Greece has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters. Northern Greece can become very cold in the winter, and it is not unusual to see snowfall. Southern Greece and its islands have milder winters, although they may also see some snow.
In August, a strong northerly wind known as a “meltemi” lowers the excessive heat in the summer months. However, the winds can be strong which can disrupt the schedule of ferryboats that service the islands.
The best time to visit Greece is May to September even though it can be excessively hot. This is because the summer has stunning blue skies and brilliant sunshine. This is also peak tourist season so some attractions may be crowded.
If you are visiting the Greek islands, you will find that ferry transport is the most popular method of transportation. Ferries depart from several ports on the mainland and the accommodations are very nice. There are also international ferries that travel to Ancona, Bari, Brindisi and Venice in Italy as well as to and from Turkey.
Most visitors rent a car to get around Greece. The main roads in the country are modern and in good shape but you may encounter regional roads that are not in good condition.
A popular way to get from Athens to Thessaloniki is by train. It is also the preferred method to get to northern and central Greece. Train fare is often less expensive than a bus ticket, yet fewer people use the trains than buses. This is because trains sometimes take longer due to the aging infrastructure.
Look for the KTEL buses which are green and connect Athens to many smaller towns on the mainland. They follow a regular route and you will need to purchase tickets at the terminal as they do not have an online option.