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Crete Weather And Best Time To Visit Crete
The beautiful island of Crete is the largest in Greece with a population of over 6 lakh people. Once upon a time, it was a thriving centre of the Minoan Civilization, one of the oldest civilizations in Europe. The weather in Crete is great all year around and you can enjoy a beautiful holiday any time of the year. But being an Island, if you are looking for swimming weather, then the best time to visit Crete would be during the warm months, between May and October.
Spring (March to May)
March & April is a very good time to visit Crete if you want to avoid crowds and yet enjoy pleasant weather. The average temperature is between 17°C and 20°C with only a couple of rainy days. It is a lovely time to do some hiking, sightseeing and touring the wineries. On a clear warm day, you can also enjoy swimming and other water-based activities. From May onwards, the crowds start pouring in, but it is still not as crowded as the summer months. You can enjoy warmer weather and the beach clubs start opening for the season.
Summer (June to August)
July and August are the most crowded and busiest months of the year in Crete. During the summers, bright and sunny days are expected with no rain and an average daytime temperature of 29°C. It can get quite hot, but that is ideal weather for beachgoers. Book your hotels at least 3 to 6 months prior to your visit to get a hotel of your choosing. Towards the end of August, strong winds can be a cause of concern as they can delay or cancel ferries.
Some popular festivals to look out for in the summer are the Labyrinth Musical Workshop, Wine Festival, Matala International Festival, Jazz & Reggaevibes Festivals etc. For Indians, a particularly interesting one is the festival of Holi celebrated in June!
Autumn (September to November)
The fall months are definitely very beautiful and a treasure trove for nature lovers. September starts off hot and sunny but cools down by October and it can get quite chilly by November. If your intention is to be a beach bum, September is a great time to visit and avoid a small part of the summer crowd. The average temperatures during the autumn months are between 20°C and 24°C with a few rainy days. Note that by October many tourist resorts start closing down.
Some notable festivals are Chania Film Festival and the Heraklion Gastronomy Festival, both usually held in October.
Winter (December to February)
Winters in Crete are cloudy and rainy, with a few sporadic sunny days. However, the average temperature is 15°C which is still quite pleasant. Since it is not tourist season, most of the smaller towns go quiet and the beach towns are shut down. However, the 2 main towns of Heraklion and Chania, and to some extent Rethymnon still see some activity because of the local population. These make for a lovely winter vacation.
Usually, between January and March, Rethymnon town has a 1 month long Carnival event happening, with different themes every year. So if you are looking for some Cretan spirit & fun, try planning your trip to match the dates of the carnival.