If you’re looking to swap leaden skies and plunging autumnal temperatures for last minute, late summer sun, Crete is the perfect choice.
With an average November temperature of 18 degrees and 5 hours sunshine a day, you’ll enjoy uncrowded museums and markets, empty beaches for walks or even a swim and almost traffic-free back streets even in Chania, allowing you to fully appreciate the Venetian, Greek and Ottoman influenced architecture.
Even the most popular sites such as Knossos or Elafonisi will be free of other tourists whilst walkers can enjoy the tracks and paths, lush and green at this time of year (although the mountains will be snow-covered from December) to themselves.
Despite having a similar climate to Mallorca or Cyprus, Crete doesn’t really have an ‘official’ winter tourist season which means that although there will be fewer things open, you’ll be able to ‘live like a local’ and experience a more authentic side to the island.
A select few of our Villa owners’ welcome guests up until the end of December, each with a roaring fire in case the weather is inclement and all close to a village with a taverna that stays open for locals (so you know it’s good!)
Here, we’ve cherry picked five of the best winter villas in Crete for late autumn and early winter escapes.
– Sleeps 6 in 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Nothing says ‘winter warmer’ like an indoor heated jacuzzi pool! This gorgeous property is perched on a hillside and built at treetop level affording beautiful views. Located on the edge of Armeni village, you’ll have three tavernas to choose from, all with fires and all which we can recommend as outstanding!
– Sleeps 5 in 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Blending perfectly into its olive grove and cypress tree surroundings, there’s a reason why Villa Olivia was featured in the Sunday Times as one of Europe’s 50 Best Villas. The views! The pool! The outdoor Cretan oven and BBQ! The location! All these combine into making it not just one of the best winter villas in Crete but pretty much year-round. Did we mention that the surrounding stone walls make the perfect sun trap, too? The pretty village (and tavernas) of Vrysses is 3km away.
– Sleeps 5 in 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Make the most of the sunshine on the stone terrace or sit under the shade of the old olive tree or covered terrace. Wherever you are, you’ll be surrounded by one of the most magnificent gardens of any of our properties. Wander to the tiny village of Agil Pantes for a coffee with the locals, or just over five minutes away, the fires and homecooked meals offered at the local tavernas. The low-key seaside resort of Kalyves is less than 5 kilometres away, too.
– Sleeps 7 in 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Bright and modern with a balcony outside all bedrooms, the clue is in the name when it comes to this property: the gently shelving sandy beach of Glaros is less than a 5-minute walk away, Iguana beach 6 minutes and Agii Apostoli beach 7! Given its fabulous location, there’s also a wide choice of tavernas and shops, whilst a regular bus service will whisk you to Chania town in a few minutes, too. Sun lovers (or families with young children) will particularly enjoy the enclosed walled garden, which helps make it one of the best winter villas in Crete.
– Sleeps 5 in 2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
It might be a little ‘fresh’ to use the outside pool but the rustic covered BBQ with the Cretan oven is the perfect place to dine alfresco and enjoy views of the White Mountains (which may actually be snow-topped depending on when you visit) and the rolling countryside of rural Crete. Armeni’s village square is only 800 metres away, along with its outstanding tavernas with roaring fires, the sandy beaches of Kalyves a 5-minute drive, with Chania less than thirty minutes away by car.
Want to know more? Take a look at our Crete Winter Villas Collection.