Is Croatia on your travel bucket list and wonder when the best time for visiting is? Choosing the best time to go to Croatia depends on what you want from your trip.
High season with high temperature and parties along the coast is ideal for outdoor activities and real summer holiday, while shoulder season is quieter and great for hiking and sightseeing in historical cities. Winter time lets you experience culture and festivals in the capital, Zagreb.
Our guide will help you to decide when to visit Croatia and plan the perfect vacation.
Croatia's summer season start in June and lasts until beginning of September. This is when the coast are visited by countless visitors. This is the time of parties where you can enjoy local music and food.
The atmosphere is lively, though afternoons are very hot and lines at attractions are at their longest. Note, that accommodation costs in this period are very high. Inland of Croatia become quieter in these months, as locals head to the coast.
June is the quietest month of high season, but with clear skies and not so hot as July and August. Ferries move on to their summer schedule, which makes heading to islands such as popular Hvar or beautiful Mljet is a breeze.
If you are visiting in July, you'll need to arrange accommodation well in advance as well as book ferries. Try going somewhere quieter and visit surroundings of the city. We recommend taking sea-kayaking tour from Dubrovnik to the Elaphites islands or going to quad-bike safari in Konavle - south of Dubrovnik.
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival kicks off in late July, and the International Folklore Festival brings a celebration of traditional culture to Zagreb.
For islands hopping, summer months of July and August with hot and sunny weather and calm sea are the perfect choice. Summer parties and festivals are held all around Croatian coast and islands in the summer so you can enjoy local food and music.
Late spring (May and beginning of June) and early fall (September to mid-October) are for sure the best times to visit Croatia. In both periods, the weather is warm (not hot), there is plenty of sunshine with not crowds.
During the May, the summer season is still not in full swing, making this a spendid month to wander historical cities and take short dips in the crystal clear sea. Accommodation prices are very affordable.
Go rafting on Cetina River or take a sea-kayak tour to Lokrum island near Dubrovnik. If staying in Split, go on a quad safari trip to the countryside.
Once the September arrives, the things start to slow down after busy summer season, but there are still plenty of events going on.
The weather is still warm and sunny and sea temperatures are pleasant for swimming and relaxing. The beaches are peaceful and not crowded at all.
These are also the best times for cycling, hiking and visiting the national parks.
We recommend visiting Plitvice Lakes where you can enjoy stunning nature by walking in the parks and snapping photos of beautiful waterfalls (reach the lakes easily from Zagreb, Split or Zadar by buses or taking organised tours or transfers).
Big advantage is that accommodation is easy to find and it's fairly cheap when you compare to the high season.
By October, 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 or exploring Dubrovnik’s walls.
Note, that many direct flights from cities such as Split, Dubrovnik or Zadar ends beginning of November.
May and September are great times to go sailing in Croatia.
Or go to the northwest of Croatia to visit Istrian peninsula famous for its picturesque hilltop villages, wine routes and delicious food.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly trip, visit Croatia in the winter months (November to April), when accommodation prices are lower and there are no crowds at all. Starting from November, some ferry services and hotels closing over the course of the month.
However, you should be prepared for colder and wetter weather, especially in the interior regions, as well as fewer flight, bus and ferry connections.
This is the time for visiting museums and galleries or doing some winter sports in the mountains. Croatian capital Zagreb is especially popular in December for its Christmas festivities.
In February you can experience the carnival celebrations all around Croatia.
Croatia has several ski resorts such as Platak and Sljeme offering skiing and snowboarding opportunities during the winter season.
We hope this helps you plan your trip to Croatia. Enjoy you visit to Croatia!