Greece In August – Your Ideal Destinations For Each Month Of Greece
A Simple Guide For Greece in August
August in Greece is also when most Greeks take their annual leave holidays, so booking ahead and securing your accomodation, car rentals and any transport (planes, ferries) is more important than ever. You will be rewarded with incredible hot summer days you can spend by the beach, the pool, climbing hilltops to look at sunset views, or feasting on fresh vegetables and fruit.
What to expect when travelling to Greece in August?
There are two lines of arguement that you may come across when discussing Greece in August. There are those that want to run away from any peak touristy destination towards the opposite direction as fast as possible and would recommend completely skipping August if possible. Then there are those that love the vibrant and joyful atmoshere of the busiest summer month complete with the best options for entertainment and festivals.
Three biggest issues with travel in August: heat, price surge, too many people.
How to overcome the issues with Greece in August?
Every day is a beautiful sunny day in August. They are the best days spend by the beach, getting a tan and staying out till late at night without requiring a jacket. But then there is also too hot. On those days, the mornings and late evenings are your best friends. Middle of the day is best for getting back to your room for a little siesta nap. It may sound like a bit of sun is fine (and it could be if you are a lover of heat) but sightseeing can be very tiring when you are sweaty and your energy is dissipating as fast as the water you keep drinking.
- Cold water is cheap to purchase, so take advantage of 0.50 cent bottles or carry your own with for a more eco-friendly alternative.
- Bring sunscreen and apply religiously at every chance you can.
- Pick an island destination or somewhere next to the water so you are not too far from a refreshing dip!
The best thing you can do to secure good prices for accomodation and transport in August is to book ahead. The earliest possible is best and of course if you are going through a travel agent then they can help secure better local deals for you. It is not unheard of for small business on some of the less touristy islands to have no social media presence or email, so if budgeting is very important for you, turn to local advice to get the best value for your money.
Car rentals are equally important to secure as early as possible. A lot of the small islands will “run out” of cars around the 15th of August, one of the most important national Greek holidays.
Too Many People
Some recommend Athens or Thessaloniki during August. Since everybody else is leaving why not stay behind and enjoy the peace and quiet. Well, while there are definitely less people than usual, it is by no means empty. The only August day that may actually feel like a ghost town is the 15th, when all the shops are closed and everyone is feasting at home!
I personally prefer destinations that while popular, are still next to the water! Where would that be? Let’s see.
Where to travel in Greece in August?
Have you ever heard of Ikaria?
What about the island where people forget to die? This small paradise with a permanent population of less than 10,000 people is part of what is called “Blue Zones”. Places around the world where something in the climate and general environment helps people live longer. How much longer? Well, appearantely one in three people in Ikaria will live past their 90 birthday and an average of 10 years longer than most Europeans or Americans. A lot of reasons have been offered as to why the lifestyle of Ikaria can help with a long healthy life. Growing your own food, the hilly landscpace that keeps you active, no stress, and a bit of a wine every day. If you are wondering how could an island that is full of people in their 90s is a fun destination, read ahead.
What makes Ikaria stand out, is the traditional Ikarian Panigiria.
Panigiria are festivals that celebrate the name day of a saint, that take place all over Greece and can range in size and importance. In Ikaria, however, they are on a whole other level. While typically you can expect panigiria in mainland Greece to be all about Greek traditional dancing, music and of course, food, in Ikaria they combine different music genres from tango to oriental style to the classic Greek folk songs.
In August, there are more than a dozen panigiria that take place. Some dates are set and some change so if you would like to attend one, do plan ahead to make sure you are there during the right days. The official site of Ikaria, is frequently updated and is a great source of information regarding all the different kinds of panigiria you can experience there.
This island is one of my favourite picks for August because it can truly feel less crowded while offering so much value.
Chios is well known in Greece for its distinctive architecture in the mastic villages (Mastihohoria). These villages were built high up, with narrow alleys and fortifications to protect their precious mastic (a special type of resin) from pirates and invaders. The village of Pyrgi has a particular type of black and white geometric patterns that have been inscribed on the walls called “xysta”. Whatsmore the product of mastiha, is unique to the southern part of the island. The tree can grow in other locations around the world that have a similar Mediterrenean climate but they will, however, not produce mastic.
The cultural element is only one part of what Chios has to offer. A multitude of stunning beaches, great food, and affordable prices. It also has the added benefit of being one of the biggest islands, so you are guaranteed to find a quiet location somewhere along its coast.
Events and Festivals in August
Saristra Festival – This annual festival takes place on the island of Cephalonia during the first week of August and is a unique and special place that is absolutely worth making the trip to. The venue is the old desserted village of Old Vlachata that was completely destroyed together with most of the island during the 1953 7.2 earthquake. For movie fans this was also a filming location for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Athens Epidaurus Festival – This is another annual festival and one of the biggest and most important in Greece that attracts thousands of visitors to performances of opera, music, dance and theatre. It takes place in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus under the Acropolis or the theater of Epidaurus, only a few hours drive away. Dates vary. Starts June till mid August.
Nestorio River Party – One of those timeless festivals that everyshould experience at least. The River Party has been running for more than 4 decades and attracts upwards of 50,000 people from all around the world. Over five days, you get to camp by the banks of river Aliakmonas and enjoy music from Greek and international artists. There is an amateur band competition and plenty of entertaining activities to keep you up all day and night (if you want to).
Athens Open Air Film Festival – From June to September enjoy classic movies or blockbusters in unique locations all around Athens. Some of the venues they come up with are museums, archaelogical sites, parks or beaches. The best thing? Entrance is free for everyone.
15th of August – Wherever you are in Greece, you should try to experience the celebrations of the 15th of August. Originally only a religious festival for the Assumption of Virgin Mary, it has since become a religious and cultural celebration and a chance for people to come together in the summer to dance, sing and eat. There isn’t one island that doesn’t have a festival or panigiri to mark the day, even though some are bigger and more well known than others.
Greece in August: Average Weather Temperatures
There is no way to avoid the sun in August. So keep that in mind when packing and come prepared with lots of light layers, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats.
The average temperature in Greece in August is just around 30 degrees Celcius or 84 F. Nights are more pleasant but equally hot, so most times there is no need for a jacket. Expect minimal to no rain and a good 11 hours of sunshine every day.