Best time to vacation in croatia

Are you wondering when is the best time to vacation in Croatia? Or, when is the best time to travel to Croatia? Croatia is such a magical landlocked country in Central Europe! It has been a popular holiday destination for more than a decade. Thus, many tourists are flocking to Croatia’s coasts, cities and islands that are filled with pristine beaches and sun-kissed blue sea.

A lot of people ask me about the best time to visit Croatia. While there are many different factors to consider, this article will be covering the weather and tourist activities. Most of these times are based on stats and information from my own experience traveling there more than 5 times.

The year is almost over, but there’s still time to enjoy a last minute escape in Croatia. With the dollar becoming stronger than the kuna, it couldn’t be a better time to visit Croatia, especially if you’re considering checking out a new destination for your vacation next year.

If you’re looking for the best time to vacation in Croatia, we have some tips!

The best time to visit Croatia is during the late spring and early summer months of June through August. During this time, you’ll be able to enjoy warm weather and a variety of activities.

Croatia is known for its stunning beaches, so it’s no surprise that many visitors are drawn there by the desire to soak up some sun and get their feet wet. However, there are plenty of other things to do as well! If you love hiking or biking, there are plenty of trails that stretch through Croatia’s forests and along its coastline.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Croatia is also home to several incredible amusement parks—the most famous being Marineland! In addition to roller coasters and rides, Marineland features dolphins who perform tricks at the show every day.

Croatia has many beautiful cities with historic sites worth visiting—including Dubrovnik, which boasts UNESCO World Heritage status due in part to its medieval walls (which have been used as a setting in Game of Thrones). The capital city of Zagreb is another notable destination with many historical sites including St Mark

The best time to travel to Croatia is during the spring or fall. The weather is usually pleasant, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, and you can enjoy seeing flowers and other green plants in bloom as well as taking advantage of the milder weather.

However, if you are looking for a more active vacation experience, then you should consider visiting Croatia during the summer months. This will allow you to enjoy outdoor activities such as scuba diving, hiking, windsurfing, kayaking and boating while still being able to avoid the extreme heat of summer.

roatia has arty cities, tumbling waterfalls and rolling vineyards. But most visitors are here for its 2000km (1242 mile) coastline, which tumbles down the Adriatic like a glorious, half-finished jigsaw.  Here you’ll find idyllic coves, sophisticated ports and ferries that slip from island to island.

The best time to go to Croatia? That depends on what you want from a trip. High season brings hot sun and a party vibe, particularly on the Dalmatian Coast, home to highlights like walled Dubrovnik, its hip cousin Split, and Hvar Town’s classy waterfront. Shoulder season is quieter, and great for hiking and watersports, while winter lets you experience culture and festivals at off-season prices in the capital, Zagreb. This guide to what’s happening through the year in Croatia can help you plan your trip.

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You might want to avoid the hottest part of Croatia in summer

The south of Croatia is a little warmer than the north. But the main difference is between the coast and the interior. By the sea, summers are warm and winters relatively mild, while in the interior temperatures are more continental, with slightly warmer summer temperatures and colder winters.

Feel the heat and the buzz in July and August’s high season

Croatia’s tourism peaks in July and August, when the Adriatic’s warm waters charm countless visitors. There are boat parties, medieval fairs, while the booze flows freely and the smarter resorts fill with yachters. It’s great fun, though afternoons are roasting hot, the lines at attractions are at their longest and accommodation costs rise. Inland, temperatures are higher but crowds less noticeable, and Zagreb empties as locals head for the coast.

A woman sits on a rock at the edge of a pool being fed by a series of waterfalls in Croatia's Krka national park
It’s much quieter in shoulder season, and a great time to visit Croatia’s national parks © fokkebok / Getty Images

Shoulder season (May and September to October) offers sunshine and space

Late spring and early fall are arguably the best time to visit Croatia. Sea temperatures are pleasant and there’s plenty of sunshine, but the country’s pebble beaches and rocky coves are relatively quiet. With endless still seas, May and September are great times to go sailing in Croatia. Onshore, this is the best time to cycle, hike or visit the national parks too. Better still, accommodations are also easier to come by than in high season.

Dodge the crowds in November to April’s low season

There’s a reason the crowds stay away between November and April. The interior can be freezing, and while the coast is milder, it’s still affected by the bura wind that whips across the European plain, canceling ferries and snatching hats off heads.

But if you’re here for food and culture, you can still have a fine time. Accommodation rates are at their lowest, and you’ll be sharing the galleries and backstreets with locals. In Zagreb, Christmas markets, hearty stews, and buzzy clubs offer a warmth of their own.

January means hot drinks and cool art

Croatia’s coldest month is a good time to check out Zagreb’s lively cafes and impressive galleries and museums – and you can get a late-night culture fix at the annual Night of Museums. Sljeme (near Zagreb) or Platak (near the coastal hub of Rijeka) offer reasonable skiing.
Key event: Night of Museums.

A group of people in a carnival parade dressed in costumes made of beverage cans
Rijeka’s carnival is a huge event each February © Happy window / Getty Images

February is carnival time

The weather? Still cold, wet and windy. But the days are a little longer, tourists are rare and accommodations remain heavily discounted, so it’s an intriguing time to tour the coast – focus on sights like Trogir’s richly carved cathedral rather than the beaches. Rijeka’s carnival is Croatia’s biggest and wildest, with a costume parade, bell-ringing, and bands.
Key events: Rijeka Carnival, Feast of Saint Blaise.

March is for lake exploration

Brighter, drier weather makes March a good bet for mixing visits to churches and galleries with outdoor exploration. You can hike along the coast or hills, or take in the Krka and Plitvice national parks, where wooded slopes wind between lakes and waterfalls that thunder with meltwater.
Key event: ZagrebDox

April is time for asparagus

The sea hasn’t warmed up yet, but trees are bright with blossom and sunshine is never far away – try Istria’s hill towns (where asparagus season is in full flow) or the Samobor Hills near Zagreb. Parades liven up many towns over Easter.
Key events: Easter, Following the Cross, Music Biennale Zagreb.

A sail boat sails past Dubrovnik. The small boat has white sails and is surrounded by clear blue ocean.
Shoulder season means nice weather, fewer crowds, and good sailing conditions © zoom-zoom / Getty Images

May is for testing the water

The resort towns are warming up for the summer, making this a splendid month to wander squares and promenades and take short dips in the cool sea. Accommodation prices are lower, and bays and coves that are packed in summer have a tranquil feel. Rafting on the Cetina or the Zrmanja (just east of Zadar) is also a highlight.
Key events: Feast of St Domnius, Sea Star Festival.

June might be Croatia’s best month

Quieter than July or August, but with clear skies, dance festivals and the promise of early summer, this is a strong contender for Croatia’s best month. Ferries move on to their summer schedule, which makes heading out to islands such as pristine Cres, happening Hvar and forested Mljet a breeze.
Key events: Statehood Day, INmusicXistence.

July is all about the Adriatic

This is it: peak Adriatic. You’ll need to arrange accommodations well in advance, and work harder to find a sunbathing spot. If the bustle gets too much, try touring the quieter Kornati Islands, hopping on a sea kayak from Dubrovnik, or exploring the vineyards and hills of the interior.
Key events: Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Dvorišta – The Courtyards, Zagreb Pride, International Folklore Festival, Motovun Film Festival, Full Moon Festival.

Aerial photograph of Zlatni Rat beach on Brac Island. The beach is distinctive as it forms a sharp triangle of white sand at the end of the island. The beach is surrounded by blue water with many people sunning themselves on the sand.
High season means guaranteed beach weather, but also guaranteed crowds © Simone Simone / Getty Images

August brings festive frenzy

The sea is at its warmest, beach bars hum with revellers, Zagreb empties out and festivals salute high summer. Sonus is a techno party on Pag, Island brings electronica to Obonjan, there’s a Venetian-style festival on Krk, and jousting in Sinj. Bookings are essential everywhere on the coast – festival-goers who make do with a tent will swelter.
Key events: Krk Fair, SonusIsland, Vukovar Film Festival, Špancirfest.

September has sunshine and truffles

Things start to quieten down a little, but there are still plenty of ferries and cultural events to transport body and soul. This is another great time for a Dalmatian beach trip (time to coincide with Split’s Nights of Diocletian for Roman reenactments and street food), while truffle season comes to Istria.
Key events: Nights of Diocletian, Festival of Subotina, World Theatre Festival, Varaždin Baroque Evenings.

Two people sit in a small rowing boat in an incredibly turquoise lake with a waterfall
There are some reduced services in fall, but it’s still a good time to explore © evronphoto / Shutterstock

October is for mellow sightseeing

By October, Croatia is in shoulder season proper, with kids back in school and some ferry services and hotels closing over the course of the month. The coast is fairly warm with cool evenings and a mellow vibe, and you can still get anywhere and do just about anything, whether it’s feeling tranquil on the islands, exploring Dubrovnik’s walls, or checking out Zagreb’s film festival.
Key event: Zagreb Film Festival.

November is for watching the seasons shift

Temperatures can still be pleasant, but hotels and restaurants on the coast may be closed and the waters are chilly. Instead, treat any sunshine as a bonus, use the lower prices and shorter lines to tour cultural sights, and watch as the last leaves (and potentially the first snow) fall.
Key events: Feast of St Martin.

December means mulled wine and culture

It’s cold, many tourist businesses are shut and snow is settling on high ground. It’s a good time to experience Zagreb’s life: bars and galleries are open, while the run-up to Christmas brings mulled wine and DJ sets to those prepared to brave the winter streets.
Key events: Human Rights Film Festival, Fuliranje, Christmas.

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