The climate is generally temperate Mediterranean and it is especially dry and hot, with a bright sunshine covering 70 % of the year. During the summer, the average temperature ranges between 25 and 30 degrees Celcius which is definitely lower than that of mainland Greece. The winters are mild and damp with quite a few rainfalls –mostly on the western part of the island of Crete. Snow is rarely seen on the plains but it is frequent on the mountainous areas. Another special characteristic of the area is that the sea temperatures on the southern coasts in winter are almost the same as those of the northern European seas in summer . This fact has recently led to a gradual and continuous increase of winter swimming fans .