Crete in Greece
With an area of 8,260 km², the island of Crete is the largest island in Greece and almost independent. Crete is by deep ravines divided into four main provinces. The capital of the island has been Iráklion (Heraklion) since 1971. Crete is also called the cradle of European history because of the settlement. Crete began around 6,000 BC, and Crete joined Greece in 1913. The island’s famous Knossós is
worth seeing, with the remains of an ancient city and Minoan palace complexes. Other impressive Minoan finds are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Iráklion. The Minoan culture was coined between 2000 and 1500 BC. The Minoans were the first great power in the Aegean and created a multitude of impressive buildings and palaces.
There is also one of the most beautiful hiking trails on CreteEurope, in the Samariá Gorge, is home to many rare birds and plants. The entrance to the gorge is on the southern edge of the Omalós plateau. On a hike of around five to eight hours, you can go to Agía Roúmeli, past the small chapel of Samaría, and on to the coast through the Sideróportes (the “Iron Gate”). Here the gorge becomes very narrow.
A beautiful seaside resort can be found with Nomós Lassíthion in eastern Crete. Not far from there, in the village of Krítsa, you can visit the Panagía Kerá church, which dates from the 13th century and has beautiful Byzantine frescoes.
A pretty Venetian harbor can be found in Réthimnon in central Crete. There are a multitude of good restaurants with fresh fish dishes there as well as two mosques that give the city a bit of an oriental flair. A loggia from the 17th century is probably the most beautiful building in the Venetian architectural style.
Only about 25 kilometers southwest of Réthimnon is the mountain Psiloratís at 2,452 meters. The mountain and the area around the mountain are great for hiking. On the southwest side is the Amári Valley, which is popular with ornithologists.
The south coast of the Greek island is wild and pristine. East and west of Chóra Sfakíon it is only green for a short time in spring and winter, the rest of the time it is withered there.
Crete is a popular travel destination and now lives mainly from tourism, until a few years ago agriculture was the largest source of income on Crete.
Crete, one of the largest and southernmost islands in the Mediterranean Sea, is around 150 kilometers south of mainland Greece on the 35th parallel north. Due to its southern location, the climate on Crete is a dry Mediterranean climate. The Mediterranean climate and the proximity to North Africa result in very hot, dry summers and only comparatively short, rainy winter months.
Due to the Dikti Mountains, the Ida Mountains and the White Mountains, however, the climate is differentiated between North and South Crete. On the north coast, in contrast to the bare south coast, there is lush vegetation. In the south, due to the shielding effect of the up to 2,400 meter high mountains, it is significantly warmer and in winter also significantly drier than in the north. The same applies to eastern Crete (warmer and drier) compared to western Crete.
According to bridgat, the southern location gives Crete long summer temperatures averaging over twenty degrees between April and mid-November. In midsummer, from June to August, the air, especially inland and on the south (east) coast, can heat up to more than forty degrees C for a long time. At night in midsummer, the thermometer does not drop below twenty degrees.
The months of April, May and September and October offer particularly pleasant temperatures. During the day it is already over 25 degrees, at night it cools down to a pleasant 17 degrees. But even in winter, at least in the lower areas, an average of 15 degrees can still be expected, although it can be very cold in the mountains.
Most of the precipitation falls from November to February. At high altitudes there is snow in the winter months, which often remains on the high peaks until summer. Some areas of Crete are regularly cut off from the outside world by the snow, and the roads are then impassable. In midsummer there is practically no rain on Crete.
Best travel time for Crete
Spring is generally considered to be the most beautiful travel time for Crete. From Easter the temperatures reach a pleasant level.
Visits and tours are possible from mid-March, and bathing weather can be expected from April / May. However, the sea water only warms up to bathing temperatures of more than twenty degrees from May, which it also maintains until November.
In summer it is too hot for excursions in the mountains, although the high altitudes naturally have fresher temperatures than are measured in the coastal areas or plateaus. Especially on the north coast, the Meltemi, which blows from the north, is particularly refreshing in summer and offers good conditions for surfers. In the south, on the other hand, hot winds from Africa predominate, which do not blow as reliably as the Meltemi.