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.

Look out for special winter offers on off-peak winter dates - usually in November and January/February/March
- when prices start from around 20 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

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 restaurants.
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 2004-2017    Carol Palioudaki         Winter in Crete      www.livingincrete.net         
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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 25th 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 2017  - a party atmosphere, carnival
parades and masked balls.

Clean Monday  27th February 2017– 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 16th April 2017.  Greek Easter is celebrated with many local customs and traditions.