Being one of the most popular European countries, Croatia attracts people of all profiles and walks of life. The stunning natural beauty, rich culture and history, and diverse historical architecture, are some of the elements that attract people from around the world to visit this small but vibrant country in Southeastern Europe.
Despite of its popularity, Croatia is generally thought of as a country that is worthwhile to visit during warmer months. This makes sense, as most travelers plan to visit places that are comfortable in terms of temperature, unless they are visiting a ski resort, which again is for specific purpose. Nevertheless, many Europe-loving travelers have wondered – “how would it be to visit Croatia during winter?” In order to answer this question, it is necessary to break it down to get fuller understanding:
Croatia consists of several major parts – Northern Croatia (regions of Zagorje, Međimurje, and Podravina), Central Croatia (where the capital of Croatia is, as well as region such as Lika), Western Croatia (regions of Gorski Kotar and Istia), Southern Croatia (Dalmatian coast with all its islands), and Eastern Croatia (regions of Slavonija and Baranja). All of these parts have unique things to see and experience; they are rich with culture, cuisine, architecture, and various natural attractions.
Most of the tourists that visit Croatia head towards the coast (Western and Southern Croatia). During winter these areas tend to be quiet, as they are set up for tourism during spring, summer, and early autumn months. I have visited places in Istria and Dalmatia during quiet months, and it is still very beautiful, with mostly locals roaming around. The weather during those months is a mishmash of wind, rain, and sunny days.
The weather in winter is similar in inland Croatia, with a difference of much less wind and occasional snow. Previous ten years or so there was very little snow, and even when it falls it tends to melt quite quickly, as the average temperature is almost always between 3 to 10 degrees. Sunny days and raise in temperature during winter are not uncommon, which makes it good opportunity for exploration and visiting various places.
Most of the protected natural sites, such as National Parks and Parks of Nature (19 in number), are open during winter months. Some of them have limited access to certain parts and shortened the working hour according to daylight hours.
Cultural attractions such as castles, fortresses, palaces, museums, etc. are for most part opened year round and work normally unaffected by daylight hours. Great amount of those are located in inland Croatia, especially in the area of Zagorje (northern Croatia) with its castles such as Trakošćan, Veliki Tabor, and Old Town in Varaždin.
In conclusion, it is very feasible and worthwhile to travel in Croatia during winter months. Every season has its charm, and winter is no different. If you are set on visiting the coast during summer because you really like vibrancy of the warmer months and all that they bring, during winter you can visit cultural attractions and events in inland Croatia, one of it being the Christmas Advent in Zagreb, which by the way is awarded as the best one in Europe for the third consecutive year. City breaks and sightseeing can be done all year round, which can be interesting to do in any time of the year. Here at Sunlands we organize tours during winter where we always tend to unite local, cultural, and natural beauty experience to provide a fulfilling day to our customers.
In short, winter travel in Croatia can be as exciting as summer, and as peaceful as only winter season can be. But in the end, regardless of the time of the year you plan to visit Croatia, you can always count on hospitability and inspiring time.