Crete is the best year-round destination of any Greek island, but for the warm weather, swimming and sun it is best to visit from May to October, here you will find the information to know the best time to plan your trip according to your priorities, and the weather during the 12 months of the year.
- Best time for good weather and swimming: the warmest weather on Crete (and on all the Greek islands) is between the end of May and the beginning of October, when it is sunny and hot and the water is perfect for swimming.the water temperature warms up during the summer months and is hottest in August and early September.as most people go to Crete for the beaches, it is quite calm in the holiday resorts in early May and late October, although the weather is still quite pleasant.
- The best time for sightseeing: if you visit Crete more for the sights, history, wine cellars and food, you don’t need high temperatures, just a warm and pleasant climate.The climate is still warm by Northern European standards, although there may be some rain and warmer clothing should be packed. The main cities of Crete, Heraklion, Chania and Rehtymnon, have a large local population and are active and open all year round.
- The best time to go from island to island: there are some incredible islands (Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Mykonos) which are 2 or 5 hours by ferry from Crete.Getting on a ferry and exploring these nearby islands is the highlight of travelling to Greece. Santorini has a longer tourist season than the other islands, so you can visit anytime between late April and early November (although you can check ferry schedules for out of season ferry connections). For the other islands, mid-May to early October is best.
- Best time to save money: hotels are much cheaper in the shoulder season (April, May and October) than in the summer months, but there are also much less, so you should weigh up the pros and cons.
- High season (July to early September): warm and sunny weather with lots of people, but never so many that it is not pleasant.If you are in Crete for the bustle and nightlife of the bigger cities, this is the time to visit.
- Mid season (May & June, September & early October): good weather.The sea may not be warm enough for swimming in May and October.
- Low season (late October to April): this is winter and that means grey skies, cool weather and rain.the main cities of Heraklion, Chania and Rethymno have large local populations and they never die completely, even in winter.Ferries and flights have very limited schedules, although there will be at least one day going to Athens.
Climate in Crete by months
Crete has good weather all year round, but it is better for some activities than others depending on the season.
- Crete in January (20% occupancy): wet, cold and windy (by Greek standards).January is the coldest month in Crete, the tourist spots are quiet, with few tourists, but local life hums at a friendly pace. Most restaurants and hotels in the tourist towns are closed, but the cities of Heraklion, Chania and Rethymnon have a large local population and always hum along with a good rhythm.The beach villages are completely closed (Average maximum temperature: 16°C. Average rainfall: 78 mm.)
- Crete in February (20% full occupancy): like January, there is a little less rain than December and January (Average maximum temperature: 15°C. Average rainfall: 64 mm.)
- Crete in March (30% occupancy): a noticeable change occurs in March from the previous 3 months.there is less rain, more sun and warmer temperatures.this can be a good time to visit for hikers and tourists, but visitors should pack some rain and cool nights. Average rainfall: 52 mm.)
- Crete in April (40% occupancy): a great month for hiking, sightseeing and visiting the wineries.in warm years it is possible to have some beach days at the end of the month.at the end of April, most hotels and restaurants in the beach towns are open.(Average maximum temperature: 20 ° C. Average rainfall: 21 mm.)
- Crete in May (70% occupancy): there is a big difference between early May (when cold cloudy days can be common) and late May (when days are always sunny and warm, sometimes hot) (Average maximum temperature: 24 ° C.) Average rainfall: 11 mm.)
- Crete in June (80% occupancy): June is a hot and sunny month and the unofficial start of the beach season when tourists arrive in large numbers.(Average maximum temperature: 28 ° C. Average rainfall: 1 mm.)
- Crete in July (90% occupancy): hot and sunny.’, ‘Along with August, July is the busiest month in Crete. Book rooms at least 3 months in advance for July visits – 6 months in advance for luxury hotels.
- Crete in August (100% occupancy): hot and sunny with occasional strong winds (called meltemi) which can cancel ferries and catamarans.)
- Crete in September (85% full occupancy): hot and sunny, but cooling down a bit from August.the weather is similar to June, but the water temperature is warmer as the sea warms up during the summer months.the winds have calmed down.September (and June) are the best months to visit Crete for the beach climate with smaller crowds.The hotels are still very busy and can be booked months in advance.(Average maximum temperature: 27°C. Average rainfall: 10mm.)
- Crete in October (70% occupancy): October is very similar to May, but the weather is moving in the opposite direction.There is often a big difference between the beginning of October (when days can be hot and sunny) and the end of October, when you can have some cloudy days and visits to the beach are not a guarantee.(Average maximum temperature: 24°C. Average rainfall: 40 mm.)
- Crete in November (40% occupancy): the coldest days of winter arrive in November.In early November you can still have warm days when it might be possible to visit the beach. Most resorts are closed in early November. Heraklion, Chania and Rethymnon are active during the winter months, although tourism-related activities decrease.(Museums and historical sites remain open throughout the winter.) (Average maximum temperature: 21°C. Average rainfall: 69 mm.)
- Crete in December (20% occupancy): prepare for cold, cloudy and rainy weather, although there are often stretches of clear sky and sunny days.Heraklion and Chania are the most active centres during the winter, as most other cities are closed or silent.(Average maximum temperature: 17°C. Average rainfall: 89 mm.)