Greece In May – Your Ideal Destinations For Each Month Of Greece

Published On: May 23, 2019Last Updated: January 16, 20244.5 min read

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If you are planning to travel to Greece in May, you should know that the first day of the month is celebrated just like in many countries as a public holiday. In Greece, it is known as Ergatiki Protomagia or Workers First Day of May. In addition to celebrating worker rights, the 1st of May is when a lot of flower festivals take place. People all over Greece, head out to celebrate the arrival of summer, spend time in nature, have picnics and collect flowers.

Mykonos

The island of Mykonos, less than an hour flight from Athens and only a few hours by fast ferry, is one of the most well-known and visited islands in the Mediterranean. From June to August, it operates at full capacity and offers visitors from all around the world the opportunity to relax and enjoy the atmosphere, nightlife and beaches. In May that is all still true, however, the amount of people on the island is significantly smaller. Accommodation options, restaurants and cafes are all open and the weather hovers around 18 to 25 degrees C.

If Mykonos calls out to you as a destination, a visit to nearby Vioma farm might be of interest. This organic farm offers an insiders look into the process of cultivation and production of agricultural products as well as the renowned Mykonian wine. Apart from it being an insightful learning experience, visitors can dine in and taste all the local delicacies served fresh on their plates.

Santorini

Another island that you may prefer to visit in May before the crowds arrive, is the beautiful Santorini of course. This unique island combines volcanic soil, and exceptional local delicacies, such as capers, local cheese and white eggplants.

But the views are what most people travel far and wide to see. If you chose to travel to Greece in May you will be able to enjoy the scenery during the quieter months!

Water temperatures are tolerable for anyone used to swimming in the big wide ocean, instead of the shallow and warmer waters of the Mediterranean. In addition, in case of rainy days, the wealth of activities to do around the island should allow for a fun and memorable holiday.

Things to Do

A cooking class could be one of the activities you arrange. It will allow you a deeper understanding of the people, culture and cuisine and you will definitely leave with a happy heart and a heavy belly full of food.

In Mykonos, don’t miss experiencing the wine tasting at Vioma Farm, all organic and free of pesticides and chemicals.

In Santorini, we recommend Petra Kouzina or “Stone Kitchen” as is translated, which is an accurate description of the 1950’s restored “Cave House” that preserves the traditional architecture of the island and where this cooking experience takes place. Guests are invited to take part in the preparation and tasting of a traditional Greek meal in a fun and cozy home environment and there is even a recipe book to take home at the end.

The local wine varieties on the island, like Assyrtiko, have evolved in taste, in part due to the cultivation practices that allow it to withstand the harsh winds. You will find most vines tucked close to the ground, in small circular nest formations where the grapes can stay hidden.

If you are a fan of dessert wine, head straight into one of the many wineries and enjoy a decadent cheese platter with a side of the local Vinsanto. The intense, constant heat throughout spring and summer produces grapes that are turned into a gloriously and lavishly sweet dessert wine, that I personally cannot resist!

Events & Festivals in May

21st May Mykonos

The 21st of May is celebrated all around Greece as a celebration of St Constantine and Helena, two of the most beloved saints in the Orthodox church. Traditionally, Greeks celebrated “name days” or holy days, instead of birthdays. Since every day of the calendar is dedicated to a saint, martyr or religious event, every day there are people celebrating the name they have been given. Thousands of people around Greece, share the name Eleni and Kostas or Konstantinos. As such this is a particularly busy day, with lots of calls, wishes and chocolates exchanged between friends and family.
 
Mykonos puts on two panigiria (or festivals) in celebration of this name day, one in Kantouna and one in Korfo. This would be a great place to experience a Greek festival celebration.

29th May Santorini

You can also witness religious festivities on the island of Santorini, where on the 29th of May, Akrotiri Village celebrates the day of Agia Theodosia. After church service, there is a procession of people that carry the saint’s icon around the village. Sounds of praying, singing and music accompany the people around the streets. All that is followed by food, drink and dancing in a nearby place until everyone is tired or the sun rays make an appearance.

Average Weather Temperatures for May

May is generally a very pleasant month, wherever you travel within Greece. Crete and the southern islands will be considerably warmer though, especially in sea temperatures.

Bring a light jacket and closed shoes to stay warm from the breeze in the islands and if you are considering heading up to the mountains for nature walks and exploring.

  • Stay tuned for the next installment of this monthly series. Twelve months, twelve destinations across Greece, each with something else to offer.

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Rania Kalogirou

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