Visiting Croatia in Winter: is it worth it?

If you’re on a budget but keen to visit Croatia, winter is a great time to go. If you’re planning a getaway this winter, here’s why we reckon Croatia makes the perfect destination outside the main summer holiday season.

Croatia in winter: things to do

It’s primarily known as a summer destination, which means that the great thing about visiting Croatia in winter is that it’s less crowded. That means you can enjoy the country’s numerous attractions without getting caught up with an uncomfortable number of other tourists, as well as enjoying cheaper prices and better hotel availability.

Head to the Croatian islands in winter and it may not be warm enough to lounge on the beach, but you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery without the crowds. In Dubrovnik and Split, you can explore the maze of old streets without the tangle of tourists, tucking into a hearty traditional stew in a local restaurant when you want to warm up.

You could even head into the mountains to enjoy some skiing. Sljeme is known for its World Cup Skiing event, while other resorts include Platak (near Rijeka) and Velika.

Christmas in Croatia Visiting Croatia in Winter

Christmas is a delightful time of year to visit Croatia, with all the big cities hosting Christmas markets and festivals, and Zagreb’s regularly rated as one of the best in the world. It came third in CNN’s best Christmas markets this year, the result of a survey by travel company Big 7, which commented:

“The whole city is taken over by a Christmas spirit, with an outdoor ice rink, lots of trees and lights, as well as rides for the kids. With some great street food stalls and local crafts, this is the sort of market that you could easily return to for a couple of days in a row.”

After the Croatia Christmas holidays, New Year’s Eve is also a popular time to visit, the celebrations in Dubrovnik being particularly popular.

Venice to Croatia Ferry

Croatia winter weather

If you’re hoping for snow in Croatia on your winter visit, it’s not impossible, but it’s pretty unlikely if you stay near the coast, where temperatures don’t tend to go below 5 degrees Celsius even in January. Head inland, and you might be in luck; the Plitvice Lakes National Park is sometimes blanketed in snow in winter. While some parts of the park aren’t accessible, the bits that are open may well be the perfect winter wonderland…

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