Crete in February: weather and travel tips

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 19.03.2024

Let’s face it — given that Crete is largely known for being a sun-drenched summer destination, it's unlikely to feature on your February destination wish-list. But given that there are lots of good reasons to visit Greece in winter, you might want to read on for winter travel inspo, and info on the weather in Crete in February. In addition, we share itinerary suggestions and tips that’ll help you make the most of your time on this gorgeous Greek island.

What's the weather like in Crete in February?

First up, the good news. Crete — Greece’s most southerly island — has some of the warmest winter weather in Europe. 

In less good news for lovers of warmer temperatures, the weather in Crete in February is a far cry from the scorching heat of its peak summer season months. That is to say, it's mild-to-chilly and changeable, with rain and wind on the cards.

That said, you'll see some sunny days as the island starts to warm up after winter. 

Considering visiting Crete in February? Browse our inspirational Greece itineraries to start planning your perfect trip.

Balos lagoon on Crete island, Greece © Shutterstock

The weather in Crete in February might be a bit brisk for bathing in the likes of Balos Lagoon © Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Crete in February

In February, Crete’s average daytime temperature sits around 12ºC, with highs of 16ºC and lows of 8ºC — ideal for long walks on the wild side, less so for sun bathing.

Given that February’s sea temperature will be around 16ºC, you can also forget bathing in blissfully balmy waters.

For some context, in January, Crete’s average low temperatures range from 9—11°C. Come the afternoon, you might see mild highs of 16°C, and a drop to 8°C in the evening. 

Meanwhile, during the summer peak season month of August, Crete hits an average daytime temperature of around 28℃, while the sea averages 26℃ .

Average rainfall in Crete in February

In February, you can expect an average of 64mm of rain to fall in Crete. This is typically spread across 11 days. 

For comparison, January sees an average of 60mm of rainfall, while December — Crete’s rainiest month — experiences a soggy 89mm. Come July and August, rain is practically non-existent. 

For more detail on the weather in Greece around the year, read up on when to go to Greece

Samaria Gorge. Crete, Greece © proslgn/Shutterstock

Wear warm wet weather gear to explore Samaria Gorge in February © Shitterstock

Is February a good time to visit Crete?

Whether February is a good time to visit Crete depends entirely on what you want from your winter break. 

While Crete isn’t the place to come if you’re looking for a scorching-hot winter sun destination, and are longing to stretch on the island’s beautiful beaches, February is a good time to visit if you’re into authentic travel experiences.

Being low season, you’ll be able to explore the island’s ancient sites with fewer crowds, and visit the island’s world-class museums in peace. 

For example, showcasing treasures from the Minoan Civilisations, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is regarded as one of the most important museums in Europe.

In addition, you’ll also be able to dine at leisure like a local, free from the rush and bustle of summer high season. 

You just need to be prepared for the weather, and seasonal closures — more on both below.

Keen to enjoy a February trip? For more ideas, discover more of the best places to visit in February.

The North Entrance of the Palace with charging bull fresco in Knossos at Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Knossos, Crete © Shutterstock

What about the crowds and cost?

Visiting Crete in a low season month like February has its benefits. Lower costs for a start. In good news for bargain hunters, flights and accommodation will be much cheaper in February. 

In addition, the dearth of tourists means you can explore the island in a more laidback, authentic fashion.

Just be aware that some restaurants, resorts, hotels close for the winter season, and airlines and ferry operators run reduced services.

Taverns in the Old Town of Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania, Crete © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Crete?

Looking to enjoy a winter break that’s big on natural beauty and ancient history? Take inspiration from our Greece itineraries. Here we highlight just a few of them.

  • Coast of Crete — a stunning self-drive experience (10 days): if you’re longing for awe-inspiring scenery, ancient culture, and a sense of freedom, this self-drive trip along Crete’s coast has your name all over it.
  • Milos — an exclusive island idyll (9 days): for an alternate Greek Island experience, why not get to know the Aegean’s most exotic island while staying in a private luxury villa by the sea?
  • Epirus and Athens — the Ancient Sites (8 days): shrouded in myths and legends of Greek gods and Roman and Byzantine warriors, sites in the Epirus region of Greece have fascinating tales to tell. Add to that exploring Athens and the magic of mortuaries Zagori, and this amounts to a diversely exhilarating experience.

All these suggestions can be customised to your exact needs, with a local expert on hand to offer insider tips, and take the hassle out of planning and booking.

Looking for even more options for your winter getaway? Explore our guide to the best places for a February holiday.

Seitan beach on Crete island- Greece © Shutterstock

Seitan Beach, Crete © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Crete in February

Here we highlight a couple of key cultural events you could experience in Crete in February.

Carnival

Falling in February or March, Crete’s carnival sees music, dancing, drinking and parades take place across the island.

The largest parade is held in Rethymno, with notable festivities also taking place in Crousona, Armeni, Vamos, Agia Varvara, Aptera, Melambes, Meronas, Nerokouros, Souda, Vatolakos, Zaros and Agii Deka.

Feast Day of Agios Charalambos

10th February sees the Greek Orthodox Church commemorate the Feast Day of Agios Charalambos — a saint who protected his people as a shepherd guards his flocks. In fact, he’s revered for protecting islanders from the plague. 

Look out for religious buildings dedicated to him around the island, including a chapel built into a cave accessed via a path near Agios Charalambos beach.

Expect to see traditional dances throughout the day, and don’t miss the chance to enjoy local food.

Knossos Palace ruins. Heraklion, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Knossos, Crete © Shutterstock

Tips for travelling to Crete in February

Convinced Crete is worth visiting in February? Read on for a few trip-enhancing tips.

What to wear in Crete in February

As will be clear from reading about the average temperatures, the weather in Crete in February is rather chilly.

So, you’ll want to wear a coat, and pack plenty of jumpers and scarves. You’ll also want waterproof outer attire, an umbrella, and comfy shoes that are suitable for walking in cold, wet weather.

Check for seasonal closures

Be aware that many resorts, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues close their doors during the quieter winter months.

So, before setting your heart on particular places to eat, sleep and make merry, be sure to check they’re up and running in February.

You’ll also want to research flights and ferry schedules in good time — there’ll be fewer running in February.

Consider renting a car

Related to seasonal closures, if you’re planning to visit Crete in February — or during any low-season month, for that matter — consider hiring a car.

While the peak season period comes with reliable island-wide public transport, many services are reduced — or stop completely — during the low season.

As a result, hiring a car could ensure your capacity to explore the island isn’t curbed. 

Mirtos bay and beach at Crete island in Greece © Shutterstock

Mirtos Bay and beach, Crete © Shutterstock

Planning your February trip to Crete

If you love the sound of Crete, get yourself The Rough Guide to Crete to start planning your trip. 

Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of planning, browse our customisable Greece itineraries.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 19.03.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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