What To Wear In Greece: Practical Summer Tips

If you’re travelling on your first trip to the Greek islands you’re probably wondering what to wear. Along with sorting out travel insurance and making sure you get credit card points for those long flights you also need to consider packing! Here I’m giving you something of an intro to what to wear in Greece in June – September timeframe.

My general tips when thinking about what to wear in Greece are to keep in mind are comfort and practicality. That doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish at the same time! But in peak season the average temperature can rise to over 40 degrees (celsius) in Greece. Although mainland Greece gets the brunt of the heat and it can be slightly cooler on the islands, Greek summer there still gets pretty hot.

The average temperature in the Cyclades in the summer, for example, is about 25 degrees. And in recent years it’s been a lot warmer than that. So you’ll want to dress in a way that lets you feel relaxed in the warm weather.

One thing you’ll notice when visiting the islands is the uneven ground in a lot of places. You’ll come across loads of steep steps, rough dirt paths, cobbles and the like. When you’re exploring pretty villages, venturing to ancient ruins and trekking up hills to get the most magnificent sunset view you’ll want to be dressed appropriately for the adventure.

Summer Wardrobe

Throughout the summer months, you’re basically fine with the same packing list. What you’ll want to wear in Greece in June until around mid-September doesn’t really change month to month.

And with a few additions (like a pair of jeans and a light jacket) you can make that same wardrobe see you through the shoulder season too. (End of April until May and then mid-September to October/November.)

Dressing Appropriately

As a European country, Greece is, on the whole, pretty relaxed in terms of dress code. With a few exceptions, most of the popular islands are laid back and everyone dresses fairly casually.

I’ve heard people from the USA say they like their lounge wear and find European style much more formal but remember that Greece isn’t Italy. Other than in Mykonos and Santorini you don’t need to worry too much about looking dressed up, you’re not taking part in a fashion show.

Churches and Monasteries

Unless you’re staying somewhere remote and staying in really conservative parts of Greece that aren’t used to tourists then the only places you’ll find a strict dress code are at the churches and monasteries. And, it’s important you do respect it at these religious buildings.

To enter a church or monastery in Greece usually means wearing over the knee trousers if you’re a man. Women need to cover their shoulders (a scarf will do) and wear a skirt. Some places might have sarongs at the entrance that you can wrap over your trousers/shorts but don’t count on it.

So, a sarong is a great addition to have in your bag. You can use it to cover up on the beach or for the religious places you come across while out and about.


Ok let’s start with footwear since I already mentioned how uneven it can be underfoot. Shoes can take up a lot of space in your luggage so everyone always wants to know what’s essential and what they can do without.

Ditch the Heels

First off, don’t bother bringing high heels. It’s just too precarious. It’s bad enough when you’re completely sober but after a couple of ouzos navigating steep steps and gravel paths is an accident waiting to happen.

Also, some of the ancient sites won’t let you in wearing them because of the damage the stiletto heels can cause. I’d stay away from high wedges too as you’ll be wobbling about all over the place.

Which Shoes SHOULD I Wear in Greece?

Glad you asked.

Comfortable Flat Sandals

Bring some flat sandals you can walk around in all day. I got some handmade Greek sandals and the soles are pretty thin. They’re great for a bit of walking or glamming up an outfit in the evening but they’re not comfortable all day.

When you’re on a day trip visiting various villages and archaeological sites you easily rack up your step count. So leave the ancient Greeks’ style behind and wear something with a decent sole and cushioning. You want to have a good time and you just can’t if you’re feet hurt.

Pretty Sandals

An easy way to take an outfit from day to night is to change from sport-type day sandals to something a bit more pretty or sparkly. So another pair of sandals is an option. However, they’re not a must.

For lots of places, you’ll be fine to wear one pair for everything. If you’re heading to Santorini, Mykonos or Sifnos you might want to pop another pair in your bag. They won’t take up much space but can help you feel a bit more glam.

Converse-like Trainers

Much of the year I like wearing trainers because they’re cushioned and comfortable for lots of walking on Greek paths. But in the warmer months, it’s just too much and my feet overheat.

However, a light summer-style trainer could be a good addition. Some people prefer them to sandals and wear them with dresses as well as shorts. If you decide to bring these too, make sure they have a decent sole.

The only thing I’d say is they often are light because they don’t have much padding. Like the Greek sandals, it can make doing a lot of walking a bit unpleasant. Also, just note that marble is abundant on some of the islands and if it’s used on the paths it can be quite slippy even when dry. These types of shoes can have little to no grip so just watch your step.

Flip Flops

A pair of flip flops is a great idea for wearing around your hotel and the pool. My personal preference are the ones made of rubber where the toe stem thing is an integrated part of the shoe. I find the foam ones last me about five minutes. Especially in Greece if you wear them down to the beach as well.

Water Shoes

If you know you’re going to be lounging exclusively on beaches with fine golden sand then don’t worry about water shoes. But if you like to explore and find some hidden beaches or you know you’re going somewhere a bit rockier then these are a good idea.

It just makes it a bit nicer not to cut your feet if you’re clambering in and out of the sea via rocks. Plus, sometimes I find the sand on some beaches really coarse and it hurts my feet walking to the water.

If you don’t know what things will be like until you get there you can wait and see. You can pick up water shoes in many of the tourist shops. So unless you’re going somewhere tiny you can buy some in Greece if you need them. They’re worth the small extra cost.

Hiking Shoes

Please don’t even attempt to do any hiking in July or August, it’s just too hot. Therefore you don’t need to take any hiking shoes. If you’re going to Greece at the beginning of June or from about

How Much Stuff to Take to Greece

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been banging on about how uneven the ground is on the Greece islands. The first time you visit you might get a bit of a shock at how difficult it can be to lug your suitcase around because of that.

If you’ve booked a transfer from the port or airport you don’t have to worry. Someone will come and collect you and your stuff and if you’re lucky take it all the way up to your hotel room for you.

If you’re getting the bus or hiring a car then bear in mind the trek up to your hotel or Airbnb and how much you’ll have to carry. The last time I was in Mykonos I traipsed up approximately 6 billion steps to my hotel. Santorini is worse. For this reason, I usually recommend that you travel light.

Having said that, if you’re getting stressed about squashing everything into a little bag then go for it with a decent-sized suitcase. Especially if you have one included in your flight ticket.

On the ferries, there’s basically no weight/size limit. (Believe me, I’ve seen all sorts being wheeled on!) And if you’re getting an internal flight to an island you can get 32kg allowance if you pick the right flight. So it’s really down to what you can, and are prepared to, carry.

If you’re staying for over a week you can always wash your clothes so that you have enough outfits for the duration of your stay. Book an Airbnb or apartment with a washer along the way. Or find a laundrette and let them take care of your washing. (Less touristy and smaller islands might not have a laundrette so check before you go.)

What to Wear in Greece in the Daytime

Beach Wear

Ok, one of the first things you’re going to put in your suitcase is some type of beachwear so you can enjoy all those gorgeous beaches and fun boat trips.

Swimsuits and bikinis are both fine. Although there are no official nudist beaches in Greece some islands do have one or two tucked away somewhere. You can go topless or do away with everything but make sure you have something to wear everywhere else!

The sea water temperature starts to heat up from May (when it can still be quite chilly) and hold its temperature through to early fall / autumn.

Sarongs are a versatile item that can be used in lots of ways. I’ve already mentioned going into churches. Obviously, on the beach, you can use a sarong to hide any areas you feel a bit less confident about.

You can also use one to wrap around your shoulders if you get cool in the evening. Or alternatively, on hot days when you’ve had enough sun, wrap it around your shoulders to keep the sun off you.

Take a decent sized beach bag to stuff everything into and don’t forget your reusable water bottle. (The ones with inbuilt filters are great so you can fill up with tap water.)

Summer Outfits

I think June – September is the best time to go to Greece in terms of a straightforward wardrobe. The best part is you know there are going to be warm, sunny days every day. So it’s easy to pull on a bikini and a sundress and off you go. Not like in the UK where we’re used to all four seasons on any given day!

Whatever you choose to take just make sure everything is made from light fabrics. Although the average temperatures on the islands don’t get as high as in the Greek capital the average high can still get up to around 30 degrees in the peak season.

Loose dresses are good options to help keep cool. Just be ready to grab your hem if you’re wearing a short summer dress on a windy island.

Suggested Pieces

Shorts and strappy / tank tops can be good for the windiest days. You can relax instead of constantly worrying about whether you’re just about to unintentionally expose yourself!

Maxi dresses or a flowy long skirt with a strappy vest can be nice for the Greek summers too and are better in the wind. Maxi dresses are a great option because you can wear them day and night. Just change up your accessories and sandals to get the look you want.

Tea dresses are great because they look smart and can give quite a bit of coverage. If you’re exploring the villages and know you’ll be in and out of lots of churches and monasteries. They’re usually a modest length and cover your shoulders and cleavage.

Your little black dress and other dressy items are really only necessary for places like Mykonos and Santorini. Even then if you pick well I think you can manage with your daytime stuff.

Cooling shorts are an absolute god-send if your thighs rub together even a tiny bit. You’re going to be in chaffed skin hell after all the walking if you don’t use them or a cream alternative. Trust me on this. I have these ones from Marks and Spencers and they’re pretty good.

Sunglasses, suncream and lip balm are other essential items to make up your outfit. Get that UV protection going on. Include a hat that gives your ears and neck proper coverage.

Outfit Extras

Accessories will help you go from day to night so pick some pieces that will help jazz up your dresses for an evening out.

One warmer layer can also be a good idea. June is a great time to visit Greece as it doesn’t get too cool in the evening during the high season. But if you’re there right at the beginning of the month or you’re sitting having a drink or a night out at an open-air cinema you might want a light layer.

I like those little shrug shoulder tops things as they give a bit of coverage without too much fabric. Having said that, you might prefer something long-sleeved. If you’re hopping about from island to island then the AC on the ferries can get a bit much.

Your Capsule Wardrobe (Or Not)

Don’t worry about having a perfectly put together holiday capsule wardrobe for Greece. However, if you can put some things together that mix and match well you’ll get more longevity from the pieces you do take. That’s an especially good idea if you’re only taking hand luggage.

Whether you like bright colors or want to choose a neutral color as your base it doesn’t matter. Just take pieces where lots of the colours or shades that work together. You’ll probably see lots of blue and white but take what you like based on your style type and personal preference.

Bags to Go With Your Outfit

Beach bag – already mentioned this but get something sizeable that will fit everything you want to take to the beach

Day bag – cross-body bags or backpacks are great so that you can be hands-free to look at souvenirs or steady yourself down those steep steps or up a lighthouse to see a fabulous sunset.

Bum bag (or fanny packs!) I actually use these quite often abroad. They keep all my personal items together and stop me from getting tan lines from the straps.

What Else Can I Leave Behind?

If your Greek vacation / holiday is in the height of the summer then don’t worry about the extra things like a light sweater /jumper, jeans or that pair of long pants / trousers you’d take for May or October. For the winter months, you do need a few more layers but not in the June – September period.

(Unless the jumper is your item you’re taking for the AC or to cover up after a day at the beach. I think a long-sleeved lightweight shirt might be the best choice at this time of year but decide for yourself what you’d prefer.)

Unless you’re getting married or partying in Mykonos to see and be seen, then I’d leave the hair straighteners at home too.

Enjoy Planning What to Wear in Greece

I hope that’s given you a better idea of what to pack to wear in Greece on holiday. Go to this post if you’d like a more detailed Greece packing list. And if you’re looking for travel guides to the islands you’re visiting, click the links under the Island Guides tab at the top of the page. I’ll be adding more throughout the year as I journey along my travel writer journey visiting every island.

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