Rhodes benefits from the desirable Mediterranean climate of hot, sunny summers and mild winters. The island’s 300 days of sunshine per year have helped make it the popular tourist destination it is today.
Rhodes enjoys long, hot summers where sunshine reigns and rainfall is very unlikely. This makes it the main tourist season for the island. June to September can be classed as the summer period. The average high temperature sits at 28°C at the beginning and end of the season, reaching a peak of 31°C in July and August. Day time temperatures can reach into the high 30s, usually if the sirocco wind from the Sahara blows bringing with it the hot, dry weather of the desert. The temperature rarely drops below 20°C even at night throughout the summer.Relief from the heat of the high summer comes to Rhodes in the form of the northwest Meltimi wind. This prevails from May till October and is strongest between July and September when it is most needed. Coastal areas receive the main benefit of the meltemi as it looses strength inland or is blocked by the mountainous terrain.
Rain is almost unheard of in the summer months, especially in July and August which average 0.1mm of rain each. June and September will see only one rainy day per month on average. Expect plenty of sunshine and hot weather during the summer, and make sure to pack your sun cream.
Autumn sees very pleasant temperatures. This makes it a good time to visit the island if you want fewer tourists or an energetic break – summer can be too hot for cycling around the island or other strenuous activities. The sea is still warm enough for swimming, remaining above 20°C until late November.
October has average daytime highs in the mid 20s and November in the low 20s. Temperatures don’t drop much below the mid teens even at night. The only negative point against an autumn visit is the increased chance of rain. However, October still only sees five rainy days on average and November seven. This is still low and the sun remains in ascendancy, but don’t be surprised if you get the odd downpour.Winter
Winters in Rhodes are mild but wet. On average, over 60% of the island’s annual rainfall falls between December and February. January is the wettest with 14 rainy days on average seeing 148mm of rain over the month. However, there are still many days when the weather is most favourable. A sunny day in December can see temperatures reaching up to 20°C. January and February are a little cooler but temperatures rarely drop too far into single figures. In general, Rhodes’ winters are more like a northern European spring, making it a popular place to escape the cold harsh winters of those regions.Spring
Spring has increasingly favourable weather conditions and reaps the rewards of the wet winter in terms of the blossoming landscape. Again, it’s much quieter than the busy summer months and temperatures are very comfortable. Things start to warm up again from March when average highs get into the high teens. By May daytime temperatures are in the mid 20s. Sunshine levels steadily climb and in May ten hours can be expected per day. March still sees a decent amount of rainfall, but it steadily decreases and by May rain is rare. A swim in the sea at this time can be a little bracing; the water doesn’t fully warm up until June.
The above weather tendencies mainly describe the coastal regions of Rhodes which are most popular with tourists. The inland, however, is hilly; its highest peak is over 1200m. The hills cause regional variation, adding to the expected effect of slightly more pronounced seasons away from the sea. The hilly regions see more rain as clouds have a greater chance of forming there and higher altitudes always receive cooler temperatures. The hills also slightly shelter regions in the south of the island so the south is generally a little warmer than the north.