If you’re wondering when the best time is to visit Crete, the fastest and most honest answer is that Crete is wonderful all year round.
Winters are mild and usually sunny. Spring is the best time to experience hiking and walking around, taking in the views, and enjoying wildflowers and herbs popping up everywhere.
For most visitors, summer is probably the most rewarding season. The beaches are at their best and it’s wonderful to swim around or sit by the seashore to have a drink at night. Summer is also the time to enjoy mouthwatering watermelon, fresh grapes, juicy peaches, and Greek salad that is bursting with the flavor of delicious fresh tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers.
In autumn, the sea is still warm but trees take on golden hues. No wonder you still have crowds, albeit smaller ones, still visiting antiquities and ruins, walking around, and taking the warm sunshine blessing the island.
All in all, Crete is an amazing place to visit. But what time would we locals recommend as the best time to visit?
From May to October, Crete is at its best
If you don’t like wet weather and cold, you could wait until May to organize your visit to Crete.
May is an amazing month to visit Crete
By May, the days are long and the sea is warming up nicely. The island is brimming with flowers and aromas. Like a Simon and Garfunkel song, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are starting to flower, along with jasmine and lavender. Their rich scents, so typical of Greece, make it a particular pleasure to hike and take in the views while breathing in Crete’s aromas.
Days are comfortably warm without being overwhelmingly hot. You can swim and bask in the sun without sweating.
May is also great for hiking, taking tours, and visiting the island. You can visit Knossos, Phaistos, and Crete’s many ancient ruins under pleasant sunshine rather than the summer’s sweltering heat. You will also have fewer crowds, which means you can go exploring at your leisure.
If you join a hiking tour through the Samaria Gorge, you can end up by the sea to take a soothing swim. You can also visit wineries, farms, and the botanical park near Chania at your own leisure, with fewer crowds and more pleasant temperatures.
June: touches of spring with summer warmth
June in Crete combines the best of two seasons: the enjoyable temperatures of spring mixed with the hotter summer days, perfect for swimming in your swimming pool or lazing on the beach.
June gathers larger crowds as more people take early holidays in mid to late June. You will find all shops, restaurants, and cafés are open and ready to cater to visitors’ needs.
If you have chosen one of our top beachfront villas in Crete, you will find the sea is warm and calling you to dive in, and so is your villa’s swimming pool. June doesn’t have the heat extremes that you sometimes encounter in summer. It is still delightful to organize walks, hikes, and visits to ruins and villages.
You can spend some days visiting traditional Cretan villages and capturing unique moments of true Cretan living. Check out our list of top Cretan wineries and vineyards to visit, enjoy dinner by candlelight, get to learn about old trades long gone, and experience what Crete is truly about.
July and August: summer at its best
July and August are the most popular months to visit Crete. Everything is packed with activity and tourists are swarming to Crete to enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean summer.
If you like seclusion and privacy, you can rent an isolated villa with a swimming pool and enjoy swimming and lazing without mixing with the crowds. You can also choose one of our top villas with a private beach in Crete.
In addition, many villas can arrange for chef services, massages, and even cooking lessons so you can make the most of Crete while staying in a luxury villa.
The sea is at its best in July and August. Perfectly warm and yet refreshing—perfect for when it’s very hot outside. If you like diving and scuba diving, you will find plenty of schools to rent equipment and guide you to the best spots.
If you like sea living, rent a sailboat or a yacht and sail around the Cretan shores. Stop whenever you want for a dive and get awesome pictures of what the island looks like when viewed from the sea.
There is nothing like staying up late at night, sipping a cocktail by the sea, and looking at the stars. The temperature is just perfect, and all shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés stay open until very late at night. The island is buzzing with music, people, and vibrant places to experience.
September and October: the mellow months
By the beginning of September, the crowds have receded but the island is still in a sweet post-summer mood. The sea in September is at its warmest in the Mediterranean as it has been warming up during the whole summer and winter hasn’t taken hold yet.
Wineries have started grape harvesting so you can visit a winery or a vineyard and take part in the harvest. You can also get a glimpse of traditional Cretan winemaking and buy wine bottles from previous years to remind you of your beautiful holidays in Crete.
Take time to enjoy the views. Mountains are brimming with heathers whose lively colors are peppering hills and valleys. Hike, walk, or rent a bike: the temperature is perfect for outdoor activities.
As leaves turn orange and red, you can head for mountain villages surrounded by walnut and chestnut trees. Villagers are making the most of their harvest and you get to enjoy the warmth and beauty of the Mediterranean autumn.
Before you leave Crete in October
When it’s time to abandon the Cretan shores and return home, remember that summer is only a few months away. Book your next villa for the coming spring or summer, benefit from early reductions, and come back to Crete.
Check out our special offer on Cretan villas and visit the island for the most amazing family holidays in Crete. The island is so big and interesting that you will always discover something new to do, an impressive ruin to discover, a cute fish restaurant to try, and an amazing villa to stay at!
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