Your guide to a year in Greece: plan your trip to make the most of the country’s historic sites, without battling the crowds.

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Avoid crowds while visiting major sites Greece it is not easy.

Last summer, police were even deployed to the Acropolis in Athens to help manage more than 17,000 visitors each day.

Yet with its countless festivals, natural beauty and multitude of historical monuments, you don’t have to limit visits to peak periods.

It truly is a year-round destination…

JANUARY: WELL-BEING IN MYSTRAS

Here's where to go in Greece for each month of the year.  Mystras (pictured) is best for January

Here’s where to go in Greece for each month of the year. Mystras (pictured) is best for January

In the heart of the Peloponnese, this ancient Byzantine capital and walled mountain town is full of cobblestones, breathtaking frescoes and relics of ruined palaces and monasteries.

How to do: Doubles at Euphoria Retreat Hotel from £364 B&B; Athens Airport is a two and a half hour drive (euphoriaretreat.com).

FEBRUARY: PATRAS FESTIVAL

A visit to Patras, here, is recommended in February when the city hosts “four weeks of carnival”

A visit to Patras, here, is recommended in February when the city hosts “four weeks of carnival”

There are four weeks of carnival in February as Greece’s third-largest city bustles with parties while street vendors sell souvlaki.

Patras is home to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, with the apostle’s relics.

How to do: Doubles from £112 B&B at Bold Type Hotel; Athens Airport is a two and a half hour drive (theboldtypehotel.com).

MARCH: CALM IN ATHENS

Perfect planning: visit Athens in March and you won't have to worry about crowds

Perfect planning: visit Athens in March and you won’t have to worry about crowds

It’s the perfect time to visit the Greek capital.

On March 25, patriotic Athenians commemorate the Greek War of Independence with a large military parade: quite a spectacle. Hike Lycabettus Hill to enjoy the blooms.

How to do: Doubles from £382 B&B at Dolli Hotel, with Acropolis views; fly to Athens (thedolli.com).

APRIL: DIRECTION TO HYDRA

Car-free island of Hydra hosts Easter celebrations and processions in April

Car-free island of Hydra hosts Easter celebrations and processions in April

Experience the start of Greece’s Easter celebrations on this car-free island.

Watch the processions of “Epitafios” draped in flowers (an imitation of Christ’s funeral bier), dipped into the sea to bless the water on Good Friday.

How to do: Doubles from £215 B&B at Mandraki Beach Resort; fly to Athens and take a 95-minute ferry from the Athens port of Piraeus (mandrakibeachresort.com).

MAY: PERFECT IN PARGA

Late spring is the perfect time to visit Parga, in northwest Greece.

Late spring is the perfect time to visit Parga, in northwest Greece.

Between dizzying mountains and a scanning bay, the town of Parga in northwest Greece, is an ideal base for a late spring hike.

How to do: Doubles from £120 B&B at Racconto Boutique Design Hotel; Thessaloniki airport is four hours away (racconto-hotel.com).

JUNE: CHARMING CORINTH

Take a boat trip along the Corinth Canal, pictured, in the June sunshine

Take a boat trip along the Corinth Canal, pictured, in the June sunshine

Monuments include the Acrocorinth, the soaring acropolis of ancient Corinth.

Or enjoy a boat ride along the Corinth Canal, a geological curiosity that separates the Peloponnese from mainland Greece, with a stopover at Mycenae.

How to do: Doubles from £223 B&B at Isla Brown Hotel; Athens airport is 1 hour 15 minutes away (brownhotels.com).

JULY: MUSIC IN NAFPLIO

Plan your trip to Nafplio to coincide with its classical festival, which takes place in July.

Plan your trip to Nafplio to coincide with its classical festival, which takes place in July.

As the original capital of Greece, this medieval city is brimming with history. Take a boat trip to Bourtzi, the 15th-century castle. The Nafplio Classical Festival takes place in July.

How to do: Doubles from £137 B&B at 3Sixty Hotel; Athens airport is a two-hour drive (3sixtyhotel.gr).

AUGUST: HIGH IN IOANNINA

Fly to Ioannina in August to explore its monasteries and winding streets with craft stalls.

Fly to Ioannina in August to explore its monasteries and winding streets with craft stalls.

Ioannina is a pretty mountainous university town on the banks of Lake Pamvotis. A ten-minute boat ride from Ioannina, you’ll discover monasteries and winding streets with craft and food stalls.

How to do: Doubles from £138 B&B at Hôtel du Lac; Prevesa Airport is 90 minutes away by car (hoteldulac.gr/fr).

SEPTEMBER: CRETE TREATMENT

The island of Crete, pictured, is recommended for the month of September

The island of Crete, pictured, is recommended for the month of September

The bustling port of Elounda feels authentically Greek. From the port, you can take a 20-minute boat ride to the island of Spinalonga, once a leper colony. You should also visit the sunken city of Olous.

How to do: Doubles from £193 B&B at Domes Aulus Elounda; Heraklion Airport is an hour’s drive away (hilton.com).

OCTOBER: THESSALONIKI

Thessaloniki's culinary scene is not to be missed.  Above, zucchini flowers sold in one of its markets

Thessaloniki’s culinary scene is not to be missed. Above, zucchini flowers sold in one of its markets

Greece’s second city is a gastronomic and lively paradise. Visit the archaeological museum and the Saint-Démetrios church.

How to do: Doubles from £124 B&B at Teight Hotel; fly to Thessaloniki (teighthotel.gr).

NOVEMBER: SANTORINI

As summer crowds thin, November reveals a different side of Santorini

As summer crowds thin, November reveals a different side of Santorini

Enjoy this volcanic island when it is calm. Visit Akrotiri as well as Kallistis, a hilltop village surrounded by vineyards.

How to do: Doubles from £147 B&B at Aqua Luxury Suites; land at Santorini airport (aquasuites.gr).

DECEMBER: MAINALO

Visit Mount Mainalo for skiing in December.  Stay at Villa Vager from £98

Visit Mount Mainalo for skiing in December. Stay at Villa Vager from £98

Mount Mainalo in the Peloponnese is one of the oldest ski resorts in the country. Breathe in the fresh mountain air as you walk along trails, bridges and through villages.

How to do: Doubles from £98 B&B at Villa Vager; Kalamata Airport is a 90-minute drive (hotelvager.gr).

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