Best Times to Visit Santorini
The best time to visit Santorini is the fall when the weather's warm and the crowds are few. Like all of the Cyclades, these islands welcome the most visitors during the summer, so if you'll need to make your reservations at least two months in advance to travel then. For those of you looking for a real bargain, room rates tend to plummet during the winter, but this season also sees average highs in the 50s (not good for sunbathing) and plenty of precipitation. However, all that rain does make for a very flowery spring season.
The tourist season starts around Easter each year, and predominantly Greek and European visitors begin their island pilgrimages at this time. Keep in mind that Easter itself can be quite busy. The temperatures are mild, hovering between the 60s and 70s for most of the spring months. While it may still be a bit too cold to don a swimsuit, you'll find that the weather is perfect for sightseeing. Be sure to bring a warm jacket for the cool evenings.
The summer marks Santorini's peak season, as well as the best weather for swimming. Visitors flock to the area in search of the perfect beach vacation. If you decide to brave the heavy crowds, make sure to book your hotel at least two months in advance to ensure availability.
The Aegean water is still warm in September and October, most days are sunny, and daytime temperatures typically hover in the 70s and 80s. Most of the tourist infrastructure is still open for business -- despite the thinning crowds. This is also a great time to explore Santorini's historical sites and natural wonders. And thankfully, fewer crowds cause a drop in room rates. Beware, however, that some restaurants, hotels and other establishments begin to close for the season in late October or early November and won't re-open until spring.
This is the least popular time to visit Santorini thanks to temperatures in the mid 50s -- hardly pleasant for sunbathing. The wintertime also sees the most precipitation, which trumpets forth a blossom-filled spring. You can find great deals in the off-season, but consider the downsides of less pleasant weather and many closed tourist establishments.