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Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

dehradun
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Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

We will be travelling to Greece (Athens - Santorini - Naxos - Mykonos - Athens) for 12 days from around the 2nd of May. We are looking to relax, sight - see & swim. Will the water be too cold to get into the sea at that time of the year? As hanging on the beach will be a major part of the trip, does it make sense to postpone it by a couple of weeks, or can we make do at that time?

Thanks!

Warsaw, Poland
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1. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

Yes, the sea around the Cyclades is very cold at this time of year. It does not get comfortably warm until late June. Your best bet to get into the water is in Rhodes but even there it may be too cold for longer swimming.

New York City, New...
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for Skopelos
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2. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

Hey and welcome565:-) The water is usually at it's best in Sept having been sun-kissed all Summer long;-) Having said that, the warming process begins around late April/May when the sun is prevelant and the warm/hot days start kicking in! I've been to Santorini a couple of time in early May.. swam both times but do admit, it was cold.. more dunking than actually swimming.. made possible since the weather was in the 80's! Although early May can fluctuate a bit.. the mornings/evenings (whenever the sun isn't out) is definitely on the chill side.. you'll need a sweater/pullover for the evenings;-) It's not unusual to get a bit of rain at this time as well so be prepared!

Of course, it's down to personal tolerance;-) If the sun is out, you'll have plenty of beach time.. lounging around in the sun.. getting a good tan, etc.. you'll definitely see folks in the water.. but for the most part, it's still on the cold/uncomfortable side for most in these Aegean isles;-) If you can push it even a few weeks bringing you into late May.. all the better.. since it gets progressively warmer as time goes on.. and since you mention this is more of a beach vaca.. pushing futher into June even better;-) Happy planning.. and enJOY!

Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

It depends on your tolerance threshold, I wouldn't put my toe in until July, but I am a wimp!! My son will go in the water, no matter how cold and when we stayed on Thassos in May, a large group of elderly local Greek ladies used to descend on the beach, at the same time, every day, and swim happily in the sea , for about 30 minutes, I used to feel cold just watching them.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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4. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

If you have the ability to push your dates back a bit I would do that. Somewhere around the 15th of May the weather seems to settle down and starts to get warmer. The ocean is cool for sure but that is all relative. For us Canadians the water in May in Greece is just about as good as it gets here in the summer so the truth of the matter is, once you get in the water after a minute or so your body adjusts and it is fine.

For sure the sun will be warm and you can get beach time for tanning.

While on Naxos consider St George beach. It is sheltered and shallow so it does warm up faster.

Here are some images of St George. They would have been taken in late May early June.

St George Beach Naxos

flickr.com/photos/…

dehradun
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5. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

Thank you all for your replies!

So from what I understand, the water will be too cold to get into in the beginning of May, but is the weather in general good for visiting the islands? We will still be able to enjoy the place or are the chances of rain quite high?

If we do postpone our trip, it cannot be later than mid May. If so, will the water be much warmer just 15 days later? Coming from India, even cool water just won't do, our tolerance for the cold is very low! So then maybe it makes sense to just stick to our dates, as the sea will get comfortably warm only mid June onwards, if that's what I understand.

Also, will there be much to do in Naxos (3 nights) if we can't swim at that time? Should we do some other island instead?

Bristol, United...
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for Messenia Region, Laconia Region, Magnesia Region
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6. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

You can't count on good weather in May, but your best chance would be in Crete, which is the southernmost Greek island. Crete also has the advantage of many interesting historical sites and attractive towns which would keep you occupied in case of bad weather. Crete is a very large island so you would need to do some research into which areas and attractions would suit you. There is masses of information on the Crete forum.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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7. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

Ah India, yes the water will be too cold for you. If you can postpone even a couple of week you will have a chance for better weather.

Naxos is not all about beaches. It has a lovely main town and old market area and mountain villages to visit.

Here are some images

Naxos Town

flickr.com/photos/…

Naxos Mountains and Villages

flickr.com/photos/…

Local shopping

flickr.com/photos/…

Athens, Greece
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8. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

The later you can postpone your trip, the better.

Mumbai (Bombay...
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9. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

Hi, did you make this trip? How was the water temperature at santorini and Mykonos. I am planning for next may and was wondering if the water would be too cold for my kids..

Would be helpful to have your feedback..

Thanks

Smitha

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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10. Re: Is early May too cold to swim on the greek islands?

Actually we have just returned form Crete Rhodes Milos and Naxos. That was in late May early June the water temperature was good for swimming. Having said that it might still have been a bit chilly for someone form India. St George beach at Naxos was warmer than we have ever seen it. There were lots of people in the water particularly kids who seem to take delight in splashing any victim who gets too close.