Climate and Weather
A long summer of almost unending sunshine and virtually no rainfall makes the Ionian Islands popular as a holiday destination. The unspoilt island of Meganisi also offers good shelter from the prevailing northerly winds, although the afternoon and early evening katabatic winds can be brisk. Unlike the Aegean, the Ionian Islands do not suffer from the meltemi winds that can see yachts harbour bound for maybe a week or more.
Meganisi also enjoys significantly less average annual rainfall than other neighbouring islands, but can still be very wet for days at a time in winter - there is a reason why the landscape is relatively green! Spring and autumn can bring changeable weather with spells of intense rain and thunderstorms, but there are also many delightful days to be enjoyed during this period.
Early summer sees daytime temperatures ranging from the mid to high twenties with evening temperatures rarely falling below the high teens. Sea temperatures also rise through the summer, with an average of 23°C temperatures rise through July and August, reaching daytime highs in low to mid thirties, with an average of 10 hours sunshine per day. Water temperatures also rise but still offer sufficiently cool respite from the increasing heat. Shallower water near beaches can obviously be slightly warmer. Temperatures at night drop to 17°C - 20°C making evening strolls and al fresco dining very enjoyable.
Autumn sees a reduction in the number of hours of sunshine and during September daytime temperatures become a little more comfortable, although still in the high twenties, and the sea temperature hardly changes. There is an increased chance of rainfall, up to 65mm over 7 days, and thunderstorms are not uncommon - they usually pass fairly quickly though. Many people think September is one of the nicest months to visit the Ionian as the air temperature is still very warm, the sea temperature is still almost at its highest making swimming a joy and although there may be the odd wet day, there is much less rain than later in the year.
October and November bring a further gradual decrease in both air and sea temperatures, making getting about on foot easier. By mid November, serious hiking, rather than strolling, is a real option and although the rainfall rises significantly to an average of 167mm over 14 days, these inclement days are often interspersed with glorious ones of cloudless blue skies with 4 - 6 hours of warm sunshine.
Into winter and December sees the coolest, wettest days of the year, with average daytime temperatures of 15°C and nighttime averages of 7°C - frosts can be expected for a few days during the month, making central heating and/or a roaring log fire highly desirable! Rainfall increases to approximately 190mm over 15 days. However the Christmas period can often be very pleasant, and January & February bring a steady increase in air temperatures and hours of sunshine, whilst the sea temperature remains at a fairly brisk 15°C. Average rainfall declines steadily, although there can still be periods of heavy, sustained rain.
March heralds the arrival of spring and a further improvement in temperatures: 17°C is normal during the 7 hours of sunshine per day. April continues the theme of general improvement and by May, the daytime temperature averages 24°C, the nighttime temperature is a comfortable 13°C and the sea temperature rises above 20°C. The sun shines for up to 9 hours per day and there are typically only 4 wet days during the month.