There is a growing number of tourists visiting Greek resorts out of season. There are many reasons why vacationing out of season is a good decision, and the most important ones are fewer crowds and more favorable prices.
But where can you vacation and still be able to swim out of season?

Where to vacation in Greece in May?

In May, the sea temperature in some cities in Greece is above 20°C, which is sufficient for pleasant swimming. Based on average observations of water temperature over the past ten years, the warmest sea in Greece in May was 20.5°C on the island of Kastellorizo.
The warmest bathing locations in Greece during May are usually found on the southern islands, where sea and air temperatures are higher compared to the northern parts of the country. Here are a few examples:
1.      Crete - Crete is one of the warmest places in Greece in May. The sea temperature in May can reach around 20-21°C\, while the average daily air temperature varies between 20 and 25°C. Nights are cooler\, but the days are warm and sunny\, making Crete an ideal destination for early summer vacations.
2.      Rhodes - Rhodes\, known for its sunny days\, also offers warm temperatures in May. The average sea temperature can be around 19-21°C\, and the air temperature around 20-24°C.
3.      Kos - On the island of Kos\, the sea temperature in May ranges from 19-21°C. The average daily air temperature is around 20-23°C\, making the island a pleasant place to stay at the beach.
4.      Santorini - Although Santorini may not be the first choice for traditional swimming due to its rocky beaches\, the sea temperature in May ranges from 18-20°C\, and the daily air temperature is similar to Kos and Rhodes. All other Cycladic islands are suitable for spring vacations as well.
It is important to note that temperatures can vary from year to year, and it is recommended to check the current weather forecast before traveling. Also, the water may be slightly cooler in the morning and evening hours, while during the day it is more pleasant for swimming.

Temperature on the Ionian islands and the Ionian coast in May

Sea Temperature: In Lefkada and the Ionian coast, including Parga, the sea temperature in May usually varies from around 18°C to 21°C. Although the sea is slightly cooler compared to summer months, many tourists visit the Ionian coast in May for swimming in the sea, especially towards the end of May.
Air Temperature: The average daily air temperatures in May range from 20°C to 25°C. Nights can be cool, so it is advisable to bring some warmer clothing.
May in Lefkada and in Parga, as well as on the Ionian islands and the Ionian coast in general, offers pleasant weather for vacation, with fewer crowds compared to the main tourist season. This time of year is ideal for those who want to enjoy the natural beauty, historical sites, and quieter beaches.

Is the Ionian or Aegean Sea warmer in May?

Temperature: Temperatures on the Aegean coast are similar to those on the Ionian coast in May. However, believe it or not, the Aegean Sea can be slightly cooler compared to the Ionian Sea.
Climate Conditions: The Aegean coast often experiences stronger winds, especially the famous “Meltemi” winds, which can make it cooler.
In both cases, May is a month that offers a lot - pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and an opportunity to truly experience the beauty and charm of Greece. Whether you choose the Ionian or Aegean coast, May can be the ideal time for a real vacation.Vacation in May in Lefkada or Halkidiki - sea and air temperature
Sea Temperature: In May, the sea temperature around Lefkada usually ranges between 18°C and 20°C. It is warm enough for some visitors to enjoy swimming, although it may be chilly for those who prefer warmer waters.
Air Temperature: Daily temperatures in Lefkada in May range from around 20-25°C, while nights are cooler. The weather is pleasant for sightseeing and enjoying nature, without the extreme heat that is common during the summer months.

Sea Temperature: In Halkidiki, the sea temperature in May is similar to Lefkada, ranging between 18°C and 20°C. Like in Lefkada, the sea may be slightly chilly, but it is usually pleasant for swimming later in the month.
Air Temperature: Average daily temperatures in Halkidiki in May are also similar to Lefkada, around 20-25°C, providing pleasant weather for outdoor activities.

Although the sea and air temperatures are similar at both places, Halkidiki may have slightly cooler nights due to its more northern location. Both places offer pleasant spring conditions with less crowding and are ideal for visitors seeking a quieter vacation.
See more about this topic with data on average sea temperatures in the text HERE.

Why We Recommend Vacationing in Greece in May?

Vacationing in Greece in May brings special charms and numerous advantages compared to the peak tourist season. Here are a few reasons why May is the ideal month to visit this beautiful country:

  • One of the biggest advantages is less crowding, both on the beaches and in the city. There are no parking issues, which can be a major problem during the high season.
  • In May, you can enjoy pleasant temperatures without the unbearable heat that is common in July and August.
  • Accommodation during this period is more affordable compared to the peak season.
  • Many beach bars offer loungers with drinks without a minimum consumption obligation or additional payment, which can significantly reduce costs.
  • The local population is more rested and ready for conversations and socializing, which can enrich your travel experience.
  • May is the beginning of the season and a time when nature awakens. The sea has a beautiful color, the beaches are cleaner, and the atmosphere is fresher.
  • Moderate temperatures make May the perfect month for visiting attractions, taking walks, and exploring.
  • Since evenings can be cool, we recommend bringing warmer clothing.
  • There is a chance of rainy days.
  • The sea may be chilly, so May is not ideal for those who are sensitive to the cold or want to spend a lot of time in the water.
  • May is ideal for those who prefer to enjoy the seaside rather than the sea, especially in northern Greece.

In summary, May in Greece offers a unique combination of pleasant climate, less crowding, affordable prices, and opportunities for a richer experience of culture and nature. It is the perfect time for those seeking a quieter and more relaxed vacation.

Click on the link to see the average sea temperature in Lefkada, Thassos, Halkidiki, and other popular resorts: The average temperatures of the sea in Greece .

In our article, see what a vacation on Thassos looks like outside the high season, in May, June, September, and October HERE

You can view a selection of about 2500 accommodations in Greece by clicking on the link HERE.
Select the region and find the appropriate accommodation:
Kavala -
Thessaloniki region -

In our GUIDE, you can find detailed descriptions of all places and beaches in Greece where we have accommodations, as well as other useful information for tourists.