With its medieval towns, red-roofed houses and busy ports, Croatia is stunning year round. To ensure a truly memorable trip, the best time to visit Croatia is either side of the hottest part of summer - from May to June and then September to October.
That way you can while away your days on the coast, and if you’re there at the beginning or end of summer, you can avoid most of the crowds.
The coastal areas are Mediterranean with summers that are warm and milder winters. Head inland and you’ll experience hotter summers and very cold winters.
Best time for...
A beach break
Croatia's peak season runs from July to August, and is the perfect time to visit if you enjoy a busy beach vibe. Mingle with locals and visitors alike at beachside bars and cafes, but be prepared for the temperatures to soar. Try for June or September if you’re after a more comfortable visit, temperature-wise. Things quiet down significantly over winter from October to May, with many of the usual tourist spots closed.
National parks and hiking
The best time to get outdoors and go exploring in the countryside is spring and early summer. From March temperatures are good enough to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.
If you are heading to Plitvice National Park and some of Croatia’s uninhabited islands, then autumn is another great time when the beautiful green and blue lakes and stunning forests are truly spellbinding. The colours of the lakes are continually changing depending on the sunlight and the minerals and organisms in the water. In southern Croatia you’ll find Krka Waterfalls National Park which is known for its seven waterfalls. The best months to visit Krka are June to September.
A winter escape
While the winter months can be bone-chillingly cold the further inland you go, they also make for breath-taking scenery. Marvel at the frozen waterfalls in the snow-dusted Plitvice National Park from November to March. Stick to the Adriatic coast if you prefer your winters with a more Mediterranean feel. Here, even the temperatures in January - the coldest month - remain fairly mild.
Croatia's cities, including beautiful Dubrovnik, Split and the capital Zagreb, can be visited year-round. The blue skies and sunshine that come in late spring and summer make for lovely photographs while the winter months bring their own charm with cosy cafes and Christmas markets to explore. If you're visiting Dubrovnik and want to take the cable car or kayak out to Lokrum Island, summer is best.