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The climate of Crete is temperate Mediterranean and is characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry, sunny summers. The island is one of the sunniest parts of Greece and enjoys more than 300 days of sunny weather every year. Rainy season starts in late October and lasts till March or even April. The combination of rain and relative warmth makes it one of the greenest places in the Mediterranean basin, especially in spring.

Crete is an island that one can visit all year. The “best time” depends on what he is looking for. It follows a description of each period of the year.

January and February

This is the real winter time. The weather can be cold, rainy and windy. Although Crete can be cold, it never gets as cold as in northern Europe; the average lowest temperature is 8°C (46°F). Snowfall is common on the mountains but rare at the low lying areas, especially near the coast when it only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. There is a one-week period during January when the weather is generally good and the winds cease. This period is called the Halcyon Days.

February is slightly warmer and sunnier than January. Flowers start to grow, almond trees blossom in January, anemones are plentiful and the citrus trees are full of fruit. The weather is unpredictable and cold days alternate with warm ones.

March and April

In March, although cold and windy, there are many sunny days. The sea is still too cold but the first daring swimmers appear. April is spring time in Crete. The temperatures are medium and the weather is still unstable and can be sunny or rainy. The nights will still be cool or even cold. After the winter rains the island is at its greenest and literally carpeted with wildflowers.

May and June

In May the weather becomes warm and sunny. Low rainfalls are unlikely to occur past the May 10th. You are almost guaranteed to get good weather; the sea is warmer and calm, since the "meltemia" seasonal North winds have not yet started to blow. May is considered the best month for outdoor activities and June a good time for the beach. A jacket can be useful for the night. During this period there are still a lot of flowers on the island and not too many tourists. It is maybe the best time of the year to visit Crete, especially for those who cannot stand high temperatures.

July and August

The weather is windy, as "meltemia" have started, and very hot. It is the high season for the island. There are too many tourists, Greeks and foreigners, so you may have difficulties finding accommodation. So book early!! The sea is wonderfully warm and if you search a little it is possible to find villages and beaches that remain fairly quiet. Of course it is hard to do anything else during these months, than spend the entire day at the beach. Do not forget your hat and sunscreen!

September and October

The weather is not very hot anymore. The sea is still really warm and there are far less tourists. September is sunny, less windy and slightly cooler. In October, there are very few windy days but some rain will fall, especially in the west part of Crete. Warm clothes are rarely necessary. The weather is very good for outdoor activities and this period is one of the preferred periods for hikers. October is the month that the traditional drink of Crete, tsikoudia or raki, is distilled from grape skins.

November and December

At the end of October charter flights stops and tourism comes to an end. The weather becomes unpredictable. November may be sunny but there are plenty of rainy and windy days too. The south winds start and sometimes they carry sand from the Sahara desert covering the sky of Crete with a brown veil. In December the weather conditions vary with a mixture of windy, calm, rainy, sunny, cold and warm days. So pack warm clothes together with your swimming suit. There are days when the temperature makes swimming possible.