Weather in Croatia
The Republic of Croatia has a beautiful coastline, dotted with hundreds of islands, on the Adriatic Sea in central south-eastern Europe, south of Hungary. Its renowned walled medieval city, Dubrovnik, sits a little apart from the mother country in a southern piece of territory connected by territorial waters, a strip of Bosnia and Herzegovina inbetween.
The bulk of Croatia enjoys a typical continental climate, with warm to hot summers, very cold winters, and rain through most of the year. The coastal region and offshore islands have a Mediterranean Climate, with wet, chilly winters and warm, dry summers. The coast receives plenty of sunshine, particularly the outer islands of Hvar and Korcula, which are also the driest places in Croatia, while the wettest part of the country is the Dinara Mountains.
A unique feature of Croatia’s weather is the notorious “bura” – an unpredictable gale force gusty north-easterly wind that blows on the coast, usually in winter. The “bura” can cause problems for offshore sailors.
Most people who holiday in Croatia stay on the Dalmatian Coast during the summer months, which run from June to September. Days are long, sunny and pleasantly warm, the influence of the sea ensuring temperatures seldom exceed 30°C (85°F), and humidity is relatively low, making this ideal holiday beach weather. Dubrovnik is particularly dry, hot and sunny, with little to no rain during the summer season.
During the winter months (late October to early March) most of the beach resorts shut up shop, but the coastal urban centres of Split and Dubrovnik remain busy, despite being almost contantly wet with grey skies. The wettest month is November, and the coldest is January. Temperatures during winter on the Dalmatian Coast are mild, rarely descending to freezing, although the weather can be icy just a short distance inland. The outer Adriatic islands of Croatia, such as Hvar, Brac and Korcula, remain relatively dry and sunny even during the winter months, warm enough for sun-bathing.
The interior of Croatia – the central and northern parts of the country – are very cold in winter with the mercury often registering below freezing and heavy snow likely, allowing for Croatia skiing holidays. The country’s major ski resorts (Mount Sljeme, the Olympic Centre at Bjelolasica, and Platak) are all within easy reach of the centrally-lying capital city of Zagreb.
Summer in northern and central Croatia (with the exception of the high altitude area of the Dinara Mountains) is blisteringly hot, and dry, with temperatures regularly peaking in the mid to high 30s°C (80s to 90s °F).
The weather governs the best time of year to go to Croatia. For a beach holiday the best time is between June and August, although the resorts are crowded with holiday-makers and prices at their peak during the height of the season. Spring (April, May) and autumn (September, October) are pleasantly warm, sunny months on the coast and inland, ideal for sight-seeing or camping, but the sea will be a little chilly for bathing.
When is the best time to go to Croatia?
What to pack for a holiday in Croatia?
Pack T-shirts, shorts, a few long sleeved shirts and a pair of trousers (zip-offs are useful), swimwear with a covering (sarong), as well as sunglasses, sunscreen and sunhats. Amphibian shoes are great because there are plenty of trekking trails and many adventure activities to take part in; otherwise, trainers and sandals are also good for summer. Even in the warm weather, bring a light coat and a jersey for windy days.
Winter requires a warm waterproof coat, layers of clothing, long trousers and good waterproof shoes, a pair of gloves, a scarf and a warm hat. Take thermals for alpine travel and sturdy boots or shoes are essential– bring any of the relevant gear for climbing or specific activities. Smart-casual dress is useful if visitors intend on enjoying the nightlife.
Weather in Croatia in JanuaryAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in January: 7.5°C, 46°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in January: 13°C, 55°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in January: 78mm, 3.1in
Note: It is very cold and snowy in the interior of Croatia during January, with the ski resorts doing brisk business. The coast is warmer, but in the thick of the rainy season dictated by its Mediterranean climate, which puts a dampener on the beaches, although there may be enough sunshine to work up a tan on the outer islands.
Weather in Croatia in FebruaryAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in February: 8°C, 46°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in February: 12°C, 54°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in February: 64mm, 2.5in
Note: During February in Croatia the wet, chilly winter conditions on the coast can be made more unpleasant by the notorious strong north-easterly wind known as the “bura”. The interior of Croatia is icy cold, but this is usually the final month of the ski season before the snow begins to melt.
Weather in Croatia in MarchAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in March: 11°C, 51°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in March: 13°C, 55°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in March: 52mm, 2.0in
Note: If you don’t require hot sunshine, a spring break in Croatia in March is pleasant for sight-seeing, particularly on the coast, although there will still be several wet, overcast days as winter lingers on. Be aware that the ferries running to the Adriatic islands keep reduced schedules during winter/spring. The interior remains very chilly, although the thaw has set in.
Weather in Croatia in AprilAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in April: 15°C, 58°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in April: 14°C, 57°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in April: 55mm, 2.2in
Note: Although it can still snow in the far north of Croatia in April, down on the Dalmatian Coast things warm up considerably, though it can be windy and there are still odd wet days. Spring in Croatia may not provide ideal beach weather, but there is some sunshine to be enjoyed, particularly on the outer islands.
Weather in Croatia in MayAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in May: 20°C, 67°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split)in May: 17°C, 63°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in May: 62mm, 2.4in
Note: May is a good month for an early season holiday in Croatia, before the summer crowds arrive. Resorts open for business and island ferries start running according to summer schedules. The weather is warm along the coast, though there are still rain showers on around 10 days of the month.
Weather in Croatia in JuneAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in June: 23°C, 73°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in June: 21°C, 70°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in June: 44mm, 1.7in
Note: June is a blissful month to enjoy Croatia, with largely sunny, warm to hot weather across most of the country. The coast is alive with outdoor activity and watersports (you may need a wetsuit because the sea temperature is cool), but the summer tourist hordes have yet to descend on the resorts.
Weather in Croatia in JulyAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in July: 26°C, 79°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in July: 23°C, °F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in July: 30mm, 1.2in
Note: Tourist season gets into full gear in Croatia in July, with temperatures hitting the high spots and close on 12 hours of sunshine a day, the coast cooled slightly by sea breezes. There may be the odd rain shower inland, but these will not impact on the many cultural festivals that take place in Croatia this month.
Weather in Croatia in AugustAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in August: 26°C, 79°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split)in August: 24°C, 75°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in August: 35mm, 1.4in
Note: Croatia in August is dedicated to fun in the sun, whether it be on the beautiful sweltering beaches or camping in the cooler interior mountains. There is little rain, the sea is warm close to shore, and temperatures can reach up to 30°C (85°F).
Weather in Croatia in SeptemberAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in September: 23°C, 73°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in September: 22°C, 72°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in September: 71mm, 2.8in
Note: Although temperatures become milder on the coast of Croatia in September compared to the preceding sizzling summer months, the difference is not marked and is felt mainly in cooler evenings and nights. There is the likelihood of some rainy days, especially in the north of the country, but in general the weather remains pleasantly warm and sunny.
Weather in Croatia in OctoberAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in October: 17°C, 63°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in October: 19°C, 66°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in October: 98mm, 3.9in
Note: Beach season in Croatia is over in October, with the weather becoming mild along the coast, and cool to cold inland, with an average of 13 rainy days for the month. It’s a good time for sailing though, with the winds whipping up the Adriatic Sea, and the cities have plenty of entertainment to offer.
Weather in Croatia in NovemberAverage temperature in Croatia (Split) in November: 13°C, 55°F
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in November: 16°C, 61°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in November: 114mm, 4.5in
Note: Visitors to Croatia in November are advised to stick to city sightseeing and cultural events, because the beaches and countryside are wet and cold, with snow beginning to fall in the higher regions. Most of the tourist resorts and facilities are closed for the winter.
Average temperature in Croatia (Split) in December: 9.5°C, 49°F
Weather in Croatia in December
Sea temperature in Croatia (Split) in December: 14°C, 57°F
Average rainfall in Croatia (Split) in December: 118mm, 4.6in
Note: Croatia is quiet, cold and wet during December, which is mid-winter in the country, and tourist accommodation and facilities are hard to find outside of the cities and ski resorts. Dubrovnik is a good option, since it is somewhat warmer there during December than the more northerly coastal areas, and there is plenty to see and do despite the weather.