Summer, specifically July and August, is the busiest time on Croatia’s coast and islands. This is the country’s “season,” a time when the sun is the hottest, the sea the bluest, and the traffic at its most endless. The Croatian coast is at its best—and worst—during midsummer. Hotel room rates top out, restaurant tables are always full, and crowds can be overwhelming. This is the period that makes or breaks many businesses that depend on a season’s tourism for a year’s income, and it can be tough on unsuspecting travelers. Much of the madness is due to traditional European vacation schedules, which coincide with the coast’s glorious summer weather. Boating enthusiasts, tour groups, and independent travelers from all over the world make up the rest of the traffic.
Weather in Croatia can be generally divided into two climates. Northern Croatia has a Continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from near freezing in January to about 77°F (25°C) in August. The coastal areas have more of a Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-40s Fahrenheit in January to 100°F (38°C) or more in August. Spring and autumn are pleasant and mild along the coast; winter inland can be cold and snowy.
The bottom line is that in July and August, good weather is almost a certainty and tourism is in full swing, but prices and availability on the coast can be prohibitive. Conversely, in the interior, summer crowds are minimal and prices can reach their lowest levels. Zagreb and other interior cities can be real bargains in summer because many residents will be on the coast, leaving the towns less crowded than usual. (Accordingly, many Zagreb restaurants and shops may be closed.) A word of warning: The weather on the coast is usually nice, the sea warm, and the prices lower in May, June, September, and October, but some establishments, especially those on the islands, might be shuttered and some ferry routes might be canceled or on reduced schedules.
Croatia’s Average Temperatures (°F/°C)
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC
HIGH 38/3 43/6 52/11 61/16 70/21 76/24 79/26 77/25 70/21 59/15 49/9 40/4
LOW 29/-2 32/0 38/3 47/8 54/12 58/14 61/16 61/16 56/13 47/8 38/3 31/-1
HIGH 50/10 52/11 56/13 63/17 72/22 79/26 85/29 85/29 77/25 68/20 58/14 52/11
LOW 41/5 43/6 45/7 52/11 59/15 65/18 70/21 70/21 65/18 58/14 49/9 43/6
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.