Santorini In May: What To Expect

Santorini in May is a great time to visit the island if you don’t like crowds, but still want to get the most out of your trip. Most, if not all, of the island is opening back up in May. The closer you get to June, the better chance everything will be open. It’s the best time to visit.

Santorini in May Weather

If you’re looking for a mild temperature time to visit Santorini, May is your best choice.

The weather is majority warm and there is a low chance of rain. What’s better than that? We went near Memorial Day, so the end of May. The temperatures were exceeding 70, but not over 80.

These temperatures were ideal.

There was not a cloud in the sky so hiding from the sun was not possible. You should still wear lots of sunscreen. Especially if you are riding a four wheeler around the island.

It was even warm enough for us to swim at Perissa Beach!

The Average Temperatures in May are between a High of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 60 degrees Fahrenheit .

If you are waiting for a sunset, the temperature will drop fast.

Santorini in May Crowds

Santorini in May is still considered “low season”.

The closer you get to May, it begins to shift to mid-high season. We had no problems relaxing on the beach or finding a restaurant for dinner. The only crowded place in late May was Oia.

Get to Oia early if you want pictures without people in them.

If interested in doing boat tours, wine tours, or any other activity that accepts reservations, we recommend you using it to your advantage. We got lucky as a walk-in at Santo Wines because they were booked all evening for sunset views and wine tours.

Santorini in May is still the best way to beat the crowds, but see what the island has to offer in full.

Santorini Winds in May

The Meltemi was is known by the Greeks as strong northerly winds.

These winds can blow for several days. When visiting Santorini in May, you should expect to get wind advisories or even a yellow flag warning.

These winds will make the island noticeably cooler than you would expect. If they are blowing hard, you can expect a 10 degree, or more, drop in temperature. There is a sweet spot for the winds. We lucked out, as these winds cancelled out the harsh sun to make the days cooler.

We were thankful for these winds on our hike to Ancient Thira.

Overall, these winds should not affect your travel or time in Santorini.

Santorini Beaches in May

The beaches in May were not extremely crowded.

At Perissa Beach and Perivolos Beach there were plenty of open restaurants and beach chairs. Most of the restaurants on the beach strip have beach chairs and umbrellas you can use while dining at their restaurant. It’s highly recommended to use them even if you are just buying drinks.

Since these two beaches connect, you have miles of beach (and restaurants) to choose from. Relax, grab a drink, and eat delicious gyros on the black sand beach.

Can You Swim in Santorini in May?

The water begins to warm up in May. The closer you get to June, there is a better chance you will be able to tolerate the water.

We were able to swim in the last week of May. At first we were hesitant, but the warm temperatures make it perfect.

Vlychada Beach, Santorini, Greece

Santorini in May Restaurants

Most restaurants in Santorini open up in April and May.

These restaurants will stay open all the way through October. It was very easy to get in restaurants for lunch. If you are trying to get dinner at a restaurant that features the sunset, you will need to reserve this ahead of time.

Some restaurants will raise their prices for dinner, especially if they have a sunset view.

Almost all restaurants in Santorini will accept casual clothes for their dress code. It is a very relaxed island unless you are going to a wedding.

What Do You Need to Pack for Santorini in May?

You will need to pack for both ends of the weather spectrum if you visit in May.

The days will be hot, with little to no clouds, and direct sun. While the evenings will be chilly after the sun goes down. Don’t forget this if your transportation is a 4-wheeler or any other vehicle without a windshield.

You will get very cold.

For a trip to Santorini in May, we recommend to bring the following items:

  1. Comfortable shoes – You will be doing a lot of walking in Santorini. Most of the parking for vehicles is away from the aciton, especially in Oia and Fira. We logged over 10,000 steps per day just being tourists.
  2. Sun protection – It is highly recommended that you bring lots of sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses. There are minimal clouds in May and the sun is directly beating down on you.
  3. Swimwear – If you are going to visit the beach, you will need swimwear. I doubt you will adventure to the water and not get in.
  4. Lightweight sweater – A lightweight sweater is a necessitiy this time of year. When the sun goes down, it gets chilly outside quick. If your mode of transporation is a 4-wheeler or UTV, this is a must.
  5. Shorts – During the day, it is hot in May. Shorts are recommended.
  6. Tanktops – Tanktops will make the breeze feel perfect. Especially if you are riding a 4-wheeler.
  7. Beach Sandals – We can’t stress this one enough. When the sun beats down on the black sand beaches the black is hot. Pair that with the volcanic rock, which is the foundation of the Santorini beaches, your feet will be sore without sandals.
  8. Cash & Credit Card – There are some places in Santorini that still do not accept Credit Cards. Most of the waiters and cab drivers like cash for their tips also. Santorini uses Euros. We converted ours before we left the United States at our local bank.
  9. Motorcycle Bandana – Adrienne said this was a crucial part of her everyday attire in Santorini. She used this while we rode the 4-wheeler from place to place. This bandana was able to keep her hair out of her face and kept well inside of the helmet she wore.
  10. Allergy Medicine – We both got very bad allergies when we went to Santorini. Not sure if it was something in the room, a tree, a flower, or something else. We went on an adventure trying to find allergy medicine at a Santorini pharmacy. If you can, it’s best to bring your own.


Is May a good time to visit Santorini?

May is one of the best months to visit Santorini. The high season is just beginning, so everything is open but the crowds are smaller than June, July and August!

How hot is Santorini in May?

The average temperature in May is a High of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is Santorini crowded in May?

Santorini is not extremely crowded, but people are starting to visit on planes and ferries. You will not have trouble getting in a restaurant or a spot on the beach. As always the best time to visit any place on the island is early in the morning.

Oia, Santorini in May
Oia, Santorini in May