Winter in Crete starts very rapidly. One day you are still in shorts and t-shirts, and the very next day you can already be wearing a winter coat. But don’t forget that to the Greek understanding, winter is when the temperature is lower than +20°C. Yes, no kidding!
That’s why, starting from November, when the thermometer shows +19°C, people already wish each other Καλό χειμώνα! (Kalo xim’ona) – which means Have a good winter!
This is also the time when most of the tourist establishments, like hotels, restaurants, beach bars, and souvenir shops, are closing until spring.
Therefore, in some parts of the main Cretan cities, you can even get a feeling of desolation. Worry not! Just head to the main streets, you will see that they’re full of life.
Another interesting fact is that during the winter months, the island starts to… blossom! What about fresh green grass in December? Or trees full of lemons, oranges, and pomegranates?
And what would you say about fragrant flowers and lush trees surrounded by butterflies and bees in January or February? All this is happening in Crete!
Winter in Crete is also a time of storms and rains. But even though some storms can be really heavy, they don’t last long, and most of the time you can enjoy soft sunny days a few hours after.
The temperature usually doesn’t go lower than +10. But here is a thing: Don’t trust the thermometer. Because of the high humidity, it often feels much colder during winter. So, be sure to have warm clothes in your luggage.
Keep in mind that in the mountains the temperature is lower than by the sea. Plus, while along the coast it might be raining, up in the mountains it will be snowing (usually from January). Yes, we have snow. And sometimes really a lot of snow!
As you see, Crete in winter is an island of contrast. One day you have a crazy storm with thunder and lightning, and the very next day it’s so warm and sunny that you can drink your coffee at the seaside, or even have a swim.
Drive just for an hour up to the mountains and you’ll be playing with snowballs.
Now that we finish with this little weather overview, let’s move on to the tasty part, what you can do in winter in Crete!