If you’re thinking of spending your vacation in a private modern villa in the off season in Crete, but not sure if it’s worth it to come before the summer starts, we compiled a list of “5 reasons to stay in Crete during winter season”:
The actual temperatures in winter stay relatively warm as the island is close to Egypt. The average highs are generally around 15-16°C and the average lows are around 9-11°C from December through February. But some days can reach even highs of 20°C, so it is not uncommon to see lots of locals sunbathing and swimming, even in January or February.
Another great thing about warm weather in the winter, is that entire island starts to bloom! Grass is at its greenest in December, the orange and lemon orchards are full of fragrant blossoms, and olive trees are ready to be picked.
2. PERFECT TIME FOR HIKES
Having this much sunshine all year long, especially in the winter, means that hiking will be an enjoyable experience, with perfect temperature and visibility. The landscapes are lush green against the background of the turquoise Mediterranean sea, peppered with orange and yellow from the orchards spread all across the hills.
Close to Calma Villas only 35 km away, is the Lassithi Plateau, one of the most famous mountains region in Crete. There are a lot of trails to follow and enjoy the scenery. Some will start from a beautiful beach and continue through olive trees or rocky hills, other trails will take you through small picturesque Cretan villages, towards the mountains. Whatever trail you will choose, breathtaking views of the island await at the top for you.
3. SNOW IN THE MOUNTAIN
If you are looking for some snow, you’ll be happy to know that there are opportunities for skiing and winter sports in Crete’s mountains.
Even though you might have 15-18 °C in Sisi Beach, you would still be able to see snow on top of the mountain peaks.
Most of the villages on the slopes of the Psiloritis mountain, the highest summit on Crete, would be covered with snow in the beginning of January.
Psiloritis is an iconic Mediterranean mountain and, for the past years it’s a ski resort-free zone.
As most of the mountains are not covered by forests, the fresh white snow creates perfect natural ski slopes. You can enjoy a special quality of snow, and to gaze at the sea on the way down. The aprés ski might differ a little here but it is just as important. Plenty of villages around to try authentic local cuisine, to drink raki to warm up, and meet the charming locals.
4. LOCAL ACTIVITIES
During the winter months, the number of tourists is low so the island quiets down, all the popular beaches are now empty, no queues at the museums or local attractions, a relaxed traffic on the main roads connecting the island.
It’s also the time when most locals are resting after the summer season and enjoying their community more.
You cand find them drinking raki at a “kazani” and roasting chestnuts in the “tzaki”, picking the olive trees or citric trees.
For example, in the village Fodele in mid-March takes place the “Orange Festival”, organized in the main square of the village, from noon till late in the evening. An open-air market is set next to the river, where you can try orange-based dishes and products, sweets, marmalades, cookies, cakes, juices, prepared by the local women. Everybody is welcomed and encouraged to try their dishes, as they believe they have the tastiest oranges in Crete!
If you are a wine enthusiast and you are thinking of trying the local wine, taking a winery tour might be the perfect outdoor activity for you to discover the ancient Cretan vineyards.
5. HEATED POOL/SWIMMING
We understand if you are still hesitant if you will be able to swim in the winter season or not. The sea water might be too cold for you, and let’s not even mention the outdoor pools that are most probably closed for the cold season.
This is why, starting with the 2021 season, both pools at Calma Villas are heated and in use all year round. The temperature cand reach up to 28-30°C, making it possible to enjoying swimming even in the wintertime.
We believe in providing our guests the ultimate relaxing and memorable vacation while staying in the luxurious villas, from private chef dinners or wine tastings, to helping you organize a trip to explore the island.
What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and come discover Crete in the winter!