LivingTravelWeather in Crete: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Weather in Crete: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

The weather on the Greek island of Crete plays by its own rules. Crete’s landmass is large enough to have its own climate zones, which change as you move north and south or east and west across the island. And since Crete is a mix of lowland and mountainous regions, there are also climatic and temperature variations based on altitude.

The climate on the north coast of Crete will be strongly affected by the Meltemi winds of the summer. These warm winds blow from the north and can hit most coastal beaches. While they are ‘warm’ winds, they can kick up the waves and, at their strongest, can even blow sand, giving bathers a free exfoliation treatment that may not be desired. Since most of Crete’s organized resorts are located on the north coast, you can experience these winds, especially in July and August.

The climate in Crete is affected by the spinal crest of the mountain ranges that run east to west across the island. The mountain ranges of Crete affect the climate in two ways. First, they create a physical barrier to the north winds. This means that even when the north shore is uncomfortably windy, the south shore can be calm and pleasant. The exception to this is where gorges and valleys channel north winds, which can create areas of high winds in certain places along the coast.

This is especially true in Frangocastello and Plakias Bay. Even when the rest of the south coast is relatively calm, the funnel effect can wreak havoc on small fishing boats and other light vessels.

The south coast is sometimes subject to the winds from Africa, something Joni Mitchell memorized in her song “Carey,” written while the singer was staying in Matala on the south coast. These hot, sandy winds can cause dust storms that blanket Crete and all of Greece in a dim and eerie light, sometimes affecting air travel. The fire that destroyed the Minoan palace at Knossos was determined to have burned on a day when the winds were coming from the south.

Fast weather data

Hottest Month: July and August (79 degrees Fahrenheit / 26 degrees Celsius)

Coldest Month: January (52 degrees Fahrenheit / 11 degrees Celsius)

Wettest Month: January (3.7 inches)

Spring in crete

Spring in Crete really begins in April, when the island is awash with flowers. Temperatures aren’t too hot at this point, making it a great season for hiking and biking. In April, the water temperatures are warm enough for swimming.

What to pack: Pack light clothing with warmer layers for the evenings; The low temperatures in Crete can still be quite cold during the spring, so you will want a sweater or a light jacket just in case.

Average temperatures per month

March: 63 F (17 C) / 50 F (10 C)

Abril: 68 F (20 C) / 54 F (12 C)

Mayo: 73 F (23 C) 59 F (19 C)

Summer in Crete

Summer is almost pure sunshine in Crete and temperatures are often warm, as heat waves from Africa can cause mercury to rise. Indoor temperatures can sometimes exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Summer is also quite dry and it is common to go weeks, if not a month, without rain. If there is a breeze, the temperatures still feel quite bearable even if the thermometer says otherwise. Needless to say, this is the ideal season for beach lovers.

What to pack: Pack a highly rated bathing suit and sunscreen if you plan on spending time at the beach. Light cotton and linen-blend clothing is helpful, as are sandals for those extremely hot days.

Average temperatures per month

Junio: 81 F (27 C) / 66 F (19 C)

Julio: 84 F (29 C) / 70 F (21 C)

August: 84 F (29 C) / 72 F (22 C)

Fall in Crete

Crete experiences a late summer, with warm temperatures and sea water often until November. This is also a good time to hike or explore other activities on the island without crowds of people. Late fall can be rainier than the rest of the year, but it is still generally dry.

What to pack: Your fall packing list for Crete shouldn’t vary too much, with the exception of a sweater or light sweater to cover up on colder nights.

Average temperatures per month

Septiembre: 81 F (27 C) / 66 F (19 C)

October: 75 F (24 C) / 61 F (16 C)

Noviembre: 70 F (21 C / 57 F (14 C)

Winter in crete

If you want to see Crete without tourists, visit during winter. While there may be a bit more rain than other seasons, the island remains warm overall, although cold winds can sometimes make it feel colder than it actually is. Winter is also a great time to visit if you are interested in the local spirit, Raki, or olive harvest.

What to pack: While some days can be warm, you’ll want to pack as you would for a trip to traditional fall weather – jeans and light layers are appropriate here.

Average temperatures per month

Diciembre: 64 F (18 C) / 52 F (11 C)

Enero: 61 F (16 C) / 48 F (9 C)

Febrero: 61 F (16 C) / 48 F (9 C)

Average monthly temperature, rainfall and average daily hours of sunshine

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