The climate of Greece can be categorised into three types (the Mediterranean,
the Alpine and the Temperate) that influence well-defined regions of its territory.
The Pindus mountain range strongly affects the climate of the country by making
the western side of it (areas prone to the south-westerlies) wetter on average
than the areas lying to the east of it (lee side of the mountains). The Mediterranean
type of climate features mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The Cyclades,
the Dodecanese, Crete, the Eastern Peloponnese and parts of the Sterea Ellada
(Central Continental Grece) region are mostly affected by this particular type
of climate. Temperatures rarely reach extreme values along the coasts, although,
with Greece being a highly mountainous country, snowfalls occur frequently in
winter. It sometimes snows even in the Cyclades or the Dodecanese.
The Alpine type is dominant mainly in the mountainous areas of Northwestern
Greece (parts of Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly, Western Macedonia) as well
as in the central parts of Peloponnese, including parts of the prefectures
of Achaia, Arcadia and Laconia, where extensions of the Pindus mountain range
pass by. Finally, the Temperate type affects Central Macedonia and East Macedonia
and Thrace; it features cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers with frequent
thunderstorms. Athens is located in a transitional area featuring both the
Mediterranean and the Temperate types. The city's northern suburbs are dominated
by the temperate type while the downtown area and the southern suburbs enjoy
a typical Mediterranean type.
Summer temperatures in Greece are tempered by the Etesian northerly
wind, which blows across the Aegean Sea, and breezes called "meltemia", but the mercury on the mainland regularly hits the high spots. Winters are
mild and wet (though rainfall is generally low in most areas). In the mountainous
regions, however, rainfall is heavier, snow is likely and temperatures are
Best Time to Visit Greece:
Greece has a warm Mediterranean climate. In summer, dry hot days are often relieved
by stiff breezes, especially in the north and coastal areas. Athens can be
stiflingly hot, so visitors should allow time to acclimatise. The evenings
are cool. Winters are mild in the south but much colder in the north. November
to March is the rainy season.
Clothes in Greece:
Clothes you must have by visiting Greece are lightweight clothes during summer months, including protection from the
midday sun. Light sweaters are needed for evenings. Waterproofs are advised
for autumn. Winter months can be quite cold, especially in the northern mainland,
so normal winter wear will be required.