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The weather in Greece, Rhodes, Crete, Corfu. Climate and temperatures
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The climate in Greece

Weather in Greece

The climate in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean climate: mild and rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and, generally, extended periods of sunshine throughout most of the year.

Greece is situated at the most southeastern part of Europe, located between the 34° and 42° parallel N., with a meridional extent from 19° to 28° E. and borders the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea and the East Mediterranean Sea.
The climate in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean climate: mild and rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and, generally, extended periods of sunshine throughout most of the year. A great variety of climate subtypes, always within the Mediterranean climate frame, are encountered in several regions of Greece. This is due to the influence of topography (great mountain chains along the central part and other mountainous bodies) on the air masses coming from the moisture sources of the central Mediterranean Sea.
Thus the weather in Greece varies from the dry climate of Attiki (Athens’ greater area) and East Greece in general, to the wet climate of Northern and Western Greece.
In climatological terms, the year can be broadly subdivided into two main seasons: The cold and rainy period lasting from mid-October until the end of March, and the warm and dry season lasting from April until September.
During the first period the coldest months are January and February, with, a mean minimum temperature ranging, on average, between 5 -10 degrees Celsius near the coasts and 0 – 5 Celsius over the mainland, with lower values (generally below freezing) over the northern part of the country.
Long stretches of consecutive rainy days are infrequent in Greece, even during the winter, and the sky does not remain cloudy for more than a few days in a row, as it does in other regions of the world. “Bad weather” days in winter are often interrupted, during January and the first fortnight of February, with sunny days, known as ‘Halcyon days’ since ancient times.
The winter is milder in the Aegean and Ionian Islands compared to Northern and Eastern mainland Greece.
During the warm and dry period the weather is usually stable, the sky is clear, the sun is bright and there is generally no rainfall. There are, however, infrequent and brief intervals of rapid rain or thunderstorms chiefly over mainland areas.
The warmest period occurs during the last ten days of July and the first ten days of August, when the mean maximum temperature lies between 29.0 and 35.0 degrees Celsius. During the warm period the high temperatures are tempered by fresh sea breezes in the coastal areas of the country and from the north winds, known as ‘Etesian’, blowing mainly in the Aegean.

Hellenic National Meteorological Service

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Alcyone or Halcyon (Greek mythology). Daughter of Aeolus (god of the wind), and wife of Ceyx. Deeply in love, Alcyone and Ceyx jokingly addressed each other as Hera and Zeus. This vexed Zeus, who in his anger drowned Ceyx in a storm at sea, and transformed Alcyone into a kingfisher, bird of lakes, rivers and seas. Zeus also condemned her to lay her eggs during the winter when the waves and icy cold water would destroy the eggs and kill the young birds as they hatched. But Alcyone’s grief moved Zeus to pity, and he granted her a few days of good weather in the midst of winter to lay her eggs and see her baby birds live.

Halcyon days: A few days of good weather in the middle of winter: the seven days which precede the winter solstice, and the seven days which follow it, when it is said that Alcyone is preparing her nest.

Papadogeorgakis Nikos

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Tip of the day

Agios Nikolaos.  Crete, Greece
A kilometre to the north of the present town, at the spot where the luxury hotel, the Minos Palace, now stands, a small, protected harbour is formed which was used by experienced seamen to tie up their ships as far back as Minoan times. When the Byzantines threw the Arabs out of Crete and the second Byzantine Period (961-1204) began, this small harbour became the centre for commercial traffic in east Crete.
In today’s world of laws and statutes and means of protecting citizens’ lives and property, it is difficult for us
to realise the anxiety and insecurity that tormented the people in that not so remote period. Constantinople was a two month journey away, and the Byzantine fleet travelled at a snail-like pace. Who would protect their lives and their property if pirates suddenly appeared at that small isolated harbour? Their only comfort and hope was God and his saints, and especially St. Nicholas, the patron saint of seamen. So the pious Cretans built a humble church at the entrance to their harbour which was dedicated to St. Nicholas and which they decorated as well as their limited finances would allow.
Unfortunately, when you are attacked by enraged pirates, your faith operates more as a comfort after the destruction than as a protection against it. The Venetians, who knew this very well, preferred to strengthen their defences with castles rather than with churches when they conquered Crete. In order to protect the Porto di San Nicolo, as they called this small harbour, after the church which stood at its entrance, they reinforced the castle that the Genoan pirate Enrico Pescatore had had time to build (but not to enjoy for very long) in 1204 on the hill between the lake of Agios Nikolaos and today’s marina. The small, insignificant Doric town of Lato Pros Kamara was built on the same spot, of which very few traces are left..

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The weather in Greece - Greece weather

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