Greece in July is invariably hot, averaging 81°F (27°C), in Athens, athough most of the islands can be a little cooler thanks to the sea breezes. The Meltemi winds blow over the Aegean island groups and help keep the Cyclades, especially, from being too hot. This is dry season, too, with little chance of rain. There’s no need to pack a huge suitcase in July: even by night, you’re not likely to need a sweater or jacket. Just be sure to pack your sunscreen and swimwear—you’ll welcome any excuse to get into the water.
Crowds & Costs
This is the high season, when families flock to the beach resorts and many of the islands get crowded. Accordingly, the ferry companies schedule more services. Expect all of the most popular sightseeing islands to be packed with visitors spoiling the views and packing the beaches, although it’s easy to find some more remote islands where it’s really only August that gets really busy. Hotel rates are high everywhere, and there are few bargains to be had.
Where to Go
If you like beach parties and packed nightclubs, then combine visits to the legendary party isles of Mykonos and neighboring Ios, plus Santorini. All rock in July and August to a non-stop vibe. These islands can get rowdy, however, so if you're seeking nocturnal peace and quiet, shun these particular isles for others where you’re not bombarded by music.
Paros and Naxos combine the nightlife and boutique vibe of neighboring Mykonos with their own wonderful mix of great beaches and quintessential Cycladic-style villages. While growing more popular with every year, they’re not yet overflowing and are generally a little more peaceful than Mykonos. And both are a great choice for families. Paros offers more activities for teens, and Naxos has great beaches and even a water park.
Elswehere, Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu are also in peak-season flood, yet are large enough to offer pockets where you can escape the hordes. And the far-flung Aegean islands, such as Folegandros, Ikaria, and Lemnos are generally far-less busy, and you can often find secluded, untrammeled beaches on which to soak up the sun.
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What to Do
July is really all about a beach vacation, especially with kids in tow—they'll be happy cooling off splashing about in the sea or a hotel pool. Although it's not the best month for sailing, it's nonetheless a good month to island-hop by cruiser or yacht to make the most of cooling breezes.
If you consider yourself among the hard-partying international crowd, then Mykonos, Ios, and Santorini are the must-visit isles. You’ll find plenty of nightlife on other isles also, but this ttiptych of isles is at the epicenter of Greece’s notorious Mediterranean party scene. Plus, you still get to explore windmill-topped villages and laze on fab beaches by day—many of the latter have thumping beach parties throughout the day and into the evening.
Hippocratia Festival – Beginning in July, this summer-long series of events on Kos (in the Dodecanese) spans the spectrum, from art exhibitions and music concerts to theater.
Hydra Puppet Festival – No, not puppets of the mythological multi-headed Hydra! This festival draws puppeteers to the Saronic island of Hydra.
Traveling to Greece in July? Check out these great itineraries
Laidback Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Tinos, and Crete. island-hopping trip pairing classic stops with hidden gems—perfect for summer. Start with street food and native wine varietals in Athens, before heading to tiny Tinos for a cultural tour. Glamorous Mykonos and Santorini are next, followed by Crete, where turquoise lagoons and village tours making sure you're fully blissed out.
Sailing the Greek Cyclades Islands. Sailing the Greek islands for a week sounds amazing for good reason. Board a catamaran with an experienced crew to hop from island to stunning island in the Cyclades. Along the way, explore the best of Mykonos and watch the sunset from Santorini, see ancient ruins, and swim in the azure Aegean waters before bedding down in your boat each night.
Paros and Naxos Family Adventure. Visit the world-renowned sea sports paradise of Paros and Naxos islands for 8 days of oceanside hikes, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. And when you're not taking on all the active adventures the islands have to offer? Explore the unique local architecture, delectable cuisine, cosmopolitan nightlife, and impressive archaeological sites.