The Cretan Climate:

Over 300 Days of Sunshine a Year

The Weather right now:

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Crete has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. The rainy season usually starts in late October or early November and lasts until March or April. But most of the year - ten months or more - the sun shines on Crete from a clear blue sky.

Nevertheless, in the mountains the winters can be very cold and it is not unusual that some areas become inaccessible due to snowfall. At the summits of Mount Psiloritis and the White Mountains in Western Crete the snow sometimes stays well into June. In the coastal areas snowfalls are extremely rare, however.

There are significant differences between North and South, East and West of the island. In summer the weather can be very hot at the south coast and the easternmost part of Crete receives less rain than the western and central part which makes the latter a lot greener.

Average monthly temperatures (Celcius):

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Air 12,4 13,2 13,6 15,7 20,2 25,9 26,4 26,1 24,5 18,9 14,4 14
Water 17 17 17 18 20 22-24 24-26 26-27 24-26 22 20 18


January and February

The first two months of the year gets most of the rainy days, though it doesn't rain every day. But during the winter, which goes from December to February the wind and sea can cause some dramatic weather conditions at times. However, the almond trees blossom in January and it is the season when the orange trees are full of fruits. Day time peak temperatures range from 9 to 16 degrees C / 32 to 61 degrees F, though it can be considerably colder in the mountains.


March and April

This is springtime in Crete with an overwhelming abundance of flowers covering every patch of ground on the island. These months often provide warm and sunny days although the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. The day time peak temperatures usually range from 17 to 20 degrees C / 62 to 68 degrees F.


May and June

May is normally a warm and sunny month and probably the best month for outdoors activities. Spring is now turning into summer with maximum temperatures around 24 degrees C / 75 degrees F. Rain is unlikely to occur after May 10. The seasonal North winds (the 'Meltemi' ) have not started to blow which means that the sea is calm. June has fine sunny days and warm or even hot temperatures. The water is definitely warm enough for swimming now. Day time temperatures peak around 28 degrees C / 82 degrees F.


July and August

July and August are the hottest months in Crete. Daytime high temperatures range from 29 to 38 degrees C / 82 to 95 degrees F. Often a breeze will moderate the feeling of heat if you are near the sea. In the mountains it may be cooler but away from the sea breeze, and particularly at night, it can feel hotter.


September and October

September is usually sunny and less windy than August and slightly cooler. Again this is a good month for outdoors activities. October still has mostly sunny days and very few windy days, but some rain does fall. Warm clothes are rarely necessary in October.


November and December

In November the weather becomes unpredictable. It may be sunny but there are rainy and windy days too. The south winds start and sometimes carry sand from the Sahara desert. The sand covers the sky in a reddish cloud and can create sudden weather changes. In December you can experience everything from windy to calm, rainy to sunny, cold and warm days. But surprisingly perhaps, there are still days when the temperature makes swimming possible and pleasurable.