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Climate

Blessed by the gods.

Where else can the sky be cloudless and blue from mid-April almost to the end of October and the sun shine on nearly 300 days in every year?

After the winter carpet of anemones has been swept away by the winds and rain, the fragrant almond blossom heralds the approach of Spring. From late March onwards, the whole island is out in bloom - Monet’s colours amidst a swathe of green. This is surely the most beautiful season on Crete! The balmy days of April are the time to begin hunting for rare orchids and in May the Samaria Gorge welcomes its first visitors after the winter rest. The temperature begins to rise from the beginning of June onwards, but the island still wears its green mantle, especially in the west. July and August are the hottest months, but the sea offers a cooling and pleasant refuge. The refreshing ‘meltémi’ wind brings relief from the north-west, but not so the ‘scirócco’ or ‘lívas’, a hot, dry wind blowing from the Libyan Desert to scorch the trees and coat everything with a fine layer of Sahara sand. Local people say that tempers rise when it is blowing! The afternoon is the time for a siesta, the evenings are cool and refreshing after the spectacular sunsets, and life goes on into the small hours. September is the comfortable, late summer month of the wine harvest. By October the first rains will hopefully have refreshed the parched island, helping the olives to ripen before they are harvested from November onwards. Such rains, driven mostly by the wind called the ponénte that now begins to blows from the south-west, never last long on Crete, and are nearly always followed by spells of sunshine. In December the first snow falls in the high mountains. A storm may build up, with spectacular lightning over the mountains and sea, even keeping the ships in their harbours. Frost is rare but the air is crisp, despite the sun. January - like February - is a chilly month with strong winds, often sweeping in from the north. It also sees the gentle days called the Alkyonídes, when the sea birds lay their eggs on the cliffs and the farmers hurry to gather in the last of the olives in the low-lying areas. The Alkyonides are a taste of spring – Nature is preparing!