Greece is well-known for its array of fascinating islands, but the island of Crete is unarguably one of the nation’s most sought-after islands. And this is so for the right reasons. From the prosperous cities to the beautiful scenery and the cultural richness, Greece’s largest and most populous island is definitely worth all the hype and more.
Are you considering Crete as a potential destination for recreation, relocation, or business? This post is for you. Read on as we explore the varying dimensions of Crete’s beauty, including the weather Crete, the calming sandy beaches, and the warm Crete cities.
The Weather in Crete
Crete enjoys an overall pleasant, temperate Mediterranean climate, thanks to the ever-present winds. The Crete climate condition depends on the wind and the sea; you should expect hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. In terms of the weather conditions, there are considerable variations between the mountainous areas and the coastal zone, and between the East and West Crete,
The large landmass of the island contributes to the Crete Greek weather zones observed as you head towards north and south or east and west across the island. Likewise, there are altitude-based differences in weather and temperature, which are due to the blend of mountainous and lowland regions on the island.
Crete Weather in March, April, May (Spring)
Spring in Crete starts from March and is characterized by not-so-hot temperatures suitable for hiking and cycling. The average temperatures may range from 17 degrees in March to 24 degrees in May (in Celsius).
Crete Weather in June, July, August (Summer)
Summer in Crete is all about sunshine and warm temperatures, from June to August. There may be occasional heatwaves from Africa, with a possible temperature rise of up to 38 degrees Celsius. Summer also comes with dryness, which may last for weeks without rain.
Crete Weather in September, October, November (Fall)
Since Crete records a late summer, it is common to see warm temperatures and seawater from September through November. Late Fall may come with rain, and when it does, it may be heavier. The temperature may go from 27 degrees in September to 13 degrees in November.
Crete Weather December, January, February (Winter)
December comes with plenty of rain in Crete, signaling the start of Winter. Despite the rains and the seldom cold winds, the island stays relatively warm. The temperature may go from 16 degrees in December to just 8 degrees in February.
The Cities of Crete
Another outstanding feature of Crete island is the presence of cities. While no other Greek Island has cities, Crete boasts of five different major cities around the north coast, with Heraklion as the capital.
Every Cretan city holds a unique personality and attraction, including the picturesque Sitia and Nikolaos, the colorful landscape of Chania, the ancient architectures of Rethymnon, and the cosmopolitan setup of Heraklion.
Chania was the former capital of Crete – Heraklion replaced it in 1971. It is the second biggest city on the island, just about 55 km off Rethymnon on the west. This vibrant and colorful city reflects the vast artistic influences of the different cultures it has experienced. It is where you find the Archaeological Museum of Chania and other cultural centers.
Heraklion is the largest city in Crete. It houses the island’s main port, sitting just northwest of the ancient Minoan, the Knossos capital. It boasts a rich history, spanning from the post-Minoan times, and houses the Kouless Fortress in the Venetian harbor and other notable traces of conquerors. Heraklion is easily accessible, thanks to a great road network and layout.
This eastern city of Crete is where you find several rich cultural and archeological areas on the island. Although it is away from Crete’s major areas of attraction, Sitia is an uncrowded, peaceful, and eventful city. It is built in a semicircle on the western side of Sitia Bay, a calm Mediterranean port. You will find the popular Vai Beach in Sitia.
This is the southernmost Crete town, representing a fascinating past and steady economic growth and development. If you are looking for the sunniest region of Greece, Ierapetra should definitely be on your list. There is easy access to beautiful beaches and countryside, making it a top Greek tourist destination.
Rethymnon is the largest Crete city, known for its role in the Venetian era. You will find several historical architectures in this city, including the hilltop Rethymnon Fortress and other Ottoman and Venetian architectural elements. It is where the famous Rethymnon Carnival holds annually, welcoming people from all over the country.
Other notable Crete cities and towns include Tymbaki, Paleochora, Agios Nikolaos, Malia, and Hersonissos.
The Beaches in Creche
Visitors to the island are often fascinated by the magnificent 155 kilometers of coastline, adorned with beautiful sandy beaches distributed across the cities.
For example, Chania prefecture is where you find Elafonissi and Falasarna – two picturesque beaches that welcome thousands of tourists every year. Almyrida also plays host to multiple safe blue flag beaches, while you can explore a stunning long stretch of beach on the north coast of the island at Georgioupolis. There is also the Vai Beach Crete or Palm Beach, where you find the natural palm grove.
The Voulisma Crete Beach is close to Agios Nikolos Crete and is a fascinating beach on Mirabello Bay and the entire north coast. Also worthy of mention is the Falasarna beach, which is just an hour from Chania. There is the Preveli Beach close to Plakias, notable for its deep blue Libyan Sea background.
Matala Beach Crete is found on the south of Heraklion, with prehistoric caves at its sides. Other notable beaches in the Crete area include Agios Nikolaos Beach, Plakias Beach, Souda Beach, Georgioupolis Beach, and Ammoudara Beach.
Others include Kato Zakros Beach, Malia Beach, Paleochora Beach, Frangokastello Beach, Makrigalos Beach, Xerokampos Beach, Menies Beach, Istro Beach, and Agia Pelagia Beach.
Crete is an overall stunning city to be, whether you are going for recreational or business purposes. From the rich, historic cities to the friendly and consistent weather and a wide range of magnificent beaches, you can never be disappointed with Crete and what it has to offer.