It’s a common secret among travellers to Crete that summertime on the island is at least 2 months longer than most European destinations. Renowned newspapers, in 2014, praised with various articles the island’s mild climate. The Telegraph had an article about autumn tourist destinations where Crete features as a warm and welcoming place; the same year the Austrian newspaper Kurier published a long praising article on the island describing it as a place where you can enjoy a laid back summer vacation in autumn and get to know local tradition.
The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail included Crete in the six top European destinations for an autumn holiday, saying that people who prefer to extend their summer vacation all the way into October should visit Crete. One of the island’s biggest assets - apart from beaches - is the famous Cretan cuisine which you can enjoy all over the place.
The reason for all of the above is quite simple. Crete is located in the southeast part of the European continent and temperature never drops below 20º C from September until November. The average sunshine totals seven hours. Water temperature in the south shores washed by the Libyan sea reaches 23º C and the average air temperature is 26º C. The atmosphere is limpid most of the time and the tall mountains are clearly defined against the horizon in every detail. The summer’s blue sea waters change into new fascinating hues, the autumn winds fill the heretofore clear blue skies with amazing cloud shapes and the fairly limited rainfall is very welcome after the dry season has passed. However swimming remains one of the activities you will definitely enjoy even in late October. Make a note that at this time of the year you will find that there are less tourists so you’ll get better holiday deals as prices are down compared to the high season.
While you are on your autumn trip to Crete don’t miss the opportunity to visit the renowned historical sites, monuments and museums. The season’s mild weather will tempt you to discover inland secrets and the wide variety of flora and fauna, to visit picturesque mountainous villages as well as those of the lowlands, to follow the hiking trails, go mountaineering or cross breathtaking ravines such as the well-known Samaria Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge etc.
The end of the summer is the time for agricultural activities such as grape harvesting and sun-drying of the grape berries so as to produce raisins. Ploughing, sowing, grape pressing, wine and raki making are all activities that take place later in the fall. This time of year you can follow the traditional agricultural activities: participate in grape harvesting and pressing, go olive picking, watch the procedure of raki making in cauldrons- cauldron feasts, as it evolves into a traditional celebration, taste local products and learn about the way they are made in the island’s agritourism farms. Let’s bear in mind that traditional Cretan cuisine is based on fresh seasonal produce and that makes it all the more tasty not to mention healthier and more nutritious!
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