Crete is a captivating island with a rich history and stunning landscapes.

Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, its a beautiful Greek island offering every traveller a mixture of ancient treasures, stunning beaches and amazing food. So whether you're an adventurer looking for rugged terrain, a history lover exploring ancient ruins or simply looking for a relaxing escape, Crete has something for you.

Let’s have a look at the best times to go, though this will depend on what you want to do when you are there.

Peak Season in Crete (May to September)

This is the classic peak season in Crete, the weather is hot and sunny, perfect for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The beaches can get crowded, but it's also when most festivals and events take place.

In the peak season the weather is warm and sunny with daytime temperatures ranging from a comfortable 75°F (24°C) in May to a hot 90°F (32°C) in July and August. Evenings are pleasant, with temperatures around 65-70°F (18-21°C). However be aware that July and August can be quite hot, so be prepared for the heat if you visit during these months.

Beach In Crete

Things to do during the Peak Season in Crete

There are a wide range of activities to enjoy during Crete's peak season:

  • Crete's beaches are stunning and the peak season is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Popular spots are Elafonissi Beach and Balos Beach.
  • Crete is steeped in history and you can explore the ancient ruins of Knossos, visit historical museums and take a boat to Spinalonga Island, which has a fascinating history as a former leper colony.
  • The weather is excellent for hiking in the island's gorges and trails. Samaria Gorge is a famous hiking destination and you can also explore the rugged landscapes of the White Mountains.
  • Try traditional dishes like dakos (rusk with tomato and feta), moussaka, and fresh seafood at local tavernas. The warm evenings are perfect for dining al fresco.
  • In the evenings Crete comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Cities like Heraklion and Chania offer a variety of bars and clubs.
  • Crete celebrates various cultural and religious festivals throughout the summer, well worth checking out.

Overall, Crete's peak season is a wonderful time to visit if you enjoy warm weather, outdoor activities and immersing yourself in the rich culture and history of this Greek island. Just remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen during the hottest months!

Shoulder Season in Crete (April to May and September to October)

If you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds then it’s worth considering visiting during the shoulder seasons.

Spring is when the island bursts into bloom and the weather is pleasant and warm, perfect for outdoor activities. In the Autumn sea temperatures are warm and Crete is great for hiking and exploring cultural sites.

Daytime temperatures range from 65°F (18°C) to 80°F (27°C). Nights are cooler, around 50°F (10°C) to 65°F (18°C) and it's generally comfortable for outdoor activities without the scorching heat of summer.

Things to do in Crete during the shoulder season

  • Crete is steeped in history and during the shoulder seasons, you can comfortably explore the archaeological wonders like the Palace of Knossos and the ancient city of Phaistos without the summer crowds.
  • The milder temperatures make this an ideal time for hiking in the Cretan mountains. Samaria Gorge and Imbros Gorge are popular choices. The landscapes are lovely and green during this time.
  • While not as hot as summer, the weather is still warm enough to spend time on the beach. Elafonissi Beach and Balos Lagoon are stunning options and you won't have to look for space to lay down your towel.
  • Crete has traditional dishes like moussaka and dakos that you can find at all the local tavernas. The shoulder seasons often offer fresh produce and a chance to eat in peace without the crowds and the long restaurant queues.
  • Crete is emerging as a wine destination so visit local wineries to sample Cretan wines which pair perfectly with the Mediterranean cuisine.

Crete during the shoulder seasons offers comfortable weather so you can enjoy a wide range of activities, from historical exploration to beach relaxation, without the intense heat and the hustle and bustle of peak summer tourism. It's an excellent time to visit the island and see all it has to offer.

 Knossos Crete

Low Season in Crete (November to March)

While it's true that Crete might not be as warm during the low season as it is in the summer, the weather is still quite pleasant. You can expect milder temperatures, making it perfect for those who prefer cooler weather for exploring.

Travelling during the low season often means you'll find lower prices for accommodations and flights which is a significant advantage if you are travelling on a budget.

One of the best time about travelling to Crete during the low season is the lack of crowds. You can explore popular attractions like the Palace of Knossos or the Old Venetian Harbour in Chania without the usual hordes of tourists making it a more serene and relaxed experience.

Things to do in Crete during the Low Season

  • Explore the island's beautiful landscapes on foot. The Samaria Gorge is a popular hiking destination, and it's much less crowded in the low season.
  • Visit local wineries and try the Cretan wines, many vineyards offer tours and tastings.
  • Museums stay open all through the low season so you can dive into Crete's rich history by visiting museums like the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
  • Enjoy the tranquility of the island's beaches without the summertime crowds, even in winter, some beaches are pleasant for a leisurely stroll.
  • Explore local markets and farmers' markets to sample fresh produce and traditional Cretan products.

Remember, while the low season offers a unique perspective on Crete, it's essential to check specific opening hours and availability for activities and accommodations since some places might have reduced services during this time.

When is the cheapest time to visit Crete?

The cheapest time to visit Crete typically falls during the shoulder and low seasons, which are spring, autumn and winter. April to early June and late September to October are good times to travel if on a budget.

During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and you can enjoy warm temperatures without the peak season crowds. Accommodation and flights tend to be more affordable compared to the hot summer months. Plus, you'll have a chance to explore Crete's stunning landscapes and historical sites without the hustle and bustle of the high season.

Keep in mind that prices may vary slightly depending on the specific location on the island and local events, but generally, the shoulder seasons offer a more budget-friendly Crete experience.

Spinalonga island near Crete

What is the holiday season in Crete?

June marks the beginning of the holiday season in Crete, with warm temperatures and clear skies. July and August are the peak months and this is when the island is at its liveliest, with festivals, events and parties happening everywhere. The beaches are perfect for sunbathing and swimming during this time.

September is also a good time to visit Crete as the weather is still warm and pleasant but the crowds start to thin out towards the end of the month. So if you prefer a slightly quieter experience while still enjoying the island's beauty, it’s a good time to visit.

So, if you're planning a trip to Crete, don't mind the heat and want to have a lively time then  consider visiting during the summer months for the ultimate holiday experience on this enchanting Mediterranean island.

Is Crete warm all year?

Crete enjoys a Mediterranean climate, making it mild and pleasant throughout the year. Its warmest months are June to August, with temperatures reaching into the high 20s to low 30s degrees Celsius (80s to 90s Fahrenheit). These are the prime summer months, perfect for beach holidays and outdoor activities.

During the shoulder seasons, which are spring (April to May) and early autumn (September to October), the weather remains pleasantly warm, with temperatures ranging from the high teens to the mid-20s degrees Celsius (60s to 70s Fahrenheit). This is a great time to explore the island with fewer crowds.

Crete can also be mild in the winter, especially along the coast, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50s Fahrenheit). While it might not be as warm as summer, it's still a great place to go if you want a quieter to explore the island's history and culture.

So, while Crete may not be hot year-round, it does have a pleasant climate throughout most of the year, making it the perfect destination depending on your temperature preferences and travel plans.


The best time to visit Crete depends very much on your interests and tolerance for crowds and heat but each season will provide you with a unique experience on this beautiful Greek island!