When planning your Croatia vacations, it’s a good idea to check weather conditions in various parts of my country to choose the right season when to go there.
While coastal regions enjoy the typical Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers (average temperature is around 28°C/82°F) and very mild winters (minimum temperatures are around 4°C/39°F), Croatia’s inland (see the map of Croatia) has the continental climate with hot summers and cold winters (with snowfalls).
Weather conditions, air and sea temperature differs along the Croatia Adriatic coast. These differences are more obvious in Northern Adriatic (Istria peninsula and Kvarner coast) when comparing with Central and Southern Dalmatia.
First of all air and sea are heating up quicker in southern part of Dalmatia where the number of sunny hours is much higher in Hvar or Dubrovnik, then in Pula. In Pula the number goes around 2.480 sunny hours, while Hvar (Hvar island) has 2.762 hours yearly. The difference of 12 days is rather significant.
There is another factor which confirms the fact that the swimming period in southern Dalmatia (Dubrovnik, Korcula, Mljet) sometimes lasts up to the beginning of November, as the sea temperature falls more slowly.
Croatia weather – The best time to visit Croatia
What is the best month to travel to Croatia? Let’s see month after month taking into account three key factors: budget, interests and weather.
From April to September is the best period to visit Croatia. Although you can’t still enjoy swimming in April, you will certainly find warm and shinny weather specially in Central and South Dalmatia.
In April, beside the pleasant weather you can benefit of rather low accommodation prices. It is wise to book in advance any kind of accommodation since many Croatia hotels, camping sites are still closed.
May and June are two months specially convenient for outdoors activities like biking, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, climbing, hiking and walking. If you are lover of active vacations, Croatia is the right place to be. Accommodation prices are still reasonable and you can enjoy long, sunny days.
Keep in mind that at the end of May and first week of June is a traditional period of school students trips and some cultural and natural beauties highlights can be rather mobbed (Plitvice Lakes, Krka River Park or Split and Dubrovnik cities).
Period July – August is considered the high season and accommodation prices are the highest in beaten track places like the islands Krk, Brac, Hvar, Rab and of course Dubrovnik. Croatia has a lot off beaten track places which deserve to be visited.
If you ask me, September is the best month to go to Croatia. The Croatia weather conditions are excellent. It is not as hot as in August, but the sea remains warm.
Accommodation prices are from 20 to 30 % lower and the crowds will fade away as the school children return to school. This is a months of fruit such as figs and grapes.
In October you can still find a warm weather, particularly convenient for cruising and outdoor activities. In this month you can benefit of low prices specially in private accommodation.
When to go to Croatia on low budget?
Times when Croatia has been considered a cheap destination are over. With intense tourist boom, Croatia has faced last few years (from 2010), prices in Croatia haven’t shown any signs of price cuts, as a result of Greek competition.
On contrary, in some top Croatia destinations, like Hvar and Dubrovnik, hotel prices have been constantly growing, little at a time but steadily.
In spite of that, Croatia still can be a good value for your money, if you keep away from July and August, particularly period of the main tourist stroke, from July 15 to August 20 (Italian Ferragosto).
Croatia has a lot of off beaten track places which deserve to be visited. June is the perfect month for island-hopping, summer ferry schedule is in full operation, tourist crowds have not yet started and prices (read private accommodation) suit all budgets.
September is the best month when to go to Croatia. The weather conditions are excellent. It is not as hot as summer, but the sea remains warm.
Accommodation prices are from 20 to 30 % lower and the unbearable crowds are over, the school children return to school. Definitely the best time to enjoy the life!
May and June are two months specially convenient for outdoors activities like cycling, horseback riding, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, diving, water skiing, windsurfing, beach volleyball and walking.
In October you can still find a warm Croatia weather and low prices specially in private accommodation. I recommend this month for cruising lovers that can take advantage of the fabulous offers.
I can not overlook also some winter months to visit Croatia during some special and traditional cultural events, like New Year, February carnivals in Rijeka and Split. Winter in Croatia can be a pleasant place for city breaks, visiting Zagreb, an exciting city or aristocratic Opatija town.
Croatia is beautiful in all seasons and you won’t be wrong, whenever you go.