Greece Weather in March: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Edward | Updated Oct. 7, 2023

By the end of March, much of Greece feels like spring arrives, and it starts to feel mild and sunny in most of the country. There is low rainfall. The capital, hiking areas, and several islands are recommended.

Averages:

  • Temperature range: 9–17°C (49–62°F)
  • Rainfall: 6 cm (2 inches)
  • Rainy days: 12
  • Sunshine hours/day: 5 hours

Read on for our weather information and travel advice including average temperatures and rainfall, places to go, and travel tips…

Suggested reading: Best and Worst Times to Visit Greece>>>

Climate Comparison (Averages) for Greece's Top Tourism Areas

Greece City/Area Temp. Rainfall
Athens (Largest city, travel hub, ancient capital) Mild Low
Crete (beaches, hikes, Minoan palaces, waterparks) Mild Low
Santorini (Scenic coast, food, wine, swimming, sailing) Mild Low
Corfu (Beaches, turquoise sea, medieval architecture) Mild Moderate
Greece City/Area Daily High Daily Low
Athens (Largest city, travel hub, ancient capital) 17ºC (63ºF) 9ºC (48ºF)
Crete (beaches, hikes, Minoan palaces, waterparks) 17ºC (63ºF) 10ºC (50ºF)
Santorini (Scenic coast, food, wine, swimming, sailing) 16ºC (61ºF) 11ºC (52ºF)
Corfu (Beaches, turquoise sea, medieval architecture) 16ºC (61ºF) 7ºC (45ºF)
Greece City/Area Rain (cm) Rain (in)
Athens (Largest city, travel hub, ancient capital) 5 2
Crete (beaches, hikes, Minoan palaces, waterparks) 5 2
Santorini (Scenic coast, food, wine, swimming, sailing) 5 2
Corfu (Beaches, turquoise sea, medieval architecture) 10 4

March's weather feels mild and pleasant at low elevations because it is often sunny. There might be snow in the mountains.

Northern Greece: Northern Greece's weather is noticeably cooler than that of southern Greece and more variable because it is more affected by continental air masses from Europe that bring storms, snow and more frost. The higher the elevation, the more the likelihood for snow.

Southern Greece: Generally, spring's clear warm weather arrives by the end of March after some heavy rains at the transition. The climate in the south is generally Mediterranean weather. Touring, hiking, and sightseeing are not affected by the weather as much as in the north, and it often feels mild and comfortable.

Best Places to Visit in Greece in March

March is an especially good time to walk and tour around Greece's extensive ancient ruins, go on extended hikes, and visit the modern urban highlights and museums during low season with less tourists around you. In the evenings, you can relax enjoying the high-quality food in the warm and cozy restaurants.

1. Athens — Tour the Historical Capital

Athens' weather is usually mild and pleasant in March with low rainfall, and by the end of the month it is warm and sunny. There are about 11 days of rain each March, and there are some heavy rains just before the spring weather kicks in.

While the tourist crowds are gone, enjoy the lower prices and walking in the parks and the historical sites. Staying at Monastiraki is recommended because you will be adjacent to the Acropolis. The whole area is very convenient for tourists including metro access.

You could simply walk a short distance down Ermou (Ερμού) Street to the government buildings and museums at Syntagma Square. The world-famous Acropolis Museum is also nearby. Greece's famous food is high quality and almost organic, and you could enjoy dining in the streets.

2. Thessaloniki — Hike in the Thessaloniki Valley and Enjoy the Food

In March, the weather warms up and dries up enough for good sightseeing and hiking in the Thessaloniki valley area before the big tourist crowds arrive. Thessaloniki is very interesting for hikers because of the great ruins, culture, and great Greek food.

Thessaloniki has Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman buildings in the city. You could enjoy walking the nature trails to nearby towns such as Nikiti. The temperatures range from 14°C (57°F) to 5°C (41°F). The beach sea temperature is 14°C (57°F), so it is too cold to swim.

While you hike along you can enjoy snacks and Greek restaurants at lower prices. A flight from Athens takes about an hour.

3. Santorini — Resting, Dining, Hiking, Seeing Archeological Sites

Santorini gets the most tourists of all the Greek islands, but March is low tourist season, so you could enjoy more solitude and lower prices. The number of tourists is about 20% of that of high season. Fira has most of the open restaurants, hotels and shops during low season.

If you come at the end of the month, you'll enjoy warm temperatures and sunshine. The sea temperature is 16°C (61°F), so it is too cold to swim. The hike from Fira to Oia is famous, and it takes an hour to climb to the Profitis Ilias Monastery from the village of Pyrgos.

The Minoan ruins of Akrotiri are world famous, and one of Greece's best museums is on site. From Athens, ferry rides take between 5 and 7 hours and flights take 50 minutes.

4. Crete — Sightseeing, Hiking, Luxury Resort Stays

Crete is part of Greece's southernmost island group. Crete is a beautiful place all year round. In March, you can also enjoy Crete's famed spring flowers! The snow-capped peaks against the blue sky are beautiful too. You can enjoy it without tourist crowds and at bargain prices.

The weather is milder and sunnier than in the rest of Greece, and the rainfall is low. It is sunny about half the daylight hours. The temperatures range from mild highs of about 17°C (63°F) to 10°C (50°F) at night. The sea temperature is about 16°C (61°F).

Most shops and restaurants are still closed during this time, and you will most likely find open hotels in the main towns. It is one of the best times to enjoy the island's culture, hike and see the historical sites such as Knossos without crowds.

Transport: Flights to Crete take about an hour from Athens.

5. Corfu — Relax, Sightsee, and Enjoy Seafood

Corfu is an island off the coast of western Greece, and it is about 3 km (2 miles) from Albania. It is famed for agriculture, huge olive groves, Venetian castles, seafood, and beaches. You can explore the area with warm and sunny weather with spring flowers and no tourist crowds,

During March, the temperatures range from 16ºC (61ºF) to 7ºC (45ºF). The relative humidity of about 73% combined with some sunshine makes comfortable weather for strolling and experiencing the natural beauty. However, there is moderate rainfall, so bring raingear.

It is too cold to swim at the numerous beaches. The sea temperature is about 15°C (59°F).

Transport: There is an international airport at Kerkira. A flight from Athens takes an about an hour, and from Sarande in Albania, a ferry ride takes half an hour.

Tips for Visiting Greece in March

In March, the sun appears bright, warm, and clear in the southern lowlands and the islands by the end of the month. It is a good time to relax, take evening strolls, eat outside with the locals and enjoy the culture. If you go in March, you would have bargain prices for hotels and flights too!

You could enjoy being outdoors and at the historical places in the comfortable days with more solitude.

Closures: Some popular Greek islands are still closed down for winter. The archaeological sites and most of the museums have shorter hours in March than in summer and might close at 3 or 3:30 pm. Many hotels and restaurants are closed.

Public holidays in March:

  • March 25, 2024 is The Feast of the Annunciation and Greece Independence Day because Greeks officially announced their war for independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 on the day of the holiday. The holiday celebrates the day that angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus. Cities throughout Greece host all kinds of festivities including parades. Many restaurants and stores close.
  • The Carnival runs from February 25 to March 17, 2024. It is an Orthodox holiday season and a time for parades and parties for about a month each year. It is not an official public holiday. The Patras Carnival in Patras is one of Europe's largest festivals.

What to Wear in March in Greece

You will need a jacket for comfort in the lowlands in the evenings. You'll need winter clothes for the mountains and the north of Greece. Have an umbrella or poncho handy.

UV protection: You'll also might need to cover up with a sunhat, long sleeve shirts, and trousers or long dresses to prevent sunburn. The sunlight becomes intensely bright in March, but you might be surprised that it does not burn you unless you have sensitive skin. Why this would be is mysterious.

Monthly Weather in Greece

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