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Why You Should Travel to Crete in September: Discover the Serene Beauty

by Crete Locals

  • Posted 10 months ago

Crete in September is a traveller’s dream come true. Located at the southernmost tip of Greece, Crete’s summer is typically characterized by intense heat and dry spells. Yet, come September, the sizzling temperatures mellow down, ensuring days remain warm but rarely exceed 30°C (86°F). As the extremely hot summer waves retreat, September unveils a quieter, more tranquil side of Crete.

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With school bells ringing again, the bustle of July and August gives way to serene beaches, bathed in the golden hues of the setting sun. The waters surrounding Crete in September feel like nature’s warm embrace, reminiscent of an expansive, gentle bath. Furthermore, the accessibility to Crete remains unhindered, with numerous flights connecting the island to various destinations. September in Crete is not just a month; it’s a melody of warmth, tranquillity, and accessibility.

What’s the Weather Like in Crete in September

September marks the conclusion of summer in Crete. While it doesn’t boast the blistering heat of August, the month is undeniably warm, with temperatures often hovering in the mid to high 20s°C (68°F). This moderate warmth paves the way for optimal sightseeing, allowing travellers to comfortably meander through quaint towns, pristine beaches, and other attractions without the stifling heat.

Average Day/Night Temperature in Crete
Image courtesy of holiday-weather.com

While September may bring occasional showers in Crete, they are typically brief, making way for predominant sunshine. Nonetheless, it’s wise to be equipped for sporadic cloudy or rainy days. The climate in Crete during September tends to be warmer at the month’s onset and gradually cools down towards its end.

Does it Rain on Crete in September?

In September, Crete typically receives about 10mm of rainfall. While the skies predominantly shine brightly, occasional showers might make an appearance. Rain, when it occurs, tends to be brief. As the month progresses, there’s a higher likelihood of encountering cloudy days, though overcast skies can emerge anytime. There are more rainy days in western Crete, Chania tends to receive more rain than other regions due to its proximity to the White Mountains.

The chances of sunny weather stand at 85%, with a 15% possibility of cloud cover during this period. Over a week-long visit, there might be a day or two with clouds or rain, but the predominant weather is likely to be warm and sunny.

Best Things to Do in September in Crete

Enjoy the Beaches

Balos Beach is one of the top 3 most beautiful beaches in Crete.

The beauty of visiting Cretan beaches in September lies in the reduced crowds, providing a more intimate and peaceful ambience. Furthermore, the beaches are at their cleanest, letting you appreciate the unspoiled nature of Crete’s coastline. With the sun mellowing down from its peak summer intensity, September is an ideal month to explore and bask in the glory of Crete’s stunning beaches.

Crete boasts a collection of stunning beaches, each with its allure. Balos captivates with its tranquil blue hues, while Elafonissi stands out with its unique pink sands and crystal-clear waters. Falassarna entices visitors with its vivid aquamarine waters, and Preveli, with its distinctive palm tree forest, offers a perfect blend of sandy shores and verdant greenery. Each beach promises a distinct and unforgettable experience for those exploring the island.

Take a Trip to the Mountains

samaria-gorge-iron-gate
Samaria Gorge – one of Europe’s longest canyons

Heading to the mountains is an ideal activity in September. As the scorching summer heat begins to wane, it becomes the perfect time to tackle longer hiking trails. The famed Samaria Gorge, one of Europe’s longest canyons, is especially appealing during this month. The milder temperatures mean you can comfortably traverse its stunning landscapes, with the cooler air ensuring you don’t feel overly exhausted. Moreover, the September ambience brings a certain tranquillity to the trails, allowing for a more intimate connection with nature, punctuated by the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves.

Visit Archaeological Sites

Knossos Palace Crete
Knossos Palace a testament to the Crete’s Minoan heritage

Knossos Palace, the cradle of European civilization, and a testament to the island’s Minoan heritage, is even more serene in September’s calm. With fewer visitors, one can leisurely explore its intricate frescoes and labyrinthine architecture, evoking tales of Minotaurs and legends.

 

Apart from Knossos Palace, Crete hosts other Minoan palaces like Phaistos, Malia, and Kato Zakros. Additionally, the Archaeological Site of Lato, near Agios Nikolaos, showcases the once-thriving Dorian city-state. Nearby, the sunken city of Olous in Elounda is visible on clear days. In Rethymnon, consider visiting the Ancient Site of Eleftherna and its contemporary museum.

Visit Cretan Museums

The Bull-Leaping Fresco at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Crete boasts a diverse range of museums, and a visit in September means fewer crowds compared to the summer peak.

Consider touring the Heraklion Archaeological Museum or the Museum of Natural History. For a more unconventional experience, the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum in Hersonissos and the captivating Homo Sapiens Museum near Lasithi Plateau await. Numerous other museums dot even the tiniest villages, with notable archaeological collections in locations like Chania, Rethymno, Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, Kissamos, and Ierapetra.

For those interested in religious history, there are various ecclesiastical museums, many situated within monasteries. Additionally, the War Museum in Askifou Plateau and the distinctive Maritime Museum in Chania are worth a visit.

September Festivals and Events Crete

vineyard monastery of the holy trinity
Vineyard at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity Chania

Grapes, heavy with juice, are harvested in September, marking the onset of wine festivals across Crete. From the quaint squares of Sitia to the sprawling vineyards of Peza, the island resonates with melodies of traditional lyres, joyous dances, and the clinking of wine glasses. Participating in these festivals gives travellers a genuine taste of Crete’s jubilant spirit.

Embark on a wine-tasting tour in Crete, diving deep into the rich tapestry of flavours that the island offers. Discover the various wine varieties native to Crete and enrich your palate with every sip. Delve into the history and intricacies of the island’s wine production and grape varieties. As you sample diverse wines, complement the experience with a taste of the local cuisine, making it not just a journey for your palate but also a cultural immersion.

List of Festivals and Events on Crete in September 2023

  • From the end of August to the beginning of September, for ten days, the Municipality of Chania organizes Sardine Festival on the beach of Nea Chora which attracts many visitors. Usually, the 1st Monday of September is the highlight of the celebration with free grilled sardine fish, wine, music and dancing in the evening.
  • In mid-September, the Festival of St Stavros is celebrated in the villages of Aptera and Maza, marking the Feast of the Holy Cross, an event honouring the cross that crucified Jesus. Villages come alive with outdoor festivities, abundant food, and local drinks like wine and tsikoudia.
  • On September 15th, there is a large feast in Fragkokastello in honour of Agios Nikitas.
  • On September 27th, Crete observes World Day of Tourism. Chania’s old harbour and Heraklion are the epicentres of festivities, offering free museum entries and local food samples to visitors. This day also often commemorates Crete’s union with Greece, making it especially significant for locals.

Visiting Crete in September: KEY TIPS

  • If pool lounging is your thing, opt for a hotel that offers a heated pool.
  • Consider travelling in mid to late September to experience fewer crowds and benefit from reduced flight and accommodation prices.
  • The secluded eastern coast is ideal to visit in September. Temperatures here are typically warmer than other parts of Crete, and rain is almost unheard of during this month.
  • The winds in Crete can accentuate the chill. Pack a few sweaters and a light jacket, especially for the evenings.
  • Schedule your activities according to the weather. Sun-soaked days are perfect for beach outings or hotel relaxation, while overcast or drizzly conditions suit town visits, archaeological site exploration, or hikes (provided it’s not pouring).
  • Even in September, the sun’s rays remain intense. Always have sunscreen on hand and apply it generously.
  • Considering the lesser crowd, it’s an opportune time to rent a car and discover Crete’s lesser-known, hidden gems at your own pace.

Crete in September is a traveller’s dream come true. The harmonious blend of historical wonders, nature’s splendour, and gastronomical adventures ensures an unforgettable journey. The island, with its blend of the past and present, beckons for exploration and adoration.

 

FAQs Crete in September

Is September a good time to visit Crete?

Yes, September is an excellent time to visit Crete, offering warm weather with fewer crowds than peak summer months.

Is Crete still hot in September?

Yes, Crete remains warm in September, though temperatures are milder than the peak summer months.

How hot is Crete in mid-September?

In mid-September, Crete generally experiences temperatures in the mid to high 20s°C (70s-80s°F).

What’s Crete like in September?

Crete in September offers a pleasant blend of warm weather, fewer tourists, and the sea at its warmest, making it ideal for beach relaxation and sightseeing.

Which Greek island is warmest in September?

While many Greek islands remain warm in September, Crete, being the southernmost, tends to be one of the warmest.

Can you swim in Crete end of September?

Yes, you can comfortably swim in Crete at the end of September as the sea retains its warmth from the summer months.

 

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