October / November see the last of the direct flights going back to the UK & Europe and from
November to March Crete returns to its old rhythms of life.

Some hotels in the towns stay open during the winter months, but there is little winter tourism
and beach resorts close down. There are no direct flights to the island from Europe between
November and March but there are regular domestic flights to and from Athens.

The towns and villages are still very much alive and busy in the winter months as the locals go  about their
daily business. On the roads there are numerous pick-up trucks loaded  with olives, firewood
or livestock as well as the usual traffic, but with hardly a hire-car  in sight.

Nightlife changes from the summer scene of beach bars and outdoor tavernas to trendy indoor town cafes and restaurants,
and cozy village cafeneons and tavernas with wood-burning stoves or open fireplaces.

Cretans turn to their fields and gather their olive and orange harvests. Nearly every Cretan family owns at least one olive
grove on the island. Weekends are often spent away from the towns as people head for their 'horio' (village) to gather
their olives, or to visit relatives.

The weather is changeable. November and December tend to be reasonably mild, with January and February generally the
coldest months. Crete has some very heavy rainfall and spectacular storms during the winter months, but invariably the
sun always comes out at some point and there are glorious warm sunny days too. Temperatures vary; at sea level it can be
as low as 2oC or as high as 20oC plus.

There are regular snowfalls in the mountain villages and the White Mountains are usually snow-covered from November to
April. If you are in Crete in winter a trip up to the snow is a must.

Getting to and from Crete In Winter


For the winter months (November to March) it is possible to fly to Crete via Athens or Thessaloniki, with daily flights
throughout the year to and from Athens operated by:
Aegean/Olympic Airlines to both Heraklion and Chania  
Ryanair between Athens and Chania / Thessaloniki and Chania

All offer cheaper fares if you book in advance, and online, with their etickets.
Aegean also offer cheap add-on fares if you book their through flights from/to another country, e.g. London/Athens/Chania.

Look out for special winter offers on off-peak winter dates - usually in November and January/February/March - when prices
start from around 25 Euros one way, including all taxes, between Crete and Athens.


Ferry services run daily to and from Piraeus to Chania and Heraklion
throughout the year.

ANEK lines run overnight services to and from Piraeus/Heraklion and
Piraeus/Chania daily (approx 9 hour sailings).

Blue Star / Superfast Ferries run services to and from Piraeus/Heraklion daily.

Minoan Lines  run an overnight service to and from Piraeus/Heraklion daily
(approx 9 hour sailing)

Online booking is available via the above links.

All have large modern ships with comfortable lounges, bars and
At peak times - weekends and holidays throughout the winter (e.g.
Christmas, New Year, Apokries, Easter) as well as during the summer, the
ferries can be very crowded and advance booking is essential around peak

Ferry prices start at around 25 Euros per person one way for deck class.

Hotels and accommodation on Crete in Winter

Many hotels and apartments are open throughout the winter season in Crete, particularly in the main towns. Prices are
reasonable, with special offers during this off-peak season. Search for winter accommodation; hotels and apartments in:
Agios Nikolaos
Copyright 2004-2016 Carol Palioudaki.    Winter in Crete   www.livingincrete.net         
Winter in Crete
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Winter in Crete
Winter in Crete - White Mountains
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Index  > Greek Life > Winter in Crete
Index  > Greek Life > Winter in Crete
Winter & Spring Festivals in Crete

A number of festivals take place during the winter season in Crete. Click on the links for more information.

Christmas and New Year festivities The 12 days of Christmas are
celebrated between 24th December and 6th January.

Epiphany on the 6th January is the Holy Blessing of the Waters  -
waterside ceremonies.

Carnival  period runs for three weeks, during February & March 2016 - a party atmosphere, carnival
parades and masked balls.

Clean Monday 14th March 2016– marked by Lenten picnics and kite flying

March 25th is Greek Independence Day as well as a major religious holiday
- marked by school and military parades throughout Greece

Greek Easter   -  Sunday 1st May 2016.  Greek Easter is celebrated with many local customs and traditions.