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

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.

* Petition easyJet and Ryanair for direct winter flights to Crete Go to the petition

The towns 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


In 2014 Ryanair and easyJet extend their summer routes throughout November
and it is possible to fly direct to and from Crete until November 30th.

For the remainder of the winter months it is possible to fly via Athens, with daily flights
throughout the year to and from Athens operated by:
Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines to both Heraklion and Chania  
Ryanair betweeen Athens and Chania.

All offer cheaper fares if you book in advance, and online, with their etickets.
Aegean and Olympic 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 30 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 2004-2014 Carol Palioudaki.    Winter in Crete   www.livingincrete.net         
Winter in Crete
Living in Crete
Winter in Crete
Winter in Crete - White Mountains
Cretan poppy
Index  > Greek Life > Winter in Crete
Index  > Greek Life > Winter in Crete
Winter Festivals in Crete

A number of festivals take place during
the winter season in Crete.

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, normally during February or
March – a party atmosphere, carnival
parades and masked balls.

Clean Monday in March – 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

Easter  in April - Greek Easter is
celebrated with many local customs
and traditions.
olive picking in Crete
winter in crete