If you are wondering what is like in Greece in May, the answer is that it is the perfect time to be in Greece! May is the best month (along with September) to visit mainland Greece and the Greek islands and have a wonderful vacation.
The fields and the valleys are still green and fully blossomed wherever you go to the country, making the outdoor activities really magical.
The weather in Greece in May is almost summerish, sunny, and warm with little or no rain and the seawater is warm enough for swimming (especially towards the end of May).
Other great reasons to visit Greece in May are the shoulder season hotel bargains and the lack of huge crowds in the sites, as it happens in July and August. So, all that adds up to perhaps the most perfect month of the year!
The Top Things to Do in Greece in May are:
- Explore Athens
- Go to Popular Islands: Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes
- Delve into Unique Pelion Mt Villages
- Marvel at a 3-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora
- Visit Peloponnese’s Archaeological Sites
- Discover Mamma Mia’s Film Destinations
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Best Things to Do in Greece in May!
1. Visit Athens, the Ancient Capital of Greece
Athens is a large, modern metropolis, adorned with famous monuments such as the UNESCO Acropolis Citadel and with thousands of history behind it.
Strolling Athens streets is a wonderful experience as you come across relics of the civilizations and religions that have passed through the city during the centuries. The most prominent ancient Greek sites go back to the Mycenean era, all the way to the Classical, and Hellenistic times, a little before the invasion of the Romans.
May is a perfect month to visit Athens’ numerous sites and museums, in a much less crowded fashion, and also to hit the nearby beaches! You can see the Athens Monuments in two days and organize day trips to nearby Saronic islands or sites.
Related Posts for Athens in May:
- Acropolis of Athens FAQ
- Athens Riviera Greece
- Sounion Cape and the Temple of Poseidon
- Marathon Town and Lake
- Full-Day Tour of Athens and Cape Sounion
2. Go to Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes
May is the best time to go to the super-popular Greek Islands for a number of reasons:
- The sea will be warm enough to swim, especially in Rhodes which can be really hot during the summer
- There will be no huge crowds to watch the mesmerizing sunset in Santorini and can find tables much easier in the best Santorini diners
- Most businesses will be open and running and will be offering Santorini Catamaran tours or Mykonos Guided City Walking Tour with Photoshoot
- You can drink a cocktail at Little Venice in Mykonos without breaking the bank or book in advance your seat
- The hotels in the islands have still shoulder season prices
- If you visit Paros and the other Cycladic Islands in early May, they will be covered in wildflowers, and herbs like wild oregano, and thyme, and they will be at their greenest
- The ferries from Athens in May run frequently between the islands check FerryScanner or FerryHopper for rates and timetables
3. Explore Pelion Mt Unique Villages
Greece in May is especially beautiful in the countryside and in particular on Pelion Mt. or the Mountain of the Centaurus. Pelion is a deeply forested and fertile peninsula 336 km from Athens (3 hours and 45 minutes) and 219 km from Thessaloniki.
Pelion has 28 traditional, and picturesque villages and some of them are by the sea with amazing sandy beaches. Pelion villages are very popular for visitors who wish to experience authentic Greece and visit centuries-old monasteries, folklore museums, and old libraries.
4. Enjoy a 3-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora
Greece is a mountainous country so some sites are much more difficult to get to them than others especially if you are visiting during the heat of the Greek summer. Two great examples are the steep uphills of Delphi and the endless steps to get to some of the Meteora Monasteries.
Delphi and Meteora are best visited in May and on a 3-day trip, spending a night in Delphi and one night in Meteora. A draft of the itinerary can be:
Day 1: Athens – Ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese – Galaxidi seaside town, 30 km away from Delphi. Spend your evening in the beautiful Galaxidi and stay at the best Boutique Hotel in town with the most delicious handmade marmalades: Ganimede Hotel, Galaxidi.
Day 2: Visit the Delphi Archaeological Site, stroll Arachova town, go to UNESCO Osios Loukas Monastery, drive to Meteora, and stay overnight in Kalambaka town. The best Hotel to stay at in Kalambaka is Archontiko Mesohori Suites & Apartments.
Day 3: Visit Meteora Monasteries.
Hassle-free 3-day tour to Delphi and Meteora organized by Get Your Guide Operators
5. Discover Peloponnese’s Archaeological Sites
If you love the combination of history and stunning landscapes, then you should visit the Peloponnese in May, where everything is still blossoming. Peloponnese houses some spectacular Archaeological sites which are wonderfully located near beautiful towns and lovely seaside villages.
The most important archaeological sites in the Peloponnese, separated into the regions they belong to are:
- Corinth: Ancient Corinth, Ancient Isthmia, Iraion Perachora Loutraki
- Argolida: UNESCO Mycenae, UNESCO Sanctuary of Asklepios in Epidaurus, Ancient Argos, UNESCO Tiryns, Ancient Nemea, Acropolis of Kazarma, Ancient Assini
- Lakonia: UNESCO Mystras, Monemvasia Castle, Ancient Sparta
- Achaia: Patras Roman Odeon and Stadium
- Messinia: Ancient Messene, Nestor’s Palace
- Arkadia: The Lykosoura Site
- Ilia: UNESCO Ancient Olympia, UNESCO Temple of Epicurius Apollo at Bassae, Ancient Ilida
The best way to visit the sites is by renting your own car and driving to the areas. Let me know if you need more help organizing your archaeology trip!
6. Explore Mamma Mia’s Destinations
This is probably the most fun adventure you can indulge yourself in while visiting Greece in May! The popular film ‘Mamma Mia’ was filmed on the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos in the Sporades group and Damouchari village in eastern Pelion.
The main shooting of the film took place in Skopelos: the wedding chapel is Agios Ioannis in Kastri, and the beach is in Kastani.
Mamma Mia in Skiathos was filmed in the old port next to the picturesque Bourtzi (the scene with the boat at the beginning of the film). The third location is in Pelion, in Damouchari’s tiny port village and this is where Meryl Streep dives from the platform, while all the ladies sing with her the ‘Dancing Queen’ while walking down the steps.
To visit the Sporades islands you need to go to Volos port and from there take the ferries to Skopelos or Skiathos. Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner.
Events to Participate in May
- Athens Street Food Festival, with recipes from Greece and all over the world.
- Every May at Skiathos the popular match race sailing of the Skiathos Palace Cup takes place.
What to Wear in Greece in May
May’s highest temperatures vary between 22.8 and 30.2 C and the lowest between 11 and 18 C. For this kind of weather, you need to pack a smart combination of summer (t-shirts and shorts) and warmer clothes for cooler nights or for a sudden change of weather.
I would suggest a smart bikini bottom that you can combine with different tops for the beach. Another essential item is Spyder Women’s Encore Fleece Jacket (amazon), warm, classy, and convenient for any outdoor activity or for the chillier nights in Greece.
Read my Detailed Packing List for Greece here
Plan My Trip to Greece
Do you need a custom travel itinerary for Greece? Are you traveling solo, with your family or your friends and you need a tailor-made multi-day tour or a transfer within Greece?
If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!
Top Things to Do in Greece in May:
- Explore Athens
- Go to popular Islands: Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes
- Delve into unique Pelion Mt villages
- Marvel at a 3-Day trip to Delphi and Meteora
- Visit Peloponnese’s archaeological sites
- Discover Mama Mia’s Film Destinations
Where is your dream destination in Greece?
I’d love to hear about where you’re spending your vacation this year, and if you have any exciting travel plans! There are so many things to do in Greece in May, especially if this is your first time in the country. I hope that you get the chance to try as many as possible. Till next time, Evgenia❤️
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Travel Guides for Greece
- Greece Packing List – What to pack for a 10-day trip to Greece
- First Time to Greece – Most Important FAQ
- Athens Hotels Near Acropolis
- Athens Apartments Near Acropolis
- Best Athens Beach Hotels
Essential Travel Info for Greece
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Ya sou” and “Efharisto”
- Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals on both hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
- Find Long-Term Rentals in Greece: You will find the best prices in Flatio
- All-Inclusive Resorts in Greece
- FerryScanner to book ferries to the Greek Islands
- Rent an Affordable Car in Greece
- Athens Metro Website (timetables and ticket info)
- Map of Athens Metro
- Trains (Hellenic Train)
- Public Buses KTEL
- Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
- Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100– EMERGENCY NUMBER 112