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What to wear in the Greek Islands

What to wear in the Greek Islands

Are you wondering what to wear in the Greek Islands? The Greek Islands are a true bucket list destination. However due to their beautiful beaches, picture perfect towns and amazing archaeological sites they can be a challenge when your are looking at what to pack. In this guide will tell you exactly what to wear in the Greek Islands generally and in specific seasons.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in the Greek Islands along with some outfit inspiration we thought it would be worthwhile to talk about exactly where the Greek Islands iare, and how the seasons will affect your Greek Islands Packing List. 

Where are the Greek Islands?

Did you know that Greece has 227 islands?! Although many of these are uninhabited and little visited, there are plenty that are huge tourist draws from Crete to the tourist islands such as Santorini and Mykonos in the Cyclades Islands.

Woman in front of orthodox dress in Greece in summer

Although all of the Greek islands have similar fashion sensibilities and dress codes, it is worth check out each our our island and city specific guides as there are some regional differences:

So now you know where the Greek Islands are, what are the dress codes you should be aware of? 

Greek Island Dress Codes

Couple with Santorini in background
What to wear in the Greek Islands

As with many places in Greece, the Greek Islands don’t really have a dress code per se. As they are islands it should come as no surprise that lightweight resort wear can be seen throughout the Greek island beaches and towns.

However it is important to realise although coastal, you will find people on the Greek islands very fashionably dress.

Note: generally speaking peak season runs on the Greek Islands from April to October. In Winter you will find the Greek Islands somewhat deserted with far fewer tourists. However this comes with the downside of the weather not being as beach friendly and some of the amenities such as restaurants, bars and shops closed for the season.

Also if you are visiting the Greek Islands on a greek Island cruise, this will have its own dress code depending on the itinerary and cruise line. Therefore we recommend checking out on specific guide on what to wear on a Greek Island cruise for more information.

How do local people dress in the Greek Islands?

Streets of Oia Santorini

The locals on the Greek Islands know that the key to dressing in particular for summer, is picking outfits that can cope with the heat but also wind. 

You will find loose and flowing dresses and skirts are very much in fashion throughout Greece. Many of the shops on the Greek Islands will be selling plenty of summer dresses in loose styles. So if you want to fit in with the locals this sort of style is a great choice.

And you can never go wrong with linen whether you are a man or woman in any of the Greek Islands.

However it is worth noting that many of the islands experience a lot of wind especially on the cliffs in Santorini or on the island of Mykonos where the wind is legendary and is why the island has so many windmills.

Considerations for your Greek Island Packing List

Woman in red dress and hat with Santorini in background
What to wear in the Greek islands

Before we get onto the exact items to include to make up your Greek Island outfits, we thought is would be worth outlining some considerations for your packing list. These are:

Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics are your best friend in the Greek Islands.

Cottons, silks and linen are well known for being more breathable than man made fabrics and are Greek styles to go for. Linen in particular is very in fashion among locals and tourists alike on the Greek Islands. 

Pack Light

If you plan on island hopping in Greece, which is an absolute must do in my opinion, I urge you to pack light.

Nothing can spoil the island hopping experience than having to lug heavy luggage onto multiple ferries. 

For more information on how to pack light for the Greek Islands in Summer we recommend checking out our guide on the 5 4 3 2 1 packing method which will help you create the perfect Greece Capsule Wardrobe.

What to Wear in the Greek Islands in Summer (June, July and August)

Woman in Santorini in Maxi dress and hat

Many people visiting the Greek Island choose to do so in the summer months of June, July and August.

However the peak season for the Greek Island runs from April to October.

Throughout the Greek Islands you can expect the weather to be largely sunny with bright blue skies and very little rain. In fact some of the islands like Santorini record 0mm of rain over summer.

Temperatures in the Summer on the Greek Islands tend to hover in the mid 20s/high70s but it is not uncommon for days to go over 30C/86F.

As such we would recommend putting the below on your summer Greek Island packing list:

Maxi Dresses

As I mentioned above there is lots of beach wear and resort wear seen on the Greek Islands. For this reason I think maxi dresses are one of the best things to wear when touring the Greek Islands in Summer. 

Loose and flowing dresses are great for the Greek Islands and more suitable thantight fitting ones made of man made fabrics as they will keep you cooler. They are also great for wearing down on the beach and out for dinner. 

You will also find this style sold a lot on the island shops so is a great thing to help you not look like a tourist on the Greek Islands.

Maxi Skirts 

Maxi Skirts are also great for pairing with T shirts and Tank tops in the Greek Islands.

Tank Tops and T Shirts 

These are perfect for out exploring on the Greek Islands whether on the beach, towns or on the archaeological sites.

These can be paired with skirts or shorts and for me shorts and a tee are he best things for hikes and archaeological sites like the Palace of Knossos.

However please note if you plan to visit a Greek church you should have something to cover your shoulders. For this reason I also recommend always having a pashmina with you.

Trousers and Blouse

Couple in Crete at Sunset
What to wear in Crete at night

Trousers and blouses are a great alternative to maxi dresses for exploring towns and having dinner as they are a great day to night transition outfit. 

Linen trousers are popular with the locals and are good in the hot weather. And trousers and blazers are definitely easier to wear on windy evenings when dresses can get swept up especially on the cliffs of Santorini or generally on the Island of Winds the nickname of Mykonos.


I never travel anywhere in Europe without a pashmina but find one particularly handy in Greece. Pashminas are great in the evenings in case you get chilly dining al fresco, or cold as you watch one of the world’s most famous sunsets which Santorini is renowned for and can also be used to make an outfit more modest for visiting churches in Greece. 


Shorts are great for Santorini both on the beach, historical sites and in towns. I personally like wearing shorts when doing activities in Greece.


Couple by pool in swimwear overlooking caldera in Santorini

If you are visiting the Greek Islands in Summer chances are you will be spending time on beaches, boats, or around a hotel pool. Therefore you will want to have some stylish swimwear with you. 

Generally speaking there are no dress code on public beaches in Greece. However it is worth checking if you plan to go to private beach clubs.

However on the beaches I have been to on the Greek Islands I have seen one pieces and bikinis so think you can wear the style of swimwear that you feel most comfortable in.

Depending on how long you plan to spend on the beach here depends on how many pieces of swimwear you will need for your Greek Island vacation. However I would recommend packing at least two swimwear pieces so one can be drying while you are wearing the other if you are going to the islands for a week.

Beach Cover 

Most people on the Greek Islands when not swimming or sunbathing will put on a beach cover to head to bars or local amenities. For this reason you should pack one to two beach covers with you for a weeks vacation in Greece.

Sun Hats

Sun hats are a staple on any Greek summer packing list. Be sure to pick a wide brimmed straw hat instead of a baseball cap to fit more in with the locals.

I recommend bringing a wide brimmed hat – as wide as you feel comfortable in, as the wider the hat the more sun protection it will provide you.


Goes without saying 


We recommend packing lightweight PJs as not all accommodation in Greece will have air conditioning (hotels are far more likely to have it than island AirBnBs).

Note: If you want to know what to wear in the Greek Islands for men I recommend packing a mixture of chinos and linen trousers and some smarter shorts alongside plain t shirts and polos and short sleeve shirts for summer. 

What to Wear to the Greek Islands in Spring (March, April, May)

Depending on what time in Spring and which Greek Island you are visiting will depend on how hot the temperatures are. 

The Cyclades Islands tend to be warmer than Crete and Mainland Greece.

April really kicks off the peak tourist season throughout the Greek Island and you may find March too cold to be spending too much time on the beach no matter which island you are on.

For this reason we recommend packing the same as the summer, though you may need less in terms of swimwear as the weather may be too cold with a few added layers such as a sweater, cardigan or hoodie.

Your Spring Island packing list should include the same as the summer but also include:


Evenings in the Greek Island in Spring can be cold so be sure to add a cardigan to pair to your dress and trousers outfits. 

Sweater / Hoodie

This is great for exploring the islands in Spring. However if you feel the cold it is a good idea to keep this on your list for any Spring month. 


This may be needed if you are visiting the islands in March especially for when you are on the cliff tops watching the sunset etc.


The earlier in Spring you are visiting, the less amount of swimwear and beach covers you will need.

What to Wear to the Greek Islands in Fall (September, October and November)

Woman in shorts and T shirt sitting on wall in Santorini

What to wear to in the Greek Islands in Fall and Autumn is very similar to what to wear in the Summer. 

In particular, if you are visiting the islands in September you can pretty much select the same outfits as you would in August as the temperatures are very similar. 

Also you will find the sea temperature in Fall is higher than in Spring as is still comfortable to swim in, especially in September.

Of all the Fall months only November and late October can be counted as coo.

For this reason you will want cardigans and sweaters on your packing list, and in November you may even need a jacket.

What to Wear on the Greek Islands in Winter (December, January and February)

View of Venetian Fort in Heraklion Crete

The Greek Islands can be cold in Winter and it definitely isn’t beach weather or warm enough to go swimming in the sea or in an unheated pool

Also you will find that across the islands many of the local businesses such as restaurants, shops and bars will shut in the off-peak season.

The only upside to visiting at this time is that there are far fewer people and accommodation will be cheaper.

Therefore we recommend abandoning the summer packing list and wearing the below to the Greek Islands in Winter instead. 

Jacket/Coat, waterproof

You will definitely want a warm jacket for the Greek Islands in Winter. And depending on which island you are going to you may want a coat or something with waterproofing. Check the regional guides for more information on coat thickness on the individual Greek Islands.

Cardigans, Sweaters and Top Layers

We recommend packing a few different types of top layers with you for instance a combination of cardigans, sweaters and hoodies of different weights so you have enough variety in case of a very cold snap. 

Long Sleeve Tops 

It is unlikely you will be wearing short sleeve t shirts in the Greek Islands in Winter. Long sleeve t shirts and blouses are therefore a much better choice for this region. 

We recommend packing a variety of long sleeve tops and blouses with you including some smarter ones for dinners if you are visiting in the Winter months of December, January and February.


Although linen trousers are perfect for the Greek Islands in Summer and the shoulder seasons, they are too lightweight for Winter visitors to the region. Instead we recommend packing jeans. But if you plan on going on long hikes then we recommend packing waterproof walking trousers.

And thick wool trousers are perfect for evenings out.


Dresses are really only for the evenings on the Greek Islands in Winter as it is quite chilly. Just remember to pack tights to go alongside your dress as it is too cool for bare legs on the islands in Winter at night.


I never go to Greece without one. But it is a handy extra layer for Winter visitors. 


Goes without saying 


A slightly heavier weight pair are better in Winter.

Best Shoes for the Greek Islands


Sneakers are great for the Greek Islands whatever time of year you visit them.

They can cope with the warmer weather (if you pick a light weight and breathable pair – at the minute my favorite brand is the AllBirds Tree Runners, however this is personal choice). They are also good for your feet on uneven surfaces such as those at archaeological sites and for walking up steep terrain such as you find at Oia on the island of Santorini.

Note: if you plan on doing any longer length hikes then you may need hiking shoes. 

However we do recommend wearing sneaker socks with them to reduce sweat and odour in your shoe if you are wearing them in summer. 


Sandals are a definite must for the Greek islands in summer. However due to the terrains you encounter in the Greek islands I would pick a pair with arch support and without a heel. 

Espadrilles or wedges are a great evening shoe choice particularly for nicer restaurants. 

Flip Flops (Optional)

Flip flops are not good for walking, especially on the steep terrains such that you get in Santorini. However if there is space in your case you may want to pack a pair of flip flops for round your hotel pool or on the beach.

Water Shoes (optional)

Water shoes are optional depending on which of the Greek Islands you are visiting and whether that island has sandy or rocky/pebble beaches.

For instance The beaches in Santorini are rocky and pebbly, as they are made from Volcanic rock. Therefore I advise taking water shoes to firstly protect your feet against hot volcanic sand and secondly to protect them from sharp edges.

While the beaches in Mykonos are renowned for their beautiful sand. Therefore the need for water shoes are much reduced. Personally I would only take water shoes for Mykonos if I were traveling with children in the peak of summer and was worried about the heat of the sand of their feet.

What Else to add to your Greek Island Packing List

Santorini Village in June

Now you know what you should wear on the Greek Islands we will turn our attention to what else you should pack for any Greek Island vacation

  • Sunscreen
  • Aftersun cream
  • Insect Repellant
  • Phone / Camera
  • Charger 
  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable Water bottle
  • Toiletries
  • Beach bag

It is also worth noting that it is possible to buy toiletries on the greek islands however you may pay a premium for them. However if you plan on island hopping, it may be easier to buy them locally as you don’t want to be carrying lots of heavy cases with you on ferries.

FAQs About What to wear in the Greek Islands

So now you know what to wear in the Greek Islands season by season we will answer some of your more specific questions.

What to wear in the Greek Islands at night?

The Greek Islands are a relatively casual place in the evenings. Therefore we recommend sticking with a maxi dress for going out at night in the Greek Islands.

If you can dress it up with an accessory such as a pashmina or some costume jewellery, it will make it a great day to night transition piece.

Some of the islands are more renowned for their night life than others. For instance Mykonos and Rhodes are more known for its nightlife than say Santorini so they will have a different style for clubs and other night life.

Please see the local guides for more information.

What is the best color to wear in the Greek Islands?

Couple sitting on a wall in Santorini in Greece
What to wear to Santorini

The Cyclades Islands are some of the most beautiful and instagrammable places in the world. That is because of the beautiful white washed buildings they are famed for.

If you want to take some amazing photos here then you want to select your color pallet carefully.

If you really want to pop on pictures in the Greek Islands we think you should add some bright colors to your Greek capsule wardrobe packing list such as bright red, pink, yellow or green. Or adding some bright blue against the white walls is another great choice.

Although whites and blues are very common colors to wear in Greece generally, it is nice to mix it up with a few bright pieces.

Do I need a jacket in the Greek islands?

If you are visiting the Greek Islands in Summer then a jacket likely won’t be necessary however if you are visiting in Winter or Early Spring a jacket is a good addition to your packing list. And on some islands a coat is a good idea in the Winter months

Are there mosquitos in the Greek islands?

Yes there are mosquitos on the Greek Islands however it depends on which you are going to as to how bad they are. For instance Santorini being at altitude has fewer than Crete. However we recommend bringing some insect repellant with you just in case as well as some long sleeves and trousers if you plan to dine outside next to water.

Do you have a question about what to wear in the Greek Islands that we haven’t answered? Drop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer.