Spring has arrived, with plenty of bright sunny days, crystal clear skies, and little rain. Athens averages 68 Fahrenheit, but may feel more like summer to visitors from northern climes. Northern Greece is somewhat cooler, and the Peloponnese, Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Crete are a degree or two warmer. The Aegean and Ionian waters, however, haven’t yet warmed up and remain too cold for swimming in comfort. Evenings can still be cool, so pack a fleece jacket along with your swimwear and sunscreen.
Crowds & Costs
A steady flow of visitors are beginning to arrive—including the first tour groups—and cruise ships are showing up at Santorini and other major islands. But you'll still be enjoying Greece without the crowds of summer. Hotels generally charge shoulder season rates, offering bargains while they last. Note that during Easter week, hotel prices are higher and many restaurants close.
Where to Go
In Athens and other popular venues, you’ll have the best of both worlds: relatively few visitors and mild sunny weather that seems tailor-made for sightseeing. This is a fabulous time to ferry-hop the Greek Islands, from Corfu to Crete, and the party scene is warming up on Mykonos and Santorini without yet being rowdy. Virtually any region is good for hiking, with lush green foliage and spring flowers blooming like crazy.
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What to Do
April is ideal for sightseeing: temperatures are perfect, the air is crystal clear, and you’re not yet having to compete with heaps of tour groups in Athens and top historical sites such as Delphi, Epidavros, and Mycenae. Plus, Athens has two really cool festivals (detailed below).
It can still be a bit cool for day-in, day-out sunning, so focus on cultural and nature activities, such as culinary adventures, museum visits and hiking. However, it's certainly warm enough—just—to consider a beach vacation, despite the still-chilly seas. This is a wonderful time for hiking, or take advantage of low prices on a sailing adventure. And there’s no more romantic time for a honeymoon!
Athens International Film Festival: From documentaries to full-length features films, Athens is cinema-buff Heaven.
Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival: The capital is the place to be if you love jazz. This five-day event in late April is one of Europe’s top jazz festivals, drawing top international talent.
Feast of St. George: Normally celebrated on April 23 (but on Easter Monday if Easter falls after that date), this Greek Orthodox ceremony is hosted at monasteries, churches, and rural communities—St. George was the patron of shepherds—with feasting and dancing.
Holy Week/Easter: Easter is the biggest religious festival of the Greek Orthodox calendar. Every town in the country will have some festival, with lots of feasting and often ending with fireworks. Many shops, and some restaurants, close. Easter is preceded by Holy Week, which sometimes falls in March.
Traveling to Greece in April? Consider these itineraries.
Historic Athens, Mainland Greece, Cyclades, and Crete — This 21-days sightseeing adventure is the ultimate tour for lovers of antiquity
Local Life on Crete — Crete never looked so good as in April! Check it out on this exciting itinerary that immerses you in the local culture
Argolic Gulf Adventure 10 days — From bicycling Athens to a trip aboard a fishing boat, this itinerary guarantees a fun-filled ten days.