Croatia is a small, southern European country with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful nature, and delicious cuisine. It is a true Adriatic pearl, with beautiful Istrian and Dalmatian beaches, a warm emerald sea, charming ancient seaside towns, olive groves, and the peaks of the Dinaric mountains. Croatia is one of Europe's most popular vacation destinations; a country of incredible contrasts where ancient Roman heritage meets old Slavic buildings and Venetian architecture meets monumental buildings from the socialist era.
Geographically, Croatia is located in southern central Europe and occupies part of the Balkan Peninsula. The territory of the country can be divided into three parts: the Adriatic coast, the Middle Danube Lowland, and the Dinaric Plateau. In terms of relief, most of Croatia is lowland and plain. The Danube, the Drava, the Sava, and the Mura rivers flow through its territory. Interestingly, about 60% of the rivers belong to the basin of the Black Sea. Due to the geographical location, topography, and climate, the nature of Croatia is diverse and rich. Here you can enjoy mixed forests, Mediterranean landscapes, and alpine meadows all in one area.
In Croatia, there are seven national protected parks. As for the historical heritage, there is much to see. The Croatian coast was inhabited during the Bronze Age by the ancient culture of "impreso", later by the Butmiris and Castellarians, and in the ancient era by the Romans. The Croat Slavic tribes arrived here in the 12th century. Nowadays, there are many archaeological, architectural, and historical monuments worth seeing. The cities closely intertwined the cultures of different nations, so the appearance looks quite unique, echoing Byzantine, Italian, and Arabic patterns.
The best time to visit Croatia
The best time to travel depends on your goals.
Croatia has a predominantly Mediterranean and continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Winters are usually mild and summers are dry along the coast. Temperature maximums are easily moderated by the sea, thus helping to keep temperatures mild. Strong wind speeds have been recorded mostly in the colder months along the coast. February is the month with the lowest temperatures, and the most pleasant weather is in July.
In the summer months, especially in July and August, the weather is the most attractive for tourists. The beaches are at their warmest condition during these months. The blue crystal waters make the beaches look so appealing that you would want to feel a refreshing splash or go for an adventurous boat trip around islands. The spring and fall months offer more than beaches — national parks and the beautiful scenery of Croatia. September and October are also great months to plan a good trip as the weather is equally enjoyable.
Winter is among the worst times to visit Croatia with its cold and freezing interiors, but coastal areas have a much milder climate. You can go skiing or hit the museums for a cultural insight into Croatia. If you are on a tight budget, we recommend going there during April — Croatia will not disappoint you as you will be able to catch a bit of both the winter and spring sides of Croatia! December is also a perfect month because of the New Year and Christmas holidays around the country. All in all, the month of July is the most pleasant time to take a trip, so you can enjoy the bright blue tint of water on the beaches and get a decent tan too.
The hottest month in Croatia
July and August are the hottest and most popular months for tourists in Croatia. These last months of summer are characterized by the highest temperatures and the peak influx of tourists from all over the world. If you like beach holidays, July and August are two of the most suitable periods for this.
The average temperature is 30 degrees, and the hot sun warms up not only the air but also the Adriatic Sea. The average water temperature is +26-27. The air during this period is quite humid. But by the end of the summer, the heat subsides, and the climate becomes more comfortable. August is also characterized by short rains (the amount of precipitation depends largely on the wind direction).
The best time for the beach in Croatia
The beautiful 5,500 kilometers of coastline with Blue Flags and the clean Adriatic Sea attract a large number of tourists. The surface of the beaches is very different. There is golden sand, natural pebbles, or artificial concrete: all with excellent infrastructure and conditions, with showers and toilets, play and sports grounds, lifeguard towers, and water parks. Bathing and sunbathing aren't the only attractions of beach life; you can also take trips on yachts and boats between the beautiful wild islands. More than 1,000 Croatian islands are not inhabited; most of them are tiny pieces of land, covered with vegetation or rocks. To contemplate them while sailing is an exquisite pleasure.
We recommend beginning your beach vacation with the city of Dubrovnik. Its territory includes an ancient fortress, numerous romantic bays, and lovely streets. Then visit Sibenik and the green beaches of Porec. By the way, in this small town there is a cave called Beredina with a unique walking fish. Popular among vacationers are the islands of Istria and Dalmatia.
We recommend visiting the beach "Golden Horn" on the island of Brac and the resort of Split — these places have the cleanest waters.
The tourist season at Croatian resorts opens in early May and lasts until mid-October. At the end of spring, the weather in Croatia allows you to sunbathe. It is very sunny and the temperature is +23- +25. However, only brave tourists may swim because the water temperature is only +17 - +19. During the summer, the air temperature in the coastal areas of the country is +26 - +29, and the sea water heats up to +25 - +27. A slight cooling comes with the onset of autumn, but it almost does not affect the beach vacation; tourists continue to sunbathe and swim.
Nudism in Croatia
Croatian resorts are tacitly the capital of nudist holidays. Here, the officially approved nudist beaches are concentrated. Every year, thousands of nudists from all over the world come here. Especially popular is the island of Koversada. Clothed people are not allowed there! The island is literally inhabited by nudist tourists. It has beautiful nature and a clean sea. There are fine nudist areas in Vrsar, Cavtat, Mlini, and on the islands of Lopud and Pakleni. In total, in Croatia, there are about a hundred accommodations for nudist vacations.
Croatia in winter
In winter, Croatia begins its second high season, because from December to March the ski resorts get popular. In the mountains during this time, the temperature drops to -10°C, creating quite comfortable conditions for skiing. And in the lowlands in winter, the weather in Croatia is very warm, with the lowest temperature of +10. On the coast, it is usually even warmer. So, if the winter isn’t the best time to travel to Croatia, it is also not the worst!
Croatia in spring
The weather in Croatia in spring swiftly goes from cold to warm. Already in March, the thermometer reaches +15 or more. In a few days, everything will be in bloom, and it is the best time for excursions in Croatia. There is nothing more beautiful than gardens and parks in the springtime. The swimming, yachting, and diving season starts at the end of May.
Croatia in summer
Summers in Croatia are traditionally hot, the temperature can reach up to +30. However, due to the dry climate and sea breezes, even the hot weather in Croatia is quite pleasant. Summer is the best time to relax on the picturesque beaches of the country, as well as to travel and hike through the national parks. After all, Croatia is one of the most popular countries for ecotourism, and hiking and biking trips are really popular here.
Croatia in autumn
The weather in Croatia in the fall is very warm, and for a long time it feels like summer is still not over. September is still great to rest on the beach when there is no summer heat, and bathing is especially comfortable. In October, nature blooms in gold. The best views you will get at the parks. The temperature stays at +20. On the coast in November, it lows to 15, but in Zagreb, the temperature in November doesn't even reach +9. Autumn is the best time to visit thermal spas, go fishing or sightseeing.
The best time to visit Croatian Dubrovnik
The center of the Dubrovnik Riviera, which is surrounded by the twelve Elafiti Islands, does not need any advertising. Every season, which lasts from mid-April to October, the resort attracts millions of tourists from all over Europe. This is the most exquisite corner of Croatia, described by Bernhard Shaw as a piece of paradise, where you may experience both the deepest solitude and raucous idleness. The secret of Dubrovnik's popularity is its uniqueness: in addition to the best beach vacations, guests can enjoy the stunning scenery, 13-century history, which covers literally every inch of land, international festivals, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and first-class service.
Croatian Dubrovnik's high season
The beach season in Dubrovnik begins in early May when the weather outside is very warm. During the midday hours, the sun burns well. This is the ideal time for sunbathing: the tan is smooth and the risk of burns is minimized. Of course, after 2-3 hours of lying on the sand, you will definitely want to take a dip in the sea. However, the water temperature in the last month of spring does not exceed +18, so not everyone will enjoy such a bath. June is the "start-up" of the official swimming season when the sea temperature is no less than +22. For children, the sea may be quite cool, but for everyone else, it may be a nice, refreshing temperature. During the high season, in July and August, the temperature goes to +30. It is the best time to travel in Dubrovnik! During these months, a variety of water sports are popular, especially diving and surfing.
Croatian Dubrovnik’s low season
Dubrovnik has the southernmost position on the Adriatic Riviera of Croatia, so it is very warm in September. The first month of autumn is the best time to relax on the seashore. Because of the mild climate, there is very pleasant hot weather, allowing at least three weeks of swimming. But be aware that in September there is a chance of heavy rain, so it's best to choose a hotel with an indoor pool. The first days of October can be both overcast and sunny. The weather tends to change several times a day, so it is almost impossible to predict its mood. However, the average daily temperature this month is significantly lower, although some days the thermometer reaches +25. It is a great time to go on excursions.
The best time to visit Zagreb
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a great city to explore because of its rich history and culture. Zagreb has a history of more than 900 years, but one of its most distinctive parts, the Lower Town, appeared on maps only 1.5 centuries ago. The vibrant and opulent neighborhoods are reminiscent of Vienna or Budapest. And no wonder — like the glittering capitals, Croatian Zagreb was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The empire's generous Habsburg rulers actually gave the city an entire neighborhood with exemplary architecture and unified planning. Magnificent buildings do not dominate the landscape and the blocks alternate with park areas.
Zagreb is worth visiting both in summer and winter.
Zagreb has rather cold and wet winters alternating with hot and dry summers. January is the coldest month of the year, with lows of -5. The autumn is often rainy, and from May to September, the climate is pleasant. July is the hottest month of the year, averaging +27, while June, on the other hand, is the wettest month.
The best time to visit Split
Split is located in the central part of the Croatian coast between Zadar and Dubrovnik, dividing Dalmatia into two parts. The resort has nice beaches, and its historic center is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. From the sea, Split is surrounded by an archipelago of islands Brac, Solta, and Drvenik, behind them are Hvar, Vis, and Bishevo.
Modern buildings of glass and concrete neighbor the houses of the 15th–19th centuries, and trendy boutiques shop in the ancient town square. Croats consider Split a city of unique architecture, where every imaginable style has found a home. Its 17th-century history is full of dramatic events and the presence of many different civilizations.
On the territory of Split, there are both sandy and pebble beaches. The coast is equipped with everything you need for a comfortable holiday: cabins for changing, sun loungers, umbrellas. Admission to the beaches is free, as well as sun loungers. The water in Split is incredibly clear and the entrance is almost everywhere very smooth. The clearest water, providing 20-30 m visibility, unusual marine life, and an abundance of shipwrecks — all this makes Split and neighboring cities very attractive to divers. There are a lot of diving centers along the coast. The most famous of them is Opensea. The price of diving starts at 35 EUR per person (including the rental of equipment).
The climate of Split is typically Mediterranean: warm and humid winters and really hot summers with minimum precipitation. The most favorable period for vacationers is from early May to late September. The hottest and driest month is July. The water warms up to the maximum temperature in August and does not fall below +15 even in the coldest January, so the bathing season can be opened almost at any time.
Festivals in Croatia
Croatia's diverse cultural traditions create a vibrant, rich atmosphere that permeates all of the country's festivities. The calendar of holidays traditionally opens with New Year's Eve, celebrated in the European style. As in other European countries, the New Year in Croatia is closely related to Christmas. So the locals begin to prepare for the holidays in advance - since mid-December, they start to decorate streets and houses and buy gifts for all their family and friends. Travel to Zagreb at this festival to enjoy the holiday rush!
April 8th is the Day of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. The park is a cascade of 16 large and many small ponds, connected by a network of mountains. Waterfalls, caves, and grottoes attract many tourists and animal watchers every year.
Croats celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ with marches on the first Thursday after Pentecost. Croats celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ with solemn processions on the first Thursday after Pentecost. August 5 is Victory and Domestic Appreciation Day, commemorating the events of the domestic war.
One of the most important holidays in Croatia is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which falls on August 15. For Croats, this event is as important as St. Patrick's Day for the Irish and Columbus Day for the Italians. This festival is a reminder of the war with the Turks, which was stopped only by the intervention of the Virgin Mary.
On the first day of November, Croats celebrate All Saints' Day, a national holiday. On this day, families visit churches, commemorate deceased relatives, and leave flowers on graves. Children look forward to St. Nicholas Day because they receive their long-awaited gifts. In Protestant churches, this holiday coincides with Christmas.