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When to go

Most people visit Croatia between April and September. Although the coast is too cool for swimming in April, you’ll enjoy warm, clear skies south of Split and rock-bottom accommodation prices. Zagreb is likely to be comfortable and the cultural season is in full swing – depending on your proclivities you can attend the Zagreb Biennial of Contemporary Music or the Queer Zagreb FM Festival. May and June are great months for all outdoor activities (except skiing). In these months, Italian and German tourists have yet to arrive, accommodation prices are still reasonable and you’ll enjoy long, sunny days. But watch out for battalions of school students on class field trips at the end of May and beginning of June; hotels and transport around cultural highlights can suddenly fill up with boisterous youths and their harried chaperones.

July and August are the most expensive months to visit Croatia as the tourist season swings into gear. Accommodation prices are highest in summer and popular places can become uncomfortably crowded. The advantages of high-season travel are the extra boat lines to whisk you to the islands and organised excursions to take you to out-of-the-way highlights.

September is perhaps the best month to visit since it’s not as hot as summer (though the sea remains warm), the crowds will have thinned out as children return to school, off-season accommodation rates will be in place, and fruit such as figs and grapes will be abundant. In October it may be too cool for camping, but the weather should still be fine along the coast, and private rooms will be plentiful and inexpensive.