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Weather and Climate

Western Crete
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature 13 13 17 20 26 30 34 34 29 24 18 15
Hours of sunshine 4 5 7 9 9 11 12 12 9 7 6 5

There really is not a best time to visit this magical island - it has lots to offer every season, depending on what you're looking for.

January to March
This is winter in Crete - it can be cold and rainy, but when the sun comes out it is splendid! This time of year is when the flowers start growing and the Almond trees blossom (January), anemones are plentiful and the citrus trees are full of fruit. If you are coming to Crete for culture and essentially want to spend time in museums, visit archaeological sites and churches, this is a great time to do it without crowds. Winter is almost the only time of the year when you can visit Knossos without having to fight the crowds. The winter is moderate - but it never gets as cold as in Northern Europe.

March - April
The weather can still be a bit unpredictable - it can be very pleasant or very rainy. The nights are still cool or cold. The sea is too cold to swim in. When the winter rains are finished the island is at its greenest and is literally carpeted with flowers. Tourists start to arrive in April and this is also the month that celebrates Greek Easter (not the same date as the Catholic Easter). Greek Easter is the most important feast of the year - it is a wonderful opportunity to experience the Cretan hospitality.

May - June
Almost guaranteed to get good weather, the sea is much warmer, there is still an abundance of flowers and not too many tourists, In my opinion this is an excellent time to visit Crete. I also happen to like winter in Crete!

July - August
This is high season - lots of people and lots of activity - the temperatures are soaring. Greeks holiday in Crete during these months. Accommodation is at a premium. The sea is very warm. It can be quite humid depending on the proximity to the sea.

September - October
The weather is not as hot - the sea remains warm and there are fewer tourists. The Cretans - especially the ones who work in the tourism industry, although tired, are relaxing. This is an excellent time to visit for hikers. Since there has been no rain for number of months the earth is very dry.

November - December
At the end of October tourism seems to come to a halt. These are quiet months - much the same as January and February - but the chances of good weather are much more likely. It is still possible to swim some days. This is not a bad time to be on Crete if you are prepared to risk some days of rain.

The climate of Crete is temperate Mediterranean. As the southernmost island of Greece it is, with Cyprus, the sunniest island of the Mediterranean with an average of 300 sunny days a year. The summers are long and warm weather stretches well into autumn. It is not unusual to sunbathe on New Years Eve on the South Coast.
Winters are mild with snow on the mountains and a good deal of rain in the plains but still a good deal of sunshine. The combination of rain and relative warmth make it one of the greenest places in the Mediterranean basin, especially in spring.

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