A Blooming Island: The Best Things to Do in Crete in Spring!

Crete in spring

Spring in Crete is one of the most exciting moments of the year. Nature is at its best: colorful flowers, fragrant herbs, lush trees, and shrubs blossom here and there.

The tourist season has yet not started, therefore crowds are easy to avoid. To make things better, prices tend to be on the affordable side too.

Read on and discover what to do in Crete in Spring.

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What to Do in Spring in Crete, Greece

Crete in spring

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Crete is Greece’s biggest island, but also probably the one that offers more opportunities in terms of diversity when it comes to things to do, places to visit, landscapes, and activities. 

Better known for being both home to high mountains as well as tropical-like beaches, Crete is also a land of the in-between, with extensive olive groves, surprising plateaus, lakes, rivers, canyons, and even palm tree forests.

All scenarios that even more enjoyable when the weather is mild and rain is not copious.

Crete in spring
Paleochora, South Crete.

When the snow from Crete’s three mountain ranges starts to melt, life has a different mood down in the cities.

Days get longer, kids play on the streets, ice cream parlors start opening, and the atmosphere seems brighter, lighter, and joyful.

Crete in spring
The island of Crete in Spring boasts its best colors!

In this article, I suggest some of the things I love doing in Crete. Yes, you can probably do most of them also during the rest of the year. But in spring… things on the island are oh-so-much-better!

Still not sure? Never mind, I know you’ll simply love Crete in spring, so read on to look at the best things to do in Crete in spring.

Go to the Beach: Crete’s Best Beaches are Even Better in Spring!

Balos, Crete in Spring
The stunning view of Balos Lagoon in Spring, Crete.

Since Crete enjoys a privileged position in the southern portion of the Mediterranean, going to the beach in Spring in Crete is nothing but a winning idea!

Although some might find the waters a bit on the colder side for a swim, bear in mind that many locals as well as foreign residents swim all year round on the island.

Beaches are usually crowded in the summer, such as the amazing Elafonisi or Balos. However, most beaches in West Crete are deserted in spring!

Wouldn’t it be nice to experience the bliss of having such stunning shores all for yourself? I bet it sounds tempting.

Besides, those shores usually hit by heavy winds during summer and fall, have more pleasant conditions. Places such as Falasarna, in the region of Chania, or Voulisma, in east Crete, are just two of the many beaches in Crete that you can better enjoy during springtime.

Outdoors in Crete in Spring: Trekking, Hiking, Walking… You Name It

Crete in spring
Facing the long hike through the gorge of Samaria is a great thing to do in Crete in Spring.

Imposing mountain ranges divide the island of Crete, separating the more developed northern coast from the wild landscapes of the south.

Trekking, hiking, and walking, across the Lefka Ori, in west Crete, the Ida Range in Rethymnon, or the Dikti Mountains in Lasithi are some of the most entertaining things to do.

During this period of the year, when the temperatures are still bearable even during midday, you can also enjoy riding a mountain bike. Here, you will find some good ideas to pick a trail.

Visit Samaria in Spring!

Samaria is one of the most visited spots in Crete. A hike along the gorge, one of the most impressive in Europe, is a unique opportunity to experience the nature of the island during any season, but even more in spring! The hike, which can last up to 7 hours, takes you from the Omalos Plateau to the southern coast facing the Libyan Sea. If you’re not so certain about such an adventurous trip all on your own, why not checking this guided Samaria tour which is great value for money?

Head to places such as the Lasithi Plateau in East Crete or Amari, a unique valley in the region of Rethymnon.

You will admire the natural scenario and get in touch with everyday life in the mountains, try delicious traditional dishes, and even engage in conversation with the locals.

Windmills with white sails open, Lasithi, Crete
Lasithi Plateau.

If you’re in the mood to explore more, visit some of Crete’s caves, or check out this post about Crete’s most inspiring hidden gems.

Do you want to explore Crete without any hassle? Consider these tours from Chania and Heraklion.

Archaeological Sites Minus the Crowds

Crete in spring
Roman Odeon in the archaeological site of Gortyn, Messara Plain, South Heraklion.

Hot, overcrowded, and really not everyone’s cup of tea, archaeological sites can turn into an ancient pain in the neck when you visit in summer.

Without some minimum organization, such as booking beforehand a private skip-the-line tour, visiting an archaeological site can be quite stressful during the high season, not in spring.

Take into account that, generally, private tours are more expensive, but they normally operate all through the year.

Besides, during spring, you could even visit more than one site in a day! Or even add a museum visit to your schedule.

Crete’s most visited landmark, the Palace of Knossos, in Heraklion, is a great place to start to have a first approach to the Minoan culture.

Crete in spring
Vamos, a traditional village in west Crete.

But don’t end your archaeological exploration there. The island is home to many other archaeological sites and ruins you can visit, as well as ancient monasteries and traditional villages.

If you have more time, schedule a trip to the mysterious Spinalonga island, or head south to Matala to visit the impressive archaeological site of Phaistos.

Unique Escapes

Gavdos Island, Crete.

Escaping from Crete sounds crazy, I know! Especially because we all want to escape to and not from the island.

However, one of the best things to do in Crete in spring is to book a boat trip to one of Crete’s nearby islands. My favorite? Gavdos, of course!!

I’ve written different times about the stunning beauty of this forgotten island in the Libyan Sea. However, it’s not as forgotten as you might think when the high season arrives.

Crete in spring
Chrissi island, south Crete.

Hundreds of tourists stay for days and even weeks in this unique paradise. And yes, although the ferry schedules could still be reduced in spring, you will certainly be able to visit Gavdos with an even more relaxed rhythm and spend a great time on the island.

Instead, when it comes to day trips, it’s also possible to visit other small islets off the coast. The advantage? If you get really sunburnt in summer, a sprint boat ride will be more gentle on your skin.

Discover beautiful places such as Chrissi and Koufonisi, in the south of Lasithi; or stay on the northern coast and check Gramvousa and Balos in Chania or Dia Island in Heraklion.

Curious about Crete in winter? Read about it here.

Endless Road Trip

Signpost, road, Crete
Road to Frangokastello, South Crete.

Road travel is an unrivaled way to discover Crete. A long journey starting in the west, and ending in the beautiful Sitia in Lasithi (or the other way round) is excellent not only to visit Crete’s most famous cities, but to admire the coastal landscape on one side of the road, and the hills and valleys on the other one.

This kind of adventure encompasses endless opportunities for discovery, from small villages to unique museums to local traditions, and fantastic tavernas that you won’t forget easily.

You can plan a three or two-week itinerary in full detail or explore the island in fewer days.

Rent a comfortable car, and pack everything you need to begin this adventure. Doing it during spring also means more bearable temperatures and less trafficked roads.

Not in the mood for driving? Learn about these alternative ways to get from Heraklion to Chania.

Summer Preview? Head South!

Crete in Spring Loutro
Loutro, southern coast of Crete.

Were you expecting even warmer temperatures? I hear you! Although spring in Crete can be really hot, some might find that the occasional rain on the northern coast is off-putting.

Worry not and head south!

Southern Crete, the most authentic portion of the island, is so close to Africa that it boasts super warm temperatures all year long.

So much so, that spring in south Crete can really feel like summer! Take some time to explore the city of Ierapetra if you’re more of a city type. Or reach the hippie village of Matala for a flower-power vibe!

Looking for the perfect beach? South Crete is the answer! Whether it’s the vast coast in Xerokampos, in the region of Lasithi, or the southern beaches of Rethymnon and Heraklion, the lonely Kedrodasos, Loutro, or Paleochora, you will not find such gorgeous beaches in north Crete.

As you can see, there’re so many things to do in Crete in spring that it can be overwhelming! You can always reach out for help to plan your trip or read through the pages of this blog for further inspiration. Crete is uncanny also in spring!
Have you ever been to Crete in Spring?

Read more about Crete

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Crete

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

Pin this Guide to Spring in Crete for Your Next Vacation!

Best things to do in Crete in Spring

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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