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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Santorini (Updated for 2024)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Santorini (Updated for 2024)

What's the best time to visit Santorini?

The best time to visit Santorini is during early spring or late autumn, particularly from late March to early June and early September to late October, offering a balance of pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

The peak tourist season, and thus the most crowded and expensive period, runs from late June to early September. Winter, from October to March, is the cheapest and least crowded time but comes with cooler temperatures and fewer open tourist attractions.

Santorini, Greece is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world for people that want sunshine, the ocean, wine, history, and more. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventurer, or just looking for some R&R, you’ll love the majestic sunsets and rich culture! 

But knowing the best and worst times to visit this popular vacation spot is essential to planning the perfect trip! Find out everything you need to know about the on and off-season in Santorini here!

The Overall Best Time to Visit Santorini

Old blue fishing boat pictured on the clear water during the best time to visit Santorini

Marina Datsenko/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Santorini is either early to mid-spring or mid to late-autumn.

Not only will these windows be less expensive than during the summer months, but they’ll also be less crowded while still offering all of the fun amenities and activities you’re looking forward to! 

While most people want to save money while planning a lavish vacation, they also don’t want to have a poor experience because they picked the wrong month. From late March to early June, and from early September to late October are the best times to go to Santorini. 

During these times, you can enjoy the warm, sunny island weather and go on adventures like scuba diving, mountain hikes, and ocean swims. This is the very beginning and the very end of the on-season but isn’t the peak.

The peak tourist season in Santorini, and Greece as a whole, runs from late June to early September. So you’ll want to avoid the summer months when most people visit and flight and hotel prices skyrocket. 

On the other hand, you don’t want to visit in the off-season either, from late November until early March. Even though the Santorini winters are nothing compared to places in America and parts of Europe, it does get colder.

Santorini winters usually never get colder than 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, and it rains a bit more. Aside from the winter weather, you may be disappointed to discover many tourist attractions, restaurants, and other activities shut down between November and March.

This means that you won’t have the best weather for a beach week, but you also won’t be able to enjoy guided tours or local cuisine the way you wanted to. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Santorini

Cool blue and white architecture on a stone street pictured during the cheapest time to visit Santorini

Lifestyle Travel Photo/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Santorini is in the winter months when the hotels are more desperate to fill rooms, and the airlines have empty seatsUnfortunately, flights to Greece will likely always be costly, even in the off-season.

But you can save some money on the plane ride, and you can get a hotel or resort booking for a discount.

Everyone wants to save money on their vacation, so if you don’t mind packing sweaters along with your bathing suits, your perfect Greek vacation may be in the dead of winter!

Winter (October through March) is the cheapest time of year to vacation in Santorini, but there are other ways you can cut down the cost of your trip.

It is risky, but if you have a flexible job and travel buddy, you can save hundreds by booking hotels and flights last minute.  This idea sounds ludicrous and stressful to many, but in Santorini, they don’t have many walk-in hotel reservations.

So as the end of the month draws closer and they still have many empty rooms, hotels will slash their prices, sometimes dropping the cost of a room by 75%.

So you can get a $200 reservation in a hotel for just $50! Not everyone will be able to book a last-minute trip like this, but if it’s a possibility for you, consider this strategy.

Plane tickets may be slightly less expensive, but you can save big bucks on a last-minute hotel booking. And the longer you plan to stay in Santorini, the more money you will save. 

Least Busy Time to Visit Santorini

Oia Village pictured in the evening during the least busy time to visit Santorini, the winter

Marina Datsenko/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Santorini and avoid the tourist crowds is hands down in the winter months, which are the off-season.

During the winter months, some clouds roll in, and the temperature drops, making it hard to enjoy the beaches and do things like scuba diving or snorkeling.

So there are far fewer tourists crawling around the island from the end of November to the beginning of March.  If tourist crowds and long waits are your kryptonite, you should plan your trip for the winter.

Try to book anything you can in advance, as many excursions will be unavailable when you arrive. But there will likely be no wait at the restaurants you want to try and low prices at the hotels you’re enticed by.

While the sun means everything to some people’s vacation, others feel that being packed in with strangers like sardines ruins even the most unique experiences.

If you’re one of those people, plan a holiday vacation to Greece and ring in the New Year on a beautiful island villa. You might even see some fireworks! While Santorini is a big island with about 30 square miles of land, it’s still an island.

So things can feel tight when there are loads of tourists around daily. Many people that avoid the crowds and go in the less-desirable off-season report having a wonderful time despite missing the hot weather. 

Worst Time to Visit Santorini

Santorini island pictured during the worst time to visit with rain and dark clouds overhead

Olga Gavrilova/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Santorini is the dead of winter, because the weather will not be idyllic, and many of the things you wanted to experience may not be available.

If you decide to go in the winter anyway, you can expect lower prices on flights and hotels, which is wonderful.

But many of the hot tourist spots may be closed for the season. The best way to work around this inconvenience is to befriend and mingle with locals who will be able to tell you what is available to enjoy!

You don’t need to become fluent, but learning some common and helpful Greek phrases can make it easier to find fun in Santorini during the winter. 

You can go old-school and buy an English-Greek pocket dictionary. But nowadays, there are many apps and translating devices that are useful. Before your trip, brush up using apps like Duo Lingo or Babel to prepare for the vacation.

But don’t worry too much, as many locals on Santorini speak English well! When traveling to Santorini in the winter, bikinis and short shorts may not be the best choice.

Instead, pack light pants and sweaters or long sleeves along with t-shirts. It’s also wise to bring a light rain jacket or windbreaker, as the winter months in Santorini are the rainy season. 

When to Visit Santorini: Final Thoughts

👍 Best Time to VisitMarch-June & September-October
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitOctober-March
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitNovember-March
👎 Worst Time to VisitDecember-January

If you hate the crowds but love the warm weather, the best time to visit Santorini is in March or October. These months are the sweet spot where you get to enjoy all of the excursions and lovely weather without joggling for space with every other tourist on the island. 

In the end, Santorini is an exceptional location for your next vacation, and there’s something to appreciate no matter what season you go during. Happy travels!