were recorded – day temperature reached +28-30 °C.
However, in most cases, during this period of the year, something around +22-25 °C flaunts on street thermometers.
At night it gets cold up to +16-18 °C. But last year the temperatures dropped even lower – +13-15 °C after sunset in Athens in May – no nonsense.
So put a jacket or even a pullover into travel case – you certainly won’t regret it! Especially if you are going to diversify purely urban walks with a trip to the mountains – for example, in order to climb Mount Olympus.
By mid-May, in the Greek capital, in the weather sense, nothing extraordinary usually happens. That is, thermometers show about the same – maybe a little higher (up to +25-27 °C) – numbers! Although in some years weather forecasts promised (and these predictions came true) up to +35 °C.
At the end of May, Athens observe pretty heat weather: during the day temperature maybe up to +27-30 °C. And there is clearly a readiness for the imminent onset of summer in the atmosphere – the freshness is gradually disappearing. Even at night the air cools down only to +23-25 degrees Celsius.
Rains at this time are vanishingly rare, and there is really a lot of sunshine. On the one hand, it guarantees low humidity and (in most cases) good health. And on the other hand, it makes you not forget about sunbscreen, long-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
Yes, in principle, you should remember and about other things necessary on the southern sea. Since in Athens at the end of spring it is quite possible to think about swimming!
Yes, perhaps, in the city you don’t want to swim and just take a dip – the transparency of the sea leaves much to be desired. But as soon as you take a short trip to the countryside beaches, to Alimos or Glyfada, the need for refreshment becomes absolutely imperative!
The water temperature in Athens in May, of course, is not ideal for swimming: from + 17-18 °C on the Labour Day to +20-21 °C- on the threshold of summer. But tourists who are familiar with the summer weather conditions of Blackpool or Brighton, of course, will not fail to swim in the Saronic Gulf on the Aegean Sea at sunset of spring.
Moreover, getting out of the water at this time of the year is already quite comfortable. After all, the air often warms up to +30 °C, and the winds are weak!
To rent an apartment or a hotel room in Athens in early May (not in the very center of the city), a couple of travelers will need from 50-60 € per day. So much, for example, wants to get from their guests the owner of a 50-meter apartment Art island house. Which has all the equipment necessary for a comfortable life and is not so far from the main attractions – 10-15 minutes on foot.
Not quite ideal, but still well located and Metro Fix Cosy Apartment – in 15-20 minutes from here you can walk to the Acropolis. The total area of the flat is 45 m2, there is a balcony and all household appliances necessary for a modern person. And, most importantly, here you can accommodate a company of up to 4 people!
About the same distance from the city center is Zoe’s Studio. According to recent reviews, “clean and comfortable apartment”. Obviously, it has earned a rating of 9 on Booking for a reason, given that it is not always possible to book it for May dates even in winter.
What to Do
Obviously, seeing the Parthenon on the Acropolis hill is the main desire of a traveler visiting Athens for the first time. Experienced people, however, advise not to get hung up on such a clearly prominent and insanely popular attraction.
On the contrary, it is recommended to see the Erechtheion temple on the northern edge of the hill as soon as possible. And to enter the New Acropolis Museum, where the originals of ancient Greek statues are exhibited. Also, take some time to visit the beautifully preserved Temple of Hephaestus on the Athenian Agora.
Of course, you should make an attempt to experience the real Greek flavor in the lively Monastiraki square. And be sure to walk around the most authentic Athenian district, the famous Plaka. Moreover, on May evenings you can do this even in the approaching evening twilight.
In the case of the first meeting with Athens, it is better to start by walking through the iconic places with a guide. And only then explore the remarkable sights you see on your own.
Where to Go
In addition to the trip from Athens to nearby beaches, which looks especially relevant at the end of May, you should definitely take longer voyages. For not seeing some legendary places in Greece is practically a crime.
Let’s again emphasize the need to visit the sanctuary at Delphi. Possibly the greatest influence on the entire course of Greek and human history in general. Moreover, to turn back and forth from the Greek capital (distance – 160 km) in one day is more than realistic.
If you want to personally see the monasteries of Meteora, it is worth planning a full day for a trip from Athens. Since the distance of more than 400 kilometers in only one direction can’t be overcome faster than in 5-6 hours.
There are excursion programs that allow you to connect Delphi and Meteora in one route. But they are usually designed for 2 days!
But the Corinth Canal, ancient Mycenae, the coziest seaside Nafplio are located much closer to the Greek capital. And they can even be visited on their own in 10-11 hours.
It takes less than 3 hours to drive from Athens to Sparta. In the neighborhood with which there is also the city-fortress of Mystras. Originating during the Byzantine Empire and built in part from stones taken from the ruins of Sparta.
The unusual and therefore beloved by tourists Pyrovassia festival traditionally takes place from May 21 to 23 in northern Greece – in the villages of Langadas and Ayia Eleni, not far from Thessaloniki. The main “highlight” of the holiday, held annually by local residents, is walking on coals.
It is quite natural in May to want to get from Athens to Santorini. After all, when else to admire the snow-white island, stretched out on the smooth surface of the turquoise sea, if not on the threshold of summer?
Moreover, in practical terms, such an intention is easy to implement without the involvement of an aircraft. Ferries run regularly from Piraeus to Thira. Moreover, the fastest of them, hydrofoil catamarans, cover almost 300 km in 5 hours.
If Santorini can be a destination for one day, then you won’t be able to see Crete in less than 3-4 days. Yes, and getting here from Athens without the involvement of the aircraft is difficult.
However, even in early May, Crete will leave a completely enchanting impression. After all, it has not yet had time to fade from the summer heat, it looks fresh and bright!
An interesting destination for a spring holiday on the sea is the Greec resort Parga. Lost on the coast of the Ionian Sea, the town is dearly loved by the Greeks themselves. May turn out to be a real discovery at the end of spring and the nearby island of Kerkyra, better known as Corfu!