A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

Planning a Trip to Croatia in Winters – Here’s How to Spend Your 72 Hrs. in the Best Possible Way!

Croatia in winters
Croatian Flag

Croatia is a country primarily defined the east coastline of Adriatic Sea. It is a rather small country very near to Italy & Greece. It is comprised of mainland area and collection of Islands. The best time to visit the country is in the shoulder months either May & June months or else the country can be best enjoyed in September – October months. However, if you are planning to visit Croatia in winters then the temperature here can be expected to go as low as -2 to 0 degrees celsius. But the average temperature remains around 5-10 degrees celsius. This temperature with mostly sunny days make Croatia one of your best bets for travelling in Europe during cold months.

Reaching Croatia in winters
Croatia in winters is both cold and yet sunny!

Reaching Croatia in Winters:

Croatia can be easily and quickly reached via air route. There are a number of flight options available connecting cities within Europe and even abroad. In case, one is travelling internally from Europe then trains, buses & ferries are available too. But winters being an off-season, by & large, the number of ferries connecting Italy to Croatian cities are reduced drastically.

This is where bus services like Flixbus help people commute from Italy to Croatia. For instance, one can plan and start his or her journey from Venice and reach Rijeka crossing places like Trieste and some parts of Slovenia. Post that one can take another bus or hire a cab to Dubrovnik, Split or any city in Croatia. There are direct bus services also from Venice to major Croatian cities. Select carefully as per your schedules and other variables like duration of journey, costing etc.

Visa Requirement for Croatia:

Currently, Schengen Visa is sufficient to enter Croatia but if one is travelling from any other parts of Europe then Multiple entry visa is a pre-requisite.

Things to do in 72 hrs. of Stay in Croatia in Winters:

Day #1:

Arrive at Split for best views of Croatia in winters
Arrive at Split for best views of Croatia in winters

Reach Split. It is best to keep this day to explore this old city. It is the second-largest city in the country. Croatia in winters has a little different daylight scenario. The sun usually sets around 4 PM. so people here have a rather early start in the morning. Many people can be seen walking towards their offices as early as 7 AM. The aroma emerging from bakeries every morning is enchanting. You can check stay options in Split here.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split - Croatia in winters
Diocletian’s Palace in Split – Croatia in winters

One can easily walk their way to different places in the old town area of Split. This area is also the one that is most touristy. Rest part of Split is more like a normal city.

The old town area of Split has a brilliant view of waterfront and ship docks on one side while in the land region it is packed with restaurants both permanent and make-shift ones. During winters especially near New Year & Christmas time, this part of Split converts into a big joyous hub for celebrations. There are open-air musical performances alongside the eateries to woo locals & tourists alike. For children too fun rides are available.

Festive Vibes in Split can be seen when visiting Croatia in winters.
Festive Vibes in Split can be seen when visiting Croatia in winters.

The main places to visit in Split are Diocletian’s Palace, St. Duje’s Cathedral, Statue of Grgur Ninski, Marjan & the beach bay areas like Stobrec. These place can easily be covered before sunset. ost monuments Cathedral etc. are in the old town itself so along with visiting these monuments one can stop over to grab quick bites and do some street shopping.

Sunset in Split - Croatia in winters
Sunset in Split – Croatia in winters

Around 5 PM most street shops close and people route to the Riva Harbour area for chilling and enjoying the festive vibes. Restaurants, hypermarkets and other branded stores are usually open till 8 PM though.

Day #2:

Head to Hvar Island.

Mesmerizing View of Adriatic Sea while going to Hvar in Jardolinija Ferry
Mesmerizing View of Adriatic Sea while going to Hvar in Jardolinija Ferry!

Hvar Island has been voted 7th best island in Europe by Travel+Leisure in 2019. The place justifies every bit of this recognition and so it is a must to visit when in Croatia. Hvar is reachable by ferry from Split. It takes about 1.5 hrs of a scenic venture into the Adriatic Sea to reach Hvar Islands.

Be a responsible traveller and enjoy HVAR - Croatia in Winters
Be a Responsible Traveller and enjoy HVAR – Croatia in Winters

There are buses that you from the port to Stari Grad, the central bus stop. Travelling to this part of Croatia in winters one can expect that there will be many things that will be closed and one may not find the place to be touristy. But on the brighter side, one can & will enjoy the most beautiful island of Europe to be exclusively available.

HVAR for a unique experience of Croatia in winters
HVAR for a unique experience of Croatia in winters!

It is important to note that the last morning ferry and so the bus reaches Stari Grad at around 12 -12.30 PM and in winters mostly the eateries close by 1. Barring 1-2 places, food options at that point of time is limited. Most places of interest like St.Stephen’s Cathedral, Franciscan Monastery and more are closed by 1 PM. So it is advisable to catch the first ferry in the morning to be able to visit these monuments on time. Also if you arent planning to stay back in the night at Hvar then it is highly advisable to not miss the last bus that leaves at 5.30 PM. from Hvar towards the port.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, HVAR
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, HVAR

Places that are a must-visit in Hvar are Pakleni Islands Archipelago, Dubovica Beach & Pokonji Dol. Apart from this St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Franciscan Monastery and Španjola Fortress are also worth visiting places. Exploring the old, cobbled and rather exclusively available streets of Stari Gard too are quite enticing. Lastly, soaking in the cold aquamarine water or lazing around in the main street is purely a matter of personal choice.

Franciscan Monastery , HVAR, Croatia
Franciscan Monastery, HVAR, Croatia

Post returning from Hvar, in the evening head to Riva Harbour area to enjoy the musical show and cool, much more pleasant than the rest of Europe breeze of Croatia.

Day #3:

Gear up for an exquisite experience, that’s Krka National Park.

Krka National Park is very much doable when visiting Croatia in winters.
Krka National Park is very much doable when visiting Croatia in winters.

More about this national park which is around 88 km. away from Split in another article soon. Plitvice National Park is almost frozen and so it doesn’t make too much sense of visiting.

Post coming back from Krka, do not forget to try the Fritule a sweet street-side snack speciality of Croatia and some yummy pizza slices. Also, the rest of the time before departing from Croatia do not forget to buy souvenirs for your loved ones.

If you are heading back to Italy then taking up a government-aided Jardolinija ferry is the best bet. It is economical and has private cabin rooms too. The journey between Split to Anacona, Italy is almost an overnight one and the ferry arrives early in the morning to the destination. Be prepared for a hard-hitting welcome by the winters in Italy.

Our Special Memory of Croatia in Winters & a Close-Shave Experience too:

Apart from being a beautiful country, Croatia also has some of the most affable bunch of people. Here people are ready to help and guide responsible travellers. Just for the information, all buses are wifi enabled. While finalising transport for our Croatia trip, we read some articles & tour agent websites over the internet which mentioned that buses from Rijeka to Split are fewer in winters. On the contrary, we found Croatian Government Bus at 3 AM. which took us to Split comfortably. It was a Rijeka to Dubrovnik bus but had ‘Split’ as one of the stops. Apart from this private cabs are also readily available though they are a little pricey.

Croatian beauty that we won’t forget ever!

Just before boarding the ferry, all passengers have to line up for immigration and security checks. We too qued up and on the counter there was an extraordinarily beautiful female Croatian Police Officer. Her beauty is beyond the capacity of our words to justify.

Close Shave Experience:

Well, so she examined our passports that had an entry & exit Slovenia stamp on it (as we had crossed while coming from Venice.) She immediately called her fellow police officer and discussed in local language. There were few questions asked from us like for what reason we were in Slovenia, why we chose the following road route for visiting Croatia in winters and finally it was concluded that we will have to pay a fine of some Kunas (local currency).

Learning:

We had nothing else to do but gathering all our courage & put forth our points before the two police officers. We also showed them our multi-entry Schengen visa seeing this they allowed us to go without being fined. Yes, that was a close shave but also taught us the importance of reading in detail about the rules of the country one needs to visit. If you are planning to visit one or two countries in Europe then getting a multiple entry visa is highly recommended!

This travel guide is for travellers who are entering Croatia in winters. If this guide was helpful then do like, comment & share this post. Also, do subscribe to this website for getting new posts straight into your email inbox!

Happy & Responsible Travelling!

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(46) Comments

  1. Trapti says:

    Wow!! The sun usually sets around 4 PM. so people here have a rather early start in the morning.

    1. Yes and it is pitch dark at 4 PM. 😀

  2. Oh…Why the fine??? You should have complimented her!!😊😊
    Croatia looks beautiful through your lens.

    1. Fine as in they thought we didnt have multi-entry visa and we were about to re-enter the Schengen Zone. Her beauty was like I cannot forget that face and I would have surely complimented her but she was a police officer.

  3. Croatia looks so beautiful. This post is really helpful. Now I’ll be sure to get a multiple entry visa. 🙂

  4. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    wow this country is looking really amazing, great pics and detail info you had shared in this post. very informative, would love to visit it

  5. Croatia looks beautiful…..Have to visit this now…

  6. Worth a visit

  7. After watching Tamasha, Croatia has been on my bucket list of places I wanna travel before I turn really old and you post is really helpful.

  8. This looks must vsist place in the world!! I will bookmark and plan to visit

  9. I didn’t understand why they wanted to charge fine

    1. They thought we didnt had a multi-entry visa. This is what we could understand from the little conversation that we had with them.

  10. I loved reading through the post croatia looks divine , the pictures look gorgeous and the incident was a learning for us as well. Keep going!

  11. Perfect, crisp, on-the-point post. such enticing pics of Croatia making me put it on wish-list.

  12. hey beautiful post it was nice reading it

  13. Croatia is beautiful, and your pictures and words paint quite the picture. Thanks for sharing. Now I can consider it as a part of my travel plan some day.

  14. Adi Sathe says:

    Thanks for helping me with this article… Croatia is on my list from a longggg time

  15. The post has a complete itinerary for Croatia and the pictures have beautiful landscapes.

  16. Wow this is such a beautiful place. I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing in such an interesting way ..:-)

  17. paying a fine to follow a route might have been a bad experience but glad the other things went well. love the beautiful place and your pictures are too amazing..

  18. Your pictures are amazing and I can imagine how beautiful the country is. This for sure is on my bucket list. Thanks for this post

  19. I’ve been planning for Croatia and since I’m travelling within Europe, visa rules should be easy. But love your detailed post about the places to visit.

  20. The place looks so wonderful by the pics you have shared. Bookmarking this post.

  21. Lucky you, you got to visit Croatia. it has been on my travelling list forever. esp after GOT was shot there.

  22. Nicely written. I am so impressed. Loved your blog today. Not that it’s a wonderful guide but such a personal touch to it with your experience and stories and expressions.

  23. I am already in love with this country. Would love to visit someday.

  24. Wow Judy, that is such a comprehensive travel guide. I am yet to visit Croatia, and I am definitely saving your post for when I do visit it!

  25. You have totally discovered the best of Croatia in 72 hours. I love walking around and discovering places. Loved yr post.

  26. Croatia is such a beautiful place! Loved all the photographs and the itinerary that you’ve shared.

  27. That’s a wonderful travelogue. Thanks for the informative post

  28. Wow! The country is just so beautiful. And your experience surely helps to make a note for multiple entry visa

    1. Waiting for your article on visiting the national park in winter.

      1. Soon..

  29. Amazing pictures! It looks like wow.

  30. Lovely post, it actually refreshed my memory..and I love this place. But there is one thing. During offseason, connectivity to the islands isn’t very good

  31. saba ladha says:

    Wow lovely place and amazing pictures. Totally liked reading this one

  32. The water, buildings and nature looks very beautiful. Looks like a perfect vacation for winter.

  33. Croatia is undoubtedly picturesque buddy, enjoyed the virtual tour to the beautiful land with you

  34. The close shave while traveling helped me plan my next trip.Croatia looks so beautiful .I would love to visit one day.

  35. wow you have had a great time in Croatia. Its on my to-visit list too. Will keep these in mind.

  36. Everything looks so serene about the place, So loving the back drops. indeed a place worth a visit.

  37. Wow Judy you seems to have had great fun at this place. I had not heard about this place before and happy to have read about it with your wonderful experience.

  38. Loved the whole journey of your Croatia and this is beautiful you know I would love to visit this place one day and before I turn 40 or 50 I think I should cover whole Europe in my life

  39. Lovely pictures! And good to know the tip on visas! Will keep in mind.

  40. Ohh I so want to visit the place.. hopefully will get to see it sometime

  41. That was such a beautiful post about a beautiful country. I had no clue about how entry point in a country could become an issue.

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