Croatia weather will be one of the most important factors while planning your vacation in this amazing country. We'll skip the boring charts here and provide you with first hand information based on our own experience. After all, we've been camping in Croatia for the last 40 years or so.
The Croatian coast has been one of the favorite European destinations since the 1960's. The mild and relaxing Mediterranean climate, amazing landscape and the warm crystal clear Adriatic sea is a winning combination for many, including ourselves.
The coastline is mainly enjoyed from the first days of April and until mid October. However, quite a few camping sites or resorts choose to remain open throughout the winter. Do to an ever increasing number of motorhome travelers that decide to travel down the coast instead of staying in the colder parts of Europe, this was the only logical thing to do.
When we travel Croatia, we know that this is a country where we can enjoy walking, hiking or just let our children run along the coast and play in the sand throughout the year. That doesn't mean that we don't need to dress up in warm clothes in winter time, but Croatia weather is just way more pleasant than in the mainland. However, we always look forward to our favorite, the spring time...
The weather is pretty much unpredictable anywhere in the world, but in
general Croatia weather is as follows. The continental climate is cooler
and wetter in winter and don't be surprised if a couple of snowflakes
whiten the surface of the coast or the islands. The Istrian peninsula
enjoys more rainfall overall in order to keep the crops growing, while
our friends down in southern Dalmatia often report of not seeing a
raindrop since late March.
The north part of the coastline and all the way down to Makarska riviera also enjoys more rainfall then the parts around Dubrovnik or the islands, mainly do to the fact that the entire coast itself has high mountains rising just above the road. That's why we sometimes enjoy the view from the islands, with the mainland covered with rainy mountain clouds. Don't be surprised if you meet a few local tornadoes from time to time.
We're all very much outgoing nature lovers and when the temperatures
begin to rise toward 20°C(70°F) we get those large smiles on our faces.
Days get longer, the sun gets warmer and it's time to hit our paddle
boards again and enjoy some paddling or explore around on our
kick-bikes or just walking along.
The sea temperature will reach about 20°C around mid May up in the north parts and it might be a bit warmer on the southern parts of the coast or islands. But all that really depends on the ever changing Croatia weather, which is quite typical for this season as the cold and warm currents merge together. Do to constant winds, this is also the preferred sailing season here.
Even though the sun does warm up after the winter, you can still expect occasional periods of rain and gusty Bora winds coming down the mountains rising above the coast. However, keep in mind that this is still the most enjoyable season for many. The nature is blooming, the summer crowds are still back home and the prices are much lower.
Croatia weather usually stabilizes by the beginning of June, the sea warms up more than enough for a longer refreshing swim and the air temperatures are generally still below 30°C(86°F). If you're more into walking, hiking, running or any other kind of outdoor activities, the early morning hours are way more enjoyable as the afternoon heat can sometimes become unbearable when summer goes in full swing after mid June.
Later on in mid summer the temperatures do hit the 30°C marker and beyond and with a lack of any kind of breeze, staying in the shade and close to a source of water is the best you can do. You do have a variety of rivers, lakes and Croatian beaches to choose from, therefore we have no doubt that you won't be able to find you're favorite spot.
The islands are a much better choice in the mid summer. Southern islands such as Korčula for example are a bit less crowded and exposed to a constant light breeze mainly do to the fact that they're located out in the open sea.
We hope you know what a "Siesta" is, because in the mid summer heat, a lot of the Croatian coast and islands comes to a standstill between noon and late afternoon. When the temperatures rise well over 30°C on daily basis, a midday rest is the best thing you can do.
Do to the sometimes intense summer heat, a loud thunderstorm is something you might occasionally experience here. However, T-storms do contribute with some needed water and a bit of fresh air for a while.
Not every year is the same of course, but by the end of August the temperatures do give in for a more relaxing atmosphere. That doesn't mean that an occasional high won't reach you any more, but overall, the persistent peak temperatures do drop. And that brings us to another favorite season...
As we already mentioned, the sometimes persistent peak summer temperatures do give away by now. The days become shorter, the nights cooler and in general the temperature is again much more favorable for any kind of daily activity.
The sea temperature (over 20°C) stays warm enough throughout September and this is also a great time to discover medieval towns like Poreč or enjoy the northern based Opatija Riviera for example.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the summer crowds do go home by now, however a large amount of people remains on the Croatian coast until it really gets either to cold or rainy to stay here. But does that mean that the season is really over by now?
Motorhomes and camper vans are usually pretty much well equipped for at least mild winter camping. All the owners ever ask for is some proper basic facilities, washing machines and internet access. So in order to meet this ever increasing demand, a few camping sites along the Croatian coast decided to open their doors throughout the year.
In general the Croatian coastline enjoys a lot more sunny days than mainland Europe and temperatures that remain somewhere around 10°C (50°F), which is still much more pleasant than winter smog, fog or blizzards.
That being said, the winter style Croatia weather is more than suitable for walking or hiking, an occasional visit to some of the marvelous medieval Venetian style towns and not to forget, enjoying the stupendous local cuisine. All you need to figure out here is how will you enjoy the rest of the evening do to the fact that it gets dark after 4:30 PM in peak winter period.
Some people simply love the summer crowds and heat and that's perfectly fine. After all, if you enjoy swimming and late night endless discussions over a great dinner and a bottle of wine or a couple of beers, well then, warm Croatia weather is more than you can you ask for.
However, if exploring the nature and enjoying it in cooler temperatures and less people around, spring and fall time are definitely our favorites. In peak summer periods we simply prefer the Alps or the lakes between them. Lake Bohinj and Bled in Slovenia are a couple of fine examples.