Climate of Greece

Greece's Köppen Climate Types Map Hylke et al. (2018)

The climate in Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. However, due to the country's unique geography, Greece has a remarkable range of micro-climates and local variations. The Greek mainland is extremely mountainous, making Greece one of the most mountainous countries in Europe.[1][2] To the west of the Pindus mountain range, the climate is generally wetter and has some maritime features. The east of the Pindus mountain range is generally drier and windier in summer. The highest peak is Mount Olympus, 2,918 metres (9,573 ft).[3] The north areas of Greece have a transitional climate between the continental and the Mediterranean climate. There are mountainous areas that have an alpine climate.


The climate of Greece can be divided into the following Mediterranean climate subtypes:

Mediterranean (dry and wet)

According to the Climate Atlas of Greece which was published by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (H.N.M.S) this is the predominant climate found in Greece.[4] This climate occurs in the Aegean Islands, especially the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, southern and Evia, low-lying areas of Attica, the western, eastern and southern low-lying Peloponnese areas, and the low-lying areas of Crete. During the summer, the weather is most frequently sunny and dry, and any precipitation falls in the form of showers or thunderstorms from cumuliform clouds. The air is usually hot during the day and pleasantly warm at night, but there are some very windy days, especially in the Cyclades islands and around them. Heatwaves may occur, but they are usually quite mild at the coastal areas, where temperatures are moderated by the relatively cooler sea and the sea breeze. Winters are wet and any snow that falls does not last long, especially in the south-facing slopes. Rain in winter is often persistent: The west areas of this climate zone receive a relatively higher amount of precipitation.

Alpine Mediterranean

In this temperature, the winter is harsh with abundant snowfalls, while the summers are cool with frequent thunderstorms. This climate is to be found on high mountains, like Pindus and Rhodope.

Transitional continental- Mediterranean

This climate has characteristics of both continental and Mediterranean climate.

Semi-arid climate (hot and cold)

According to the Climate Atlas of Greece published by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (H.N.M.S) this climate is found in areas of Macedonia and Thessaly (cold semi-arid) and also in areas of Attica such as Piraeus in the Athens Riviera (hot semi-arid).[4]


  • Abs. minimum temperature: −27.8 °C (−18.0 °F), Ptolemaida.
  • Abs. maximum temperature: 48.0 °C (118.4 °F), Elefsina and Tatoi.

The 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) recorded by minimum/maximum thermometers in Tatoi and Elefsina as reported by a communication of Dr. Athanasios D. Sarantopoulos is also the WMO record high temperature for Greece and Europe.[5] Mean annual temperatures in Greece range from +10 to +21.8 °C (50.0 to 71.2 °F) in Lindos. However, since Greece is generally a mountainous country, real average temperatures vary considerably from region to region.

Local winds


Probably the most well known local winds in Greece are the etesians (also known as meltemia). With their name notating their annual fluctuation (έτος (étos) means year in Greek), these winds may blow from May to October, with their highest frequency being recorded in July and August. They keep temperatures and diurnal temperature fluctuations in the Aegean sea lower than the respective ones found in the Ionian sea or mainland Greece.


  1. ^ "Climatology,HNMS, Hellenic National Meteorological Service". www.hnms.gr. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  2. ^ "Visit Greece | Geography". Visit Greece | The Official website of the Greek Tourism Organisation. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  3. ^ "Olympus the First National Park". Management Agency of Olympus National Park. Management Agency of Olympus National Park. 2008. Archived from the original on 14 January 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Climate Atlas of Greece" (PDF). Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  5. ^ [1]. Arizona State University World Meteorological Organization

External links

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