in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean climate: mild and
rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and, generally,
extended periods of sunshine throughout most of the year.
Greece is situated at the most southeastern part of Europe,
located between the 34° and 42° parallel N., with
a meridional extent from 19° to 28° E. and borders
the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea and the East Mediterranean
The climate in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean climate:
mild and rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and,
generally, extended periods of sunshine throughout most of
the year. A great variety of climate subtypes, always within
the Mediterranean climate frame, are encountered in several
regions of Greece. This is due to the influence of topography
(great mountain chains along the central part and other mountainous
bodies) on the air masses coming from the moisture sources
of the central Mediterranean Sea.
Thus the weather in Greece varies from the dry climate of
Attiki (Athens’ greater area) and East Greece in general,
to the wet climate of Northern and Western Greece.
In climatological terms, the year can be broadly subdivided
into two main seasons: The cold and rainy period lasting from
mid-October until the end of March, and the warm and dry season
lasting from April until September.
During the first period the coldest months are January and
February, with, a mean minimum temperature ranging, on average,
between 5 -10 degrees Celsius near the coasts and 0 –
5 Celsius over the mainland, with lower values (generally
below freezing) over the northern part of the country.
Long stretches of consecutive rainy days are infrequent in
Greece, even during the winter, and the sky does not remain
cloudy for more than a few days in a row, as it does in other
regions of the world. “Bad weather” days in winter
are often interrupted, during January and the first fortnight
of February, with sunny days, known as ‘Halcyon
days’ since ancient times.
The winter is milder in the Aegean and Ionian Islands compared
to Northern and Eastern mainland Greece.
During the warm and dry period the weather is usually stable,
the sky is clear, the sun is bright and there is generally
no rainfall. There are, however, infrequent and brief intervals
of rapid rain or thunderstorms chiefly over mainland areas.
The warmest period occurs during the last ten days of July
and the first ten days of August, when the mean maximum temperature
lies between 29.0 and 35.0 degrees Celsius. During the warm
period the high temperatures are tempered by fresh sea breezes
in the coastal areas of the country and from the north winds,
known as ‘Etesian’, blowing mainly in the Aegean.
or Halcyon (Greek
mythology). Daughter of Aeolus (god of the wind), and wife of Ceyx.
Deeply in love, Alcyone and Ceyx jokingly addressed each other as
Hera and Zeus. This vexed Zeus, who in his anger drowned Ceyx in
a storm at sea, and transformed Alcyone into a kingfisher, bird
of lakes, rivers and seas. Zeus also condemned her to lay her eggs
during the winter when the waves and icy cold water would destroy
the eggs and kill the young birds as they hatched. But Alcyone’s
grief moved Zeus to pity, and he granted her a few days of good
weather in the midst of winter to lay her eggs and see her baby
days: A few days of good weather in the middle of
winter: the seven days which precede the winter solstice, and the
seven days which follow it, when it is said that Alcyone is preparing
Rethymnon (2). •Argyroúpoli: 27km far from Réthymno you will find Argyroúpoli, a village built on the remnants of the ancient city of Láppas. Numerous springs, the cave and the chapel bearing the same name are all well worth a visit. •Gorges of extraordinary beauty traverse the mountains of the region: the ravine of Kourtaliótis, 3km long, ends at the famous Lagoon of Préveli; the ravine of Kotsifoú starts from the village of Kánevos and ends near the village of Sellía; the gorge of Patsós, in the Amári district; the gorge of Prassés, which ends at the village of Plataniás at the north coast east of the town of Réthymno; finally, the gorge of Arkádi and a number of smaller ones. • The mountains of the region are exceptionally rich in caves. The most famous caves are those of Geráni, Simonélli west of the town of Réthymno, Áyios Antónios in the district of Amári, Melidóni, Moúgri Sissón and Sfendóni near the village of Zonianá.