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Which Greek Island Is Warm In December?

Last update: 2023-12-07
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Greek islands are a popular destination year-round thanks to the Mediterranean climate. Even in December, when much of Europe is cold and rainy, Greece still enjoys mild temperatures and sunny days. While no Greek island is typically as warm as the peak summer months, some islands maintain pleasant weather in December that is ideal for sightseeing, hiking, and relaxing by the sea.


View of Heraklion city with harbour with yachts and fishing boats at dusk, Crete island, Greece. Greek scenery
Crete is Greece’s largest island and enjoys some of the mildest winter weather due to its southern location. In December, average highs are around 63°F/17°C and average lows are 46°F/8°C. Rainfall is moderate, with December seeing an average of 5 rainy days in the capital Heraklion. While anywhere on Crete’s extensive coastline provides warm and sunny escapes in December, look to the south coast for the most consistently pleasant weather.

The charming harbor town of Chania retains its summer vibes in December. Stroll narrow Venetian lanes or relax at a waterfront cafe here. Drive west to explore Crete’s wild beaches and scenic mountain villages. The nearby town of Rethymno also boasts Venetian architecture and a lively old harbor area. Farther east along the northern coast, Heraklion offers archaeological treasures like the Palace of Knossos along with excellent dining and nightlife options. With its size, diversity, and mild weather through December, Crete is arguably the top Greek island destination for winter travel.


9 December 2021, Rhodes, Greece. View of famous tourist destination in Mandraki port with deers statue, where The Colossus was standing.
As the largest of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes maintains warmer winter weather than its northern neighbors. Average December highs reach 61°F/16°C with nighttime lows of 50°F/10°C. While you may get the occasional rainy day, Rhodes sees under 5 days of precipitation on average for the month. Along with pleasant weather, Rhodes draws visitors to its fascinating mix of medieval history and natural beauty in December.

The atmospheric Old Town of Rhodes wraps around the harbor and impresses visitors with Europe’s best preserved medieval streets. Wander past Byzantine churches, the Palace of the Grand Masters, and the Street of the Knights on a self-guided walking tour. Beyond the walls, scenic villages, pristine beaches, and wooded valleys cover the island interior. For the warmest weather, stick to the eastern coastline which gets protection from winter storms. The nearby island of Symi makes an easy day trip and provides a quieter alternative to Rhodes.


Kos, Greece - December 09, 2016: Ships in the harbor of the Kos town..
Located just a few miles from Turkey in the southeast Aegean, Kos sees average December highs around 61°F/16°C. Its proximity to Asia Minor gives it a slight boost in mild weather compared to other Greek isles. With about 5 days of rain on average, you can expect a mix of sunny skies and showers during your December visit.

Begin your Kos exploration in the main town where you’ll find ancient ruins, medieval castles, and remnants of Italian rule. The Asklepieion archaeological site holds elegant temples honoring the healing god Asklepios. Nature lovers will enjoy the inland mountains covered in pine forests. Cycle through fragrant citrus groves or hike to the ruins of the medieval Antimachia Castle. Kos’ long sandy beaches remain quiet in the winter months, perfect for peaceful strolls. While Kos town offers lively nightlife and dining, smaller fishing villages around the island provide a cozier alternative.


December offers the chance to explore the Greek isles and their wealth of history and culture with smaller crowds and lower prices than the busy summer months. Focus your December island-hopping on Crete, Rhodes, and Kos where mild weather prevails compared to other islands. Temperatures typically reach the low 60s Fahrenheit during the day for pleasant sightseeing conditions. With proper layers for cooler nights, you can soak up the Mediterrean sun and ambiance on these southern Greek gems. Just be flexible for the occasional rainy day by having indoor activities lined up at museums or ancient sites. By picking the warmest Greek islands, you can enjoy an idyllic winter escape.

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