February is a fantastic time to visit Athens. Although the first part of the month can still be wintery and frigid, by late February the temperatures begin warming up slightly and the Carnival season (called "Apokreas") descends. This fun, indulgent time in the three weeks leading up to Lent involves all sorts of fun and festivities. The best part? Due to the colder weather, there are hardly any crowds.


February is one of the coldest months of the year in Athens (although it's still considerably warmer than other parts of Europe during this time). Temperatures average about 50 to 55°F (10 to 13°C) with lows reaching 45°F (7°C) at night. Rainfall is moderate with roughly one out of four days of the month generating precipitation. Most of the bad weather, however, is confined to the beginning and middle of the month. By late February, the sun begins coming out on occasion and wildflowers start blooming around the Agora. It's wise to bring warm clothes during this period, along with a good raincoat just to be safe. 

Crowds and Costs

The silver lining to having to deal with colder temperatures is that there are very few crowds in February, especially at the beginning of the month. You can walk through the streets, visit the markets, and check out the museums and other tourist attractions without fighting for space.

Once Carnival arrives, more people begin trickling in, although it still doesn't get as busy as high season. Prices are also significantly cheaper in February. You'll be able to book more affordable flights and hotel rates are sometimes half the cost that they are in June or July.  

Where to Go

February is a great time to check out the capital's many museums or poke your head into an art gallery. You can also stroll through the city's laiki markets or check out the amazing street food. The lines at the Acropolis will be short and you won't have to deal with the unbearable heat that comes later in the summer. As long as you have a warm jacket, this is a great month to see the ruins. 

For day-trippers, pop up to Delphi about two hours northwest of town. There, you'll have the opportunity to explore ancient Greek archaeology including the Sanctuary of Apollo (sometimes called the Oracle of Apollo), a temple built for the famous god of prophecy. Just keep in mind that it will be chillier there than it is in the city so be sure to dress appropriately. 

If you like skiing, there are a number of ski resorts in the mountains nearby including Parnassos Ski Resort on Mount Parnassus or Kalavrita Ski Center on Mount Helmos. You can also take a day trip to the famous wine region of Attica, or hop down to one of the islands (although don't expect it to be hot and sunny at the beaches).

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What to Do

One of the best things to do in Athens in February is to visit the Acropolis because, unlike the rest of the year, the lines won't be out of control. It will also be cool enough that you won't overheat as you stroll through famous structures like the Parthenon or the Theatre of Dionysus.

If you arrive on an especially cold day where you prefer to be indoors, places like the National Archaeological Museum or the Museum of Cycladic Art make great choices. Once Carnival kicks off, there will also be excellent nightlife with all sorts of food, parties, and special events. 

February is an excellent month to take a day trip to Delphi to experience the impressive Oracle of Apollo, a sacred ancient temple devoted to the god of healing and prophecy. Or, if you'd rather spoil yourself with a leisurely wine-tasting, try the Papagiannakos Winery in the Attica region (the birthplace of the beloved retsina wine).

If the Greek islands are on your bucket list, Kea makes a good choice due it its extensive network of hiking trails. These offer scenic things to do on colder days when it's too cold to be at the beach. (It will be warmer there than in Athens but still cooler than other times of year). Although it's tough to do this as a day trip, it makes a fun weekend excursion from the city. It's about a 45-minute drive to Lavrion to catch the ferry. 

Events in February

Carnival / Apokreas (dates change): In Greece, the Carnival season is called Apokreas, the kickoff of which usually occurs some time in February, often toward the middle or end of the month. Although it officially begins with the religious ceremony of Triodion (which sometimes falls in January), it is Tsiknopempti aka "Burnt Thursday" when the festivities begin. Comparable to Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, there ' often dancing, drinking, and debauchery. The following week is Cheesefare Thursday which launches the main Carnival weekend. 

Traveling to Athens in February? Check out this great itinerary.

Authentic Athens & Historical Greece - 8 Days. Athens was made for strolling, as you'll find out in this itinerary. The neighborhoods of Monastiraki, Syntagma, Plaka, and Makrygianni hide petite pedestrian streets and neoclassical homes overflowing with floral balconies. You'll see street art with an artist, be schooled by a chef, and take a sunset visit to the Temple of Poseidon. 

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