Hottest Greek Islands in May

 By Anna Scriven

In May, the resorts in Greece are quiet and welcoming with low prices. Temperatures are rising, you can swim in the sea, but it’s still cool enough for more active holidays. As spring draws to a close, the Greek foliage remains in full bloom, providing hikers with the opportunity to enjoy the wild flowers.

Expect average highs of 24ºC and 10 hours of sunshine per day. The sea will be around 18ºC with low humidity. Expect an average 5 days of rainfall in the month (compared to 13 in the UK). However, Greece is a large country and visitors can expect a lot of variation, especially between the mountainous and coastal areas.

Which islands are the hottest in May?

Kos

Average temperature in May: 24ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 11
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

If you are looking for heat, the southern island of Kos is the place to go. The daytimes will be warm and even in the evenings it will remain above 15ºC, perfect for evening strolls along the island’s sandy beaches. In May, there will be very little rain and humidity should be low, allowing visitors to explore Kos’ medieval castle and ancient ruins without overheating.

Holiday recommendation: the luxury all-inclusive IKOS Aria is very good value.

Crete

Average temperature in May: 23ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 10
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

Crete, the most populous Greek island, is another sunny destination. With only 20mm of rain forecast for the month, visitors in May will have plenty of chances to sunbathe and visit sites including the palace of Knossos, which will be quieter than later in the season.

Holiday recommendation: these boutique hotels and stylish houses for rent.

Mykonos

Average temperature in May: 22ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 11
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

Mykonos is nicknamed “the island of the winds” (and has some photo-worthy windmills to show for it). However, it is less windy in May than in the summer months. It is slightly cooler than Crete but has a full 11 hours of daily sunshine and only 3 days of predicted rainfall for May.

Holiday recommendation: Mykonos boutique hotels

Cyprus

Average temperature in May: 24ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 10
Flying time from UK: 5 hours

If guaranteed heat is a major deciding factor for you, it may well be worth considering Cyprus. Although technically not a Greek island, the Greek part of Cyprus is culturally similar to Greece and its location means that the weather is consistently warm. The sea should be around 20 ºC in the daytime and they receive only 12mm of rainfall in the month.

Holiday recommendation: these holidays in Cyprus including a walking holiday.

Which other islands are worth visiting in May?

Corfu

Average temperature in May: 23ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes

Some islands are rainier than others: due to its mountainous landscape, Corfu will receive around 47mm of rainfall over 9 days in May. However, this ensures that the foliage flourishes, giving hikers a greener environment to enjoy. Why not appreciate the local flora and fauna while walking the Corfu trail? Corfu has the added advantage of being closer to the UK than the southern islands, cutting down flight times.

Holiday recommendation: villas in north-east Corfu.

Kefalonia

Average temperature in May: 23ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 30 minutes

Sunny weather makes the white sand beaches of Kefalonia, the setting of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, seem even more beautiful and the sea will be warm at 19°C. However, be prepared for some rain during your visit, as rainfall is predicted for 7 days in May. Of course, the stunning mountains in Kefalonia more than make up for this.

Holiday recommendation: villas in Kefalonia

Paxos

Average temperature in May: 23ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes (to Corfu, then ferry transfer to Paxos)

Paxos is one of the less commercial Greek islands, brimming with small fishing villages and traditional taverners. Despite being in the north, the sea around Paxos will still be warm enough for a dip at 19°C and the low humidity will make it easier to explore the coasts on foot.

Holiday recommendation: these villas and traditional houses.

Santorini

Average temperature in May: 22ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 10
Flying time from UK: 4 hours 15 minutes

Santorini, which lies on an active volcano, provides a compromise, having slightly cooler days for activities but receiving very little rainfall (only 14mm in the month). It also remains warm in the evenings (with minimum temperatures of 15°C) to allow for evening strolls and outside dining. There’s even the possibility of bathing in the island’s thermal spas.

Holiday recommendation: Santorini boutique hotels

What about mainland Greece?

Halkidiki

Average temperature in May: 23ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes (to Thessaloniki airport, then around a 1-hour drive)

Halkidiki, on the Aegean Sea, has many beautiful beach resorts and plenty of historical sites. Despite being on the Northern side of Greece, Halkidiki will be warm in the daytime and the sea will be around 18°C. However, prepare for cooler evenings (with lows of 12°C) and slightly more rainfall (8 days in total).

Holiday recommendation: Sani Resort

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