July is the heart of summer. It’s the season for lazy days, iced coffee, and lounging at the beach. It’s when fruit is at its best and most succulent and outdoor activities are the rule. It is also the best month to have vacations, as you’ll find the best of the best in summer services pretty much anywhere you go.
But why would you go anywhere else if you can go to Greece, the queen of summer vacations? Greece in July is like a flower in full bloom: everything is in peak performance, from services to amenities.
The seas are as warm and inviting, the summer winds haven’t yet arrived, and the heat waves aren’t as frequent, making July the perfect month to explore Greece’s summer paradise.
Though it is getting to the peak of the high season, July is not yet the month of the floods of tourist crowds. There are still bargains you can get for July and discover authentic experiences if you know where to look.
There are also panygiria and saints’ feast days to attend to immerse yourself in the local culture. There’s nothing not to like in Greece in July, except missed opportunities.
But you won’t miss a single one because everything you need to know about Greece in July is in this guide!
A Guide to Visiting Greece in July
The pros and cons of visiting Greece in July
July is the peak of the high season, and that gets you lots of pros but also some cons. Let’s get the cons out of the way first:
The bulk of tourists tends to get to Greece towards the end of July and definitely during August. So you’re likely not to experience too many crowds if you opt to go to Greece in early or mid-July. That said, you will definitely see archaeological sites, beaches, pubs, and several venues healthily crowded in July.
July is also the month were prices begin to reach their peak, so it’s harder to find bargains or discounts. It’s not, however, impossible if you plan ahead or if you visit gorgeous areas that aren’t on the tourist map as much.
Greece is beautiful pretty much everywhere but not everyone wants to try the places that aren’t famous. It is a shame for those people, but a bonus for you if you opt to try places other than Mykonos or Santorini.
Weatherwise, expect July to be quite hot. It’s not yet heat wave season, but it’s not unusual to get a heat wave in July. That means you must respect the sun and the heat and keep yourself protected during noon hours, which may cut your exploration time a bit.
You can opt for indoor experiences though, of which there are many in Greece in July, so it’s really up to you whether this is a pro or a con!
Beyond that, Greece in July is a gorgeous piece of relaxation, fun, adventure, and unforgettable memories you will cherish for life. It being high season means you get the best and widest variety of services and amenities, the most options for traveling from one place to the other, and the most happenings, festivals, and other cultural events.
Greece in July is summer at its best!
The weather in Greece during July
July brings in the beginning of heavy summer. Temperatures are steadily in the area of 33-35 degrees Celsius during the day and drop only a few during the night or not at all. So be prepared for hot days and nights with dryness and zero to no chance of rain.
Consider that these temperatures will be higher the souther you are from Athens, and a little cooler the norther you are from Athens. They will also be (or feel) cooler on the islands.
The chance of heat waves is relatively low but not impossible. So make sure to pack light clothing that is very breathable, sturdy sunhats, and lots of sunblock, and don’t go out without your sunglasses.
It is not yet Meltemi season so it’s less likely to experience fierce winds in the islands. The sea is warm and perfect for swimming. It does get cooler in islands that are more exposed to the cool sea currents of the Aegean, so keep that in mind.
In general, the weather in Greece in July is perfect, textbook summer weather.
Holidays in Greece in July
July doesn’t have any public holidays or official celebrations. However, it is the month when some of Greece’s most anticipated and renowned festivals open or are already at their height. Always ask the locals about any events, celebrations, or happenings being organized as there are tons all over Greece! And if you happen to be in the area, make sure you experience these:
The Epidaurus Festival: The Epidaurus Festival is one of the oldest, most acclaimed, and most anticipated cultural events in Greece. It brings to life some of Greece’s most beautiful ancient amphitheaters, from the one in Epidaurus (where the festival gets its name) to the Herodion Odeon in Athens, just under the Acropolis.
There are ancient Greek plays to enjoy, music concerts, drama events, dancing events, and more. The different events under the Festival’s umbrella happen throughout the summer, so make sure you check out the program to book your tickets.
Kalamata International Dance Festival: This is an international event taking place from mid to the end of July in southern Peloponnese. Top-tier dancers and dance companies come together to showcase the best in modern and contemporary dance, a fusion between tradition and innovation, and more.
Vovousa Festival: If you are a lover of nature and adventure, this is the festival for you. The entire festival is a celebration of Greece’s gorgeous mountain, taking place in Vovousa village, in the prefecture of Ioannina.
It is within the National Park of Northern Pindos, famous for its absolute beauty and heritage, nested in one of the most beautiful mountain slopes of Greece. Events include shows and lectures, hiking adventures in the mountains, truffle hunts, activities for children, and more. As a bonus, admission is free everywhere.
Panygiria in Ikaria: Ikaria island is famous for its remarkable longevity and its panygiria: the partying to celebrate saints’ feast days and more. During July there are many of those taking place in Ikaria, and people flock to them because they are renowned for their dancing as well as flowing food and wine, traditional music, and feeling of inclusion whether you’re a local or not. Don’t miss out if you’re there!
Cretan diet festival: This is for the foodies as well as anyone who likes good food or healthy food- or both! An ode to the famed Cretan diet, one of the best examples of the Mediterranean diet which is known for its health benefits, the Cretan diet festival lasts a week and takes you on a tour of culinary excellence. There are also dance performances, singing, and music. It takes place in early July in Rethymno, in Crete.
Where to go to Greece in July
In truth, anywhere you choose to go in Greece in July is going to be amazing. Summer is the perfect season to get to know Greece, and everywhere there is a sense of hospitality and joy to treat guests.
The islands are the most popular destinations, but that’s not the only option you have. Mainland Greece is a hidden gem for vacationing with a twist, or if you are looking for flexible vacations that combine lounging on the beach and hiking at the mountain. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed!
To start you off on this amazing variety, here are some excellent choices to consider as you plan your trip to Greece:
Athens and Thessaloniki
No list would be complete without the top two of Greece’s major cities: Athens and Thessaloniki. Songs have been made about both, lauding their beauty and special character.
Athens: You most likely will make a stop in Athens no matter what your destination, so why not make the best of it? Athens is full of iconic locations, from the Acropolis and the Parthenon to byways fragrant with jasmine and honeysuckle, lit up by small tavernas.
Enjoy the nights walking the famous paved street of Dionysios Areopagitis as you hear the music by the street performers and munch on roasted corn on the cob, the traditional summer street snack.
Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki is also called Greece’s second capital, and she reigns over northern Greece. Its gorgeous promenade and main Aristotelous square are only the beginning of exploration. Seek out the famous white tower, walk under the grand arch of Galerius, and have a cocktail in a pirate ship that gives you a ride across the bay.
Skiathos is famous for its beautiful beaches and unique sea caves. Some of the beaches of Skiathos are considered the most beautiful in Greece, and even get to lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
There are many churches and monasteries to explore as well as a breathtaking biotope that showcases the island’s verdant nature. You can relax in Skiathos as well as pamper yourself with good food and drink and immaculate beauty.
Skopelos and Alonissos
Skopelos is where the movie Mamma Mia was shot, and considering that one of the gripes of the locals was that they didn’t even get the island’s full beauty, you know it’s going to be a treat! It is quite popular with tourists, so you must make your plans quite early.
It’s worth it though, for the lush green nature, the sheer heritage you can explore, and its cultural museums. And let’s not forget the excellent food and great nightlife!
Alonissos is very much the same in terms of beauty, but it is almost completely empty of tourists. So if you’re looking for a Greek island that isn’t quickly overflowing with visitors, Alonissos is where you want to go! It’s breathtakingly gorgeous, very quiet, with beautiful beaches, and everything you need to relax, rest, and recharge.
Corfu and Paxos
Corfu Island is simply gorgeous. From its main town which is a UNESCO World Heritage site to its beautiful beaches, remarkable natural landscapes, and excellent food, Corfu won’t disappoint.
Walk around Corfu’s main town and admire the fusion of architectural styles between Venetian and Greek, explore the Achilleion Palace that was Empress Sissi’s personal vacation home, and Mon Repos, the summer villa of the British Commissioner with its exquisite botanical gardens. Immerse yourself in the island’s rich history and even more renowned local food.
And when you’re ready, take the ferry to Paxos, the tiny island with the turquoise beaches and the famed Blue Caves by the sea as well as the island’s beautiful olive groves and breathtaking beaches with dramatic rock formations.
This cluster of gorgeous mountain villages in Epirus is the perfect summer vacation for any nature lover who isn’t looking to swim at the beach- but you can swim in the river!
Full of stunning hiking trails, lush and shaded forests to protect you from the heat and the sun, beautiful rivers, and picture-perfect villages, Zagorohoria is a revelation few experience during the summer in Greece.
It is also one of the few holiday destinations where you can get bargains even during high season.
Explore different villages and be treated to sweeping, amazing views, swim or go rafting or kayaking in the cold waters of Voidomatis River, hike to the magical Dragon Lake of Tymfi and learn of its legend of rival dragons, and find the rock pools of Mount Papingo.
Zagorohoria in July is like being in the perfect place at the perfect time.
Planning your trip to Greece in July
July is the peak of the high season in Greece, which means that you should book well in advance for pretty much everything. Especially when it comes to accommodation, start planning and booking at least four months in advance, if not more.
The earlier you get to it, the more options and better prices you will get. Consider that you won’t be competing just with international tourists but also with local ones. School is on summer break until early September which means Greek families have planned for their own vacations during July and August.
When it comes to tickets, make sure you book all your airline and ferry tickets in advance. While for ferries there are many daily itineraries and chances are you will find some ticket to take you to your destination, it won’t be easy to find and it won’t be the seats you want.
So plan for your itinerary’s plane and ferry needs together with your accommodation. Bus fares can be bought on the spot without issue. In fact, a lot of KTEL buses don’t have the option to book in advance, depending on the region and the service.
Make sure you are well prepared and protect yourself from the sun as well as the heat. The Greek summer is relentless and while most indoors are air-conditioned, you will need to fare for yourself when you’re outdoors.
Never go out without sunblock, sunglasses, and a sunhat, preferably with a large brim. Consider having long-sleeved, linen or cotton, breathable shirts to protect your skin if you’re out during noon and early afternoon. Always have water with you to stay hydrated.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to prepare for emergencies. Pack in a proper first-aid kit, have travel insurance, and keep some cash on your person in case ATMs don’t work or local service doesn’t accept credit cards (especially if you’re in remote areas). It’s a good idea to keep local emergency numbers on your phone.
Any vacation can be ruined by emergencies, but if you’re well-prepared for it, you’ll be able to save it!