Best time to visit Crete

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Crete

Best time of year to visit Crete

The best time to visit Crete runs from late May to June and from September to early October. Late spring brings fantastic flower blooming, sunny days, and warm water by pink and white sand beaches. Early autumn offers fewer crowds, affordable accommodation, and winemaking season. Hot summer from July to August sees insane tourist traffic as well as higher prices. It is known not only for Greek salad and frappe but for long queues to the main attractions, so start your day earlier. Low season from November through February and shoulder season in March–April are usually rainy, but a pack of amazing festivals and Rethymno Carnival are a great compensation. Also, temperatures and room rates drop, and so do the tourist numbers.

22 THINGS TO DO IN CRETE (SEPTEMBER 01 - SEPTEMBER 10)

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

late May–October • nature

Visit some of the wonderful Greek beaches, which are home to the adorable Caretta turtles

Pink Sand Beaches

Pink Sand Beaches

May–October • nature

Witness the amazing work of Mother Nature while visiting the Elafonissi and Balos pink beaches

Hiking in Samaria Gorge National Park

Hiking in Samaria Gorge National Park

May–October • activity

Samaria Gorge National Park is a place with incredibly stunning nature, waterfalls, lakes, ancient settlements, and unique flora and fauna

Lefka Ori Hike (The White Mountains)

Lefka Ori Hike (The White Mountains)

May–October • activity

These snowy mountains are waiting for you in sunny Crete

Knossos Minoan Palace

Knossos Minoan Palace

April–May | September–mid-October • activity

Feel the real ancient atmosphere in the heart of Minoan civilization

Crete Beach Season

Crete Beach Season

May–October • activity

Enjoy plenty of swimming and sunbathing spots on the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea

Summer Coffee (Frappe)

Summer Coffee (Frappe)

May–September • food

Solving the biggest summer struggle of coffee lovers since 1957

Wildlife Watching

Wildlife Watching

April–October • nature

Crete is home to all kinds of endemic wildlife

Fig Season

Fig Season

mid-August–November • food

Juicy, sweet, and fresh figs must be on your bucket list for Crete

Fruit Season

Fruit Season

May–October • food

Hot greek summers would be incomplete without a juicy fruit plate

Wildflower Season

Wildflower Season

March–October (best in April–May) • nature

Discover flower species that grow exclusively in Crete

Winemaking Season

Winemaking Season

late August–early October • activity

There is no meal without a glass of amazing Cretan wine. Tasting tours run all year round, whereas grape stomping experience is available just once in a while—don't miss it!

Birdwatching Season

Birdwatching Season

mid-March–mid-May | September–October • nature

Crete hosts more than 400 different bird species, ensuring a great birdwatching experience

Honey Season

Honey Season

June–August • food

Learn about honey making with locals and try delicious Cretan honey

Diving and Snorkelling

Diving and Snorkelling

April–October • activity

Crete offers an exciting underwater odyssey with lots of unique objects, flora, and fauna

Fishing

Fishing

all year round  • activity

If you are a sea and nature fan, don't miss this chance to enjoy fishing during your vacation in Crete

Hiking

Hiking

May–June | September–October • activity

This is the best way to discover Crete and its amazing nature

Grape Harvest

Grape Harvest

mid-August–early October • food

Guess how many kinds of grapes exist in Crete? Almost 40! Don't miss your chance to try them all

Sailing

Sailing

April–November • activity

Spend a relaxing vacation exploring the beautiful Mediterranean by boat

Greek Salad (Horiatiki Salata)

Greek Salad (Horiatiki Salata)

June–August • food

Greece is the homeland of the famous Greek salad—a traditional dish of Crete villages

Windsurfing

Windsurfing

May–October • activity

Are you ready for breaking waves in Crete?

Sardine Season

Sardine Season

July–August  • food

In fishermen's villages, people eat sardines every day, which is perhaps the secret to Greek longevity

15 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Rethymno Carnival

Rethymno Carnival

January 30–March 02, 2020 | March 01, 2020 (Grand Parade) • event

A glorious event where the whole town becomes one big family

Holy Week & Greek Easter

Holy Week & Greek Easter

April 16–19, 2020 • event

Feel the real spirit of Crete during the biggest religious holiday in the country

Drosoulites of Frangokastello Castle

Drosoulites of Frangokastello Castle

late May–early June • activity

Have you ever seen a mirage? This one is so real that it has confused people for hundreds of years

The Tour of Crete

The Tour of Crete

May 10–15, 2020 • event

A great chance to test yourself and partake in a challenging bicycle holiday among the beauty of Crete

Olive Harvest

Olive Harvest

mid-November–January • activity

When visiting Crete during winter, witness and partake in the olive picking holidays

Matala Beach Festival

Matala Beach Festival

June 19–21, 2020 • event

An awesome event where you can learn about alternative living and philosophy

Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival

Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival

late October–early November • activity

Sweet roasted chestnuts, a beautiful, elated atmosphere, and local spirits await you in Crete in the fall

Tsikoudia (Cretan Raki)

Tsikoudia (Cretan Raki)

October–mid-December • food

Autumn is the best time to discover Cretan spirits traditions—try local alcohol and learn to make it on your own

Lemon and Orange Season

Lemon and Orange Season

January–March • food

Do you know the real taste of Crete? Just try its citrus fruits

Rakomelo

Rakomelo

December–February • food

A strong local spirit that warms up the heart and body

Melomakarona—Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

Melomakarona—Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

early December–early January • food

Christmas in Greece won't be complete without these traditional festive sweets!

Oxi Day

Oxi Day

October 28 • event

Visit the biggest national holiday in Greece with lots of parades and festive events

Kourampiedes (Kourabiethes)—Greek Christmas Butter Cookies

Kourampiedes (Kourabiethes)—Greek Christmas Butter Cookies

early December–early January • food

During Christmas vacation in Greece, try these delicious traditional butter cookies which look like small snowballs

Roasted Lamb

Roasted Lamb

April 19, 2020 • food

This traditional Easter dish is popular all over Crete

Wild Greens (Horta)

Wild Greens (Horta)

February–April • food

Dreaming of long life and perfect skin? Try these delicious wild greens from Crete

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Crete weather in January

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January in Crete is usually damp and windy. This month is considered to be one of the coldest months and is also much quieter than the more popular tourist season. January can see some glorious sunny days, a wide range of temperatures but also some heavy rain too. Up to 14 days of heavy rain if to be precise. The rainfall can be relentless, torrential, and might last for two or three days. Temperatures in the hills can be considerably lower. You’ll might even find snow on top of the mountains on a clear day. The beach towns completely die out in January. The sea is cold, but that doesn't stop the locals from swimming. As the clear blue sky and pleasant temperatures are possible in Crete throughout January, why not packing the essentials such as jeans, warm hoody, and a thin jacket only instead of a heavy winter coat.

Crete weather in February

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The February weather in Crete is usually quite uncertain with warm sunny days and clear blue skies interspersed with high winds, storms, and heavy rainfall. The chances of rain during this month can be quite high, with drenching downpours being an identity for February weather in Crete. The last winter month is deemed to be one of the coldest months as well. Throughout this time, Crete faces average temperatures falling around the 12 °C (53.6 ℉) mark. Temperatures in mountain areas can be considerably cooler, but the marvelous views of the snow-covered peaks worth it. The sea is at its coldest throughout a year, with an average temperature of around 15 °C. If you plan visiting Crete in February, mind bringing a warm waterproof coat, boots, and thermal underwear with you. Generally, pack everything that will make you feel comfortable during some chilly winter nights.

Crete weather in March

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Although March in Crete is still fresh and slightly rainy, it can also be a wonderful time of a year. You can be easily gratified with some delightful days which are getting sunnier and warmer little by little. That's why flora and fauna are usually abundant at this time. The average temperatures in Crete throughout a month falling around 14 °C (57.2 ℉). Temperatures in mountain areas can be considerably cooler. The sea is starting slightly to warm up but still cold anyway. If you plan hiking or sightseeing in Crete in March, pack for some rain and chilly nights. Warm waterproof clothes and proper footwear might come in handy.

Crete weather in April

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Crete is impressive in April. The sun gets warmer, and the days get longer as they go by. The weather can be quite unpredictable with sudden light rainfall that passes quickly; however, April is generally drier than in March. The temperatures are often comfortable enough for beach activities, and they progress even more by the end of the month. It is a bit cooler in the mountain areas, and you still can witness snow-covered peaks of Crete. The sea is warming up again, but it is still uncomfortable for swimming. By the end of April, beach towns are usually open. The night temperatures are often low, so pack for your trip to Crete accordingly. Colder nights demand warm coats and suitable footwear. Even thermal underwear might help.

Crete weather in May

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There are two different Mays on Crete: early May with a probability of cool days and late May with days being consistently bright and warm—and sometimes even hot. It is normally sunny throughout a month, with around five clear blue sky days in a week. Temperatures rise as the month goes by, and they can vary from low 15 °C (59 ℉) to high 26 °C (79 ℉). The night temperatures are getting milder by the lapse of May as well. Rainfall during this time is a rare occasion in Crete and might happen in the form of light showers that pass quickly. The sea is pleasant enough to swim in it or pool during May as the waters are getting warmer. However, the weather is considerably colder in the mountain areas. As the sun shines brightly in Crete throughout May, sunscreen and sunglasses might be the foremost essential to pack with you. Even though the evenings might be balmy, a thin jacket, sweater or hoodie might be the right decision.

Crete weather in June

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June weather in Crete is enjoyable. It's not that hot which makes sunbathing on the beaches and swimming in the sea "close to perfect" activity. Throughout the month, the island sees balmy weather with temperatures varying from 18 °C (64 ℉) to 28 °C (82 ℉) with an average of 24 °C (75 ℉). Constant sunshine and insignificant rainfall—that's what Crete can offer during this time, so you'd better use air conditioning to cool off in the daytime. Anyway, the temperatures mountain areas are still fresh. Don't forget bringing a sunscreen and swimming suit when packing for a trip to Crete in June. Shorts, t-shirts, dresses and other light clothes might help you to beat with possible heat.

Crete weather in July

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July is considered to be one of the hottest and the busiest months on the island and is all about the beach resort holiday in Crete. The weather is fantastic, with a lot of sunshine each day, and no even a cloud in the sky. July temperatures in Crete sometimes past the 29 °C (84 ℉) mark, but a northerly breeze, called Meltemi or Etesians, usually cools the air a little. Relevant to add that the rainfall on the island is a rare occasion. The sea temperatures are perfect for enjoying a refreshing cool off after sunbathing under the scorching sun. There are no better things to pack for a trip in July that a swimming suit, sunscreen, and sunglasses. These are the main essentials. As for the main outfit, shorts, dresses and t-shirts might come in handy.

Crete weather in August

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August weather in Crete is even scorching, with constant sunshine, clear blue sky, and occasional warm winds. This island is brilliant for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying themselves in the bars throughout a month. The sea warms up sizably and reaches its highest mark of the year. The air temperatures sometimes even soaring past the 30 °C (86 ℉) throughout July, with rainfall being an unusual occurrence. The average temperature in Crete during this time is 26 °C (79 ℉). You will always find the cooler temperatures in the mountain area. If you decided to spend August vacation in Crete, mind that the sun can be quite aggressive, so mind packing a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Swimming suit and light-weight clothes might be your best outfit.

Crete weather in September

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Don't miss September in Crete! Even though it marks the end of the summer, it is less busy, and the weather is still hot and sunny enough to enjoy the beaches. Throughout a month, sea temperatures are pleasant around the island, like in a warm bath. The days might be sweltering, the winds vanish, and there is a probability of a shower or two. However, they usually pass quickly. The average air temperatures in July fall around the 24 °C (75 ℉) mark. The evening and night temperatures in Crete are still mild enough not to wear a cardigan or a thin jacket. The mountain areas show a bit of colder weather. You will still need summer essentials to spend September in Crete. Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and swimsuit must be at the top of your packing list to protect yourself from a scalding sun. Bringing light clothes is a normal state of things, and an umbrella won't hurt as well.

Crete weather in October

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October in Crete gets quieter and means the start of the fall. Many of the beaches are less crowded than in summer, and the prices are significantly lower. The weather is hot enough to enjoy the beach activities, but not too intolerable for those who prefer sightseeing or hiking. The air temperatures can vary from around low 16 °C (61 ℉) to a high 24 °C (75 ℉) with pleasant evenings. The sea temperatures are still very agreeable as well. However, mind that the rainfall and cooler temperatures are very probable. There can be teeming rainfall on Crete in October: some of them short-lived and some enduring a day or two. If you are heading to the mountainous region, mind that it is considerably cooler there. Bring light clothes with you, as the October weather in Crete allows that. But also mind packing a warm jumper and waterproof poncho just in case.

Crete weather in November

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November marks the end of the dry season and the start of the wet one in Crete. However, the beginning of the month still can see some dry and sunny weather with clear skies. The sea temperatures on the island make the water comfortable for water activities, with beaches being almost deserted. Air temperatures can range from 13 °C (55 ℉) to 21°C (70 ℉). The evenings might feel cooler due to dropping night-time temperatures. Considerably cooler weather awaits for those who decided to visit the mountain regions. Also, be ready for around ten days of rainfall throughout November in Crete, which usually comes with high winds and storms. As pleasant temperatures might happen here or there in Crete throughout November, there is no need to pack a heavy coat, just throw a thin jacket in your suitcase. A swimsuit and an umbrella might come in handy as well.

Crete weather in December

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Considered to be the wettest month in Crete, December faces plenty of sunshine, increased rainfall, and falling temperatures. The sea temperatures are significantly cooler, but some people manage to swim anyway. The average air temperatures on the island are around 14 °C (57 ℉). Night-time temperatures can considerably drop. Temperatures in mountain areas might be even chillier. Torrential rainfall throughout the month, accompanied by strong winds and dramatic storms, is not a surprise as well. The number of visitors in Crete is very low throughout December, and many tourist businesses are usually closed. Pack warmer garments if you plan to visit Crete in December. Jeans and a hoody might suit for the fickle weather perfectly. Raingear and comfortable footwear is a must. Daredevils are welcomed to bring a swimming suit with them.