Weather and Climate conditions in Crete

The weather in Crete is characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The climate of Crete is a temperate Mediterranean climate.

There are significant differences between the coastal zone and the mountainous areas, as well as between the west and the east part of Crete, when it comes to the weather conditions. The mountains of Crete form an East-West barrier to prevailing northerly winds and they trap the clouds sweeping down the aegean. The result is that it may be grey and wet in the north, but sunny on the south coast where often the clouds do not extend over the sea.

  • Coastal zone: Dry summer, mild winter. The rainy season starts in late October and lasts till March or even April. Snowfalls are extremely rare in the coastal zone of Crete, especially so in the eastern part of the island.
  • The east part of Crete (Sitia area) is drier and warmer than the west part (Chania district). This is obvious in the vegetation. Chania is a lot greener than the desert-like Sitia area.
  • The same difference applies between the north coast and the south coast of Crete, with the south coast being drier and warmer.
  • The winter in the mountainous zone of Crete can be very cold with severe snowfalls. It is not unusual for the roads to be closed due to snowfalls. Up in the high summits of Mt Ida and the White Mountains the snow stays until late June.