Why you should visit Crete in Spring
This time last year the bf and I visited Crete, the largest island of Greece and fifth largest in the Med. We nearly didn’t go as we had three destinations lined up (Sardinia and Mallorca being the other two) and only chose Crete as it didn’t work out with the Airbnb apartments that we contacted. It turned out to be a great decision because we spent two glorious weeks exploring ancient ruins, strolling through beautiful old towns, sampling delicious food and wine and admiring the stunning landscape.
Most people visit Crete in summer but here’s why you should go in (early) spring:
#1 The weather is perfect
Summer gets very hot – up to 38C hot! Right now the forecast says mid to high twenties, the average temperature is between 17 and 24 degrees. If you’re from Northern Europe it’ll basically feel like summer – it did to us anyway! We only wore summer clothes. If swimming in the sea is a must for you then late spring (June) might be better because in April the water is still quite cold (around 17C). However temperatures are perfect for hiking gorges and visiting ancient ruins – these places tend to have no place to hide from the sun and will be unbearable in the heat.
#2 Less tourists, more locals
During peak season even an island as large as this gets seriously overcrowded. The owner of the apartment where we stayed told us that you need to book rental cars in advance because they do run out regularly or you’re left with little choice. We visited one week before the actual tourist season even started and thanks to this we were able to chat with the locals. Our most memorable experience was sitting down in a taverna (that’s what they call restaurants there) and the owner, a very old lady, came out to take orders. She spoke no English, we didn’t speak any Greek and there was no menu. You get served whatever is cooked up that day. Somehow we managed to order starters and mains and, needless to say, the food was delicious! But this wasn’t uncommon. Almost everywhere we went we were greeted with a huge smile, served like royals and chatted up by locals. Forget about that when the island is full with tourists and you can barely get a seat in a cafe!
#3 Mother nature is working her magic
The first thing I noticed was the wild flowers. Everywhere. The smell was intoxicating and they looked so beautiful. Whites, yellows, reds, purples – it made the island even more enchanting. In April you will also be able to see snowcaps on the Lefka Ori – the White Mountains. Also, orange and lemon trees are in abundance on Crete and I remember stopping our car in the middle of nowhere to pick a fresh lemon of a tree. It was heaven.
#4 It’s dirt cheap
This should go without saying. Naturally peak season costs more than off peak. We managed to bag a Ryanair bargain flying out just when they had started their Dublin to Chania route, so we only paid around €110 return each. Later in the year I have seen prices go up to €350 which kind of defeats the purpose of going low cost! Accommodation is easy to find, too, and we paid €40 per night for a 2 bedroom maisonette apartment with two balconies and a terrace with direct access to the pool.
I tried hard but cannot find a fifth reason to save my life, so apologies to all OCD-sufferers if this list looks incomplete. The above four should be more than enough though, and if they haven’t convinced you then I’m not sure what will, so:
GO and see it for yourself. Thank me later 😉
There will be more posts coming on things to see and do.