August is one of the hottest months of the year with average temperatures of roughly 81°F (27°C). It's fairly muggy as well and the combination of heat and humidity can make it feel stifling at times. It's definitely a season to bring warm weather clothes—shorts, swimsuits, tanks tops, and sunglasses. Nighttime temperatures cool off, lingering around 72°F (22°C) so you may want a light jacket too (although even the low temperatures are fairly warm).
It's not quite as sunny as it is in July as the average number of sunny hours drops from 10 to 8. Still, it's never rainy, even when the sun dips behind the clouds. On the coast, water temperatures are at their warmest, averaging about 77°F (25°C).
For more on weather this month, see Greece in August: Travel Tips, Weather, and More.
Crowds and Costs
Like July, August is a very crowded month in Athens. On top of the warm weather, which draws people to the beaches, summer vacation is also occurring throughout most of Europe, as well as North America and other parts of the world. This results in huge lines at the major tourist attractions and the presence of tour buses sprawled throughout the city. Many restaurants and bars are "standing room only," as are most of the archaeological sites.
In addition to big crowds, costs also rise this time of year. Though food and activities stay about the same, there will be significant increases in hotel prices compared to spring, fall, and winter. The same holds true for airfare getting to and from your destination.
Where to Go
August is similar throughout the city—you'll experience hot weather and sizable crowds wherever you go so there isn't one part of town that stands out over others. If you like Greek history, it's a good time to check out the archaeological ruins because you won't have to worry about getting rained on and the sunshine will be out for photo ops. The museums can also be great in August because most of them have air conditioning, offering a place to hide out from the heat. Foodies will love the bustling atmosphere at all of the Greek markets and in the tavernas.
If you don't like the heat, August can be a fantastic time to take a day trip outside the city to some of the nearby attractions, most of which will still get you back to your hotel by evening. Delphi is a great choice because it's only two hours away but it sits at a much higher elevation so the air is cooler. Or if you've had enough history during your trip, head east to check out the vineyards in the Attica wine region.
The islands also offer great alternatives to the city if you want a weekend getaway. In August, all of the tourist attractions which close in the winter are open for business including restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels. Plus, the ferries are all running on regular schedules. Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Paros, and others all offer excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and basking in the sun.
What to Do
No trip to Athens is complete without a visit to the Acropolis—it's the epicenter of Greek history and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting the area. It will be crowded in August but the upshot is that the weather is good and all of the tours will be operating on regular schedules. Inside the citadel, you can check out the Parthenon, Hadrian's Library, or any of the other famous structures.
If you want to seek shelter in an air-conditioned place, drop by the Museum of Cycladic Art or check out the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments. Art lovers will enjoy places like the National Museum of Contemporary Art or State of Concept. There are plenty of excellent dining options throughout the city.
In Delphi, you'll want to visit the Sanctuary of Apollo (sometimes referred to as the Oracle of Apollo). Here, the ancient Greeks built a temple to honor the god and have a space to consult the oracle (known as Pythia). Another day trip option is to head to the Attica wine region and sip retsina or learn about Greece's wine history at places like the Papagiannakos Winery or the Strofilia Estate.
To the south of Athens, the islands offer incredible beaches and striking sunsets. There are also endless opportunities for snorkeling, sailing, diving, and other water-based activities. The ocean will be warm and the sunshine will be the perfect temperature for suntanning. If you want to partake in some non-beach activities, check out the Ancient Akrotiri ruins in Santorini or go clubbing in Mykonos.
Events in August
Pulsar Festival (dates change): In the northern Aegean Sea, the island of Samothrace hosts the Pulsar Festival every year that attracts dozens of artists and musicians to the island. The dates change from year to year but it often occurs in August, In addition to visual and performing arts, it sometimes includes cinema as well.
Assumption Day (Aug. 15): A public holiday throughout much of Europe, Assumption Day (also called the Assumption of Mary or the Dormition of the Theotokos) is celebrated widely throughout Athens. Apart from Christmas and Easter, it's one of Greece's largest religious celebrations. The holiday involves large, festive feasts called panigyris that celebrate the Virgin Mary being reunited with Jesus.
Traveling to Athens in August? Check out this great itinerary.
Historic Athens & Zakynthos - 8 Days. Once named the "Flower of the East" by the Venetians, the island of Zakynthos is in full bloom year-round. Discover its many enticements with this eight-day itinerary. You'll start off with the myths of the Acropolis in Athens, then set sail for four nights on the third-largest Ionian island, packed with boat tours, beaches, vineyards, and more.
Delightful Athens & Naxos - 6 Days. Experience captivating Athens and a lesser-known Cycladic island with this 6-day itinerary. After getting your first taste of Greece in the capital city, you'll head to Naxos to experience the beaches, history, villages, and culture of the largest Cycladic isle.