Hottest Greek islands in March

Santorini is one of the hottest Greek islands in April

 By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer

March is a tempting time to flee the cold weather in the UK and escape to the Greek islands. But although the sun may be shining, the tourist season has yet to start and you’ll struggle to find direct flights from the UK. You may also find that many hotels and restaurants are still closed. The season really gets going in April.

Don’t expect beach weather in March (and the sea remains cold at around 15°C), but this is a lovely time for a city break in Athens, or perhaps lesser known Thessaloniki. Both are served by direct flights from the UK. In Athens you can expect temperatures of 17ºC and five hours of daily sunshine.

Another option is Cyprus. Though not a Greek island, it’s a Greek-speaking nation with a lovely spring climate, and March is an ideal time for sightseeing and hiking. You’ll find cheap direct flights in March.

But unless you are dead set on Greece, I would urge you instead to consider the Canary Islands in March, where you can expect around 21ºC and seven hours of daily sunshine, plus a huge choice of direct flights. It’s a similar picture in Madeira. See where else in hot in Europe in March.

Cyprus

Average maximum temperature in April: 17ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 7
Flying time from UK: 4.5 hours
Monthly rainfall: 56mm

Cyprus benefits from higher temperatures, longer hours of sunshine and less rainfall than Greece at this time of year. The weather is perfect for exploring the rich culture of one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean. There will be enough bars, restaurants and shops open in low season for you to have an enjoyable trip. Find villas to rent in Cyprus.

Athens

Average maximum temperature in April: 17ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 5
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 40 mins
Monthly rainfall: 50mm

Athens is Europe’s hottest capital and gets scorching hot in July and August, so March is a great time to stroll the back streets, climb to the Acropolis and generally enjoy the city when there are very few tourists. You’ll get a good rate in March at one of these charming boutique hotels.

Kos

Average maximum temperature in April: 16ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 7
Flying time from UK: via Athens
Monthly rainfall: 76mm

Due to its southern location, Kos is consistently one of the hottest Greek islands. March is a great time to discover Kos’ dramatic landscape and quaint villages. Many food and drink places will be open across the island, and you can explore Kos town’s ancient ruins and lively harbour before the summer party season kicks off. We recommend staying at the good-value all-inclusive Ikos Aria.

Rhodes

Average maximum temperature in April: 16ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6
Flying time from UK: via Athens
Monthly rainfall: 66mm

Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands, enjoys warm, sunny weather in March. The low humidity makes it a great time of year to explore the cobbled streets of the city’s Old Town and discover the island’s ancient ruins. Rhodes is steeped in cultural heritage and many attractions stay open year-round due to its size. Find the best holidays in Rhodes.

Corfu

Average maximum temperature in April: 16ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 4
Flying time from UK: via Athens
Monthly rainfall: 108mm

Slightly closer to the UK, Corfu experiences warm days and cooler nights. The mild temperatures are perfect for discovering the island’s traditional villages and tranquil beaches. Avoid the buzz of British tourists by visiting Corfu in March, but expect some rain and a few places to be closed. Find luxury villas in Corfu.

Crete

Average maximum temperature in April: 15ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6
Flying time from UK: via Athens
Monthly rainfall: 90mm

Crete, Greece’s largest island, boasts one of the earliest springs in the Mediterranean. Due to its size and vast terrain, there is much to explore on the island, and many attractions stay open year-round. With a plethora of historical sights, the low season makes a great time to avoid the crowds. The south coast is usually warmer than the north, but be sure to pack for cool nights and the occasional rain shower.

Kefalonia

Average maximum temperature in April: 15ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6
Flying time from UK: via Athens
Monthly rainfall: 91mm

Another island that is relatively nearby for UK visitors, Kefalonia, will be warming up in March, but is also one of the wetter islands. Though it may be too cold for sunbathing, there is much to explore on the island including its forest-covered mountains and limestone cliffs. There are plenty of local eateries and attractions open all year. Find villas in Kefalonia.

Santorini

Average maximum temperature in April: 17ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 7
Flying time from UK: via Athens
Monthly rainfall: 82mm

Santorini is one of the warmest Greek islands in March. March is a great time of year for sightseeing and hiking in Santorini. It is also a more affordable time of year to visit, so you can enjoy the famous white walled towns, rugged landscape and volcanic beaches for less. Some food and drink places will be closed, but many will begin opening up for the incoming tourist season. Find the best hotels in Santorini.

Try another month

Hottest Greek islands in February
Hottest Greek islands in March
Hottest Greek islands in April
Hottest Greek islands in May
Hottest Greek islands in June
Hottest Greek islands in July
Hottest Greek islands in August
Hottest Greek islands in September
Hottest Greek islands in October
Hottest Greek islands in November

* Did you know you can save up to 40% on holiday prices? See our latest travel deals and enter your email address below to get updates every fortnight.

Last updated: 10 August 2022

Before you book

Travel restrictions have been lifted by the UK, but some other countries still have measures in place. Check the latest government travel advice.