Despite its relatively small landmass, Croatia experiences a coastal and continental climate. If you’re planning on spending your time along the beautiful Croatian coastline, here’s what you can expect from the coastal climate.
Along the Adriatic coast you’ll find that the weather is a typical Mediterranean climate. This usually involves days that are hot and sunny through the summer and a temperament, occasionally wet winter with milder temperatures. It’s not uncommon for the summer weather to linger into autumn, with sunny, warm days that can have you comfortably exploring the versatile coastline during the off-peak seasons.
Croatia doesn’t have the extreme weather differences that many European countries experience; however, there is still considerable contrast between pre-season & peak-season conditions. This will not only have an effect on your travel plans, but your overall holiday budget too. The very first Sail Croatia departures of the season are our Elegance cruise which departs at the start of April – a time when the maximum daily temperature hovers around 17°C, making it the perfect time of year to be relaxing and exploring in the sunshine.
Fast forward a couple of months to the peak season of July, and the mercury is at a consistent 30 degrees. The once quiet ports of Hvar and Korcula are well and truly buzzing, harbours come alive with travellers near and far, and the bars and clubs are heaving. It’s an awesome (and warm) time of the year!
To understand the climate throughout the months, we dive a little deeper so you can have a better grasp on what to expect from the start of the season to the end of it.
April is when the summer weather really starts to kick off and our ships start departing weekly. Temperatures rise to a pleasant level during the day, winds are milder and rain decreases overall. April is an optimal time to visit as the weather is fairly consistent and the tourist season hasn’t yet reached its peak. Daily average temperatures are 13°C in April, can reach a high of 17°C and only dip as low as around 11°C.
Average sunshine hours are almost 13 hours at the beginning of the month, increasing to 14 by the end. If you’re a swimmer, it might be too early to hit the beaches but you can be sure of many warm sunny days to soak up the sun on the deck on your ship.
During May, the towns and ports are filling up with tourists, restaurants and bars begin to come alive, museums open and extend their hours, and the weather triumphs it all by warming up considerably.
Average temperatures reach a very pleasant high of around 23°C and reach a low of a very manageable 15°C. The amount of sunshine per day in May is about an average of 14 and a half hours. Over the course of May, the amount increases about 1 hour.
Even with the warmer weather, the average rainfall during May is around 75mm over 10 days, so although it is likely to be generally dry and warm, there is still a risk of showers during your trip. We highly recommend that you pack something waterproof just in case. The average sea temperature during May is 18°C, so the braver among you may be tempted to head out for a swim – and for those of you who aren’t, the bars are always warm and inviting!
The weather in June sets the tone for the oncoming peak season in July. The sun is gradually becoming warmer, more so than May, and the days reach delightful highs.
Daily average temperatures in June are about 22°C, highs reaching up to 27°C and lows plummeting to about 19°C. Over the course of the month, the hours of sunshine remain pretty constant, with an average of about 15 hours per day. In June the summer solstice occurs, where the shortest day of the month is the 1st with 15.06 hours of daylight and the longest being June 21 receiving 15.20 hours of daylight. In terms of rainfall, it’s quite sparse with the average amount only 75mm over 6 days, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be getting wet from precipitation during this month. Instead, you can expect dry, warm and glorious weather.
With the average sea temperature in June around 22°C, you’re likely to be in the water more often than not, so don't forget to pack your swimwear!
Sunscreen at the ready – July in Croatia is extremely hot and dry, and typically the hottest month of the year with average daily temperatures reaching around 30°C and only go as low as 22°C. July is well and truly into peak season and it’s no surprise as to why. July arguably delivers the ‘best weather’ and certainly channels the Mediterranean climate. Sea temperatures rise to a beautiful 25°C which attracts travellers near and far. The weather in July see’s even islands like Hvar and Korčula receiving the most hours of sunlight!
This is when you really want to pack your beachwear and swim gear and enjoy the Croatian coast!
There isn’t a great deal to say about the weather in Croatia in August – except that, like July, it’s extremely hot and dry. August is typically the hottest month of the year and also brings the warmest sea waters of the year which is typically around 25°C. During August, the days are generously long and there is, on average, 14 and half hours of sunshine daily. With extended longevity of sunlight, sunsets are also much later and tend to set from 8pm onwards - so enjoy all of your blissfully sunny hours!
Overall, the daily average temperature sits at 25°C with highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C. Chances of precipitation are about 25% on average and is fairly consistent over the month.
September is still extremely warm from the summertime, although it is usually much wetter than July and August. It’s generally a good time to visit if you’re thinking about joining on an Elegance Cruise as many of the 18-35yr olds have vacated the ports for the season. The water is still pleasantly warm for swimming, and the restaurants and bars are yours for the taking given the sparse crowds!
September’s average daily temperatures range from 18-24°C, with the highest still a lovely 25°C and the lowest temperature reaching around 18°C. Despite being a shoulder month for the travel season, September sea temperatures average at around 23°C making it ideal beach weather. The coastal breeze will keep you comfortably cool through September, although it is still recommended that you cover yourself in light clothing. You will find yourself in t-shirts, shorts and sandals during September so sunscreen with a high SPF is essential to avoid the autumn sun!
Croatia is still fairly warm during October, but the temperature is noticeably lower and much wetter than the summertime. As days grow colder and shorter, don’t forget to pack your cardigan and an umbrella. October’s average daily temperature is about 18°C over the course of the month, with highs decreasing from 20°C to 18°C and lows from 14°C to 12°C. Of course with temperatures being lower at night, it would be wise to pack a few items such as a light jacket just in case.
The average daily rainfall has increased greatly to 162mm over 11 days. The average probability of precipitation is 37- 45%, increasing over the month and occurring as light, moderate rain, and some thunderstorms. The amount of daily sunlight drops and averages about 10.83 hours, with the length of the day decreasing about 2.6 minutes daily over the course of the month. The longest day of October is the 1st, with 11.44 hours of sunlight, and the shortest day is October 31 with 10.22 hours.
With the average sea temperature at around 20°C, you’ll still be able to spend time at the beach and have a dip in the water if you choose to. Spending time at the beach is still very much a possibility so don’t be surprised that you can spend your days wandering around in t-shirts and sandals! A mix of clothing is most appropriate to take for a trip in October to accommodate both the warmer and cooler days that can occur.
The weather in Croatia is as varied as our cruise types with something for everyone and every budget. Whatever time you decide to visit, you will still see and enjoy the beauty of Croatia whether you prefer the hotter or milder climate. No matter which month you travel in, we do highly recommend that you still purchase travel insurance for your trip before you leave home.