By June, summer has definitely arrived. The weather is finally hot enough for a full-blown beach vacation, averaging highs of about 78°F (26-28°C), with significant variations between islands: the mercury will typically climb a few degrees higher on Crete, for example.
But there’s usually no hint of rain on the horizon. The sky is consistently a glorious deep blue. And the sea temperatures have warmed to a cozy 72°F (22°C) average, perfect for swimming. Pack shorts, short-sleeved shirts, swimwear, a sunhat, plus shades to guard against the blinding glare of the magnesium sunlight bouncing off whitewashed walls.
Crowds & Costs
In early June you’re still ahead of the crowds, but by month’s end, the high season will have begun in earnest, with a noticeable increase in visitors. By late June, some of the more popular venues, such as Mykonos and Santorini, can feel crowded (although still not as much as the peak months of July and August).
You may still be able to take advantage of a few shoulder season rates in early June, but by late June most airlines, hotels, and car rental companies, etc. no longer offer bargain prices. The good news is that the ferries are now operating on full summer schedules.
Where to Go
June is a great month for visiting any of the Greek islands, although if you hate crowds and the party scene you should shun the most popular destinations (especially Mykonos and Santorini) in favor of more tranquil, lesser-known isles. In the Cyclades, Siros, Sifnos and Tinos are each free of the hordes stepping off the ferries on their more popular neighbors.
Tinos is a popular destination for Greek Orthodox pilgrims heading to the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, while the village of Pyrgos (the “sculpture village”) is known for its artistic tradition. And to the southwest, the relatively little-visited island of Milos is hemmed by more than 70 beaches and boasts a wild interior good for hiking.
What to Do
The weather is now perfect for sunbathing, with room still to spread out your beach towel. The sea is also finally warm enough for swimming in comfort, and a sailing vacation can be glorious. But this is also still a good month for cultural sightseeing, although the key sites will begin to feel crowded by the end of June.
The early mornings and late afternoons are perfect for mountain biking, hiking, or horseback rides. All three are possible on Rhodes, where in the gorge of Petaloudes (“Valley of Butterflies”) an added treat is the summer migration of butterflies that begins in June and lasts through September. Rhodes also boasts plenty of picturesque villages, medieval castles, archaeological sites, and stunning beaches, plus a lively nightlife.
Miaoulia Festival: The Saronic island of Hydra comes alive for a weekend of concerts, dancing, and parades celebrating War of Independence hero homeboy Admiral Andres Miaoulis.
Navy Week: Greece’s long nautical history is celebrated at maritime ports large and small, with historical re-enactments accompanying by feasting and partying. Crete’s is the largest.
Panigiria: Every Greek village has a feast (panigiri) to honor its saint, but head to the small village of Triantaros, on Tinos, at the end of June when locals honor apostles Peter and Paul at the church of Agioi Apostoloi.
Traveling to Greece in June? Check out these great itineraries
Laidback Athens, Tinos, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete - 14 Days The best of the capital city, Cyclades islands, and Crete. It doesn't get much better than this.
Sail & Hike the Dodecanese - 7 Days Delve into six gorgeous Aegean islands, from Kos to Rhodes, on a memorable, active adventure.
Active Cyclades Adventure – 12 Days. If you quickly tire of sunning, this 12-day, three-island adventure offers the antidote, with biking, hiking, horseback rides, and sailing among the activities.