Clear turquoise waters and a stunning rocky coastline overflowing with several sandy beaches are some of the reasons why Croatia is among the top summer destinations but there are a couple of reasons why this Adriatic country is also easily among the coveted nations in the opposite season. Read on to find out what they are.
1) The winter is rather warm in Croatia
Winters in Europe can be very unforgiving, to say the least, with temperatures often plummeting well into double figures in the negative end of the scale. In this country though, the cold season tends to be less harsh in comparison thanks to the warm Mediterranean weather and a combination of positional aspects that ensure the temperatures rarely dip below 5 C along the coastal stretch. Consequently, most coastal towns still retain some of their summer appeal- including multicolored greens and sandy contours- which are less crowded toward the end of the year compared to the buzzing summer period when you can hardly catch a breath.
2) Unrivaled Christmas festivities
Croatia’s waters are home to more than 1,000 islands with a number of those landmasses and inland towns as well turning on the Christmas spirit in style. Zagreb, which is the country’s capital, takes on a merry outlook with virtually every Croatia property in the area covered in holiday nitty-gritty and lined with Christmas delicacies and winter sports such as ice skating. Another town, i.e. Dubrovnik, also features alongside Zagreb as the go-to destination to take in a plethora of holiday celebrations as it hosts a 40-day long Christmas party that lives and breathes the festive spirit. If your idea of holiday partying involves bars and nightclubs, you are sure to get your heart’s desire in Croatian’s famed partying hotspot Carpe Diem in Hvar island.
3) The stunning frozen Plitvice Lakes
The country has a number of prestigious natural parks that open their doors all 365 days of the calendar and they are usually less crowded and much cheaper over winter allowing you some intimate personal time with an amazing winter nature. The streams, trees, falls and lakes all take on an icy and snowy demeanor that is quite beautiful to watch and experience firsthand.
4) Enthralling carnivals in Rijeka
Rijeka serves as the setting for the country’s largest carnival which features a customary key-handing-over ceremony where a mayor and queen are selected afterward. The town in its entirety comes out to play during these celebrations filling the streets with revelrous sounds and mesmerizing colors that are quite the spectacle. This closing parade is usually carried out on the last Sunday preceding Ash Wednesday.
5) Exquisite service in Rijeka
While Istria is amazing no matter what time of the year you visit, it is a particularly cozy off-season gateway that is great at looking after winter visitors courtesy of the excellent restaurants in the area that up their game during this season. The region is also home to historic Roman architecture while the crumbling old streets and rolling mountains make for a nice urban escape very few places in the world can match.
The other upsides of visiting Croatia at a time when traffic is not too suffocating is that you get lovely streets almost all to yourself with accommodation options becoming plenty and affordable. You can go on road-trips on unoccupied roads and experience the nation’s treats without haggling with multitudes for some alone time.