Most of the people are visiting Crete during the summer season. I would suggest a visit outside the season. Why would I say that? The island is green and quiet. The sea is so clean and the beaches without sunbeds and umbrellas. The mountains white with snow most of the winter months and it is blooming everywhere. How is the weather you would ask… As a bad summer in the North I would say. The sun is warm all the winter, but not hot, it is raining some days, but not too often. The sea is ok for swimming if you like temperatures around 15-20, the same more or less than the temperature in the air.
You meet the locals without them being tired of the tourists and have time for you. You can find some nice hotels open all over Crete. The tourist machines like Hersonissos, Mallia, Stalis, Plakias and Agia Marina will be closed, but there are enough hotels open all over the island. You can also rent a house or a villa and the prices are much lower out of season.
It is very different to travel the island without the heat and the crowd.
All the towns are so inviting with their taverns, houses and flats for rent, small and big hotels and pensions. You can walk around and enjoy the nature so green you wouldn’t believe it! It is a wonderful time for hiking and sightseeing. I know that most people visit in the summertime, when the flights are direct, the big hotels are open and the beaches are full of people, noise and sunbeds.
Of course that’s when you have holidays, and you find bars, clubs and music. But the Crete you meet in out of season is so beautiful and it is well worth to try out. Of course you will find all that you look for in the towns. Bars, clubs and music, but with the locals enjoying themselves. Today you can book your plane ticket and accommodation from home, and make your own package anytime of the year. Ok, you will spend a day traveling maybe, but so do you if you travel to Thailand or Afica, that’s even longer away, so it’s not that bad.
Crete has all you need, beautiful nature, sea, beaches, mountains, villages and towns. Olive groves, orange and lemon trees, rare flowers and birds. Good food and drinks, museums and archaeological sites all over the island.
Crete is yours for discovering also in the winter…
…you will find restaurants and taverns with a fireplace on a cold day, nice and cozy, with local winter dishes. Ok, you will not be guaranteed sun all the time, but what is wrong with some rain, wind and maybe snow? Rent a car or take the local buses around and discover!! Remember as well as hotels, you also find travel agencies and car rentals open all the year.
I recommend visits to the best beaches like Elafonissi and Falasserna out of the season, it’s ”another world”. You have the beaches almost to yourself, and can enjoy the nature as it really is. Christmas time is lovely, with the Christmas-lights, the trees and a lot of good food and drinks. Taste the local specialties in sweets and dishes. Snow in the mountains and lovely stone hotels with fireplaces on Omalos plateau or in Anogeia and Lassithi region. Pick and choose your Christmas and winter destination in Crete!
In Hania we also have the famous Santa Run, that is a local version of Santa Run, were the whole town and lots of visitors join in. We walk, all dressed as Santa Claus, around town and old town. The money all goes to the needy children. The five last years thousands of people of all ages joined in. It is a wonderful event that we are very proud of!! This year they hope to collect 100.000 euros for the children of Chania. Have a look at the website: http://www.santarunchania.com/santa-run-chania-en/
In february there are many carnivals all over the island. The biggest and most famous is the one in Rethymno. Read about it here: http://www.rethymnoselfcatering.com/rethymno-carnival.html
Crete is ”open”, and you are always welcome here!