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Santorini is rapidly becoming a year-round tourist destination. The most popular time to visit Santorini is in July or August, however, the other summer months of June & September are now almost just as crowded. Shoulder season is the best time to visit Santorini, whether you go early in April or May, or later in October or November. Ultimately, the best month to travel to Santorini depends entirely on why you are going to the island!

Why April or May Is the Best Time of Year To Go to Santorini

My first visit to Santorini was in late April, & I found it to be the perfect time of year to visit. Not everyone will agree, of course, since we all go there for different reasons. Here’s why I believe April in Santorini is ideal (so is May!).

April & May Weather In Santorini

Santorini has a classic Mediterranean climate, with cool & wet winters & hot & dry summers. While it’s never freezing cold, the winter months see many businesses on the island close for the season. The summers can be brutally hot, though sea breezes can help mitigate this somewhat.

For those who enjoy weather that is not too hot & not too cold, the weather in Santorini in April & May is just right. It’s the perfect weather for people who don’t like hot weather, but still want to see this Mediterranean paradise.

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April temperatures in Santorini average from 64-70°F (18-21°C) during the day and from 53-58°F (12-15°C) at night. For those wanting their weather just a bit warmer, those averages increase to 70-77°F (21-25°C) during the day and 58-65°F (15-18°C) at night in May.

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Santorini rainfall in April averages from 0.5-1 in (13-26 mm), while in May it averages from 0.2-0.5 in (6-13 mm). There is a 15% chance of rain each day around April 1st, dropping 10% by the beginning of May, and 4% at the end of May. As you can see, Santorini doesn’t get a lot of rain in the spring.

Coming out of the wetter winter, the island is also a bit greener in the springtime than during the hot summer (though between the volcanic soils & frequent winds, Santorini is hardly a place with lots of plant life).

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The later it gets in the spring, the warmer the weather, of course, but even then, there’s little risk of a heatwave if you’re someone who is trying to avoid hot weather.

There is still plenty of daylight in Santorini during the spring, with sunsets in late April & early May occurring around 8 pm. The sun rises around 6:30 am during that time period.

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Lack of Crowds

The crowds that flock to Santorini for the hot weather, sunbathing, & loud nightlife won’t be around in April & May. Sure, there will still be some influencers coming for the Instagram views, but that’s going to happen year-round (and you’ll be one of them once you see a Santorini sunset). It’s not dead in the springtime either, as most Santorini bars & clubs will be opening up for the season.

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During peak season in Santorini, reservations are almost always necessary for everything. In late April, there wasn’t a single time where I was turned away from a bar, restaurant, winery, or brewery for not having booked ahead of time. Of course, that’s not a guarantee, but overall you’ll have better luck making spontaneous plans when it’s not peak season. Even when you do want to book Santorini tours ahead of time, you can do so on shorter notice.

If you want to spend time in the water, visit Greece in the late shoulder season rather than the early one, as the water will still be warm from the summer. If you don’t care about being in the water (#TeamDryLand), then April or May is when to visit Santorini to avoid crowds but still have nice weather.

Likeminded People

Related to the above, one thing I noticed during my visit to Santorini was that most of the other visitors I encountered had similar interests. If you’re heading to Santorini for wine tasting or to visit historic sites such as Akrotiri & ancient Thera, you’ll find kindred spirits during the shoulder season.

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Now if you’re going to Santorini to party & spend time in the hot sun or in the water, then April & May are not the times of year you want to go, since you’ll be stuck on the island with history nerds like me.

Lower Prices

If you’re on a budget, the best time to travel to Santorini is not during peak season. Smaller crowds mean lower prices for accommodation. You’ll save money on hotels in Santorini if you travel in April or May.

For even better deals, skip the caldera view hotels. You can get the same views from many of Santorini’s cocktail bars, brunch spots, or overlooks. The photos of the expensive hotels don’t include the gawking tourists who can see right into what you might expect to be your private space.

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Flights & transportation will also be cheaper in the spring, of course.

The Excitement of a New Tourist Season

The late shoulder season is also a great time to visit Santorini, especially if you want to spend time in the water, as I mentioned above. However, there’s one benefit to visiting Santorini in April or May: the excitement of the new season.

While many bars, restaurants, & hotels in Santorini close during the winter months, by April & May most have reopened & are eager to serve visitors.

In places with seasonal tourism, jobs come and go. When everyone comes back to work, there is a buzz in the air.

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Anyone who has ever lived in a place with lots of tourists can tell you that their presence can be tiresome. By the end of the tourist season, workers & residents have been through the chaos of the crowds & might just be secretly wishing everyone would go home (even if it means the end of seasonal work).

As you can see, the best time to visit Santorini depends on what you’re looking for from your vacation. For me, April or May is the perfect time to go to Santorini, as the island has come to life, the weather is nice, but it’s not yet peak season.

Have I convinced you when to visit Santorini? Book your hotel now!

Here are some great Santorini tours & activities & other things to see & do in Santorini.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Santorini, check out these hotels. For more restaurant recommendations, go here.

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