Best time to visit Crete

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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.

19 THINGS TO DO IN CRETE (SEPTEMBER 04 - SEPTEMBER 13)

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

Pink Sand Beaches

Pink Sand Beaches

May–October • nature

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

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

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

late May–October • nature

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

Wildlife Watching

Wildlife Watching

April–October • nature

Crete is home to all kinds of endemic wildlife

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

Fruit Season

Fruit Season

May–October • food

Hot greek summers would be incomplete without a juicy fruit plate

Summer Coffee (Frappe)

Summer Coffee (Frappe)

May–September • food

Solving the biggest summer struggle of coffee lovers since 1957

Fig Season

Fig Season

mid-August–November • food

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

Wildflower Season

Wildflower Season

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

Discover species of flowers that grow exclusively in Crete

Birdwatching Season

Birdwatching Season

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

Crete hosts more than 412 different bird species, ensuring a great birdwatching experience

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

Windsurfing

Windsurfing

May–October • activity

Are you ready for breaking waves in Crete?

18 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Holy Week & Greek Easter

Holy Week & Greek Easter

April 16–19, 2020 • event

Feel the real spirit of Crete by visiting it during the biggest religious holiday

Rethymno Carnival

Rethymno Carnival

March 01, 2020 • event

A glorious event where the whole town becomes one big family

Olive Harvest

Olive Harvest

mid-November–January • activity

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

The Tour of Crete

The Tour of Crete

May 12–17, 2019 • event

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

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

Matala Beach Festival

Matala Beach Festival

June 21–23, 2019 • 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

Honey Season

Honey Season

June–August • food

Learn about honey making with locals and try delicious Cretan honey

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

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

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!

Roasted Lamb

Roasted Lamb

April 28, 2019 • food

This traditional Easter dish is popular all over Crete

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

Wild Greens (Horta)

Wild Greens (Horta)

February–April • food

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