The decision of when to vacation in Croatia is driven by many different factors, but the main ones are what the weather is likely to be and what you intend to do there.
Croatia’s geography makes it interesting in terms of climate. Being so long, the average temperatures in the very south (Dubrovnik) are often up to 10f higher than in Rovinj, in Istria, in the north of the country.
Most of our guests who take a Croatia vacation with us travel at least halfway up or down the country and quite a few will visit towns cities along the whole length of the coastline and in doing so could experience quite different weather during their trip.
Croatia’s tourist board has been making efforts for years to extend the country’s appeal as a year-round destination but as yet it seems not to have succeeded, if
we take our own guest numbers as an indication, but there’s definitely something to be said about visiting Croatia in the shoulder periods outside the usual peak European tourism months, which many of our guests take advantage of.
Average Temperatures in Croatia through December, January and February are in the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit, mild for Europe but not short-sleeves weather. In winter we have just a few guests travelling to Croatia and usually only to the Northern part of the country. One big reason is that despite the tourist board’s efforts, many tourism focused businesses such as restaurants shut up shop (especially in Dubrovnik) during winter and various connections like buses and ferries are on reduced timetables, making getting around a little more difficult.
Spring and early Summer
Temperatures start to climb as we get into April, with averages getting into the mid to upper 60s in April, 70s in May and into the 80s in June. These months are some of our busiest as the weather is reliably good all the infrastructure is in full swing.
Our own chart of when our guests are in Croatia shows that the peak summer vacation months for Europeans: July and August, are considerably quieter for us. This is accounted for by the different reasons for taking a vacation. In the overwhelming heat of the summer when the temperature can be in the high 90s for days on end, walking around historical old towns or venturing into the countryside to visit wineries or national parks is much less appealing than taking a dip in the inviting crystal clear waters of the Adriatic and by and large our (predominantly North American) guests are not looking for a 100% beach vacation unlike most Europeans, especially those from neighbouring landlocked countries. In Dubrovnik particularly the very peak months can be very busy indeed with the overnight visitor population significantly added to during the day by the large cruise ships that dock or anchor close by.
Late Summer and Fall
September is another of our busiest months as our guests take advantage of the more hospitable temperatures, similar to the mid May/early June period (and benefitting from the fact that the sea has been heated up during the summer) and the European crowds have subsided. Many of the attractions that can seem overrun in peak season (Dubrovnik‘s City Walls, Plitvice Lakes) are calmer and you get to enjoy them a little more at your own pace. October is usually the last month of the year we have guests visiting Croatia. Daytime temperatures drop into the 60s and evenings require an extra layer of clothing. The end of October is when many tourism focused businesses go into hibernation.
When will you travel?
Whichever time of you you prefer, and are able to travel, we can create a custom itinerary for you taking into account your preferences on activities and types of accommodation you you can be sure you’re making the most of your vacation time.