Croatia is a stunning destination year-round, different times of year offer completely different climates, colours, flavours and experiences. Considering when to visit Croatia, you will want to take into account the weather, accessibility, events and what you hope to get from your Croatia holiday.
Weather in Croatia
The Coast boasts a Mediterranean climate of warm summers, often well into the 30s °C in the peak summer months, and a mild winter, rarely dropping below 5°C. It is not usual for summer weather to stretch out into autumn with temperatures in the low to mid 20s °C
The Continental Inland is slightly hotter in the summer and very cold in winter. Often below 0°C. Snow is very likely and can be pretty heavy.
Peak Season in Croatia (July/August)
During the peak season, Croatia enjoys its hottest temperatures and most sun-filled days. The coast is buzzing with lively beaches and vibrant café culture. A summer calendar of events and festivals is available to enjoy. The sea is perfect for swimming and days sailing and water-sports are aplenty. Be aware that prices are also at their peak.
It is possible to enjoy relatively quieter locations in these months by opting for the lesser-visited locations and quieter islands during your stay.
As I mentioned, Croatia’s temperature during these months are at their highest, strenuous outdoor activities, such as cycling, hiking and climbing are better in cooler months.
- Lively, buzzy atmosphere
- Hottest weather (some like it hot)
- Timetables of summer events and festivals in many locations
- The sea is perfect for swimming
- A regular timetable of flights from the UK
- All facilities are open and transportation links are running.
- May need to book in advance for popular restaurants
- Crowds at popular attractions
- Higher prices and popular accommodation is booked up early
- Cruise ships visit Dubrovnik and Split at certain times (try to plan your day around these times)
- Hottest temperatures (for those who struggle in the heat, sightseeing may be gruelling).
Shoulder months (April/May/June/September/October)
Tourist numbers start to creep up over the Easter holidays and the beginning of May is the official summer season. The weather has warmed up by May and the coast has started to come alive. Milder months are great for sporting pursuits such as cycling, hiking and climbing. September to mid-October are particularly good as the days are still long and sunny, and the sea is still warm enough for swimming.
Autumn in Croatia is a great time to enjoy the changing colours of Istria’s countryside and the national parks of Plitvice Lakes and the River Krka. The evergreens are at their best and the temperature can still be warm enough to sit outside and bask in the sun. It’s the start of Truffle season in Istria with events and truffle delicacies to be enjoyed.
Winter in Croatia (November to April)
The Croatian Coastline can be very quiet during these months and many tourist attractions and some hotels may well be closed for the winter season. It is, however, a great time to visit major cities. Advent is a particularly magical time of year to visit Croatia and runs from the 1st December through the first week in January. Zagreb is awash with festive cheer, mulled wines and warming foods and special programmes of merry events. Winning the best Christmas markets in Europe for 3 years running and a perfect romantic or family city break.
Uniquely, a city break in Zagreb can double up as a skiing holiday. Sjleme is just twenty minutes from the city and enjoyed by hikers in the summer. In the winter, however, don your ski’s and take to the slopes on a ski resort that is never overcrowded.
Click here to view our Zagreb Advent City Break itinerary.