What's the weather like in Chania in December
The first and second week of the month still register average highs of up to 16°C, while the nights grow colder towards the end of the month, with low temperatures of 9°C, so do make sure you close your windows before you hit the sack, as the nocturnal chills will sneak up on you. Expect the temperatures to go well below the expected lows, as the last week of the month in particular will experience down to 1°-3°C winter has officially arrived!
The winter solstice makes itself known, with short days of up to 4 hours of sunshine, and only 12% chances of sunny days.
Humidity is up to 78%, which is the normal average for December. Chances of clouds go up to 34% on average, and half of the month expects rain, with 52% chances of precipitation spread over 15 days, and rainfall reaching 94mm. So do pack a raincoat, an umbrella and ideally some wellies, because when it rains in wintery Chania, it really rains!
The atmospheric pressure rises a little to a more comfortable 772 mmHg, increasing chances of windy days to a significant 27% - these are cold northern winds with speeds of up to 2 m/s, which are typical for the marine climate of Cretan winter.
The chilled Aegean Sea maintains its azure beauty at a chilly 17°C (63°F), not really fit for dipping a toe, unfortunately. The currents run cold, and the waves gain in average height, many slamming against the coastal rock ridges of western Crete. The wind blows stronger over the beaches, reason for which we do recommend ear muffs or hats to protect your head if you're looking to explore the seaside in December.
Chania Hotels for December
Chania's hotels get surprisingly busy near the Christmas period, but Irida Hotel offers great double suites for £43 per night, and it also has a shuttle service available.
The splendid Porto Antico has double and twin suites with views of the Old Harbour for just £32 per night.
Another great option and not often available throughout the year is the fabulous TheJoy Hotel, whose superior suites go for £47 per night, and it also has airport shuttle service
For more budget-friendly accommodation, Hostel Chania has dorms from £9.11 per night. Danaos has good deals for £29 per night, and they too offer airport shuttle service. The lovely Irene Hotel offers comfortable single rooms for £27 per night, also including breakfast.
Chania Beaches in December
Clearly this isn't a time for beach fun, but you can't spend your time indoors either. We recommend going on hikes along some of Chania's beautiful and wilder beaches during the few sunny days of December. Glyka Nera is worth venturing 73 km west of Chania Town, for example, because of its pebbled layout, natural beauty and clear waters; it's also known for hiding water underneath its pebbles, so feel free to literally dig in if you want to see for yourself!
The splendid and sandy Agioi Apostoloi is just 3 km for town, so you should definitely explore its golden sand and beautiful surroundings. Chances are there will still be a fish tavern around, open out of season and ready to delight you with some local specialty.
For the sake of going home with incredible photography, you should hop on a bus and go visit Balos Beach, situated 60 km north of Chania Town; its incredibly light blue waters, its white sands and exotic scenery, as well as its little island complete with a natural park are all good reasons to visit Balos outside the summer season. Just pack a windbreaker, it gets windy!
Bars and Restaurants
This is the Christmas month, so many restaurants will whip out some delicious seasonal dishes, and hence we highly recommend the more traditional venues, like the quaint Mezedopoulio Ftouka, which serves excellent coffee, light finger-food and Cretan food. You must have lunch or dinner (or both!) at Tavern Strata, an authentic Greek tavern serving finger-licking good meat and seafood dishes; a popular favorite this time of the year is the timeless moussaka, and rest assured that all the meals are complimented by great local wines.
Alternatively, you can also try the marvelous Kariatis, which specializes not only as a steakhouse, but also as an Italian and seafood restaurant; they even give their menu a twist with sourdough pizzas and sushi.
Conor Pass Irish Bar
The Conor Pass Irish Bar is a brilliant pub serving a wide variety of beers and spirits, as well as some light food. It's even more popular this time of the year as it adds lovely Christmas decorations to its ambience.
If you want to shake a leg and warm up, go to Splendid on the weekend, as they play a mix of music and even show big sporting events. Christmas fun will always be found in the Old Harbour - its many cafes, cocktail bars and clubs are open all the time and organize special parties over the weekends.
Things to do in Chania in December
Christmas in Chania
Due to predominantly cold and rainy weather, Chania is more prone to indoor activities, museums and exploring the culinary gems of the area, particularly around Christmas - which the most important orthodox celebration in the entire calendar. Be ready for festive lights scattered all over the city and especially in the Old Harbour, special holiday dishes and drinks and religious services.
Explore the Venetian Harbour
This is a good time to explore the Venetian Harbour and its many surrounding ruins, including the Lighthouse and the Ancient Aptera, two of Chania's most important edifices.
Archaeology and Folklore Museums
And since you're in Chania, you should definitely consider doing some Christmas shopping in the area, as the local gift shops have unique local items on sale throughout the month. Stop by Kurkuta for authentic Cretan souvenirs, Georgina Skalidi and Camelia Iatropoulou for fashionable and original decorative objects and memorabilia, and Mitos Object of Art for beautiful novelty art to take home or giftwrap for your loved ones.
Jewelry and Pottery
The ladies will certainly love handmade jewelry from Ekaterini and Sifis, two of Chania's best artisanal jewelry manufacturers. And let's not forget Ourios Ceramics, for authentic Cretan vases and pots in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs - you probably know by now that the Greeks have been famous for their ceramic art since Antiquity.