Athens in March is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to weather. The coldest part of the winter has passed but summer definitely hasn't yet arrived. There are plenty of cold, gray, and rainy days throughout the month yet there's also a fair share of sunny days, particularly toward the end of the month.
The average daytime temperature is about 60°F (15°C) which isn't exactly warm yet it's not freezing either—certainly pleasant enough for strolling around town. Nighttime lows drop to about 47°F (8°C) so don't forget to bring a warm jacket (and make sure it's waterproof because roughly 17% of the days get precipitation).
Crowds and Costs
Although March marks a turning point when tourists begin slowly arriving (especially toward the middle and end of the month), it's still a time when you can take advantage of smaller crowds and lower costs. It's the perfect time to visit the Acropolis without the massive crowds or check out museums without having to wait in long lines.
Even better, the hotels are usually running off-season or shoulder-season specials that can take up to half the price off of what you'll pay. The same holds true for airfare which tends to be considerably cheaper in March than later in the spring and summer.
Where to Go
Most of Athens is wonderful to visit during the month of March. There's very little variation from location to location throughout the city, so you can go just about anywhere and find great food, music, art, and activities. Everything is open and the moderate weather means you can spend time outside without freezing or overheating. Check out the major historical sites like the Parthenon or the Old Temple of Athena, or try a walking tour of the city. There are incredible restaurants, markets, and food stalls citywide.
It's also a great month for a day excursion to any of the nearby destinations around the city. Delphi offers all sorts of archaeological wonders including the Sanctuary of Apollo (also referred to as the Oracle of Apollo), an ancient temple built in honor of the famous Greek god. The Attica wine region boasts the nation's famous retsina wine (with varieties like Savvatiano, a full-bodied blend with Aleppo pine resin). The region also offers delectable gastronomy tours and other fun food-based activities.
March is still a bit early to visit most of the islands; however, if you have some extra time and really want to experience the famous Greek isles, try Santorini, Paros, or Naxos. All three of these islands begin hosting tourist activities earlier than the others and the ferries run year-round.
What to Do
March is one of the best times of the year to go to the Acropolis. It's warm enough that you can be outside comfortably (in a good jacket) yet the sweltering heat hasn't yet descended. Best of all, there aren't thousands of tourists crawling on all of the structures and getting in the way of your photos. There will be visitors—no question, but it will be nothing like the masses you'll see in June and July. It's an excellent time to check out famous spots like the Parthenon, Hadrian's Library, and the Old Temple.
If you decide to get out of the city and up to Delphi, take some time to explore the Oracle of Apollo. The sacred site, which Greeks believed was the center of the world, was the seat of the mysterious oracle (Pythia). Another option for day trips is to head to the Attica region for a wine tour of any of the well-known vineyards such as the Strofilia Estate or Papagiannakos Winery.
For folks who make it to Santorini, check out the volcano in the middle of the island or take a hike from Fira to Oia. In Naxos, eat mouth-watering Greek food at any of the tavernas open this time of year, or stroll through the cute shops along the main streets. While many of the more touristy resorts will still be closed (they usually open in May), there will nevertheless be plenty of restaurants and markets to choose from.
Events in March
Independence Day/Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th): In Greece, March 25th marks two different holidays. First, the country's Independence Day (which celebrates the 19th century War of Independence with the Ottoman Empire) and secondly, the Feast of the Annunciation within the Greek Orthodox Church, a festive occasion with food and a parade that occurs nine months before Christmas.
Traveling to Athens in March? Check out these great itineraries.
Highlights of Athens - 5 Days. If you're searching for an itinerary that allows you to taste a little bit of everything that Athens has to offer, look no further than this 5-day tour of the city. It includes a culinary tour of the vibrant markets and trips to key tourists sites such as the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum. On top of that, you'll have time to check out the stunning Athens Riviera and its famous Temple of Poseidon.
Mainland Greece Road Trip - 7 Days. Take a week to drive through the mythological territory of mainland Greece with this itinerary. Your seven days will start and end in Athens, covering the historical sites and sprawling castles of the Peloponnese along the way.