Best Time to Visit Croatia

Croatia is a small country located on the Adriatic coast in central Europe. It provides travelers with opportunities for a varied and a memorable vacation. Croatia has sea resorts such as Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Makarska, etc with beautiful beaches and clear turquoise water, unique natural attractions (waterfalls, lakes, mountains, caves, sea grottoes) and well-preserved historical monuments from different eras. All this splendor is available not only in the summer months, but also with the onset of the autumn season.

People and sea waves at Tučepi beach on the Adriatic Croatia
People and sea waves at Tučepi beach on the Adriatic sea in Croatia

The best time to visit Croatia depends on why you are going there. If you are looking for a beach holiday in Croatia, then June to early September is a great time to plan your trip. For exploring Croatian cities such as Split and Dubrovnik on foot, we recommend visiting from mid-April to June, when the temperature is neither high nor low and rains are not expected. The autumn months of September to mid-October are additionally excellent for wine tasting tours and white truffles. Relaxing on the beach is still possible until October, but the water temperature starts to decrease after mid-September. Lastly, for skiing lovers the best time to travel to Croatia is January-March.

Scenes out of Game of Thrones shot at Dubrovnik
A view straight out of Game of Thrones shot at Dubrovnik

Croatia is beautiful because in the summer here is quite tolerable, not like in Turkey or Egypt or Thailand. There are very hot days when everything melts, but most European countries have them. In winter, the temperature here does not drop below zero if we exclude the mountainous regions. And they have the official rainy season just in October.

Croatia in December, January, February

Winter in Croatia is mild and snow falls only in the mountains at ski resorts, where the temperature can drop below zero. In areas along the sea, the average daily temperature in these months fluctuates around 7-10°C.

For example in Dubrovnik and Split, the average winter temperature is 12 to 13 ° С and in Pula or Porec 8 to 10 ° С. It often rains and piercing winds blow from the sea. Snow and frost can come in seaside towns, but are extremely rare.

Should I go to Croatia in winter?

Many tourists visit Croatia to celebrate Christmas and New Year holidays. So hotels can be crowded with vacationers at this time. If you are flexible, try to book a ticket or accommodation at least six months in advance.

Be sure to check out Ban Josip Jelacic Square in Zagreb, they will organize the largest Christmas market in the country!

Josip Jelacic Square in Zagreb
Ban Josip Jelacic Square in Zagreb

January is the height of the ski season in Croatia. Tourists rush to the resorts near Zagreb and in the Gorsky Qatar region which is a mountain range in the north of the country, famous for its ski resorts Begovo Razdolie, Platak, Chelimbasha and Belolasitsa. The influx of skiers in winter is considered a high season here, and holiday prices in Croatia from December to February remain close to summer peak levels.

Another attraction of tourists in winter is Plitvice Lakes. At this time of year there is an amazing atmosphere of tranquility, and the sun illuminates the snowy trees and frozen lakes. If you are lucky with the weather and severe frosts hit, you can see some lovely icy waterfalls. And here you can also go sledding and skiing at the Mukinje resort. The slopes are quite gentle, so the place is ideal for children and beginners.

Croatia in March, April and May

Spring in Croatia is gorgeous, everything begins to bloom and turn green already in early March. Although most of Croatia’s vegetation is always green.

Split Croatia
Split in Croatia

In May, the peak tourist season begins, and all hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related infrastructure starting working in earnest. The sea is still cold in May at about 15-17°C. But you can nevertheless lie on the beach and tan under the sun as the air temperature reaches +25°C.

Easter week – during this period, gastronomic fairs are held in every major city, and you can try traditional Easter cakes in local bakeries

At the end of May, you can already start swimming in the sea, and the yachting season and the diving season start in full throttle.

Croatia in June, July, August

These months constitute the most expensive, hottest, most crowded season in Croatia, especially near the coastline. Warm sea, warm wind and a lack of rain makes the vacation on the Adriatic attractive for hundreds of thousands of tourists.

The ideal weather at this time of the year is considered to be the weather in the central part of Croatia, namely in central Dalmatia – for example, in the city ​​of Sibenik.

People basking in the sun at Banj beach in Sibenik
People basking in the sun at Banj beach in Sibenik

The last months of summer and early autumn are the best time to visit Croatia with small children. The water temperature is perfect so babies can splash around for hours at a stretch.

Croatia in September, October, November

The weather in Croatia in the autumn is very warm, and for a long time it feels like the summer is still not over. Early September on the beaches of Croatia is just great, when there is no summer heat and swimming in the sea is especially comfortable. In October, nature is colored gold and scarlet, and the thermometer stays around + 20 ° C.

top view of Plitvice Lakes in Croatia
The gorgeous scenes at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

But at the same time, tentatively from September 15, the low season begins in Croatia. As a result, entrance prices to many attractions and national parks drop, housing, car rental and even restaurant prices get cheaper.

Beach vacations are still possible in early October for the brave. Note that it is quite uncomfortable to leave the sea under constantly blowing breezes. October is also considered the rainiest month of the year. The irony is that an average of ONLY 5 rainy days falls in this autumn month.

On the coast, in November it drops only to + 15 ° C, but inland temperature drops to + 9 ° C. Autumn is not bad for visiting thermal spas, for fishing and for excursions to Croatian sights.

To conclude, the weather in Croatia at every month of the year is usually pleasant. The winters are not harsh and summers are sultry with a week or two of hot weather. Enjoy your holiday in this amazing and unique Balkan country!

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