Enjoying a popularity boom in recent years, Croatia is a treasure of the Adriatic coast. The small islands surrounding this Eastern European country lend themselves perfectly to an island hopping holiday that is both relaxing and dazzlingly rich with culture. In fact, Croatia claims more than 1,000 islands (though less than 50 of them are actually inhabited) so there’s no shortage of destination options.
With such an abundance of potential courses in the area, it’s no wonder that cruises are a preferred travel method around Croatia as they allow visitors to see as much of the country as possible on a limited schedule.
If you’re already sold on exploring these islands, but you’re not certain about the best time to visit Croatia, don’t worry about agonizing over the decision—there’s a definitive right answer.
The summer months are Croatia’s peak season, and for good reason. This time of year blesses the Croatian islands with stunning weather perfect for exploring the country’s natural splendour. Starting in April, temperatures begin climbing for averages around 14 degrees Celsius. In June and September that average jumps to 22 degrees, and during the most popular months of July and August, it reaches 25 degrees.
Obviously, this idyllic weather makes summer a great time to visit Croatia, but a series of festivals and events contributes to the season’s popularity as well. Here are a few of the most major draws to Croatia during the peak summer season.
Ultra Europe Music Festival
One of several music festivals that occurs around this time in Croatia, the Ultra Europe Festival takes place in Croatia’s coastal city of Split in early July. In 2022, more than 160,000 people attended the festival, held mostly over the 2 days on the weekend.
This is the largest open-air festival in the country, and features heavy hitters in the contemporary music scene. The lively environment draws a diverse mix of attendees, breathing an even greater amount of life and color into Split.
For those more interested in traditional music that celebrates local culture, the International Folklore Festival occurs at the end of July in Zagreb and gives attendees a taste of the country’s rich history through music and dance.
Though not exactly a finite event, the best time to visit Croatia’s parks is undoubtedly during the summer. Nestled among Croatia’s islands are some of the most stunning National Parks in the world; it stands to reason that the best time to visit these natural treasures is sometime around June, July, August, or September when the weather is most favorable.
One of the can’t-miss parks is Plitvice Lakes National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site was the first of Croatia’s National Parks to be established; it consists of more than a dozen blue-green lakes and waterfalls, all interconnected by a series of trails. This park attracts more than a million visitors a year, and it’s not hard to see why. Get lost meandering around this tranquil haven, or become swept up in the adventure of exploring as many trails as possible—either way, Plitvice Lakes National Park in the summer is a bucket list worthy experience.
Krka National Park is another point more than worth a visit, particularly for bird enthusiasts as more than 200 species call the park home. Named for the Krka River which flows through the park, visitors can actually swim here, creating the option for a refreshing respite from the summer heat. If you’re more interested in keeping your feet planted firmly on land, the park also features the picturesque Visovac Monastery on an island barely bigger than the monastery itself.
In total, there are 8 National Parks in Croatia, and not one among them lacks its own brand of charm. History buffs looking to explore the supposed sites of legends may most appreciate Mljet National Park, which is a stop on most of our one-way cruises. If you prefer sightseeing to hiking, biking, or kayaking, Kornati Islands National Park is a captivating archipelago that can be explored by boat.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
This summer festival takes place in the beautiful Medieval city of Dubrovnik during July and August. It highlights many aspects of Croatian culture, and displays some of the most distinguished talent therein.
The festival aims to find a delicate harmony between the city’s ancient roots and contemporary drama and music. Having existed for more than 60 years, the Dubrovnik Festival has certainly found its stride and style. Today, the festival promotes local history and culture while also celebrating international styles.
From organists to entire orchestras to jazz vocalists and dance troupes, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is certain to delight anyone with a penchant for elevated cultural experiences, particularly those taking place in a historical treasure trove. Dubrovnik is an unmissable facet of the Croatian experience anyway, so exploring the area during the festival is simply an added bonus.
Sail Croatia this Summer!
Though enchanting in every season, Croatia comes alive during the summer. Savvy travelers tend to know that the peak season offers the most favorable conditions, so don’t wait to book your cruise to the area or you may be met with disappointment. A dip in the azure waters of the Adriatic, a sunset stroll through historical streets, an emotionally charged theatrical performance, or just a lulling boat ride between islands may be just what you need to unwind from the stress of daily life.
With these travel tips under your belt, you’re better prepared to take on the process of planning your Croatia cruise. Don’t pass up a chance to enjoy the spectacular sights and experiences of Croatia’s many Adriatic islands—spend part of your summer holidaying with us in one of the most beautiful spots in the world!
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