When is the best time of the year to visit Crete?
Although each season has something different to offer, the best time of year to visit Crete is between May and October. Due to its geographical location, Crete enjoys 300 days of sunshine, making it a popular destination all year round.
Here is everything you need to know about planning your visit to Crete.
The high season in Crete, like other greek islands too, runs from early July to mid September. The hottest months are usually July and August; the coldest January and February. If you want to enjoy Crete’s natural attractions without the crowds, then May to mid June is the ideal time to visit Crete. In September and October the temperature cools down, most traveller with children return back to their home countries as the school year begins, therefore the crowds quiet down. But all businesses are still in full operation, yet the rates decrease, making it a wonderful season to enjoy vacation in Crete.
What to do in Crete from March to April.
The temperature in Crete from March to April varies on average 17-20ºC the highest and 10-12ºC the lowest. This is a wonderful time of year to beat the crowds and visit all of the historical sights and attractions without having to queue for hours. In early March take place Europe’s southern ski mountaineering event Pierra Creta. The 1821 memorial celebration is held on March 25th every year, with parades and dancing taking place all over the island. This is an ideal time for bird watching around Kournas and Agia’s lake in Chania and all over the island. But the best you can experience is the Orthodox Eastern, the most important religious event for greeks. As Crete is a large island, many hotels and restaurants remain open throughout the year, but ferries and flights have limited routes compared to high season. However you will find several flights and daily ferry services to Chania and Heraklion.
Visiting Crete from May to August.
The average temperature in Crete from May to August is between to 24-32ºC the highest and 15-21ºC the lowest, but can be cooler up on the mountains. Summer is the busiest time of the year. The popular beaches such as Ballos, Elafonissi, Falasarna, Seitan, Matala etc can be extremely crowed in July and August. If you want to escape the crowds, but still enjoy the warm waters, June is the best month to visit them. Important events happening during these months and visitors can enjoy a series of plays, international and local musical performances, art exhibitions as well as many thematic festivals. In summer you can also find many religious fest (panigiri) taking place in many villages, while on Assumption Day on Aug. 15th, one of the most important religious celebration in Greece, there are many events and local "panigiri” taking place throughout the island. On those months many charter flights are available from most European cities, flying directly to Heraklion and Chania airports.
Is it recommended to visit Crete in September and October?
The weather at Crete from September to October varies on average between 24-27ºC the highest and 16-19ºC the lowest. Some of the top events which happening during these months are the chestnut festivity, taking place in Prases and Elos, and “Ohi Day” celebrated on 28th October, commemorating the rejection by the greek government of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Mussolini on Oct 28, 1940. September and October are actually some of the best months to visit Crete. Not only you will enjoy the beaches without the large crowds, in September the sea is still quite warm, and prices significantly lower than the high season.
Things to do at Crete from November to February.
The coldest and rainiest month in Crete are usually January and February. The weather from November to February varies between 16-21ºC the highest and 8-13ºC the lowest. It is also very common that there is a period with sunny and quite warm weather, usually the second half of January (Alkyone days). Winter sports lovers will be surprised that Crete offers fantastic skiing opportunities and a unique skiing experience in the White Mountains (Leak Ori). Winter time is also an opportunity to attend some of the most popular social gatherings in Crete, such as Tsikoudia festival in November. During this time the cretans are involved in the tsikoudia. Making of raki in Crete is an event you wouldn’t want to miss. Another important event which you can witness is Epiphany, celebrated on the 6th of January. The customs around one of the oldest Christian celebrations, are remarkable. A fun filled festival like no other is the carnival or Rethimno, where visitors may enjoy series of masquerades and parties which take place all over the town and the Santa Run, usually right after Christmas, in Chania.
After all, which is your favourite time of year to visit Crete?