The best time to visit Croatia
Easter is the beginning of the swimming season for local people. That is when Croatians consider the water warm enough.
The best time of year to visit Croatia weather-wise is July and August, for the gloriously long sunny days that are particularly idyllic on the coast and islands. But the country has a fairly mild climate all year-round, and we think that it is particularly worthwhile to visit Croatia in May, June or September, when temperatures are pleasant, around 23°C-27°C, but it’s decidedly less crowded. April to October is ideal for cruising in Croatia, with calm seas, while March to May are the best months to visit Croatia for walking and cycling, being generally dry and warm, though you’ll want a jacket in the evening.
When is the best time for small ship cruising in Croatia?The best time of year for small ship cruising in Croatia is usually between April and October, with April and May typically the least busy months. The sea is calmer and warm enough to swim in. Plus, most islands are open for tourism, and by traveling aboard a small ship you won’t need to queue for inter-island ferries – a blessing in peak summer season. Read our guide to small ship cruising in Croatia for more.
Croatia, month by month
January in Croatia
February in Croatia
March in Croatia
April in Croatia
April is great for a crowd-free luxurious small ship cruise
May in Croatia
May is great for a self-drive vacation
June in Croatia
It’s good to stretch the season, especially on the islands because they are less busy outside June and August. It relieves the pressure on them.
– Tomi Coric from our partner Epic Croatia
July in Croatia
July is great for sailing on a catamaran
August in Croatia
August is great for a fun activity adventure with teens
September in Croatia
September is great for late-season small ship cruising
October in Croatia
November in Croatia
December in Croatia
Croatia Weather Chart
Our Croatia Vacations
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Best times to visit Croatia for festivals & events
Museum Night (usually late January)Usually falling on the last weekend in January, Museum Night sees hundreds of museums and galleries across Croatia opening their doors free of charge, allowing thousands of history buffs and culture vultures to feast on the contents. Donations are welcomed though, naturally. If you’re taking advantage of low season prices for some Croatia city sightseeing in January, you can also catch lectures, music and dance performances.
Feast of Saint Blaise (3 February)Sore throat? Come to Dubrovnik on 3 February as the city celebrates its patron saint. Saint Blaise, who is said to have saved a choking boy’s life by pulling a fish bone from his throat, is also the patron saint of throat disease. White doves are released the evening before, and many Catholics will attend morning mass before processions of believers in colourful traditional dress pay their respects. Watch out for fritule – delicious deep-fried doughnuts that are guzzled all day long.
Festival of Oysters (mid-March)Never ones to be shellfish about the bounteous harvest they pull from the sea, residents of Ston on the Pelješac peninsula in southern Croatia welcome travelers to celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph with a range of oyster, mussel and clam dishes. The seafood of Ston is world-renowned, and is best paired with local wines which will also be in good supply.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival (July & August)The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a major event running through July and August. Think Edinburgh in the sun with a piñata of theatre, dance and classical music from around the world. The arts movement has always been a backbone of Croatian culture, and played a major role in battling for independence during the Tito years. With a history of artists who pushed for change through their work, no wonder the festival is now such a prestigious event.
Harvest festivals (September & October)Autumn is a sublime time to be on Croatia’s Istria Peninsula, with a number of harvest festivals taking place to delight foodies. Among the most notable is Marunada, held in and around the town of Lovran and dedicated to sweet chestnuts. Expect to find them in pancakes, liqueurs, ice cream, soups and sauces, with many events centerd on the town square. Truffle Day, meanwhile, is actually a succession of weekend events from September onwards. Learn how to hunt truffles in the forest around the village of Livade. Culinary workshops show you how to select, value, store and eat these valuable fungi.
Feast of Saint Martin (11 November)Martinje is when the must (crushed fruit juice) traditionally becomes wine after the September grape harvest. After being blessed by priests, the new wine is poured in vineyards, bars and restaurants to be enjoyed alongside roast goose. This is the last feast day before Advent, and the wine-fuelled revelry gets pretty joyful.
Theatre NightA cultural counterpart to Museum Night at the other end of the year, Theatre Night involves theatres and other venues in more than 30 towns and cities putting on free or heavily discounted performances, as well as workshops, discussions and other interactive activities. This annual event has been so successful that it now takes places in several European countries, predominantly in the Balkans.
Our travelers also ask...
What is the best month to visit Croatia?Weather-wise, the best time of year to visit Croatia is July and August. It’s gloriously hot and sunny – perfect for watersports if you’re bringing the kids or cruising the Dalmatian Coast and islands, stopping off for regular swims in the warm sea. However, the summer months are peak season and it gets very crowded. Expect long queues at ferry ports, and huge cruise ships disgorging day-trippers into Dubrovnik. We’d suggest that you visit Croatia in May, June or September, when the weather is still magnificent but it’s nowhere near as busy.
When is the rainy season in Croatia?The rainiest months in Croatia are between October and April, although May can also get very wet. Spring and autumn are usually quite warm, however, and you can expect plenty of sun between showers. This is a good time for sightseeing in Croatia’s cities and exploring their many museums and churches. Hikers and cyclists prepared to endure the odd bit of rain often like to get out there in early autumn and spring (March to May, September and October), when the trails are appealingly quiet.
What are the hottest months in Croatia?July and August are the best time to go to Croatia if you want baking hot sun. Temperatures can easily reach 28°C. Naturally, these are popular months to be on the coast, but it’s pleasantly cooler up in the Dinaric Alps, as well as in national parks such as Plitvice. Those in the know walk inland in Croatia during the summer, avoiding the midday sun and escaping the coastal crowds.
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