If you are one tight budget and want a family holiday in Greece, then you might consider going outside the main holiday season.
I set out to find the cheapest month of the year, to visit Greece, but also some other budgeting tips, when going to Greece on a family holiday.
When is the cheapest month to visit Greece with the family? If you want to save money when traveling to Greece with your family, you must go in the least popular months of the year. In Crete, that means going in November or December. It is possible to enjoy some of the nice weather if you visit Greece in early November.
There are other ways to save money, than to go in the winter, if you choose some of the autumn or spring months you will be able to enjoy some better weather and maybe even be lucky enough to go swimming in the ocean.
Read more about my study on this subject, I took the time to compile some other budgeting tips for you as well.
The cheapest time of year to visit a Greece is
You would want to know when the cheapest exact month is to visit Greece, I guess this is why you are here, but I have to tell you something.
Greece is a country of more than 200 inhabited islands. You can not go about judging all of Greece by the same level, as some islands are far less expensive to visit than other islands.
The largest island is Crete, and at number 9 on the list is Samos. I’ve been to both of these islands, and I tell you to know, Samos is very small.
We visited Samos before we had kids, and we rented an ATV to drive around on. And the island is only about 180 square miles, so we were able to actually drive around almost the entire island on this ATV.
And remember what I said, this was the 9th biggest island on the list of more than 200 inhabited islands. It is actually only the top 27 islands, that is more than 100 square kilometers, about 40 square miles.
Why do you need this knowledge?
Because I have tried comparing prices on Hotels.com and Booking.com, and depending on which island you choose, the month varies.
Crete is one of the more expensive islands to visit, but at the same time, because it is the biggest island, there are both more different hotels to choose from, and it might be a lot easier getting there by plane.
The cheapest average month is February
But I don’t recommend going to Greece in the coldest month of the year. If you must go outside the main holiday season, you should go in autumn, because the weather is still nice and the water might still be warm enough for you to go swimming in.
I would pick sometime early November for cheap travel in nice weather.
And then you should try going for one of the smaller islands. Our trip to Samos was actually the cheapest one week holiday we ever had, and we did not hold back on spending cash while there.
The hotel in Samos wasn’t very fancy compared to when we visited Crete. We stayed at a small family hotel called Leonidas, we had a two-room apartment with a gigantic balcony, and the staff was just so nice, that we just ended up spending almost the entire vacation on the fake-grass by the pool.
When is the best time of year to visit Greece?
So, one thing you will have to know is, the weather and temperatures of the Greek islands might differentiate, not only from island to island but also from south to north of each island.
If we take Crete, an island we have visited in the past, then the temperatures of the south of the island, will be a few degrees Celsius hotter than the north-west.
Take a look at this chart, about the average temperatures in Crete, depending on the time of year.
|January||9 – 15||48 – 59|
|February||9 – 15||48 – 59|
|March||9 – 17||48 – 68|
|April||12 – 20||53 – 61|
|May||15 – 24||59 – 75|
|June||19 – 27||66 – 80|
|July||22 – 29||71 – 84|
|August||22 – 29||71 – 84|
|September||19 – 27||66 – 80|
|October||17 – 24||48 – 75|
|November||13 – 20||55 – 68|
|December||10 – 17||50 – 68|
So in conclusion to the question, when is the best time of year to visit Greece?
If you want to visit one of the Greek islands, like Crete, and if you like to go swimming in the Mediterranean sea, you would want to choose from late May, and until late September or Early October. July and August are the hottest months, and if you are traveling with small children, you might want to stay away from the highest temperatures.
Average water temperatures of Crete:
Source of average water temperatures: https://www.west-crete.com/climate-weather-crete.htm
5 money-saving tips for visiting Greece
If and when you go traveling to Greece with the family, there is some money saving tips that apply for visiting almost every country.
Consider not only the cheapest month of the year but also how you are able to save money while staying in Greece.
#1 About eating on a budget
I’ll tell you about how we do this, and then you can decide for yourself if this is something that you would like to try.
In Denmark, where we come from, it is almost frowned upon, if you buy one meal at a restaurant and share it instead of buying one meal each.
We learned, that sharing a pizza is actually enough for me and my girlfriend. Now as a family, we end up buying two meals, that we are all able to share.
We will only go for a restaurant visit once a day, for example by picking a late lunch at around 14.00 or 15.00, you are able to not eat in rush-hour and some places you will save money with some early-bird deals.
Then there is breakfast and late snacks.
We would make sure to pick a hotel room with a fully functioning fridge, and an electric kettle for coffee.
Then we eat breakfast and late night snacks at the hotel room or the balcony.
#2 Drinks in Greece
The tip is, for every country, to go for local drinks. If you find yourself at a restaurant ask for a Mythos beer, draft beer is usually the cheapest.
If you are like wine more, then ask for some local wine, and not an imported bottle.
#3 Groceries and shopping
If you, as we do, are shopping for eating some of the meals at the hotel, you should go researching about where the locals are shopping, and not go shopping at small tourist-shops.
The prices are likely to be less than half.
I experienced this a lot, when I was a tour guide in Bulgaria, just by walking 400 meters inland and away from the center, the prices would drop as much as 60% on basic stuff like water, snacks and even beer.
#4 Bathing and swimming
If you pick a hotel without a pool, you will usually be able to save a great deal of money. But you should really think about if this is worth the save.
If you elect to go to the beach instead of the hotel pool anyway, then go pick a hotel without a pool.
But at many beaches, you will have to pay for a chair, and when you are traveling with your kids, they might want to go swimming just after breakfast, and after you have eaten dinner.
If you go for a budget hotel, far away from the beach and without a hotel-pool, then you will have to find something else to entertain your kids.
I might argue that the beach is more fun for kids, but that the hotel pool might be safer, this is a matter of preference, I would not pick a hotel without a pool. I enjoy hotel-pools.
When you go to stay at the beach, you will be tempted by all the nice beach-bars and see other people eating ice-cream. Likewise, when you stay at the hotel pool, you will be tempted to forget all about saving money, and just splurged on beers and snacks.
It might be a lot cheaper, to bring some of your own, from the supermarket, instead of buying it at the beach or at the hotel pool.
REMEMBER: Make sure you are allowed to bring your own snacks if you elect to go to poolside.
#5 Accommodation and transportation
As I mentioned earlier, you might be able to save some money by picking a smaller Greek island than Crete, but what you also have to consider, if you are picking a very cheap hotel, is that you will have to get there, and you will have to be able to go to and from the beach.
If you end up needing to rent a car or spending too much money on transportation, it will not save you anything picking a hotel far away from everything.
So, when you are picking accommodation, you should consider that you are not likely to stay at your hotel room all day.
You do want to be able to go to the beach and the nearest city, and it is cheapest if you are able to do this by walking.
Do you have any money saving tips for, when visiting Greece? Then please share them in the comments below!