Crete and, more specifically, Lasithi have one of the best climates in the world, with almost 300 days of sunlight every year. It is temperate and it is considered as one of the mildest and healthiest in Europe. A factor that contributes importantly to the climate is the sea that surrounds the island and limits the intensity of the sun during the summer resulting in hot and dry summers and really mild winters.
Lasithi is an ideal place for holidays, rest, sports, entertainment and trips throughout the whole year. The characteristics of the Cretan year are the pleasant summer, the soft sunshine in the spring and autumn, the mild winter (however snowed landscapes are not absent), the cold north winds and the mild south winds.
In the coastal areas and especially in the northern ones the climate is so mild that tropical plants, such as banana trees are cultivated. Ierapetra is considered to be the hottest Greek city and the areas of the coast of the Libyan Sea are considered to be the hottest and driest in Greece.
Weather in Crete is characterized by the mild, rainy winters and the hot, dry summers and the climate is temperate Mediterranean. Eastern Crete includes the most arid, hot and sunny areas in Europe. The rains on the south as well as on the east do not exceed 400 millimeters per year, the average temperature is higher than 20°C and the sunlight is the biggest in Greece. The respective rates in Chania, for example, are at least 700 millimetres of rain and 18,9°. When rains begin they are strong and they are limited within the period from October to March. The etesians that are predominant in the summer months lessen the temperature, while during the winter the south winds are as frequent as the north ones.
There are important differences between the coastal zone and the mountainous areas, as well as between the west and the east part of Crete. In the coastal zone we can observe dry summers and mild winters. The raining period begins about the end of October and lasts until March or even April. Snowfall is extremely rare in the coastal zone of Crete, especially on the east part of the island.
The east part of Crete (Siteia area) is drier and hotter than the west part (Chania area) and this is obvious in the vegetation. Chania is a much greener place compared to the dry area of Siteia. The same difference can be observed between the north and the south coast of Crete, with the south coast being drier and hotter. Winter in the mountainous zone of east Crete can be really cold with many snowfalls. It is not rare that streets be blocked because of snowfalls and on high mountaintops the snow remains until the end of June.
January: cold, rainy and stormy. There is a one-week period during January that the weather is generally good and the winds stop. This period is called the Halcyon Days.
February: slightly hotter and sunnier than January. Almond trees are the first ones to blossom in February, the weather is unpredictable and cold and hot days are alternated.
March: usually cold and stormy but there are also many sunny days. In March 2001 there was a hot wave with temperatures as high as 30°C but that was an exception. The first daring swimmers appear.
April: spring period in Crete with middle and low rainfall. Crete is full of wonderful wildflowers.
May: the weather in Crete becomes hot and sunny and it is impossible to rain after the 10th of May. The seasonal north winds called “etesians” have not appeared yet, the sea is peaceful and nature is at its best. It is the best month for open-air activities. A jacket will prove to be useful during the evening hours.
June: sunny and hot. Time to go to the beach!
July and August: stormy and really hot, they are the months in which seasonal north winds appear. It is difficult to do anything during these months other than staying all day at the beach. Look for a shadowy place and drink much water. Do not forget your hat or sunglasses; this is not the best weather for people who can’t stand high temperatures (30-40ο C).
September: sunny, less stormy and slightly cooler. It is an ideal period for open-air activities. Have a jacket for the evening hours especially if you plan to visit mountainous areas.
October: sunny, very few stormy days but some rainfall will probably appear. The weather is ideal for open-air activities. It is the month when the traditional drink of Crete, raki, is distilled out of grapes. Warm clothes are rarely necessary.
November: the weather becomes unpredictable since it may be sunny but there are also many rainy and stormy days. Prefer a jumper and don’t forget your umbrella. Sometimes, north winds start transferring sand from Sahara Desert. This sand covers the Cretan sky and causes strange weather conditions.
December: weather conditions vary from year to year with a mix of stormy, peaceful, rainy, sunny, cold and hot days. Warm clothes are necessary but there are days during which the temperature along the length of south coast makes swimming possible and pleasant.
Source: Technological Research Centre of Crete