Crete travel guide

Weather and climate

Temperature: 11-40 (°C)

The weather in Crete varies from region to region. Coastal resorts enjoy scorching summer temperatures of up to 40°C, while central areas tend to experience more comfortable weather in the mid-high 20s. Spring and autumn seasons are mild, too, so book your holiday for this time of year if you want to do some sightseeing or head out into the natural landscape. As for winters, temperatures vary from cool highs of 17°C in the coastal regions to snowy conditions and single-figure temperatures in the mountainous areas.

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).

More about Crete

OverviewThings to doWeatherCurrency

Fast facts

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.

Holiday destinations related to Crete:

 

 

Getting around

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

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.

Safety and Security

For up to date advice on travelling to Crete, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/safety-and-security