During the peak season, approximately from mid-June to the end of August, Crete is usually windy. The wind is called Meltemi and it was known already in ancient Greece as Etesian northern winds.
The wind force varies, just like the locations where it blows. It is not exceptional at all you cannot lie on one beach, but only a few hundreds of metres further, it is dead calm. And the next day it is the other way around.
The time when the wind blows varies, too - sometimes it starts blowing in the morning between 4 - 5 AM, and then it ceases in the evening, sometimes it lasts for a week day and night without stopping.
If the wind blows a lot and for a long time, it can bother you, but otherwise the impact of the wind on the climate and the conditions for your holiday is very positive - it keeps the air temperature acceptable and brings dry air, assuring good visibility and beautiful views on the mountains all around, and making nice waves on the sea.
Without Meltemi, the summer on Crete would be unbearable - in the places where it doesn’t blow, especially on the south coast, the conditions are not suitable at all for spending a holiday, be it in a passive or an active way. In some places, e.g. in the Koudoma Monastery, protected by the peak of Kofinas, the air doesn’t move and the temperature rises much above 40°C. The southern hillslope is so hot you can’t even touch it, there is nowehere to hide, and within a few minutes, even people who are quite resistant are about to faint.
The Meltemi wind isn’t cold and unpleasant, but warm and dry; and if it is not exceptionally strong, it will assure you a nice holiday with a great amount of sunshine and a splendid blue sky. The visibility is very good during the day, and at night, the stars are shining.
How to predict Meltemi?
If you want to assess whether the wind will blow or not, you should notice these phenomena preceding the Meltemi wind:
according to the weather forecast, there will be a higher atmospheric pressure above the Balkans and the Aegean Sea
air humidity drops suddenly – there is no dew in the morning
there are scattered altocumuli on the sky
the atmospheric pressure has been rising during the past 12 hours