The island of Crete has a temperate Mediterranean climate. It experiences hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Crete has the mildest climate in Greece due to its southerly location and surrounding waters.
The central mountains, stretching from east to west, create a natural barrier to the north-westerly prevailing winds and result in great regional variation in weather conditions. Northern Crete is similar to most other European Mediterranean resorts. Southern Crete is hotter, drier and sunnier, averaging over 2800 hours of sunshine a year. Mountainous regions are cooler and see more pronounced seasons. They experience heavy snowfall in winter at high altitudes. On the peaks snow can remain as late as June and in midwinter mountain passes can become completely blocked off.