In some parts of Greece, this is the coldest month of the year, averaging a high of only 57 Fahrenheit on the mainland. In general, expect cool weather, lots of gray cloudy days, and a high probability of rain, which falls on about half of February days, on average. Pack an umbrella, plus a cold-weather jacket and raingear. The mountain zones will be snowy at higher elevations and in northern Greece. If you plan to use the inter-island ferries, be prepared for possible stormy passages, and know that the islands can be very windy at this time of year.
Crowds & Costs
This is a great time to visit for travelers who eschew crowds. You’ll have the Acropolis and other top historical sites and museums virtually to yourself. Same with the beaches, although that’s because it’s generally still too cold for stripping off and sunning.
Greece is bargain-priced in February, with most tourist businesses drastically reducing rates to lure customers. Remember, though, that many hotels, restaurants, and bars are closed during low season, and airline and ferry companies operate on reduced schedules—you'll want to plan ahead.
Where to Go
Athens is a year-round destination, and February is a good time to be a culture vulture. Hence, you may want to focus on the archeological and cultural hot-spots, such as Epidavros, Rhodes, Meteora, and Crete while they’re no longer swarming with tour groups. If you’re seeking nightlife, forego the islands and stick to Athens and Thessaloniki, where the local party scene is a 365-night affair. The air has gone out of the party balloon on such isles as Mykonos and Santorini (most nightclubs are closed in February), but this is a great time to visit other islands—including Corfu—if you want to savor the off-season calm.
What to Do
Think museums, cultural events, and exploring away from the beach. The sea is still too cold for bathing, and even when the sun shines it may still be a bit cool for sunbathing in comfort. Just two hours from Athens, the snow-girt mountain resort of Parnassus lures skiers, as does Mt. Olympus, in northern Greece.
Carnival (Apokries): Cities throughout Greece host flamboyant carnivals, with plenty of dancing and feasting, when aromas of barbecue waft on the air. That of Patras—Greece’s largest festival beginning in late January—builds towards its crescendo. But you’ll also find carnivals from Athens to Zanthos, with those in Xanthi and Corfu among the best. The 3-week carnival period peaks on the last Sunday before Lent and closes with “Clean Monday” (Ash Monday), ending a three-week binge on meats.
Traveling to Greece in February? Check out these great itineraries.
Mythical Athens Immerse yourself in the capital city, from the Acropolis to the Riviera and vibrant nightlife.
Mainland Greece Adventure Seven days exploring ancient and modern Greece, from Mycenae to Meteora.