Tourists go to Croatia to have fun and to relax body and soul. It is an environmentally friendly country located in the west of the Balkan Peninsula in Central Europe. In addition, it is comfortable to spend time at different times of the year and celebrate New Year’s holidays. The weather in Croatia now is suitable for skiing in ski resorts and relaxing in coastal areas.
Croatia is famous for its hospitality, untouched nature, numerous islands, and diverse natural landscapes.
The weather in Croatia now – conditions for winter holidays
So how did Croatia get the status of an eco-friendly and hospitable country with comfortable conditions for a winter holiday? Firstly, the location of the country is important, and secondly, the country has several types of climate.
Due to the variety of natural landscapes in the north of the country, there is a continental climate, in the center the climate is mountainous, and in the coastal regions, it is the Mediterranean. Therefore, the weather in all parts of Croatia is different:
- in winter in the north it’s rather cold – the temperature drops to -15 degrees;
- in the central regions in winter the temperature drops to -5 ° C;
- on the coast in winter it is warm and humid, the average daily temperature is +13 ° С, in the evening it drops to 0 ° С.
Seawater in the winter months is warmer than air by a couple of degrees. It often rains and there are heavy snowfalls in the northern and central regions.
Thermal resorts, hospitals and SPA are popular in Croatia in winter. Many people visit water parks, national parks, go shopping, go skiing to ski resorts, go sightseeing and go in for sports. January and February are the best time for a ski holiday.
Winter tourist season in Croatia
Rich nature, unique mineral springs, impeccably clean coast, clear water, snowy slopes attract travelers from different countries for a winter holiday in Croatia. This is the tourist gem of the Adriatic, which is constantly evolving and improving.
New entertainment centers are being built, old hotels are being reconstructed, and modern high-level hotel infrastructure is being created.
Winter in Croatia is a high season. This applies to January and February when the ski season is in full swing. In December Catholic tourists come. They celebrate Christmas on December 25th, as well as tourists who want to celebrate New Year’s holidays here.
To book the best rooms on time tourists begin to purchase the most beneficial trips six months before the trip.
The beginning of December is the low season. At this time, middle-aged people come to rest in Croatia. The main purpose of the visit is health-related and sightseeing programs.
The most famous resorts in Croatia are Dubrovnik and Istria. Split is the second-largest city with a 1700-year history similar to Nice and is protected by UNESCO. The most popular ski resorts are Mrkopal, Belolasitsa, Delnitsy and Platok located in Gorsky Kotar.
The height of the local mountains is 1,500 m. One of the best ski resorts in the country is Medvednica next to Zagreb. The maximum height of the mountains is 1,033 m. The resort is part of the Club 5 community.
- Croatia has a mild climate, so at any time vacationers can:
- walk along the coast of the Adriatic Sea;
- grill freshly caught fish;
- go skiing;
- go shopping;
- go to nightclubs and discos in Zagreb.
As a result of the fact that in most regions of the country there is a warm climate, Croatia is suitable for recreation at any time of the year. The off-season is the most affordable period for visiting the country on the Balkan Peninsula.
So, what is the weather like during the winter months in Croatia?
The weather in Croatia in December
With the beginning of winter, ski resorts come to life in Croatia, so most tourists go skiing and snowboarding. Active recreation is combined with sightseeing, visiting museums and national parks.
There is no beach holiday – the water temperature in the sea is only +18 degrees. The temperature of the air around the country does not rise over +10 ° C:
1. The warmest region in Dubrovnik. The temperature in the city during the day is +14 ° С, at night it is +8 ° С.
2. It is cold in the capital: +5 ° C during the day and 0 ° C at night.
3. In Pula the temperature during the day is +10 degrees, at night it is +2 ° С.
4. In Split the temperature is +11 ° C during the day and +6 ° C at night.
There is little rainfall: in Dubrovnik – 160 mm, in Zagreb – 67 mm.
The absence of rain and snow allows you to freely visit the sights of the country. To get the ultimate pleasure from winter holidays in Croatia travelers are recommended to bring along comfortable shoes and warm clothes.
Where to relax in December?
In December, numerous ski resorts start working. The most popular of them are:
The weather in Croatia now contributes to comfortable recreation, so in December the influx of tourists is expected in the country. Vacationers attend bullfights in the village of Radoshich. The event takes place in the first weeks of December. This is a popular local holiday, but it does not turn into a tourist show like bullfighting in Spain.
Holidays in December
Catholics celebrate Christmas on December 25th. Residents of Zagreb, Dubrovnik and other cities of Croatia decorate the entrance to their homes with decorated spruce branches. Children sing carols, adults cook many dishes so that the next year is wealthy.
People place a kalach on the table – bread which is broken and eaten on Christmas night. Festive tables are decorated with sprouted wheat, symbolizing a good harvest. The main dishes are cooked from vegetables and fruits, most meat dishes are made of pork.
Croats believe that evil forces roam on Christmas night. People take cats to their attic to be protected from the evil spirits.
There are always Christmas fairs at the beginning of the New Year holidays in Zagreb. They are held in the Zrinjevac park. In the evening, a huge territory is lit up with thousands of lights, handmade souvenirs are sold in tents. You can taste national dishes, drink mulled wine and hot chocolate.
At Christmas, tourists travel to the city of Porec to see the local attraction – the Euphrasian Basilica. The village is an example of Byzantine art of the IV century. In the Basilica there is a mosaic decoration in which you can see fish which is an early Christian symbol. Many tourists visit Sibeni to see the Cathedral of St. James.
Fans of Christmas holidays go on a bus tour around Zagreb. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, founded in 1094. The old city was built in the Baroque style. In addition to the special architecture, travelers can see the church of St. Mark with a mosaic roof, they can visit the Mimara Museum of Art and the Cathedral.
Winter skating rinks open in many cities of Croatia. Ice skating is great fun for adults and children.
In Croatia, the New Year is called Silvestrovo or the Old Year. On December 31st, holiday concerts and fireworks are arranged. The largest of them are held in Zagreb on Ban Josip Jelacic Square.
In the square and adjacent streets, you can buy Christmas toys, sweets, honey cakes with personal wishes, women’s jewelry, and New Year souvenirs. In the morning of December 31st, everyone goes to the temple for the service. In Croatia, Santa Claus is called Ded Mraz. This is a modern Santa Claus who rides a trendy sleigh without horses or deer.
In the coastal resort towns on New Year’s Eve, Santa Claus gives children a ride in his sleigh along the promenade. In the evening, open-air musical performances take place. Fireworks, rockets, salutes are fired into the sky.
There is a custom to give edible gifts – jelly and apples – on New Year’s Eve in Croatia. The main New Year dishes are sarma (cabbage rolls) and baked turkey. For the next year to be successful, the owners take a ritual log, pour wine on it and set it on fire in the oven. The first one to notice that it has burned out receives a gift from the owner of the house.
On New Year’s Eve, hunting for black grouses, goats, and wolves is open in Croatia. In some places, hunting is partially allowed for mouflon and deer. Wildlife hunting is open year-round. People go fishing to numerous rivers and lakes.
On New Year’s Eve, many travelers go sightseeing to the national park of the country – Risnyak. This place is located in Gorsky Kotar – 15 km from the Adriatic coast. There are beautiful alpine meadows, breathtaking mountain landscapes and impenetrable forests. There is a recreation and retreat center and a restaurant.
New Year holidays last until January 6th.
Weather in Croatia in January
As in other European countries, it is cold in Croatia in January. Low temperatures are characteristic of the central region and the coastal zone. At the sea, the cold intensifies due to blowing winds. The air temperature in cities is different:
- in Dubrovnik during the day the temperature is +12 degrees, at night it is +6 ° C;
- in Split, the air warms up to +10 ° С during the day; at night it drops to +5 ° С;
- in Zagreb the temperature during the day is +3 ° C, at night it is -2 degrees;
- in the mountainous regions, the temperature drops to -10 ° C during the day, it often snows.
In January, 149 mm of precipitation falls in Dubrovnik, and 50 mm in Zagreb. The sea is cold – +16 ° С. Tourists who want to swim can go to the heated indoor source pools.
Everyone who wants to visit Croatia for a holiday in January brings along warm clothes and comfortable shoes.
Where to relax in January?
The beginning of the year is the peak of the ski season in Croatia. The slopes are gentle, more suitable for beginners. The most popular slopes are:
1. Platak – located next to Rijeka.
2. Belolasitsa – Olympic Center.
Ski resorts have a developed infrastructure – the tracks are marked. In Ravna Gora there are equipped places where you can ski and snowboard with young children.
Tourists with young children go to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, located in Northern Dalmatia. There is a modern infrastructure with new hotels, so vacationers go to the resort with an overnight stay.
The national park has clean mountain air and fabulous scenery. There is an electric train on some routes – tourists can have a ride and enjoy the views. Children will love the Adriatic coast. The sea is always of emerald color. The kids will also enjoy a walk through the dense forest, saturated with fresh scents of pine needles.
Near Zagreb, water parks operate year-round. Most of them have pools with thermal water. An alternative type of holiday is a trip to museums and galleries. Fans of new things go shopping because in the second half of January the country starts the discount season.
Holidays in January
Christmas fairs and New Year holidays last until January 6th. On this day, the feast of the Three Kings or Epiphany Day is celebrated.
At the beginning of the year, many tourists visit the main cultural event of the month – the Croatian Carnival in Rijeka. The event takes the 3rd place in the world by the number of participants. This is the holiday the residents start preparing for in advance: they make costumes and decorate streets and houses.
Within the carnival, there is a parade of ringers: participants put on the skins of various animals and ring the bells, thus driving away evil spirits. The Croats organize the Paris-Dakar masquerade race, a children’s carnival. At the end of the celebration, the Baron and Queen of the Carnival are chosen.
The weather in Croatia in February
In the first half of the month, it is cold throughout the country. It is a little warmer only in the coastal regions – there is a milder climate. In the last month of winter, air temperature in different areas varies:
1. In Dubrovnik the temperature during the day is +13 degrees, at night it is +6 ° C.
2. In Split the temperature during the day is +11 ° C, at night it drops to +5 degrees.
3. In mountainous regions, air temperature reaches +2 degrees during the day and drops to -10 ° C at night.
The sea is cold – the water temperature does not exceed +15 ° С.
In February, few vacationers come to Croatia, so the end of winter is a great time for a secluded relaxing holiday. It does not rain often, the amount of precipitation varies from 60 to 117 mm. It sometimes snows in the central and northern regions of the state.
If you go on a vacation to Croatia in February, you need to take care of being warm and comfortable – bring along warm clothes and comfortable shoes.
Where to relax in February?
The ski season continues – resorts, where you can go skiing, snowboarding and actively spend your vacation, are still popular. Most tracks are slightly sloping and designed for beginners. Professionals and experienced athletes will love the steeper slopes in Belolasitsa. The Croatian national team trains here.
In February you can go to Dubrovnik. The city center resembles Venice. In Split, you can visit the Diocletian’s Palace – this building was built during the Roman Empire (end of the 3 century). Here is the mausoleum of Diocletian. All historical sites are protected by UNESCO.
February is the sailing time. Fans of such active pastime come to the country to do their favorite sport. Various competitions are held at the end of winter.
Thermal clinics (Topolica) are very popular. There is natural thermal water with a unique chemical composition. These institutions are equipped with modern equipment, and professionally qualified personnel works here.
Clinics are open all year round. There is treatment for cardiovascular diseases, the nervous system and many other diseases. Prevention treatment of sports injuries and rehabilitation are provided here.
One of the first thermal clinics is Varazdinsk Toplice. Ancient Romans came here to get treatment. The resort is suitable for tourists who want to improve their health and relax.
Holidays in February
At the end of winter, various holidays are held in Croatia. The weather in Croatia now is not as cold as in January, and the temperature rise is usually expected in the second half of the month. At this time, residents and guests participate in events:
1. Dubrovnik celebrates the festival of winemaking. During the event, everyone has fun, tastes different varieties of the delicious drink, dances and walks around. The most popular wine brands are Cabernet, Merlot, Dingach, Teran, Malvasia, and Potup. Drinks blend perfectly with local dishes. The wines are compatible with oysters, sheep’s cheese “Pashki” – a unique product with the aroma of olive oil.
2. The Mascenbale festival is held in Samobor – this is the day when people say goodbye to winter and drive away the evil spirits of the previous year. The most important event is the setting on fire of the Fashnik doll, which symbolizes troubles and misfortunes.
3. Every year, a famous ball is held in Varazdin, which attracts dance lovers from all over Europe. In terms of surroundings, costumes and atmosphere, the event resembles the famous Viennese ball.
Fans of active winter holidays go to Croatia. This is a country with wonderful ski resorts, excellent ecology, mild climate, developed infrastructure, thermal clinics, springs, and a lot of national parks.
The weather in Croatia now is agreeable – there is minimum rainfall, the temperature on the coast rarely drops below 0 ° C. In the mountainous regions there is snow, the tracks are equipped for lovers of snowboarding and skiing. Both adults and children will like to rest in Croatia; the country is suitable for families at any time of the year.