Seasons in Crete (Island)

Crete is the biggest island of Greece. It has mostly mountainous relief with three main ranges. The island is stretched from west to east and has length of 260 km (161 mi.) with 60 km (37 mi.) in the widest part. Mountains divide weather conditions of different parts of the island.

Northern portion of Crete has typical Mediterranean climate similar to resort on continent. Southern part is much warmer, drier and sunnier due to influence of the North Africa. Elevated mountainous region are humid and colder with occasional snowfalls. In general winter on the island is soft and rainy. Degree of humidity depends on the distance to the sea. According to such distribution of level of humidity summers in coastal resorts stiff and winters are cooler.


Weather and Climate

Spring in Crete

Spring on Crete is time of blossoms and warming. First month of spring is usually bit cool with daily range of 17-10 °C (62-50 °F). Air becomes comfortable in April when its temperature at afternoon reaches 20 °C (68 °F). Warming continues in May. Last month of spring has daily range of 24-15 °C (75-59 °F).

Amount and frequency of rainfall reduces throughout the season. In March there are around 8 rainy days while in May there are only three of them. The sea has 19 °C (66 °F) by the end of the season and may seem to be to cool for swimming. Though, beach season opens in last days May.

Climate of the Spring Months

March
Max average t°: +17 °C (63 °F)
Min average t°: +10 °C (49 °F)
Water t°: +16 °C (61 °F)
Sundial in the day: 7.5 hours
Rainy days: 4 days
Precipitation: 59 mm (2.3")
April
Max average t°: +20 °C (69 °F)
Min average t°: +12 °C (53 °F)
Water t°: +17 °C (63 °F)
Sundial in the day: 9 hours
Rainy days: 2 days
Precipitation: 37 mm (1.5")
May
Max average t°: +24 °C (75 °F)
Min average t°: +15 °C (59 °F)
Water t°: +20 °C (68 °F)
Sundial in the day: 11 hours
Rainy days: 3 days
Precipitation: 35 mm (1.4")

Spring Holidays

March 25 – Independence Day.

March-April – Easter celebrations. Annual Carnival takes place 40 days before Easter.
April 23 – The Feast of St George.

May 1 – Labor Day.
May 20 – The Battle of Crete.
May 21 – The Feast of Saints Constantine and Helena.

Summer in Crete

In general summer on Crete is warm and dry with higher humidity in southern portion of the island. Sumer warmth reaches 28 °C (82 °F) in June and hovers around throughout the whole season. Nighttime temperature ranges act different. At first evening temperatures grow from 18 °C (64 °F) in June to 22 °C (71 °F) July and then go down to 20 °C (68 °F) in August. In hotter southern region temperature occasionally rises to 35 °C (95 °F) and even higher.

Precipitation is few with around 1 rainy day per month. Temperature of the sea gradually increases from 22 °C to 25 °C (71-77 °F) with the course of the season. Occasional dry winds with sand and dust are fortunately followed by fresh north-western breezes that bring relief.


Climate of the Summer Months

June
Max average t°: +27 °C (81 °F)
Min average t°: +19 °C (66 °F)
Water t°: +23 °C (73 °F)
Sundial in the day: 12.5 hours
Rainy days: 3 days
Precipitation: 46 mm (1.8")
July
Max average t°: +29 °C (84 °F)
Min average t°: +22 °C (72 °F)
Water t°: +26 °C (79 °F)
Sundial in the day: 13.5 hours
Rainy days: 1 day
Precipitation: 14 mm (0.6")
August
Max average t°: +29 °C (84 °F)
Min average t°: +22 °C (71 °F)
Water t°: +26.5 °C (80 °F)
Sundial in the day: 12.5 hours
Rainy days: 2 days
Precipitation: 26 mm (1.0")

Summer Holidays

June – Naval Week.
June 24 – The Feast of St John the Baptist.
June-August – The Summer Arts Festival in Iraklion.

July – Rethymnon Wine Festival.
July-August – Kornaria cultural festival in Sitia.

August – The Sitia Sultana Festival, night of the last full moon in the Fortress at Sitia.
August 6 – The Metamorphosis.
August 15 – The Feast of the Assumption.
August 25 - The Feast of St Titos.
August-September – Renaissance Festival in Rethymnon.

Autumn in Crete

Autumn weather is similar to spring. September is considered as summer month. And it actually is with 27 °C (80 °F) of average daytime temperature and 19 °C (66 °F) at night. October slightly cooler but still comfortable .It provides formidable 24 °C (75 °F) at afternoon and fresh 16 °C (61 °F) at night. November should be the threshold of winter but it is more like April. Last autumn month is as warm as 21-13 °C (70-55 °F).

Opposite to spring autumn reduction of temperatures is accompanied by growth of precipitation. October marks the beginning of rainy season. Usually there is couple of storms especially in second half of the season. The sea cools down from 24 °C (75 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F ).


Climate of the Autumn Months

September
Max average t°: +27 °C (80 °F)
Min average t°: +19 °C (67 °F)
Water t°: +25.5 °C (78 °F)
Sundial in the day: 10.5 hours
Rainy days: 2 days
Precipitation: 44 mm (1.7")
October
Max average t°: +23 °C (74 °F)
Min average t°: +16 °C (62 °F)
Water t°: +23 °C (73 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8 hours
Rainy days: 3 days
Precipitation: 51 mm (2.0")
November
Max average t°: +20 °C (68 °F)
Min average t°: +13 °C (56 °F)
Water t°: +21 °C (70 °F)
Sundial in the day: 6.5 hours
Rainy days: 3 days
Precipitation: 54 mm (2.1")

Autumn Holidays

September 14 – Feast of St Stavros.

October – The Chestnut Festival.
October 28 – Ochi Day.

November 7-9 – commemoration of the great explosion at the Arkadi Monastery.
November 21 – Feast for the Mother of God.

Winter in Crete

Comparing to temperate climate winter on Crete is warm. Also it is rainy and windy. Daytime averages sit around 16 °C (61 °F) for whole season. At night temperature varies between 8 °C (46 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F). Winter is the rainiest season when Crete receives most of its annual amount of rainfall. Relatively high temperatures seem colder due to strong winds and frequent showers. Elevated mountainous areas accumulate stable snow cover.

Climate of the Winter Months

December
Max average t°: +17 °C (62 °F)
Min average t°: +10 °C (51 °F)
Water t°: +18 °C (64 °F)
Sundial in the day: 5.5 hours
Rainy days: 7 days
Precipitation: 80 mm (3.15")
January
Max average t°: +15 °C (59 °F)
Min average t°: +9 °C (48 °F)
Water t°: +17 °C (63 °F)
Sundial in the day: 5.5 hours
Rainy days: 6 days
Precipitation: 98 mm (3.9")
February
Max average t°: +16 °C (60 °F)
Min average t°: +9 °C (48 °F)
Water t°: +16 °C (61 °F)
Sundial in the day: 6 hours
Rainy days: 6 days
Precipitation: 116 mm (4.6")

Winter Holidays

December 6 – Feast of Agios Nikolaos.
December 25-26 – Cristmas.

January 1 – New Year’s Day, The feast of St Basil.
January 6 – Feast of the Epiphany and the Blessing of the Waters.


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