Hottest Greek islands in April

Santorini is one of the hottest Greek islands in April

 By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer

April marks the start of the tourist season in the Greek islands and it’s a wonderful time to visit. Expect about 8 hours of daily sunshine, 20ºC temperatures, cool evenings and (very) cool seas. But it’s a perfect time to explore Greece’s many cultural sites and see the wildflowers burst into bloom. Look out for Easter: Greek Orthodox Easter is usually a week after our own (24 April in 2022) and it’s celebrated with gusto across the country, a lovely time to experience traditional Greek village life.

Don’t expect everything to be open from the beginning of April. Dates vary, and some islands get going before others. Many hotels start their season in mid-April and restaurants may not all open at once. But generally speaking, if airlines are flying direct from the UK, you can expect the tourist infrastructure to be open.

Which islands will be hottest?

Kos

Average temperature in April: 20ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

Due to its southern location, Kos is consistently one of the hottest Greek islands. In April, the sea may be a cool 17ºC, but the weather will be warm enough for sunbathing and the evenings will remain mild at 12ºC. Avoid overcrowding and overheating by exploring the Greek and Roman historical sites before summer heat sets in.

Holiday recommendation: the luxury all-inclusive hotel IKOS Aria is great value.

Corfu

Average temperature in April: 19ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 7
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes

With a more northerly location, Corfu is a shade cooler than Kos but Corfu Town offers lots to do if you have a chilly day. The Easter celebrations in Corfu Town, including a traditional pot-throwing ceremony on the Saturday, are not to be missed. Corfu can be wet in April, with 74mm of rain forecast over the month. Take layers because the temperature to drop as low as 9ºC at night.

Holiday recommendation: If you want a good-value luxury all-inclusive hotel, check out MarBella resorts which has two properties in Corfu. For self-catering, see these villas in north-east Corfu.

Santorini

Average temperature in April: 19ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 4 hours 15 minutes

Santorini should be warm and fairly dry in April (with an average 28mm of rain). Even the evenings should be mild, not falling below 12ºC. Tourists will be able to enjoy the volcanic sand beaches, though the sea may be too cold for a dip at 16ºC.

Holiday recommendation: check out this stunning collection of Santorini boutique hotels

Cyprus

Average temperature in April: 21ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 5 hours

Cyprus is a little further afield but benefits from higher temperatures and longer hours of sunshine. The predicted rainfall is also very low for this time of year (an average of only 5 days in April affected by showers). Most Cypriots in the Greek part of the island celebrate the Greek Orthodox Easter, so don’t worry about missing out on festivities.

Holiday recommendation: rent a villa with private pool or try a self-guided walking holiday.

Evia

Average temperature in April: 21ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 50 mins (to Athens)

The second-biggest island in Greece after Crete, Evia is close to Athens and serves as a weekend retreat for many Athenians. You can easily combine it with a visit to the capital, about an hour’s drive away. April is a great time to visit Athens, which gets extremely hot in summer. Club Med has a lovely resort Gregolimano on the island of Evia, which opens in April. See the latest deals.

Where is best for wildflowers and nature walks?

Crete

Average temperature in April: 19ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

Crete is well-known for its springtime abundance of wildflowers. More than 100 species are endemic to the island, making a nature walk there a truly unique experience. Crete will be cooler at night (but still over 11ºC) and will be slightly wetter than in later months, though with only 5 days of rain forecast you will still have plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Check out this wonderful group walking holiday to see the wildflowers in Western Crete with Simpson Travel.

Holiday recommendation: i-escape has a selection of boutique hotels and stylish houses for rent. Simpson Travel has a selection of adult-only hotels.

Paxos

Average temperature in April: 18ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes (to Corfu, then must transfer to Paxos via boat or seaplane)

Similar in climate to Corfu but a little more off-the-beaten-track, Paxos will be especially peaceful at this time of year. The island is small but still boasts an impressive array of wildflowers, including three species that are only native to Paxos itself.

Holiday recommendation: You could rent one of these villas and traditional houses or stay at an adult-only hotel.

Chios

Average temperature in April: 17ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 40 minutes to Athens then 50 minutes from Athens by plane

Chios, located just over 4 miles from the Turkish coast, is less popular with British tourists than many other islands. In April it will be relatively cool and damp (42mm of rainfall is predicted for the month), but visitors will be able to see the island’s wild tulips in bloom. Known for its flora, Chios is also home to many species of orchid and other rare flowers. If you are present for Orthodox Easter, be sure to check out the “rocket war”, an annual celebration in which two rival churches fire home-made fireworks at each other. Find the best holidays in Chios.

Are there any other islands and regions I should visit?

Halkidiki

Average temperature in April: 18ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes (to Thessaloniki airport, then around a 1-hour drive)

Halkidiki is a region on the Greek mainland, rather than an island. It does, however, have plenty of things to see and caters for families. Take plenty of jumpers for at night though: evening temperatures of 8ºC will mean that layers are a must.

Holiday recommendation: stay at IKOS Olivia or IKOS Oceania, both well-priced luxury all-inclusive resorts.

Kefalonia

Average temperature in April: 18ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 7
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 30 minutes

Another island that is relatively nearby for UK visitors, Kefalonia will be warm in April, but is also one of the wetter islands. The rugged landscape of Kefalonia provides plenty of places to explore: the forests surrounding the Melissani caves will be flourishing after the winter rain.

Holiday recommendation: villas in Kefalonia.

Skyros

Average temperature in April: 17ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 40 minutes to Athens then 40 minutes to Skyros

Skyros should be warm throughout April, though it will not reach the highs of Kos or Corfu. Rain is forecast for seven days of the month so would be hard to avoid on a longer visit. However, the range of activities on Skyros make up for this. For bird enthusiasts, Skyros is a good place to spot migratory species at this time of year. For others, the monastery of St George is worth a visit. If you’re on the island on 23 April, you’ll even catch the St George’s Day festivities in full-swing.

Holiday recommendation: join a personal development course on Skyros.

Cruise holidays in Greece in April

Star Clippers operates sailing cruises on traditional tall ships in the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the summer months from April to October. Most itineraries depart from Athens. This is a wonderful way to explore the region, with access to smaller ports that large cruise ships cannot reach.

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Last updated: 1 February 2022

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