What’s the weather like in Zante?
Zante is the southernmost of the Ionian Islands, located just west of mainland Greece, looking out towards Italy. Actually in the Ionian Sea, Zante shares a Mediterranean climate with many of its Greek island counterparts, meaning long, hot and dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
This rain in the cooler months gives Zante its lush, green good looks and helps the native olive, currant and grape crops to thrive. Gentle north-western winds provide a welcome relief in the summer heat and also make for top windsurfing conditions. And Zante is protected from the cold northern winter winds by the Central Greek mountains.
Spring in Zante lasts from March to May, and is when the months become drier after winter and temperatures start to warm up towards the toasty summer heat.
Average highs reach 16°C in March, 19°C in April, and warm up nicely to 23°C in May.
May is often so dry and warm it crosses over into a summer month, with the exception of cooler night-time temperatures and still-chilly sea water. If you don’t mind these factors, May is a top time to enjoy Zante’s fine weather with less crowds than peak summer months.
As we move into June, the thermometer can get up to 28°C in Zante, and stays at this level or hotter all the way through to September, with next to no chance of rain. The hottest months of the year are July and August, when average highs hit 31°C, and July is the sunniest month, serving up no fewer than 13 hours of sunshine per day.
At night, you don’t even have to layer up, as the temperature stays at around 20°C – perfect for al fresco dinners and twilight strolls by the shore. The sea has also warmed up nicely by now, so you can swim at 26°C in August.
If you’re planning a boat trip to the popular Navagio Beach, or Shipwreck Beach as it’s known, you should be advised that the water here stays cooler. That’s due to the deep sea shaded by cliffs and cooling northwest winds, which are strongest in the afternoon.
For swimming in calmer waters this time of year, head to the beaches on the south of the island instead. And if you’re going by boat to see the turtles, avoid a late afternoon trip when the winds are strongest, causing waves.
Zante’s autumn months still provide plenty of warmth, but this is when the weather is gearing up towards winter wetness, so October and November are warm but rainy. October averages in with highs of 23°C and November follows behind with 19°C, but the marked increase in rain means you can expect short storms every few days.
If you’d like to try some active sports while in Zante, or tick off lots of sightseeing when the temperatures aren’t at their peak, give autumn a go. Just remember to pack a light rain mac or umbrella for your days out, or alternatively duck into a nearby taverna until the rain passes.
In comparison to the UK, Zante winters – between December and February – are still mild. However, what summer lacks in rainfall, winter makes up for – the wettest month December gets 170 mm of rain.
There’s minimal tourism over winter and many hotels close for the season, so if you are staying here over winter you’ll get the island almost to yourself. You can enjoy it with average highs of 16°C in December and 14°C in January and February, getting down to around 8°C at night.