Santorini evolves and changes throughout the year, offering a variety of experiences depending on when you visit. Consequently, whether May or September is better for your holiday on this picturesque Greek island depends on what it is that you are looking to get out of your stay in Santorini.
Best Time to Visit Santorini
Let’s take a closer look at the level of crowds in Santorini throughout the year. The following figures are based on our experiences after visiting the island numerous times during different months.
January sees only 10% occupancy, making it an ideal time to visit Santorini as many restaurants, hotels, and businesses remain open, although beaches will be sparsely populated. Fira is arguably one of your best bets for staying, eating, and having fun in the first month of the year.
Experiencing Santorini in February is ideal for those who want to explore the island without having too much of a crowd. Since it’s low season, many restaurants and businesses will be closed while beaches remain incredibly empty. Fira remains the best place to stay, eat and enjoy some entertainment.
With the peak season just around the corner, March sees a greater influx of people on the island than the above months. While many hotels may be closed or just opening up again, there will be no shortage of places where you can have a great time.
Visiting Santorini in April? Expect crowds around 40%, as the high season is just beginning, and many Greeks travel to the island for Greek Easter.
Expect more people – about 70% of capacity by then – but still plenty of room on beaches with great weather. All businesses will be open and operational at this time.
June in Santorini is full of warm weather, lively nightlife, and 90% capacity – the perfect combo for a spectacular holiday. Just make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen if you don’t want to get sunburnt.
July takes it to new heights with 100% occupancy. The season’s peak brings an incredible atmosphere where you can spend most days by the beach or pool – yet still get some peace from August’s hustle and bustle.
August in Santorini is notorious for its immense overcrowding, making it the island’s busiest month of the year. Thus, if you aim to avoid the hustle and bustle during your travels there, you may want to avoid August altogether.
September offers an ideal balance with only 90% crowds – although sometimes it still feels like summertime in terms of weather conditions. At least at this time of year, you can expect fewer people throughout your stay as cities begin to wind down in anticipation of autumn.
Traveling to the enchanting Santorini in October can be a memorable experience, as this is the end of the High Season. Despite the colder temperatures, the waters may still be warm enough to let you enjoy the occasional dip.
With a 30% occupancy rate at this time of year, though, there will surely also be plenty of room to enjoy your holiday with fewer crowds around. On the flip side, many accommodations will be closed, so there might not be as many rentals as during the previous months.
Visiting Santorini in December? Expect a relatively quiet atmosphere-only 10% of the usual tourist traffic. This is its low season, so you’ll have to bundle up as temperatures are quite chilly this time of year. You won’t be able to swim, and some shops may not open their doors.
In a nutshell, the following months are considered low season in Santorini:
What is the best time to visit Santorini for hot weather and a beach-ready atmosphere?
June, July, August, and early September have been known as the hottest months on this beautiful Greek island. However, May or October could still provide plenty of warmth for days spent in flip-flops. Check out Santorini Weather to learn more about monthly temperatures.
The sea will be significantly warmer in October than in May due to exposure to the summer heat. To avoid overcrowding and chaotic shopping experiences, we strongly advise against visiting the island during July and August.
What is the perfect time to visit Oia?
If you’re searching for the perfect time to visit Oia and enjoy its stunning sunsets without having to maneuver large crowds, mid September until mid October is your ideal window. During this period, temperatures are still warm enough for a dip in the water, but businesses have yet to close down their doors prior to wintertime.
What is the best time to visit Santorini for sightseeing, hiking, and wine tasting?
Are you not a fan of excessive heat and humidity? Then April, May, October, or November are your best bet when planning a visit to the stunning wineries of Santorini. These months have temperate weather with low rainfall probabilities and temperatures typically hovering around 15-20 degrees Celsius.
What is the best time to explore Santorini’s nightlife?
Plan your visit during peak season, which typically runs from May through October. July and August are the most festive times of year on the island. If you’re looking for an unforgettable time, join us during these two months.
What is the best time for a solo traveler to visit Santorini?
If you hope to meet other adventurers and broaden your social circle, July or August provides great opportunities. Alternatively, if you’d like to explore while avoiding major crowds, June and September offer a perfect balance of comfort and camaraderie.
When should couples on their honeymoon visit Santorini?
I’m sure you’ll be entirely captivated by each other, yet a crowded island is not the ideal romantic setting. The best time to visit Santorini, your desired destination would have to be June or September – not too hot weather and far from being swarmed with throngs of crowds.
If you’re looking for the most cost-effective hotels and flights, when is the best time to plan a trip to Santorini?
To locate the best package deals, you should investigate any special seasonal offers between November and March. However, some hotels and airlines also offer special discounts in April and October.
Best time to visit Santorini for a memorable island-hopping experience
The optimal months for island hopping tour throughout Greece are June, July, August, and September.
If you intend to explore other Greek Islands while visiting Santorini, plan your trip considering flight and ferry availability. Additionally, don’t wait until peak season. That way, you will still be able to appreciate everything these paradise destinations have to offer without having hordes of people around you.
Best time to visit Santorini with kids
If you’re planning a family holiday in Santorini, look no further than Kamari or Perissa/Perivolos beaches. Both offer plenty of amenities for the whole clan. Also, if you want to stay away from scorching temperatures and overcrowded sites, then May, June, or September are your best bet.
Visit Santorini in January
January is the perfect time to visit Santorini as it’s not only the low season but also has moderate temperatures. Pack a sweater or two just in case, and perhaps an umbrella, too, should you experience some light rain showers. There is no winter weather in Santorini like in Central Europe.
If you’re a backpacker hoping to visit Santorini on a budget, January is the ideal time for you, too. Everything on the island will be less expensive due to fewer visitors around that at any time of the year.
Visit Santorini in February
While February in Santorini may offer some chilly temperatures and a nippy breeze, it’s still possible to find plentiful pockets of pleasure. With much lower prices than usual, you can take advantage of open restaurants that are ready for business throughout the main tourist areas.
Visit Santorini in March
As March begins, temperatures begin to rise in Santorini. It may still be a bit chilly by Greek standards, but Europeans from the north will certainly feel the difference. Nevertheless, hotel prices remain relatively inexpensive- an ideal time for vacationers looking for great deals and discounts during this low season period.
Visit Santorini in April
April is the month to find amazing deals on flights and accommodation since it’s still considered low season. While temperatures won’t be quite as hot as the peak months in the summertime, April weather should still feel warm for visitors from outside the country.
Visit Santorini in May
A trip to Santorini between May and November will guarantee perfect weather, but even outside of these months, the temperatures remain warm and sunny. During this time, the old town exudes an atmosphere of tranquility that makes it ideal for visitors looking to find some peace on this idyllic island.
Visit Santorini in June
June is an ideal time to visit Santorini if you want to take advantage of the sunny weather while avoiding overcrowded areas. You’ll be able to swim in its gorgeous waters around beaches such as Red Beach without a worry, plus there won’t be too many visitors yet at that point.
Visit Santorini in July & August
Two words accurately describe the atmosphere you can expect in Santorini during these two months – crowded and sweltering.
Temperatures can skyrocket up to 35 degrees during this time of year, which is why so many tourists flock here all at once. In my opinion, visiting Santorini then isn’t a pleasant experience – its beauty should be savored when it’s less busy, and one doesn’t have to fight for the perfect sunset spot!
Understandably, some folks have no other choice but to visit Santorini during the months of July and August due to work leaves or school holidays. Therefore, if you’re set on visiting Santorini in these peak times — be sure to book your hotels and flights as early as possible for optimal savings. Don’t wait until the last minute; plan ahead to take advantage of better deals.
Visit Santorini in September
As the hustle and bustle of July and August wind down in September, a feeling of serenity is palpable throughout Santorini. If you long for some late summer sun, this month is an ideal time to visit Santorini.
Getting out on wine tours or boat rides during early September also presents many pleasant possibilities, given how great the climate can be at this point in the year.
Visit Santorini in October
October is the ideal time to visit Santorini – with fantastic hotel and flight discounts and pleasant weather conditions. The only downside is that some businesses may begin closing down towards the end of this month.
Additionally, thinner crowds make it possible to enjoy some seclusion on one of Santorini’s iconic beaches. Is it sufficiently hot? For sure – though, chances decrease slightly towards late October.
Visit Santorini in November & December
While November and December were historically dead seasons for travel, more and more people are embracing this time of the year. In fact, many restaurants remain open all year round now.
With flight prices lower than ever before and gorgeous sunshine with occasional rain clouds blessedly replacing Winter’s snowfall – there has never been a better moment to escape the chill of home life.
Santorini in Winter
Although Greek islands are usually associated with summertime travel, Santorini is quickly becoming a year-round hot spot for tourists.
If you’re dreaming of a holiday in Santorini during the winter months, remember that many restaurants and bars may be closed. Don’t count on nightclubs being open between November and March either; even beach areas like Kamari will be deserted.
For those looking to take a dip in the ocean and bask in hot weather over 30C, June, July, August, and September are ideal months. For a romantic Santorini honeymoon getaway for two, look no further than June!
May and October offer mild sunny weather, making them optimal times for activities such as hiking or wine-tasting, while July, August, and early September bring about an exciting atmosphere full of parties with ample crowds.
Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?
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🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
It is highly recommended that you steer clear of Santorini during August. Tourists swarm in this month like bees to honey, and Fira and Oia’s main streets become so congested that any form of travel becomes a struggle.
If you’re looking for the best weather and fewer tourists, Santorini is your ideal destination in either June or October. However, if crowds don’t appeal to you, it’s best to avoid visiting during August.
Are you looking for a romantic sunset view or an exciting nightlife? Santorini has captivating sunsets and picturesque villages. In contrast, Mykonos offers exquisite beaches and vibrant night entertainment.
If you want to experience the unforgettable Santorini sunset, the west side is definitely where you should stay. It will also make it easy for you to go out at night and find a variety of activities in either Oia or Fira.
Travelers on a budget may prefer venturing over to the east side, though, as this has more affordable lodging options available.
If you’re hoping to stay at a luxurious Santorini hotel, be sure to book as soon as possible – the most coveted hotels are often fully booked 4-6 months in advance! And if you plan to visit during July, August, or early September, even more reason for an earlier reservation.
If your goal is to explore the top attractions of Santorini, tour its wineries and boat tours, watch a couple of sunsets in different places, as well as try some delicious restaurants on the island, you need at least three days. However, if you have 7 or more days here, I suggest spending 5-7 days in Santorini and then heading off to other islands, such as Naxos, Paros, Ios, etc., for an unforgettable experience.
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