Greece in May

Is Greece hot in May?

Greece in May 2023 – is it worth going and what is the best place for relax? Weather, water temperature, how to dress, is it possible to swim? Prices in hotels and on excursions, what to do in Greece at the beginning of May and on the threshold of summer – in the review of good Time for Trip.

A trip to Greece at the end of spring is usually not included in the top of popular entertainment among American, and, in general, European tourists. This has always been the case, and it is easy to explain – the climate of Hellas dictates its own conditions. And it’s hard to just dismiss them.

Think for yourself! If there are no contraindications for visiting the Athenian Parthenon, excursions to Delphi and Meteora, from the point of view of the weather, then bathing in Crete or Rhodes seems to be a dubious undertaking.

There is nothing to say about the rest of Greece in May – there is an opinion in the mass consciousness that it is still quite cold there. That is, the gardens may be blooming, but the sea has definitely not warmed up to comfortable temperatures yet.

This is partly true! Therefore, the southern regions of Turkey and Cyprus in early May are much more popular beach destinations. And Egypt at this time is turning into a real hit at all.

However, let’s not be overly pessimistic – throughout May and in Greece everything is not so bad with the weather. So if you organize excursions and leisure wisely, make full use of the advantages of hotel pools, the holidays should be at least not wasted time!

Weather in Greece in May

It seriously depends on the latitude of the area. And if icy winds are still blowing in mountainous regions, but real warmth comes to the shores of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece already in mid-May.

You heard right: the resort of Kalamata, on the coast of the Messenian Gulf, at this time sometimes enjoys the heat under +30 °C and a cloudless sky. And there it is quite possible not only to sunbathe, but also to swim in the sea.

As, by the way, on some islands of the Aegean Sea. But more on that below!

Can you visit Meteora monasteries in Greece on your own?

The month begins, however, much more modestly. Almost everywhere in Greece in early May, the daytime air temperature barely reaches +18-20 °C. And at night the thermometer shows a dull +12-16 °C. Transparently hinting that walking in one T-shirt in the evening will provide far from the best sensations.

Clear days, however, are in the vast majority, giving tourists a boost of cheerfulness and optimism. And if you multiply this by the ubiquitous blooming nature, it becomes clear why you will not find negativity in the reviews.

The probability of precipitation is low, although the period cann’t be called particularly dry. Sometimes there are short rains. But this is how nature takes care of the new harvest: if you do not water it, you will be left without fruits and even grapes.

Athens and Thessaloniki

By the middle of the month, if not the heat, then a significant increase in temperatures should be expected. Even on the east coast of the country: in Thessaloniki and on the “three-finger” peninsula of Halkidiki.

The air there warms up to +20-22 °C in the afternoon by the 20th. At the end of May, there is a steady increase in the atmosphere to +24-28 °C.

Note that it is usually more rainy in Thessaloniki and the surrounding area compared to the south of continental Greece. Which, however, is fully bathed by the sea clean as a tear, a small (at this time) number of tourists and affordable prices even for people with modest incomes.

On the contrary, in Athens, the weather in May is usually characterized by an almost complete absence of rain. And air temperatures tend to climb above +30-32 °C.


On the island of Crete, the weather in May has no fundamental differences: up to +24-28 ° C and rare rains. However, it is often windy.

What makes most people concentrate their efforts on visiting local attractions, rather than lying on the beaches. Moreover, you will still have few competitors in the inspection of the Knossos Palace, the Dikteon Cave, cities and monasteries at the end of spring!


The climate of Rhodes is a little nicer because it is warmer. And at the end of May, the heat is almost always set at +30 °C there!

In addition, the weather on the island is stable. Rains do not happen to be of a torrential nature. And the air temperature in Rhodes already in early May in the afternoon reaches the range of +22-24 °C.

By the middle of the month, the average daily temperature is also growing, primarily due to significant warming at night: up to +20 and even +22 °C.


In early May, it gets warm on the main island of Greece in the Ionian Sea. During the day, the air warms up to +20-24 °C. And at night it cools down to quite acceptable +16-18 °C.

By the middle of the month or its second decade in Corfu, we should expect daytime temperatures to rise to +26-28 °C. But this is not for sure, unlike Rhodes, the local weather at the end of spring is not always happy with stability!

There are, of course, pleasant exceptions – in May 2022, the air temperature in Corfu hasn’t left the range of +25-30 °C since the second decade.

Water Temperature

On the islands and off the southern coast of Greece, the sea warms up to +18-19°C by May 1. And by the end of the month, in some places it reaches +23-24 °C. But not every year and not everywhere – the usual water temperature by the 20th does not exceed +20-21 °C.

Is it possible to swim in Crete in May? Lovers of warm water and tropical seas will raise their eyebrows skeptically and settle down near the hotel pool.

But people who are seasoned or not too pretentious are unlikely to miss the opportunity to swim. Why not – in the North and Baltic Seas, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the water warms up no more in June. And after all, they swim there?!

It will be a little easier in Rhodes. Because the atmosphere there in the last month of spring can heat up to such an extent that there will simply be no alternative to swimming. And you will have to go into the sea at least to cool off a little!

Swimming in the morning in May, however, is not advised there either. But closer to noon, both the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea, washing Rhodes, warm up to +23-24 °C.

May are one of the best months to travel to Greece and specifically Rhodes

Best Places to Go

From the point of view of swimming, the island of Crete is not the best choice in Greece at the end of spring. Due to strong winds, there is no special heat on land, and in the sea it is generally very cool.

But with everything else there will be a complete complete order! And once you rent a car, a week of rest will fly by completely unnoticed. After all, you will have to visit not only the Knossos Palace and Venetian Chania, but also a lot of monasteries and villages in the central regions of the island.

Again, you can learn a lot of interesting facts on organized excursions: and the head will not bake and the number of groups will not hurt to listen.

A completely different, much hotter weather will meet vacationers in May Rhodes! A Greek island with a climate tending to Turkish resorts: Marmaris and Oludeniz.

The prospects for a beach holiday in Corfu look very good at the end of spring. Although the water off the coast will not warm up above +21-23 for a month. But the air temperature will fluctuate between +24-26 °C.

Warm and sunny weather in May is traditionally expected at such Greek resorts as Napflio and Kalamata. In Patras it is usually hot on land (+28-30), but at the same time it is possible to freeze very much in water (from +17 to +21 °C).

At the end of spring, vacationers gradually begin to arrive on the beaches of Parga. An unpopular resort on the Ionian Sea coast among foreigners. But well, known among the Greeks themselves!

Prices 2023

Independent organization of a trip to Greece throughout May will not require the allocation of particularly impressive funds. That is, in fact, any owner of a permanent job can afford it.

Hotel prices in 2023, of course, will not please – in comparison even with the previous season, they have grown noticeably. However, a similar trend is observed all over the world today.

For example, a week’s stay in the Stegna Dream apartments, located in the beach village of the same name on the east coast of Rhodes, will cost € 65 per night for two people. And this is much less than what you have to spend in the summer months.

For a slightly larger amount, you can rent apartments in the capital of Rhodes, about a 5-minute walk from the Palace of the Grand Masters. Moreover, not two, but even three people will be accommodated in Alley 7, Old Town for a modest surcharge!

In Crete

the offer of Artemis Hotel Apartments in Hersonissos, which is located east of Heraklion, is striking in terms of money (less than 50 €/day). Moreover, this price includes not only accommodation, but also breakfast for guests.

For about 55 € per day, you will get at your disposal a Dream Art Studios in Chania Town. Conveniently located both near the beach and very close to restaurants and a supermarket.

In the continental part of Greece, the price tags for accommodation in May are slightly higher. For example, in the 3-star Hotel Fotini in Kalamata with an Olympic-sized swimming pool (far from the fact that it will work in May!) for a room for two in the middle of the month, they ask for less than 60 € per day.

For a little more money (70 €) and a little further from the beach, in the city, you can rent whole apartments Kalamata Cozy Apartment. Yes, they are located at a distance of more than a kilometer from the sea, but they have an area of 60 m2 and their own kitchen.

What to Do

Everything will depend on which part of Greece you choose to stay in May. If you decide to settle in Athens, you’ll be able to implement the most complete program of sightseeing events.

That is, visit not only the Parthenon, but also go to Delphi. It’s not too difficult to get out with an excursion to Meteors or even climb Olympus. Visit Corinth and see ancient Sparta. From Piraeus, high-speed catamaran ferries will take you to Santorini in 5 hours.

Those who went on vacation to the islands are unlikely to find it reasonable to leave their borders in order to see any other Greek sights. Moreover, there are enough interesting places in Crete and Rhodes. And in Corfu you are unlikely to have time to get bored even in a week – in good weather it is unlikely!

Leisure time promises to be rich for those who have chosen the Halkidiki peninsula for recreation. After all, they will be able to get acquainted not only with the sights of Thessaloniki, but also to go to Mount Athos.

In addition, it is much more convenient to get from here to the town of Litohoro, from where most of the climbing routes to the peaks of Olympus start. Equally from Thessaloniki in just a couple of hours you can get to the “soaring” monasteries of Meteora.


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