When to go to Croatia: climate and best period region by region

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Nestled between sea and mountains, in the heart of Europe, Croatia is a wonderful country where unspoiled nature reigns alongside monuments that bear witness to its history. The coast is famous for the crystalline sea and hundreds of islets, but the hinterland is certainly not far behind, both from the point of view of naturalistic beauties, and from the historical-cultural point of view: between elegant cities with Central European charm and villages that seem not to have been scratched by time, the choice is really wide. Such geomorphological variety obviously has repercussions on the climate. Three types of climate can be identified: the climate of Istria, the climate of the Dinaric Alps and the continental climate of the inland plains.

Let's find out together when to go to Croatia: climate and best period region by region.



Index

  1. Best time for a trip
  2. Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Istria (Pula, Rovinj, Porec)
  3. Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Kvarner (Rijeka, Island of Krk, Plitvice National Park)
  4. Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Dalmatia (Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik)
  5. Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Dinaric Alps (Gospic, Zavizan)
  6. Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Zagreb and Slavonia (Zagreb, Samobor, Varazdin, Osijek)
  7. What to bring in your suitcase
  8. Info
  9. User questions and comments

Best time for a trip

Broadly speaking, Croatia is open all year round, but a lot depends on the type of holiday you plan to do.

For seaside life along the coast or on one of the numerous islands, thesummer is the best time, May, June and September even better because they are not too crowded.
For a cultural trip, all seasons can do. In most of the country, with the exception of the Dinaric Alps and the region of Zagreb and Slavonia, winters are in fact mild, the only drawback that should not be underestimated is the rainfall: frequent and abundant, they occur in winter, spring and even in autumn.



  1. Istria: mild and pleasant climate all year round; even in winter it does not drop below zero
  2. Kvarner: mild and pleasant climate all year round; very rainy spring and winter
  3. Dalmatia: mild and pleasant climate even in winter, but the season with less rainfall is summer
  4. Dinaric Alps: pleasant summer, never with intense heat; very cold autumn and winter with abundant rain and snow
  5. Zagreb and Slavonia: pleasant summer and spring; rather harsh autumn and winter

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Istria (Pula, Rovinj, Porec)

Warm temperate climate of sub-Mediterranean type, characterized by hot and sunny summers, never torrid also because they are quite windy (average of July 23/25 °) and mild winters (average temperature of January 5/7 °). In the areas most exposed to the bora you can go down to 3 °.

Rainfall is generally abundant in all seasons except summer; the peak is recorded between October and November. In Rovinj and the islands, rainfall amounts to 800 / 1.000 mm per year. Snowfalls are rare, a practically non-existent phenomenon. The sea temperature is quite warm; it is possible to swim even in September.


  • Recommended period: hot and sunny but not hot summer and always windy
  • Period not recommended: in winter and in the intermediate seasons the climate is pleasant with temperatures that are never excessively low, however rainfall is abundant

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Kvarner (Rijeka, Island of Krk, Plitvice National Park)

Borderland between Istria and Dalmatia, the Kvarner bay presents a long coast made up of beaches, pine forests, wooded shores and lush islands; towards the interior, the severe relief of Mount Ucka and the Velebit chain delimit a territory made up of dense forests, steep slopes, rocks and trees shaped by the bora that hits the region in winter.

Along the coast and on the islands, the climate resembles that of Trieste. Winters are quite mild (average in January of 5/6 °), but with sudden drops in temperature when the bora blows, the fearsome wind coming from the icy Russian plains. Summers are instead hot and sunny (average July 23/25 °) and with a pleasant breeze that tempers the heat. Summer afternoon thunderstorms are not to be excluded. In the hinterland of Kvarner, the summers are moderately hot (July 22/23 °) while the winters are harsh (the winter average goes below 0 ° C). Frequent and sometimes copious snowfalls at medium-high altitudes. Rainfall is abundant in all seasons (especially between October and November), except in summer. In Rijeka, between 1.000 and 1.500 mm of rain fall per year.



  • Recommended period: summer has pleasantly warm temperatures and it rarely rains, although thunderstorms in the afternoon are not to be excluded
  • Period not recommended: in winter, especially in the innermost area, the cold is quite intense and the risk of snow is not uncommon. Very rainy autumn and spring. In winter, the Bora, the cold Trieste wind blows

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Dalmatia (Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik)

Here the climate it becomes progressively milder. Northern Dalmatia is characterized by its rugged coastline, a myriad of inlets and hundreds of islands that seem suspended in a crystalline sea.

Winter is mild, very similar to that of the Italian Tyrrhenian regions (January averages around 7/8 °). Here too, however, cold eruptions with a wind that resembles the bora cannot be excluded, especially at the mouth of the valleys where the air manages to channel itself. In the latter case, the temperature also drops to 3 °. Summers are hot and sunny but fairly windy (July average 24 °). Rainfall is frequent and abundant except for the summer season; while the snowfalls are sporadic.

  • Recommended period: hot and breezy summer, perfect for the beach
  • Period not recommended: none in particular, but very rainy spring and autumn. Mild winter but with possible outbreaks of cold wind

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Dinaric Alps (Gospic, Zavizan)

The area of ​​the dinaric chain is located in the central part of the country and is characterized by medium-high reliefs which constitute the watershed between the Danube basin and the Adriatic. The highest peak is Dinara (1.831 meters), on the border with Bosnia.

The climate is continental, Balkan type, with moderately hot summers (but conditioned by the altitude and with frequent thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon) and rigid winters (average winter below 0 °). Snowfalls are frequent and often copious on the reliefs at medium-high altitudes and are not to be excluded even in spring. In this mountainous region, rainfall is between moderate and abundant, with peaks especially in autumn and late spring. They also register at 3.000 mm per year.


  • Recommended period: in summer the climate is pleasant, mild without being hot with cool evenings and nights
  • Period not recommended: very harsh winter with frequent snowfalls. Cold spring and autumn with abundant rainfall

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Zagreb and Slavonia (Zagreb, Samobor, Varazdin, Osijek)

Zagreb, the capital, is a miniature metropolis of the hinterland surrounded by hills covered with vineyards and ancient castles. Here we register a continental climate: quite cold winters and pleasant summers and never intense heat. The average temperature in January is about 0 °, that of July about 20 °. In winter, the sun is rarely seen, while in summer it shines quite often, but not like on the coast. Rainfall is quite abundant (860 mm per year): with a minimum in February (40 mm) and a maximum in June (100 mm).

Slavonia, characterized by inland plains, has a semi-continental climate. Summers are dry and quite hot (average July 22 °), with pleasant days alternating with hot and sultry days and possible afternoon thunderstorms. Sometimes there can be heat waves with peaks of 38 °. Winters are cold (average in January 0/1 °) with gray and covered skies and widespread and frequent nebulosity. Snowfalls can be frequent but rarely intense and persistent.

  • Recommended period: hot and dry summer with possible peaks well over 30 °
  • Period not recommended: severe winter with frequent clouds and diffuse fog

What to bring in your suitcase

Info

  • Capital: Zagreb
  • Population: 4.076.246
  • Area: 56.594 sq. Km
  • Languages: Croatian is the official language; Serbian, Hungarian and Italian are spoken as a first language by less than 5% of the population. In the Istrian region, the official Croatian-Italian bilingualism applies.
  • Currency: Kuna (HRK) / Change: € 1,00 = 7,58 HRK
  • Documents: Identity card valid for expatriation or valid passport

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