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Crete holidays

11-40 ℃

A Mediterranean climate means warm summers and mild winters.

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4 hours

Heraklion Airport (HER) and Crete Chania Airport (CHQ).

Weather and climate in Crete

Temperature: 11-40 (°C)

When’s the best time to go?

From the ancient capital of Heraklion to the sandy beaches of Ierapetra, Crete is one of the most beautiful Greek islands, and also the largest. Packed with beautiful beaches, ancient treasures and sleepy villages, a holiday to Crete is sure to be a memorable experience. But when is the best time to go and what do you need to know before you jet off? Our Crete travel advice is here to help.

Crete has a Mediterranean climate with hot, sunny summers and mild, wet winters. The hottest month is August with the average temperature reaching around 29°C, making summer the ideal time for a beach break. Sometimes a heatwave can see temperatures as high as 35-40°C, so don’t forget to pack your sun cream.

The sea is at its warmest from July-September which is ideal for swimming and snorkelling, while from mid-May to mid-September you may find the sea a little rough due to coastal winds.

Spring remains one of the most popular times to visit Crete, with temperatures in May ranging from 19°C-27°C and plenty of sunshine. During the months of October-March, Greece has its rainy season and it can be a little chilly, with temperatures averaging around 10°C during the day which often gets lower at night.

If you’re planning on visiting ancient ruins or taking excursions, spring or autumn is the best time to visit Crete, when attractions are less crowded, and the weather is cooler.

Crete Weather Overview

Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

Crete is best for...

Beach lovers: Beautiful beaches are a big draw for holidays here. You’ll find sandy stretches dotted all over the island’s 650-mile coastline, including pretty spots in Aghios Nikolaos, Chania and Heraklion.  

Explorers: You’ll absolutely adore the tiny island of Spinalonga, which you can cruise over to and discover village ruins. If you love a bit of rock-climbing, head inland and you’ll find the spectacular White Mountains; ideal if you’re the outdoorsy type.

History buffs: Travel back into the Bronze Age at the ancient palace of Knossos and discover glorious Venetian architecture in the town of Rethymnon (which also plays host to the annual Renaissance Festival).

Fast facts for Crete

Language: The language spoken is Greek.

Currency: The currency used is the Euro (€).

Local time: Crete is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Heraklion International Airport. Transfers take between 15 minutes for Heraklion and 2 hours 40 minutes for Elounda.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Crete is 3.5–4 hours.

Tourist information: Find further tourist information before your Crete holiday at www.incrediblecrete.com

Visa and health: For health and visa recommendations, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece.

 

Getting around Crete

By hire car: Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, so the best way to cover long distances is with a hire car. It’ll also give you the freedom to explore in your own time. 

By bus: The island’s local bus services are regular and efficient; they run throughout the day to and from Heraklion (the island capital) and biggest cities to all the main resorts, beaches and archaeological sites.

By boat: Why not hop on board a boat tour from Chania and head for the unspoiled islet of Gramvousa and the luminous Balos Lagoon?

Events in Crete

Bands on the beach: Matala Beach Festival (held annually at the end of June) is a free summer celebration in the south; you can expect lots of music on the beach and a host of other events inspired by the 1960s hippie era. 

Renaissance Festival: Since 1987, this famous festival has taken place every year in late summer in the Cretan town of Rethymnon. Plays, music and comedy take place all over the town to celebrate the Cretan and European Renaissance and Rethymnon’s rich Venetian heritage.

Chania Summer Festival: From July to September, the ancient city of Chania plays host to a long list of cultural events; think theatrical nights, art exhibitions and traditional Cretan music and dance.

Crete safety and security

Passport and Visas

Do I need a passport?

All visitors to Crete will need a passport which must be valid for the duration of your stay. No specific period of validity is required beyond this.

For more information on Crete passport requirements and details of the country’s entry specifications, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/entry-requirements.

Do I need a visa?

British citizens travelling to Greece on holiday do not need a visa. If you’re unsure if you need a visa, it’s best to check with the Greek Embassy.

For more Greek visa information and details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/entry-requirements.

Health and Safety

Should I get travel health insurance?

Anyone planning a holiday to Crete will want to ensure they have comprehensive travel and health insurance. This way if you’re injured or become ill on your trip, you’ll be covered for the cost of emergency medical treatment or even your return back to the UK. It’s always a good idea to check your policy documents thoroughly before your trip, just so you’re aware of what is and what isn’t covered. We also recommend checking that any activities you’re planning for your holiday will be covered by your insurance.

Any other tips?

  • The currency here is the Euro, and you’ll find plenty of cash machines in major cities and busier resorts. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted but it’s worth noting your card issuer may charge you a fee for using your card or withdrawing cash abroad.
  • Smoking is banned in all public places in Crete.
  • For more information and travel advice for your trip to Crete, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece.

 

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