Crete, Greece Weather and Climate
At over 8,000 square kilometers, Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and home to over 620,000 residents. The “capital” of the island and the administrative center is Heraklion (Heraklion), which is also the largest city on Crete with around 180,000 inhabitants.
For many years, Crete has been one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and, together with small neighboring islands, forms an archipelago in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Whether a party holiday in bustling Malia, romantic days in Rethymnon, relaxation in Agia Galini or swimming fun in Georgiopolis, Elafonissi or the lagoon of Balos: Crete’s diversity enchants everyone!
About 102 kilometers from the mainland, Crete stretches over a length of almost 255 kilometers (from east to west) and a Brete of about 60 kilometers.
The names of the coasts are differentiated between the Carpathian Sea in the east, the Libyan Sea in the south and the Cretan Sea in the north of the island. Crete is a very mountainous island with an extensive mountain range that is part of the South Aegean Island Bridge. The highest peaks on the island are Psiloritis in the Ida Mountains (2456m) and Lefka Ori (“the white mountain”).
The distance from Frankfurt am Main to Heraklion is around 2100 kilometers as the crow flies, the flight time to Crete from Germany is around 3 hours by flight.
The climate in Crete
Crete benefits from its southern location in the Mediterranean and has up to 305 days of sunshine a year, which is why Crete is also known as the sunniest island in the Mediterranean. The even climate reaches peak values in the dry summer months, while the winter on Crete can be comparatively mild but quite humid.
In the mountain areas there is actually snowfall. The island is divided by several micro-climatic zones, so on longer trips it is not uncommon for the weather to change. The south coast of Crete is influenced by the warm African winds and is usually characterized by temperatures around 4 to 5 degrees higher than the north of the island.
When to go to Crete
If you don’t (only) focus on a beach holiday, you can also spend the winter time on Crete wonderfully with a sweater and light jacket. In spring the temperatures begin to rise noticeably from the beginning of March, but it is not until mid- April that the daily values are constantly above 20 degrees with pleasant 8 hours of sunshine. As the best time to travel to Crete, we recommend the summer in the period from the end of May to mid- October, especially July and August bring fantastic bathing weather and optimal climate conditions.
Most of the rain falls in the winter months of December and January, during this time most tourist hotels are closed anyway. The moderate transition months of May, October and November are particularly suitable for hiking and active vacationers. Please also note the nighttime values (lowest temperature) according to our climate data, because outside of the main season it can cool down significantly after sunset.
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Heraklion (Crete)
|Daytime temperature||15 ° C||16 ° C||17 ° C||20 ° C||24 ° C||27 ° C||29 ° C||28 ° C||26 ° C||23 ° C||20 ° C||17 ° C|
|Night temperature||9 ° C||9 ° C||10 ° C||12 ° C||15 ° C||19 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||19 ° C||17 ° C||13 ° C||11 ° C|
|Water temperature||16 ° C||15 ° C||16 ° C||16 ° C||19 ° C||22 ° C||24 ° C||25 ° C||24 ° C||23 ° C||20 ° C||17 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||92||77||57||30||15||3||1||1||20||69||59||77|
|Hours of sunshine||4||4||6||8||10||12||12||11||9||6||5||4|
The annual average temperature in Heraklion is 18.7 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (26.1 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 12 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Heraklion is 25 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. All but January, February, March and April have a water temperature of at least 17 ° C. Bathing is then possible to a limited extent. The months of June, July, August, September and October have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.
The annual precipitation is 501 mm on 53 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. You cannot expect snow in any month in Heraklion.
As our climate table shows, July is the sunniest month with an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day. The average annual sun shines 7.6 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The following larger towns are nearby and have a similar climate: Crete, Heraklion Municipality and Heraklion.
Sights and excursions
At the top of the popularity scale are tours to the dream beaches of Elafonissi, the rocky island of Spinalonga and the turquoise blue lagoon of Balos (by boat from Kastelli). Falassarna, Seitan Limania (in Akrotiri) and Stalis Beach are among the most beautiful beaches in Crete. A visit to the old Venetian port of Chania and the romantic old town of Rethymno in the north of Crete is not only recommended for couples.
Both places have their very special charm and attract with fantastic restaurants right on the water. The palace of Knossós is very close by, and the monastery of Arkadi is a major attraction in the region. Families with children love the Aquaworld Aquarium with the attached reptile sanctuary in Chersonissos.
The exciting day trips from Safari Club Crete in an off-road vehicle through the high plains of Lasithi are highly recommended.
Crete weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 17 ° C and 24 ° C can be expected over the next three months. In Heraklion it gets warmest in May, while March is noticeably cooler.
Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 16-19 ° C.
The expected rainfall is around 7 days in March, around 3 days in April and around 2 days in May.
In the period from March to May , the sun shines an average of 6 to 10 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in May in Heraklion, but with less sun you will have to get by in March.