Averages for Chania in May
Finally, summer starts creeping around the jewel of the Mediterranean, commonly known as Crete. The average temperature jolts up to 19°C (66°F), with an impressive 10 hours of sunshine per day, and an encouraging 50% chance of sun. The nights remain cool but gentle, with 14°C at their lower end, while top temperatures soar to 24°C and over. The first and second week experience a considerable blow-dry effect, as humidity leaves the air and allows temperatures to rise. The last two weeks o...
Finally, summer starts creeping around the jewel of the Mediterranean, commonly known as Crete. The average temperature jolts up to 19°C (66°F), with an impressive 10 hours of sunshine per day, and an encouraging 50% chance of sun. The nights remain cool but gentle, with 14°C at their lower end, while top temperatures soar to 24°C and over. The first and second week experience a considerable blow-dry effect, as humidity leaves the air and allows temperatures to rise. The last two weeks of the month experience the higher end of the thermometer. Overall, May in Chania is the perfect precursor to anyone's summer holiday, as the weather gets warm, the nights grow short and the coastline looks simply amazing.
The humidity drops substantially, to a more comfortable 55%, a fact noticeable in the drastically reduced amount of precipitation: a maximum of 4 days in the entire month, with 13% chances of rain at a maximum volume of 13mm. Seriously, that's barely any rain at all, with bold temperatures that rise over the third and fourth week of May. Do pack a sweater for the cool nights, but other than that, you might as well whip out the short sleeves.
Chances of cloudy days drop to 10%, due to mellow air movements and an increasing barometric pressure. The probability of windy day's drops to 20%, and the winds are predominantly gentle breezes and occasional sub-Saharan dry gusts.
The tropical currents begin to warm the azure Aegean Sea to a more comfortable 19°C (65°C) - not suitable for bathing unless you're feeling brave, but worth a dip of the toes if you're really yearning for a feel of the Greek waves. Due to rising temperature, the sand also becomes more comfortable for the bare foot, so while you're out exploring Chania's beaches, you might as well kick off the shoes.
Fishing boats in Channia
Where to Stay
As the end of spring begins to gradually dry up this beautiful part of the island of Crete, hotel and hostel prices begin to rise. Nonetheless, Chania has a wide variety of comfortable, clean and often beautiful rooms, both in the heart of the city, as well as all around the Old Harbour and the surrounding beaches. The superb Kavos Beach Apartments and Studios, situated just off the coast of Kavos, offer rooms for just £36 per night, as well as breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
Tersanas Village Apartments, situated just by Kalathas Beach in the gorgeous Akrotiri, offers double bedrooms to couples for an impressive £25; they also boast a lovely poolside bar and an even lovelier traditional restaurant. Alternatively, you can go for more central hotels, such as the sumptuous Areti Suites, which not only offer modern accommodation for just £49 per night, they also have a pretty nifty snack bar and a manicured garden.
If a reduced budget is more your thing, then you can easily book yourself at either of Chania's comfy and welcoming hostels. We've taken the liberty to pinpoint a few which have received wonderful reviews on popular booking websites. The Niriis Hostel offers both privates and dorms for prices starting at £6.30 per night, and it's only 50m away from the stupendous Agioi Apostoli beach, also known as Iguana Beach. Diana Guesthouse maintains high standards for hostels around the island, with privates from £11.35 per night, and its main advantage is the fact that it's situated in the very heart of the city. Rooms 47 still has spaces available for May, and it's a fabulous option for backpackers and young tourists, its privates going for great value at £4.05 per night; what makes it truly special is the fact that it's Chania's first pension ever built, so there is definitely some history between its walls.
Minaret in Channia
Things to Do
The Cretans hold their history in high esteem, and value their commemorative celebrations. The Battle of Chania is celebrated every year in May, on the second fortnight, and it's a fascinating cluster of cultural events.
"Get Familiar with My City and Respect It", a journey into history, into backstreets, into memories and colors of Chania - this is, by far, one of the best opportunities to see wonderful monuments and archaeological sites for free. The Chania council offers free tours throughout the month of May, in an impressive attempt to raise awareness over the history and culture of this corner of Cretan wonder. You absolutely must also visit the Cathedral of Eisodion Tis Theotokou, a marvelous work of byzantine architecture and an absolute work of Orthodox art.
Since you're in the area, you might as well pay a visit to the Greek National Football Museum - you may recall, Greece has had quite the history throughout world tournaments, and its collection of memorabilia dedicated to the sport is very impressive.
And as the summer is just around the corner, you could go on one of the many adventurous and exciting boat tours on offer in the Old Harbour, of which the most popular are Captain Nick's Aphrodite Glass Bottom Boat and the Orizon Sailing Crete Day Cruises.
Hit the Beach
'Tis the season to visit the beach more often. And options for breathtaking and breezy spots there are galore here on the western coast of Crete. There are many beautiful and sandy beaches on the coast of Chania and it's Old Harbour, but we recommend venturing north by 16km, to experience the pristine seascape of Kiani Akti - rich with golden sand, a soft seabed and crystalline blue waters.
Closer to Chania Town, at about 3 km south east, you will find Georgioupolis - a long and sandy beach that stretches for over 9 kilometers of pure blue waters. It's often ruffled up by the northern Meltemia winds, but its west side is still extremely popular, even in May. The east side has some abandoned patches, great for picnics and relaxing with a book and a shade. 14km east of the city lays the small cove of Marathi, with crystal water and constant protection from strong currents and winds; you'll find lovely fish taverns and terraces along the shore, as well.
Eating and Drinking Out
Crete, and Chania in particular, have a strong gastronomical culture, so it's no wonder that any tavern, cafe or restaurant that you walk into is most likely to serve delicious food. One excellent example is the Corinna Star Restaurant, known for the extremely high quality of its dishes, particularly its fresh fish. Another great option is the To Stachi, awarded numerous Certificates of Excellence for its traditional yet slightly edgy recipes, its service quality and friendly staff. A titan of local culinary prowess is the Colombo Kitchen & Bar, with an abundant Greek food menu and an even more abundant wine & spirit list.
In terms of nightlife, the Old Harbour is the place to go out, drink, eat and enjoy the Chania spirit. The Senso Club gets crowded over the weekends, but it's perfect for a mixed selection of musical tastes, also playing Greek music and some edgy electronic beats. If you like Jazz or Blues, then you should definitely check out the Mamouth, just behind the Venetian Harbour. Otherwise, simply stick around the port in the late nights of May - there is a wide selection of terraces and cocktail bars for you to choose from, each one more enticing than the other.