Does It Snow In Croatia? Get To Know The Winter Climate

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Does it snow in Croatia? This question might seem straightforward to those in the know, but recently, when someone asked me that same question, I realized that it’s not that well known that, yes, it does snow in Croatia – just not all the time, and not everywhere. 

As someone who lives in Croatia, I can tell you firsthand that Croatia may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about ski resorts. But the snow-capped peaks of Velebit I see every day in the winter say otherwise. 

Croatia Travel Blog_Does Is Snow In Croatia

Winter Trip To Croatia

With a Mediterranean climate, Croatia experiences a pleasant and mild winter, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a more temperate winter wonderland. While the northern and interior parts of the country receive more snowfall, the southern part enjoys milder temperatures.

So, you can take advantage of both snowy adventures and milder coastal exploration during one winter visit.

The best part? Croatia remains relatively unexplored during winter compared to its more popular summer months. This means you can immerse yourself in the country’s beauty and enjoy local cuisine, charming old towns, and stunning scenery without the usual peak crowds.

Accommodation and activities are often available at more affordable prices, allowing you to experience Croatia’s winter charm without breaking the bank.

Winter Weather In Croatia 

A snow-covered field in Lika with trees in Croatia. Velebit Mountain in the background.

Are you looking for a winter adventure off the beaten path? Look no further than Croatia! Known for its stunning coastline and enticing summer months, Croatia transforms into a captivating winter wonderland when the colder months arrive. Here’s everything you need to know about experiencing the magic of Croatia during the winter.

Does It Snow In Croatia?

Yes, particularly from December to February, showcasing the country’s spectacular winter season! Croatia experiences delightful snowfall during the winter months, painting picturesque landscapes with a pristine white blanket.

While the coastal regions enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate, the inland areas like Zagreb and Gorski Kotar offer incredible opportunities for snow activities.

Winter temperatures in Croatia vary across the regions. In general, the coastal areas have milder winters than the inland regions. Along the Adriatic coast, the average winter temperatures range from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F).

Inland temperatures can drop significantly, especially in elevated areas. The capital city, Zagreb, experiences winter temperatures between -2°C and 4°C (28°F to 39°F).

Snowfall is a common occurrence in Croatia, especially in the inland and mountainous regions. Here are some average snowfall details for selected cities in different regions of Croatia.

Coastal Region

  • Split. Average snowfall of 2-3 days per year with minimal accumulation
  • Dubrovnik. Rare snowfall occurrences with negligible accumulation

Inland Region

  • Zagreb. Average snowfall of 17 days per year with an average accumulation of 40 cm (16 inches)
  • Gorski Kotar. Known for its heavy snowfall, Gorski Kotar experiences an average of 70-100 cm (28-39 inches) of snow in the winter season

Mountainous Region

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park. This stunning national park receives heavy snowfall, averaging around 110 cm (43 inches) per winter
  • Velebit Mountains. With its high elevation, Velebit Mountains receive abundant snowfall, often surpassing 200 cm (79 inches) per season
Region Temperature Range Snowfall
Coastal (e.g., Split, Dubrovnik) 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F) Rare, minimal accumulation
Inland (e.g., Zagreb) -1°C to 3°C (30°F to 37°F) Common, avg. 40 cm accumulation
Mountainous (e.g., Plitvice, Velebit) -5°C to 0°C (23°F to 32°F) Heavy, 70-200+ cm accumulation

Note:  these are average figures, and snowfall can vary from year to year. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before planning any winter activities.

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Where To Ski In Croatia: Best Croatian Ski Resort

If you’re a ski enthusiast, Croatia offers you Platak, Sljeme, and Velebit.  

One of the standout ski resorts in Croatia is Sljeme Ski Resort, located just outside the capital city of Zagreb. Situated in the picturesque Medvednica Mountain Range, this resort offers a fantastic blend of natural beauty, well-maintained slopes, and a vibrant atmosphere.

Sljeme Ski Resort

Sljeme Croatia - Winter in Croatia

Sljeme Ski Resort is known for its convenient location, which makes it easily accessible to locals and tourists alike.

Just a short drive from Zagreb, it provides a convenient option for those seeking a winter getaway without having to venture too far, illustrating the diverse season in Croatia. And trust me, once you arrive, you’ll be glad you made the trip.

The resort boasts a wide range of slopes suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. Whether you’re strapping on skis for the first time or an expert seeking a new challenge, Sljeme has you covered. The slopes are meticulously groomed, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ride every time. Plus, the resort’s ski lifts provide quick and easy access to the top, allowing you to maximize your time on the slopes.

After an exhilarating day on the slopes, you can unwind, recharge, and savor some hearty local cuisine. Treat yourself to traditional Croatian dishes like sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls) or janjetina (roast lamb)—the perfect way to refuel and indulge in the local flavors.

If you’re looking for a break from skiing or want to explore more of the surroundings, the area also offers captivating hiking trails through the dazzling landscapes of Medvednica Mountain. From rolling hills to dense forests, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas that will leave you in awe.

What It’s Like In Croatia In Winter: Climate & Weather

SJ and Vladimir at the snow.

Are you curious about Croatia in winter? Brace yourself for charming towns, snow-capped landscapes, and a cozy atmosphere. While the summer heat may be absent, Croatia’s winter offers a unique experience filled with holiday markets, ice skating, and festive cheer.

You can wander over medieval city walls, indulging in hearty local cuisine and cozying up by the fireplace in a traditional stone house. With fewer crowds and lower prices, winter is a fantastic time to discover the magic of Croatia at your own pace.

The Best Places To Go In Winter In Croatia

From Zagreb’s snowy landscapes to charming coastal cities like Dubrovnik and Zadar, Croatia has something for everyone seeking an escape from the ordinary.

With affordable prices and fewer crowds than in the summer months, winter brings a sense of tranquility to popular destinations, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the local culture.


Two women sitting on a wooden bench with drinks in their hands.

Wrapped snugly in a winter coat, the city of Zagreb transforms into a magical wonderland during the winter months. While snowfall in the city is not guaranteed, the crisp air and festive atmosphere make it a perfect winter destination and a great time to travel to Croatia. One of the highlights is the iconic Advent in Zagreb festival, a month-long celebration that turns the city into a winter paradise.

Stroll through the bustling streets adorned with dazzling decorations and take in the aroma of cinnamon and mulled wine. The main square hosts a vibrant Christmas market, where you can browse charming handicrafts and savor delicious local treats.


With its mild Mediterranean climate, Zadar experiences a more temperate winter compared to its inland counterparts, making it an appealing winter destination along the coast. Although you might miss the snow here, Zadar’s winter charm lies in the peaceful ambiance and fewer crowds, making it a unique time to visit.

Embrace the tranquility as you wander through the ancient streets, marveling at the well-preserved Roman ruins and medieval churches. The city comes to life during Advent, with a line-up of events to enjoy. Join us locals at the ice skating rinks and eating at the stalls.


Winter in Dubrovnik - Advent Markets with fritule

The jewel of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik, is renowned for its stunning architecture and breathtaking coastal views. In winter, this UNESCO World Heritage Site takes on a different allure. While snow is a rare occurrence, the city’s coastal charm and labyrinthine streets become even more enchanting without summer crowds.

Take a walk along the medieval walls for panoramic vistas of the Adriatic Sea, framed by the mountains in the backdrop. With fewer tourists, visiting famous landmarks like the Old Town or the majestic Dubrovnik Cathedral becomes a joy in itself. Indulge in local delicacies at charming cafes while savoring the laid-back atmosphere of this coastal gem.

Croatian Islands

The Croatian Islands‘ mild climate offers a respite from the winter blues, making them perfect for a peaceful winter getaway. Ditch the snow boots for comfortable hiking shoes and explore the lush landscapes. Nature lovers will be captivated by the hiking trails leading to hidden coves and stunning vistas.

Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the unique culture of each island. From the untouched beauty of Vis to the vibrant nightlife of Hvar, there is an island for every taste. Sample local cuisine, relax on pristine beaches, and embrace the slower pace of life that winter brings to these idyllic Adriatic islands.

Plitvice Lakes

Snow in Croatia at Plitvice waterfalls, Croatia.

In winter, the Plitvice Lakes National Park transforms into a tranquil winter wonderland adorned with a delicate sprinkling of snow. While the park is open year-round, visiting during winter offers a special experience. The frozen waterfalls and glistening pathways create a surreal atmosphere that feels straight out of a fairytale.

Embark on a hike through the pristine forest trails, following the wooden walkways that wind alongside the mesmerizing lakes, a testament to the beauty of Croatia during the winter. With fewer visitors, you can fully immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of nature. Just remember to bundle up and wear sturdy shoes, as the trails may be slippery in snowy conditions.

Pula & Istria

Wrapped in the warm embrace of the Istrian Peninsula, Pula exudes a unique charm even in the winter months. The winters here are mild, with occasional snowfalls adding a touch of enchantment to the picturesque landscape.

Explore the ancient Roman ruins, including the awe-inspiring Pula Arena, one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world. Wander through the ancient streets and savor delicious Istrian cuisine with its Italian influences and rich flavors.

In Istria, winter festivities are centered around Carnival celebrations, where the streets come alive with colorful parades, masked processions, and lively music.

So whether you’re seeking the festive atmosphere of Zagreb’s Advent or the peaceful tranquility of the Croatian Islands, Croatia has plenty to offer during winter. Embrace the unique charm, explore the hidden gems, and indulge in the rich culture and cuisine that make this region a perfect winter destination.

The Best Things When You Visit Croatia In Winter

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Croatia offers an array of indoor activities to embrace the winter season. From exploring galleries and sipping mulled wine in cozy cafes to indulging in rich Slavonian cuisine and attending cultural events, it’s a good idea to pack appropriate winter clothing and embark on a journey to discover one of Croatia’s hidden gems.

  • Explore Zagreb’s Advent Adventurousness. Croatia’s capital city comes alive during winter with its festive Advent celebrations. Discover the enchanting Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, and vibrant street performances that turn Zagreb into a winter wonderland
  • Hit the Slopes in Plitvice Lakes National Park. While famous for its stunning lakes and waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park also offers excellent opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts. Strap on your skis or snowshoes and glide through the snow-covered forests and trails for an unforgettable winter adventure
  • Revel in the Magic of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival. Experience the charm of Dubrovnik without the crowds by visiting during the winter festival. Enjoy live music, dazzling light installations, and a lively atmosphere as the city becomes a festive hub for locals and visitors alike
  • Unearth the Winter Charm of Istria. Explore the picturesque Istrian peninsula in winter and be captivated by its rustic beauty. Stroll through the narrow, cobblestone streets of hilltop towns like Motovun and Grožnjan, which take on a serene ambiance during the December to February months, offering a tranquil travel experience in Croatia.
  • Delight in Outdoor Ice Skating in Rijeka. Step onto the frozen surface of the Kantrida ice rink in Rijeka and embrace the joy of ice skating. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, gliding on the ice with stunning coastal views in the background is an experience not to be missed
  • Traverse Gorski Kotar’s Winter Wonderland. Discover the magic of Gorski Kotar, a region known for its pristine nature and winter wonderland landscapes. Embark on scenic hikes through snow-covered forests, try cross-country skiing on well-maintained trails, or simply cozy up by a fireplace in a mountain cabin
  • Witness Snowy Splendor in Plitvice Lakes. Plitvice Lakes National Park transforms into a stunning winter paradise when snow blankets its spectacular landscapes. Take a winter walk along the boardwalks, marvel at frozen waterfalls, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature
  • Celebrate Advent in Split. Embrace the festive spirit in Split, where the city’s historic center turns into a magical setting during Advent. Discover unique Christmas exhibitions, enjoy live performances, and indulge in traditional Croatian delicacies in the heart of Dalmatia
  • Bask in Winter Wellness at Thermal Spas. Rejuvenate your body and soul by visiting one of Croatia’s thermal spas during winter. Pamper yourself with soothing thermal baths, saunas, and wellness treatments that will melt away any winter chill

So, don’t miss out on the magic of winter in Croatia. Plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in this beautiful European destination.

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