Weather and Climate
|Hours of sunshine
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
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.