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A Complete Guide to Visiting Crete in October: 16 Best Things To See & Do!

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Discover the pure magic of visiting Crete in October, where serene landscapes meet vibrant culture in an autumnal Mediterranean paradise.

When most people think of Greece, visions of sun-soaked islands and crystal-clear waters often come to mind. And while summer in Greece has its undeniable charm and tends to be the most desired time to visit, there’s a secret season that the discerning traveler should not overlook: that being, autumn in Crete.

As the throngs of summer tourists begin to wane, the island of Crete (the largest islands in Greece) reveals a quieter, more introspective side. The beaches, once packed and abuzz with activity, become serene stretches of sand, and the many ancient ruins, devoid of the peak season crowd, are all the more appealing.

But what truly sets October apart is the weather. While most of Europe starts to brace itself for the impending cold of the winter months, Crete basks in comfortable moderate temperatures. 

It’s certainly not the scorching heat of midsummer, nor the chill of winter – an idyllic climate to explore all the very best that Crete has to offer. Perfect for exploring ancient ruins without breaking a sweat, hiking the island’s famed gorges without the oppressive heat, or simply enjoying a glass of local wine al fresco.

In the following post, we’ll dive deeper into the October weather specifics and chart out a journey across Crete’s must-visit spots and things to do. 

Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or someone simply looking to escape the clichéd autumn destinations, Crete in October offers up an exciting array of experiences that will no doubt turn into long lasting memories.

Marco Santos | Travel-Boo | Portugal Travel Blogger

Why Visit Crete in October?

Chania – Visting Crete in October © Image Courtesy of DaLiu from Getty Images by Canva
Chania – Visting Crete in October © Image Courtesy of DaLiu from Getty Images by Canva

Let’s get to grips with the basics first. Why would you consider ditching the summer sun and embrace the more moderate autumn climates of Crete. Here are a few top reason why you should visit Crete in October: 

Fewer Crowds

Because many folks are back to work and school, Crete becomes much quieter, allowing for a far more relaxing island experience. As a result, you won’t be elbowing through throngs of tourists, making it a much more enjoyable visit.

Budget-Friendly

Autumn also brings with it wallet-friendly benefits if you are an October tourist in Crete. Summer prices begin to dip and hotels roll out tempting deals. So, you can enjoy a Greek island getaway without breaking the bank.

Sunny Days

Don’t pack away your beachwear just yet. October still offers its fair share of sunny days, letting you soak up the sun and enjoy the best beaches in Crete before winter officially sets in.

Vibrant Towns

The main towns of Chania and Heraklion keep their liveliness year-round. Restaurants stay open, ensuring you’ll have plenty of sightseeing to tick off your list and dining options to indulge in.

Harvest Festivals

October is when Crete celebrates its harvest with colourful festivals. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in local culture and traditions. Read on down below for more information on these and other festivals during this period. 

What to Expect from the Weather in Crete in October:

October in Crete ushers in the autumn season, subtly transforming the landscape and offering a refreshing contrast to the island’s renowned scorching summer. As the month progresses, the intensity of the summer sun softens, paving the way for a more moderate climate but still somewhat retaining the summer charms. 

Daytime temperatures generally hover around a comfortable 20°C to 25°C, (around 68 to 77°F), making it ideal for exploring the island’s myriad attractions without the discomfort of sweltering heat. However, evenings can be slightly cooler, with temperatures often dipping to around 15°C, so packing a light sweater or jacket is definitely advisable.

While the chances of rainfall increase compared to the arid summer months, the showers are typically brief and sporadic. These rainfalls, although short-lived, definitely helps to revive the local vegetation, making for a fresher and more lush landscape. 

It’s a picturesque time, with the olive groves and vineyards looking especially lush, set against the backdrop of the azure sea that’s still warm enough for a swim. With sea temperatures averaging around 22°C to 24°C in October, many beachgoers seize the opportunity for a dip without the crowdedness of peak season.

Another distinctive aspect of Crete’s October weather is the meltemi winds. Originating from the north, these winds, which are prevalent during the summer, begin to subside, leading to calmer seas – great for those looking to indulge in water sports or coastal cruises. 

Additionally, the clear October air offers enhanced visibility, making it a fantastic time for hiking and capturing panoramic views from the island’s elevated regions.

How to Get to Crete

Heraklion – Fortress in Old Harbour © Image Courtesy of milangonda from Getty Images by Canva
Heraklion – Fortress in Old Harbour © Image Courtesy of milangonda from Getty Images by Canva

Due to its beauty and active island life, Crete has been on the bucket list of many as one of the best Greek islands worth visiting. If you ask me, you should certainly spend at least a couple of days to get the most of your visit here. 

Since Crete is a favorite tourist destination by travellers, it is fairly easy to get to. The island has several passenger ports along with 2 international airports (in Heraklion and Chania).

Read along to discover the different ways to reach Crete in October:

By Ferry or By Flight?

You can visit Crete by air, or by ferry. Crete accommodates both local and European flights connecting from many of the major European hubs.

However, you may also be interested in reaching Crete through one of the many ferry services that operate between Athens and Crete

Travelling From Athens to Crete

By Flight: 

The three airports on Crete (Heraklion, Chania, and Sitia) are directly linked to Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos throughout the year. You can book a flight and reach Crete swiftly in just over an hour by air. It is advisable to book a flight early to avoid any hassle and to get the best deals.

By Ferry: 

Another option is to take a ferry from the Port of Piraeus. Ferries regularly sail to Heraklion, Chania, and Sitia. Occasionally, there are also sailings to Rethymnon and Kissamos, offering you multiple choices to reach Crete by sea. 

The only downside to travelling by ferry from Athens to Crete is the much longer travel time as the journey does last a couple of hours compared to the far quicker flight times. 

From Other Cycladic Islands to Crete

Direct Ferries: If you’re planning an island hopping experience and visiting other islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, or Paros, you’re in luck. They offer direct ferry connections to Crete, mainly to the port of Heraklion. These direct ferries provide a more straightforward and quicker route to Crete.

Indirect Routes: If you’re on a different Cycladic island like Amorgos, Syros, or Folegandros, you can still reach Crete, but you may need to take “indirect” ferry routes. These routes might have stops at other islands along the way, adding to the travel time.

Ferry Options: You have a choice between slow and fast ferries, and your travel time will depend on the type of vessel you select and your starting location when booking. Slower ferries are larger and offer more outdoor space, which can be a smoother ride for those prone to seasickness.

Ticket Choices: Ferries typically offer economy and business class tickets, with some providing private cabin options for added comfort which can be very beneficial on these longer journeys. If you want to bring your vehicle, like a car or motorbike, you can do so, but it will increase your ticket price.

Getting around Crete

Once you’ve arrived on the island, there are several modes of transportation to choose from. Each has its advantages and disadvantages so we always advise to choose which will be most beneficial to you, based on your preferences and budgetary requirements.

Taxis

Taxis operate in Crete. You can either call a taxi in advance or flag one down on the street. 

Be sure to always agree on the fare before entering the taxi. Have the address of your destination written down to avoid confusion.

Car Rentals

Car hire is widely available in Crete, with major rental companies present at airports, sea ports, and throughout the cities and this is undoubtedly our favourite and best way to explore the island.

Renting a car offers flexibility and the freedom to explore at your own pace. It can also be cost-effective, especially for intercity travel. Drivers should be at least 21 years old, and having an International Driving Permit is recommended.

Bus

Crete’s bus services are operated by KTEL. Fares within the city are reasonably priced, and buying tickets in advance is often cheaper than paying on the bus.

You can also use buses for intercity travel. Routes connect major cities like Agios Nikolaos, Chania, Heraklion, and Rethymno. Note that intercity bus fares can be more expensive, and service is generally more frequent in the northern part of the island.

Bicycle Hire

If you enjoy cycling and want to explore the countryside while staying eco-friendly and active, consider renting a bicycle. 

Several cycle hire companies are located along the northern coast, and there are cycling trails in natural areas, beaches, and public parks. Crete is a great cyclist destination, with winding roads and low traffic between cities.

Best Areas to Stay

Chania Old Town © Image Courtesy of Dmitry Rukhlenko by Canva
Chania Old Town © Image Courtesy of Dmitry Rukhlenko by Canva

When deciding where to stay in Crete, you have several options, each with its advantages and attractions:

Coastal Regions

Staying along the coast offers the allure of beautiful beaches and stunning sea views. You can enjoy water activities, sunbathing, and easy access to the Aegean Sea. Coastal areas are perfect for a relaxed beach holiday, and you’ll find numerous seaside resorts and accommodations to choose from.

Inland Areas

If you’re looking for a more traditional and authentic Cretan experience, consider staying in inland areas. Here, you’ll discover charming villages where you can immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine. 

Inland regions also provide access to hiking and exploring the island’s rugged terrain, making it ideal for nature enthusiasts.

For a Classic Crete Experience Stay at Chania

Porto Veneziano Hotel 

For a touch of luxury and romance, the Porto Veneziano Hotel is an ideal choice. Located right on the waterfront, it offers a range of plush and comfortable rooms, some with captivating sea views. Guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast each morning and take advantage of various amenities.

Click here to book your stay at Porto Veneziano Hotel in Chania!

Suites Pandora 

If you prefer the convenience of your own self-serviced accommodation option, Suites Pandora is an excellent option. They offer fully furnished suites and rooms with equipped kitchens, some also offering sea views. The location is perfect for exploring the city and its surroundings.

Click here to view and book Suites Pandora!

For a Relaxing Holiday Stay at Agios Nikolaos

Hotel Port 7 – Boutique Collection 

This upmarket and luxurious hotel is ideally situated in the Agios Nikolaos port and only a mere 100 meters from the beach in Agios Nikolaos, offering guests a prime location for beachfront relaxation. 

Hotel Port 7 offers a variety of wonderful rooms, providing guests with a range of choices to suit their preferences. Guests can start their day with a delicious breakfast offered each morning. Additionally, the hotel provides plenty of other amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Click here to book Hotel Port 7 in Agios Nikolaos!

For Your Family Getaway Stay at Hersonissos

Nest Resort 

Another perfect destination for those seeking a luxurious escape in Hersonissos is the Nest Resort. This resort offers a selection of rooms as well as villa options, catering to different preferences and group sizes. 

Set against the backdrop of a stunning seaside location, The Nest Resort provides an unbeatable setting for a relaxing and indulgent getaway. Whilst staying here, guests can enjoy a gorgeous pool during their stay, along with various other top facilities on site.

Click here to view and book the Nest Resort!

What to do in Crete in October

Whilst visiting Crete in October, you’d want to make sure to ticket off a few of these top activities and things to do in Crete! 

Historical Sites and Districts

Cave of Zeus

The Cave of Zeus, also known as Psychro Cave or Dikteon Cave, is a captivating historical site in Crete that holds immense significance in Greek mythology. According to ancient tales, this cave is believed to be the very birthplace of Zeus, the mighty god of the sky and thunder.

Located in the charming village of Psychro, this cave is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious travellers alike. It’s a show cave that welcomes visitors to explore its mystical depths. 

During the summer months, you can delve into its secrets from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., while in winter, it’s open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To enter this historical site, there’s a ticket fee of €6 per person. Keep in mind that reaching the cave involves a 10-15 minute uphill walk, and the path can be rocky and uneven. It’s essential to wear proper footwear for this journey, especially as you ascend a steep unpaved path leading to the sacred part of the cave.

You may also consider booking this full day Shepherd’s Life – Cave of Zeus at Lasithi Plateau tour that also includes sampling some delicious local Cretan dishes too! 

Palace of Knossos

Palace of Knossos © Image Courtesy of Cezary Wojtkowski from Getty Images by Canva
Palace of Knossos © Image Courtesy of Cezary Wojtkowski from Getty Images by Canva

This remarkable Greek landmark, constructed by the Minoans, is steeped in history and offers a glimpse into the ancient world.

Situated near the north coast of Crete, the Palace of Knossos welcomes visitors throughout the year, making it accessible for history enthusiasts and curious travellers alike. 

Its doors are open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. To explore this historical gem, there’s an entrance fee of €10, except during the months of November to March and Greek holidays when admission is free.

Getting to the Palace of Knossos is convenient, especially when travelling from the city of Heraklion. While you can opt for various modes of transportation, renting a car is often the quickest way to reach this intriguing site.

Spread across approximately 14,000 square metres, which is roughly the size of two football fields, the Palace of Knossos was ingeniously designed to serve as a hub for civic, religious, and economic activities. Its grandeur and scale are a testament to the advanced civilization of the Minoans.

What makes this historical site truly captivating are the artifacts discovered within its ancient walls. Gold jewellery, glazed pottery, and bronze items are just a glimpse of the treasures that have been unearthed here.

To get a truly in-depth experience, consider booking a skip-the-line guided tour of the Knossos Palace site

Phaistos

This archaeological marvel holds immense significance and is exceptionally well-preserved, making it a compelling attraction for history enthusiasts and curious travellers.

Archaeological excavations at the Palace of Phaistos have yielded a treasure trove of artifacts. These discoveries provide valuable insights into the material culture and daily life of the Minoan civilization. Among the finds are clay tablets, bronze figurines, pottery, jewellery, weapons, and beautifully preserved frescoes.

Getting to Phaistos is convenient, with a one-hour journey to the south from Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Alternatively, it’s approximately 70 kilometres from Rethymnon, another notable city on the island.

To explore this remarkable historical site, there’s an entrance fee of €8 per person. Special discounts apply, with reduced rates of €4 for university students, escorts on educational excursions, and European senior citizens aged 65 and above. 

Additionally, visitors can enjoy free admission on specific dates, including the 6th of March, the 18th of April, the 18th of May, the final weekend of September, the 28th of October, and every first Sunday from November to March.

Spinalonga

Spinalonga © Image Courtesy of milangonda by Canva
Spinalonga © Image Courtesy of milangonda by Canva

The Island of Spinalonga, often referred to as the Leper Island, is an absolute must-visit historical site in Crete. Steeped in a rich and poignant history, this island offers a unique and insightful journey for those seeking to explore its past.

Accessible only during the summer season, the Island of Spinalonga is a place of great historical significance. To enter the Spinalonga archaeological site, there’s a small admission fee and the cost of the boat trip to Spinalonga varies depending on your starting point:

You may also consider booking a full day guided tour to Spinalonga, including lunch too!

Natural Attractions

Elafonisi Beach

Elafonisi Beach © Image Courtesy of Piotr Krzeslak from Getty Images by Canva
Elafonisi Beach © Image Courtesy of Piotr Krzeslak from Getty Images by Canva

Elafonisi Beach stands as an absolute must-visit natural wonder on Crete Island, and it’s easy to see why. This stunning beach is a true gem, captivating visitors with its extraordinary beauty and unique landscape.

With its crystal-clear blue waters and striking pink sand, Elafonisi Beach offers an enchanting setting that welcomes thousands of visitors each year. It has earned well-deserved recognition as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Together with its surrounding shores, Elafonisi Beach is proudly part of the Natura network, a testament to its exceptional natural allure.

For those planning to experience the best of Elafonisi, early autumn is the ideal time to visit. In September and October, the weather is delightful, and the waters of the lagoon are likely to be calm and pleasantly warm, creating the perfect conditions for a memorable beach getaway.

Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge, which you may find at Samaria National Park in the White Mountains of Crete, is another Cretan natural wonder. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a magnet for nature enthusiasts and hikers, drawing tens of thousands of visitors every year to experience its breathtaking beauty.

Among the gorges in the region, Samaria Gorge is unrivaled in size—it’s, in fact, the second-largest canyon in all of Europe. Stretching over 10 miles, the trail begins at the top of the gorge and leads adventurers through a landscape of towering cliffs, panoramic vistas, and the unique flora and fauna that define the island of Crete. The journey culminates at the Libyan Sea in the charming town of Agia Roumeli.

One of the most captivating aspects of Samaria Gorge is its narrowest point, aptly named “The Gates”. Here, the gorge narrows to a mere 13 feet wide, with cliffs soaring to nearly a thousand feet in height, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring natural spectacle.

To explore Samaria Gorge, it’s essential to plan your visit during late spring and summer, coinciding with the peak tourist season. Typically, the trail is open from May 1st through October 30th, subject to weather conditions. This natural wonder promises an unforgettable hiking experience amidst the pristine beauty of Crete’s wilderness.

Balos Lagoon

Balos Lagoon © Image Courtesy of davidionut from Getty Images by Canva
Balos Lagoon © Image Courtesy of davidionut from Getty Images by Canva

What immediately strikes visitors about Balos is the sheer beauty of its pristine landscape. With crystal-clear seawater that glistens under the Cretan sun, Balos Lagoon unfolds before your eyes like a scene from a postcard.

While Balos Beach used to lack facilities in the past, today you’ll find a limited number of conveniences to enhance your visit. These include sun lounges and umbrellas, a small shop or canteen, and restroom facilities. 

For those with a penchant for underwater exploration, don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear. The water in the lagoon boasts excellent visibility, making it an ideal spot to discover the vibrant marine life beneath the surface. It’s also wise to wear aqua shoes as there are rocky areas in the water throughout the lagoon.

Vai Palm Beach

Vai Palm Beach, specifically the palm forest of Vai, is an absolute must-visit natural wonder in Crete, boasting its status as one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful and unique destinations.

This enchanting locale in Crete draws a multitude of visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why. Beyond its captivating palm forest, Vai is famed for its golden sandy beach that stretches out at its feet, creating a picture-perfect setting for all who come to explore its natural beauty.

Naturally, with its popularity, Vai sees a substantial influx of visitors during the summer months, particularly in July and August when crowds are at their peak. However, for those who prefer a more serene experience, visiting Vai at the beginning or end of the tourist season, such as October, offers the opportunity to relish the scenery and sea in a quieter atmosphere.

Unique Spots

Seitan Limania

Seitan Limania © Image Courtesy of Patryk_Kosmider from Getty Images by Canva
Seitan Limania © Image Courtesy of Patryk_Kosmider from Getty Images by Canva

Seitan Limania is a truly unique attraction in Crete that will no doubt leave a lasting impression. This hidden gem is unlike any other.

The beach itself may be small and nestled amidst tall cliffs, creating a sheltered haven that comes with its own set of advantages and quirks. On the one hand, the compact size of the beach and the towering cliffs provide excellent protection from the wind, making swimming a comfortable and enjoyable activity. 

However, this also means that the sun graces the beach for only a few hours each day, and the water tends to be refreshingly cool due to the limited sunlight. Even with just a few dozen people, the beach can quickly feel crowded. 

Seitan Limania has gained fame as one of the most popular Instagram-worthy spots on Crete. The views from the beach, gazing up at the dramatic gorge, and looking down from the top of the cliff onto the entire scene, are nothing short of breathtaking.

Milatos Cave

The journey to the Milatos Cave begins with a roughly 200-meter walk along an old footpath from where you park your car. This footpath not only leads you to the cave but also treats you to an incredible panoramic view of Milatos Bay, setting the stage for an unforgettable exploration.

As you make your way to the cave, you’ll be greeted by the striking bas-relief of the area, where the vibrant red of the ground gives way to the subtle gray of the limestone. Along the footpath, a lush tapestry of carob trees, prickly bushes, wild olive trees, and various other vegetation creates a vibrant green backdrop, adding to the excitement of the journey.

Upon reaching the entrance of the cave, you’ll find yourself immersed in total darkness, making a flashlight an absolute necessity. After venturing just 10 meters inside, you’ll encounter a small church constructed in 1935, accompanied by a memorial housing the remains of those who tragically lost their lives at the hands of the Turks. 

It’s a place of deep historical significance, with an annual liturgy performed here in their memory.

Cultural Events in October

October in Crete will keep you busy as there are a host of cultural events that will no doubt enhance your stay on the island. Check out these special days:

Grape Harvest Celebration

The Grape Harvest Celebration in Crete is a vibrant festival that takes place during the harvest season, from mid-August to the beginning of October. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse in the age-old tradition of grape harvesting and join the local winemakers in this exciting and hands-on experience.

If you happen to be in Crete during this time of year, you can partake in the grape harvest festivities. The experience allows you to work alongside local vineyard experts for a day of grape-picking and wine-making activities.

Chestnut Festival

The Chestnut Festival in Crete is a noteworthy autumn event that captures the essence of the season and the island’s rich traditions.

This delightful festival typically takes place every October or November, though it’s advisable to check with locals for the exact date to ensure you don’t miss out on the festivities.

Traditionally, the Chestnut Festival unfolds in the charming village of Elos, nestled just a short distance from Kissamos on the western part of Crete. 

Elos is cocooned by picturesque chestnut trees, which not only provide a scenic backdrop but also yield a bountiful harvest. To herald the arrival of autumn and showcase the chestnut harvest, the local community in Elos dedicates special attention to the Chestnut Festival.

Despite its small scale, this authentic event holds a special place in the hearts of the locals and entices curious visitors over the weekend set aside for this extraordinary celebration.

Oxi Day

Oxi Day, also known as “Ohi Day” is a significant and patriotic festival celebrated in Crete, just as it is throughout Greece. This national holiday, observed on October 28th each year, holds great historical importance and is a testament to the unwavering spirit of the Greek people.

The festival commemorates a pivotal moment in World War II when Greece’s fate hung in the balance. On that fateful day in 1940, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini presented Greece with an ultimatum, demanding access for Italian forces to Greek territory. However, Greek leader Ioannis Metaxas responded with a resolute “Oxi” (Greek for “No”), rejecting the ultimatum and standing firm against the impending Italian invasion.

Metaxas’ courageous act signified Greece’s entry into World War II and its alignment with the Allied forces. This historical event is remembered and celebrated with immense pride and patriotism.

Throughout Crete, and indeed across Greece, Oxi Day is marked by a series of special events and gatherings. Parades wind through the streets, school activities are held to educate the younger generation about the significance of the day, and military ceremonies pay homage to those who bravely defended the nation.

Other Activities To Enjoy in Crete in October

Once in Crete, you’ll find several things to do that could help you connect with the island’s breathtaking nature and rich culture.

Hiking

Samaria Gorge in Crete © Image Courtesy of milda79 from Getty Images by Canva
Samaria Gorge in Crete © Image Courtesy of milda79 from Getty Images by Canva

Crete offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all levels of hikers. Whether you’re conquering Mount Ida, following the E4 hiking trail, exploring the dramatic Samaria Gorge, or enjoying a leisurely Preveli hike, there’s a trail for you to discover. Here are some recommended hike trails:

  1. Chora Sfakion – Glyka Nera (Sweet Water) Beach – Loutro
  2. Zourva – Tromarissa Springs
  3. Margarites – Eleftherna
  4. Gious Kambous – Agia Fotia Gorge

Water Sports

In October, Crete still offers a range of exciting water sports for enthusiasts to enjoy. Some popular options include scuba diving, sea kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, canyoning, jet skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, and boat wakeboarding. 

The warm Mediterranean waters and pleasant Crete weather in October make it ideal for water adventures and exploration. Whether you’re into underwater exploration, adrenaline-pumping activities, or simply relaxing on the sea, Crete has something for everyone.

Indulge in Culinary Delights in October in Crete

Crete boasts a rich culinary heritage, offering a seasonal feast for the senses in October. As the island makes the transition into autumn, the local produce and harvest traditions shape the dining landscape. Here’s what you can expect on your plate and in your glass during this month:

Olive Oil: 

One of the best souvenirs from Greece is undoubtedly its famed olive oils. October marks the onset of the olive harvesting season. This is the perfect time to sample Crete’s world-renowned olive oil at its freshest. Whether drizzled on delectable Greek salad, or paired with bread, the robust flavor and aroma are unparalleled.

Consider booking this awesome olive oil experience tour to learn about the island’s production by visiting an olive oil factory.

Dakos: 

This traditional dish is a must-try. Comprised of dried barley rusk soaked in water or olive oil, it’s then topped with fresh tomatoes, mizithra cheese, olives, and capers. Given the prominence of the olive harvest in October, Dakos takes on a special significance.

Seafood: 

The surrounding Mediterranean waters offer an abundance of seafood. As is commonplace with many Greek islands, Tavernas and restaurants proudly display their catch of the day, which includes everything from octopus to red mullet. Grilled or stewed with local herbs, the seafood is a testament to Cretan culinary prowess.

Horta (Wild Greens): 

October is a great time to enjoy the island’s wild greens which has always formed an important part of Cretan cuisine. Often simply prepared by sautéing in olive oil, they are a testament to the Cretan diet’s emphasis on fresh, natural ingredients.

Local Wines: 

Crete boasts a winemaking tradition that dates back millennia. October provides an opportunity to sample a diverse range of local Greek wines, from robust reds to crisp whites. Vineyards might also offer tastings, giving visitors a chance to learn about the island’s viniculture.

If you want to experience the best of both worlds, then consider this full day Cretan Olive Oil and Wine Tour that departs from either Malia or Heraklion.

Raki: 

While available year-round, Raki, or Tsikoudia, takes center stage during autumn. This potent grape-based spirit is often distilled in local villages in October, following the grape harvest. It’s customary for tavernas to offer it complimentary after a meal, serving both as a digestive and a token of Cretan hospitality.

Tips for Travelling in October

Arkadi Monastery, Crete © Image Courtesy of asiafoto from Getty Images by Canva
Arkadi Monastery, Crete © Image Courtesy of asiafoto from Getty Images by Canva

Now that you are ready to visit Crete during October, let us provide you with some additional useful tips to make your vacation even more memorable:

What to Pack: 

When travelling to Crete in October, it’s advisable to pack light layers, as the weather can still be warm during the day but cooler in the evenings. Comfortable walking or hiking shoes, such as sturdy hiking boots or sneakers, are essential if you plan to explore the island’s natural beauty. 

Don’t forget to bring swimwear and sunscreen, as you might still want to enjoy the stunning beaches of Crete. Additionally, a reusable water bottle is handy to stay hydrated, and a travel adapter for your electronics is a must.

Be sure to check out our handy European packing list post here, for more tips and packing inspiration!

Weather Considerations: 

October in Crete is generally pleasant with mild temperatures. However, it’s essential to be prepared for variations. Average temperatures during the day can range from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), but evenings can be cooler, so having a light jacket or sweater is advisable. 

Rainfall is possible but not as frequent as in winter months. Check the weather forecast for the specific region you’ll be visiting, as conditions can vary across the island.

Cultural Considerations: 

Respect local customs and traditions when in Crete. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas. 

Safety Tips: 

In emergencies, the general European emergency number, 112, works in Crete. However, knowing the local emergency numbers for police (100), medical services (166), and fire (199) can be helpful.

Currency:

In Crete, just as in the rest of Greece, the official currency is the Euro (€). This makes it convenient for travelers from Eurozone countries as there is no need for currency exchange.

Before heading to Crete, it’s a good idea to exchange some of your local currency for Euros. While credit and debit cards are widely accepted in larger towns and tourist areas in Crete, it’s a good practice to carry some cash, especially when exploring more remote or rural parts of the island. 

Currency exchange services are available at airports, banks, and exchange offices, but you may find better rates by exchanging money before your trip.

Language:

While the official language spoken in Crete is Greek, it’s heartening to know that many locals also speak English, especially in tourist areas. 

However, making an effort to learn a few basic useful Greek words and phrases can go a long way in enhancing your experience and connecting with the local culture. Here are some essential Greek phrases to get you started:

  • Hello: Yassou (Yah-Soo) (more informal) or Yassas (formal)
  • Good Morning: Kalimera (Kah-Lee-MEH-Rah)
  • Good Afternoon: Kalispera (Kah-Lee-SPARE-a)
  • Good Evening: Kalinta (Kah-Lee-NEE-hta)
  • Thank You: Efharisto (Ef-Cha-Ri-Sto)
  • Excuse Me: Signomi
  • How are you? / What’s going on?: Ti-Kanis

Top Tip: In Greece, it’s not customary to initiate handshakes unless it’s offered to you. So, feel free to greet people with a friendly “Yassou” or other appropriate phrases, and you’ll find that the locals appreciate your efforts to embrace their language and culture.

Connectivity:

Internet access in Crete is generally reliable and accessible, ensuring that you can stay connected during your visit. Here’s what you need to know:

Coverage

Crete boasts good internet coverage, especially in urban areas, where you can typically access 4G networks. This ensures fast and stable internet connectivity, allowing you to use your mobile devices without interruptions.

Free WiFi

You’ll find free WiFi hotspots in several convenient locations across the island. 

Many cafes, restaurants, hotels, and bars in Crete offer free WiFi. This means you can enjoy a meal or a coffee while staying connected to the internet.

Conclusion

Crete is a beautiful island worthy of a visit, even if it’s already October. As discussed in this post, you’ll still have several places to visit as well as numerous things to do while you are enjoying your Cretan adventure.

So what are you waiting for, whether you are planning to stay 5 days in Greece, or longer, prepare those essentials and head over to Crete this coming October!

A Complete Guide to Visiting Crete in October! Weather in Crete in October, October in Crete, Crete Greece, Travel to Crete, When to visit Crete, Crete Greek Islands.
A Complete Guide to Visiting Crete in October! Weather in Crete in October, October in Crete, Crete Greece, Travel to Crete, When to visit Crete, Crete Greek Islands.