Crete in October: weather and travel tips

written by Joanne Owen

updated 26.10.2023

Wondering about the weather in Crete in October? Read on for a run-down of everything you need to know on that subject. Here we cover everything from average air and sea temperatures, to what to expect in terms of costs and crowds, and what to wear. In addition, we share inspired itinerary suggestions that’ll help you make the most of your trip.

Is October a good time to visit Crete?

If you’re not keen on crowds and super-scorching weather, October is a great time to visit Crete, Greece's largest island.

In fact, many return visitors to the island wax lyrical about September and October being their favourite time to go. And the reasons? While the weather is mild (all the better if you’re planning an active holiday), you can expect 6-8 hours of sunshine a day.

Visiting Crete in October is also all the better for exploring the island's top ancient attractions, which draw colossal queues during the peak summer season. What's more, fewer crowds and lower costs mean you have a better chance of bagging the best accommodation at a better price. 

Thinking of visiting Crete in October? Talk to our local Greek travel experts

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Wondering about the weather in Crete in October? It's still pretty warm and sunny © Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Crete in October

With an average daily maximum of 23°C, and average minimum of 17°C, the weather in Crete in October is warm-to-mild. In other words, it’s nigh-prefect for folks who struggle with the intense heat of summer, but aren’t keen on the cold.

With sea temperatures around the 23°C mark, October is also an excellent time to soak in Crete’s idyllic waters.

Set on taking a trip to Greece? Browse our inspirational Greece itineraries to start planning your perfect trip.

Average rainfall in October

With an average of 14 mm of rainfall in October, visiting Crete in October also fares pretty well on the precipitation front.

Across the month, on any given day, there’s a 62% chance of blue skies and a 38% chance of clouds.

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

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Elafonísi, Crete — one of the best beaches in Greece © Shutterstock

What about the crowds and cost?

Being shoulder season, visiting Crete in October means the crowds of peak summer season have departed. At the same time, the hiked costs of flights and accommodation also drop off.

Just be aware that while you can bag some bargains when it comes to booking flights and ferries, operators might be running reduced services.

Set on taking an autumn break? For further inspo, discover more of the best places to visit in October. As it happens, Crete is among them.

Seitan beach on Crete island- Greece © Shutterstock

Seitan beach, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Unforgettable, fully customisable Crete itineraries 

Longing for an October break that serves stacks of natural beauty, unique history, and world-class wine and dining experiences? 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 in Zagori, and this amounts to a diversely exhilarating experience.

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

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The weather in Crete in October remains ripe for water-sports © Shutterstock

Tips for travelling to Crete in October

What to wear in Crete in October?

For the day, you can wear pretty much what you’d bring for a summer break i.e. come armed with beach and swimwear.

You’ll also want to pack cool, comfortable clothes for daytime exploration (e.g. shorts and sun dresses), plus a light layers and longer garb for the evening, when it cools down.

Is A/C necessary in Crete in October?

While daytime temperatures can reach 23C, this drops off in the evening and overnight. So, in our view, A/C isn’t necessary in Crete in October. This might give you more choice when deciding where to stay.

Do I need to book in advance?

While October is outside high season, and there are bargains to be had, it’s no secret that Crete is one of the best Greek islands to visit in autumn. As a result, you’d like to book your preferred flights and hotel, resort or guesthouse early, before others do so!

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

Knossos, Crete © Shutterstock

What to do in Crete in October

Crete delivers thousands of years of unique culture and rich history alongside untamed natural beauty. And, happily, October is the ideal time to take advantage of seeing the island’s top cultural attractions unhindered by crowds.

It’s also the perfect time to back to nature in cooler temperatures that are easier to handle than during the heady heights of summer.

With those general points in mind — plus a run-down of October festivals — read on for ideas for what to do in Crete in October.

Get your adventure on 

Cooler temperatures make October a great time to try your hand at gorge walking and trail hiking in Crete’s wild interior.

Also a hotspot for mountain biking, canyoning and horse-riding, Crete has a bounty of beautiful beaches to bliss out on when you need a break. All the better for enjoying relative peace in October.

Relax on the beach without crowds

With the sea still being invitingly warm, you could enjoy tonnes of water sports activities. Don’t miss Elafonísi — it's one of the best beaches in Greece for a very good reason. 

Samaria Gorge. Crete, Greece © proslgn/Shutterstock

Adventurers will love Samaria Gorge, Crete © proslgn/Shutterstock

Uncover ancient culture

With the island less crowded by tourists in October, it’s a marvellous month to explore Crete’s ancient sites, with the Minoan Palace of Knossos sitting on top of the archaeological tree.

Elsewhere — one hour south of Heraklion — the Palace of Phaistos — is a remarkably well-preserved, myth-rich Minoan marvel.

A fine fresco in Knossos Palace, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Fine frescos await in in Knossos Palace, Crete © Shutterstock

Experience October Greek festivals

Grape Harvest Celebrations

Held across the harvest season — from mid-August to early October — this exuberant festival offers visitors authentic insights into the tradition of grape harvesting. You’re welcome to join local winemakers in hands-on experiences, and top tastings.

Chestnut Festival

Held across the last weekend of October, one of Crete’s liveliest festivals features folk music, dancing, and plenty of chestnuts to chomp on!

Óhi Day

Held on 28th October, this national holiday presents parades, folk dancing and speeches to commemorate Prime Minister Metaxas’ one-word reply to Mussolini’s 1940 ultimatum. Namely, Ohi! (“No!”).

Inspired by these ideas? Discover more reasons to visit Greece in winter.

Taverns in the Old Town of Chania, Crete, Greece

Visit Crete in October to eat, drink and make very merry © Shutterstock

Planning your October trip to Crete

Love the sound of Crete? Get yourself The Rough Guide to Crete. For more island inspiration, read up on the best Greek Islands to start planning your trip.  

Alternatively, if the idea of planning leaves you cold, browse our customisable Greece itineraries.

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 26.10.2023

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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