Suppose you’re looking for a European destination to enjoy historical spots and also outdoor activities. In that case, Croatia is a great destination to see amazing tourist attractions and is less obvious than other European countries like Spain and Italy.
The country has historical villages that keep the legacy of Roman, Greek, Slavic, Venetian, and Austro-Hungarian civilizations alive. There are astonishing coastal areas, and it offers an excellent gastronomy experience. But when is the best time to visit Croatia?
It always depends on what you love to do while traveling. In this article, you’ll read about the cultural festivals and travel tips and learn about the weather, so you can choose wisely when to go, and get the most out of this fantastic destination. You also can check the Croatia Travel Guide to learn how to better plan your trip, such as travel documents, costs, and main attractions.
Best time of year to visit Croatia
It’s essential to know about the Croatian weather to be aware of what temperatures to expect when you're going. Is it worth traveling during school holidays and dealing with the tourist crowds in the peak season? Or is the best time to visit Croatia during the shoulder season, with fewer crowds and cooler weather? Everything depends on your personal preferences.
You can learn below when you’ll find hot weather, when are the shoulder seasons, and also the most important cultural festivities in the country, so you can plan your trip according to your needs and expectations!
Visiting Croatia in the Summer months (July-August)
What you can enjoy
Mid-June to early September is the country's high season and summer months. This is the best time to visit Croatia if you want to explore the coastal towns, especially the amazing blue Adriatic coast. The hot summers are also a good moment to visit the stunning national parks, such as the Plitvice Lakes national and the Park Krka National Park. The country hosts a lot of music festivals in summer too, just be prepared for the crowds and some extra costs.
The average temperatures are between 18°C(64.4°F) and 30°C(86°F). Usually, the weather is dry and sunny, perfect to enjoy the outdoors. It’s just always a good idea to bring some sweaters with you for the cooler weather at night.
Traveling in the summer, of course, you want to take advantage of the Adriatic sea. It’s a great time to swim; the sea temperature is around 23°C(73.4°F), rising to 25°C(77°F) in August, the hottest month.
Visiting Croatia in the Autumn months (September-October)
What you can enjoy
In case you prefer fewer tourists to explore the cities in a bit more peace, beaches and even the parks like the Plitvice Lakes National Park, maybe Autumn could be the best time to visit Croatia for you. Until late September and early October, you still have pleasant temperatures and can enjoy weather similar to summer, with clear blue skies on most days.
The daytime temperatures decrease during this season, starting with summer days, passing through milder weather, and then getting colder. They go from a minimum of 18.2°C(64.8°F) and a maximum of 23.4°C(74.1°F) in September to 10°C(50°F) and 17°C (63°F) in November. The average sea temperature is 20°C (68°F) in this season.
Visiting Croatia in the Winter months (November-April)
What you can enjoy
In case you don’t mind low temperatures and you really want to live the local experience, winter can be the best time to visit Croatia. There are a lot of cultural events where you can learn about the culture of the country from a more authentic perspective.
Tourists' movements drop significantly, and besides the fewer people at the main attractions, the shoulder season is the cheapest time to travel. You’ll find hotels, tours, and tickets at much better prices.
Don’t forget that it’s the low season for a reason. Winter is the rainy season and the coldest months of the year, so it’s not a good time for outdoors activities. The temperatures fluctuate between -1°C(30.2°F) and 5°C(41°F). The Adriatic coast is a little cooler, but in the mountains, you can find a glacial experience, reaching as low as -10°C(14°F).
November is the month when you’ll find the most rainy days; it has an average of 198mm of rain.
Visiting Croatia in the Spring months (May-June)
What you can enjoy
It’s still shoulder seasons, but with warm weather, long days, and little rain. For those who want to explore the national parks, it’s a great time to hike.
The spring is when the weather starts to warm up a bit, increasing little by little from 3°C(37.4°F) to 22°C(71.6°F).
In early June, already late spring, travelers that love beach trips can enjoy the ocean, which offers sea temperatures of around 22°C (71.6°F).
Croatia: Holidays, festivals, and events
Most tourists still choose to travel in the summer high season, but no matter when is the best time to visit Croatia, you can always find cultural activities, historical attractions, and unique national parks. In the tourist season or the fewer peak times of the low season, you can enjoy music festivals and local events.
Check out some of the most important events in the country below.
Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors. In Croatia, you have beautiful beaches on the coast, which are always full of life. You can practice various sports, sailing, or just relax on the sand. There are also plenty of options to party.
It is in summer that the major Croatian festivals take place, attracting tourists from all over the world.
This summer festival takes place in Tisno, in August, and it is famous for its bass-heavy lineups. There are boat parties and performances on the beach, an incredible experience to enjoy summer with friends.
Previously, the Outlook Festival was in Pula, Croatia. But after ten years, the party moved to the beach, so tourists could enjoy music and the Adriatic coast simultaneously.
Another summer event, the Hideout Festival, is a good choice for those who love electronic music. The party takes place on the famous Zrce Beach, and some of the best European DJs play for five days and nights on a breathtaking landscape between the Croatian mountains and the Adriatic Sea.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
This festival is a good excuse to visit Dubrovnik. The city is one of the most important in Croatia, and you can explore the historical spots and enjoy the cultural attractions of this annual festival. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival has been held since 1950, and it presents an incredible program of classical music, theater, opera, and dance performances. All this art fits perfectly with the renaissance and baroque spirit of the city.
Rain and cold temperatures don’t spoil Croatian parties. The people around there know how to celebrate festivities and some of the most special holidays are a great moment to dive into Croatian culture.
It can be a great season to explore the country with fewer tourists and lower prices, enjoying the local traditions.
If you love Christmas, maybe the best time to visit Croatia is December. The country really gets the Noel spirit, and you would be amazed by the decor and all the Christmas markets.
The capital Zagreb is a special city to visit during Advent for Christmas. There are more than 25 Christmas Markets throughout the main squares and promenades. You can enjoy artisan products and the regional cuisine, and, of course, all Christmas biscuits and ornaments.
Feast of Saint Blaise
This is an important holiday in Dubrovnik. It’s the Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of the city, and has taken place on the 3rd of February since 972 AD.
The date remarks on the legend of the appearance of St. Blaise in Dubrovnik, who helped the citizens in defending their town against the Republic of Venice. In honor of the saint, people celebrate with music, parades, and festivities.
Since 2009, the festivity has been recognized by UNESCO on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Carnival is celebrated in Croatia with costumes, parades, food stalls, and sporting competitions, and the most notable parties take place in Dubrovnik and Rijeka. Parades take place next to street parties.
The festivities start with the coronation of the prince and princess of the year and the handing over of the keys to the town hall, ending with a children's parade.
Croatia is a fascinating country that offers attractions for all types of tourist. From electronic music festivals in summer to historical events in the winter, there is always something to explore in the country.
Before the travel, check if you have all the travel documents that you need, such as the Announcement Form or the upcoming Croatia ETIAS. You can always count on iVisa services to have all support you need to get ready with the travel bureaucracy, so you can plan your trip relaxed.