Croatia in Autumn: The Idyllic Experience

Autumn in Croatia text with leaves in the background

Autumn is approaching and Croatia is receiving its fresh, golden attire that leaves no soul indifferent.

If you wonder what Croatia looks like in the autumn, what events are there, and if this is the season when you should visit Croatia, you’ll soon find the answers.

I decided to create a guide about Croatia in autumn to convince you that there’s so much more to do and see in Croatia outside of the ultra-famous summer season.

So, please bear with me, and let me tell you an autumn story of Croatia.

What is Croatia like in the autumn?

In Croatia, activities halt down the coastline after the busy summer season, islands go dormant until the next season and most tourists go back home after a vacation that relieved them from the hardships accumulated over the year.

The new time begins with fewer crowds, fewer prices, and fewer temperatures, and many continental beauties finally get their recognition as all eyes are no longer only pointed at the beaches and the crystal-clear sea.

The autumn in Croatia is simply magical for those keen on nature, culture, ambiance, peace, and relief on a budget.

When does autumn in Croatia start? Autumn officially begins on September 23, but the true signs of autumn in Croatia begin in the early October days.

What’s there to do in Croatia in autumn?

I’ll cover the biggest deal makers for visiting Croatia in autumn! If you have a particular month in mind, I have covered October in Croatia where I answered detailed questions and mentioned ongoing events.

Here is a video that shows the hidden gems of Croatia that are equally beautiful in the summer and in the autumn.

Croatia Secret Gems – Documentary Film from Cinemart Motion Picture on Vimeo.

Experience the culture

Motovun in Istria is an example of a typical Istrian medieval town set in the hills where you can embrace the true vibes the autumn brings.

Participate in the truffle hunt, visit the vineyards, and taste the finest wines of the Istrian region before continuing to explore the mysterious Istrian towns and villages surrounded by centuries of rich history before eventually ending in bigger cities such as Pula where the Roman Colosseum is hosted.

I picked some tours for you, in the Wine Rovinj Tour you’ll taste 5-8 finest Istrian wines in 3 wineries and have an organized guide with a driver.

In the Rovinj Truffle hunting adventure, you’ll experience what it’s like to hunt the truffles with specialized truffle hounds and see why Istrian truffles have such a high reputation by enjoying truffle dishes.

Finally, Istria in 1 Day Tour is an organized itinerary that will allow you to experience all interesting tourist spots from UNESCO sites to picturesque medieval towns like Motovun with a pick-up & drop-off at your accommodation.

Every region in Croatia has some type of autumn-inspired event, so you won’t get lost or run out of fun.

Autumn could be a great time in the year to explore the famous Krapina Neanderthal Museum, as it naturally fits in the northern Croatia autumn itinerary where autumn is particularly beautiful.

And if you have never been to the famous Dubrovnik, Trogir, Split, Šibenik, or Poreč during the summer season when these cities are the busiest tourist hotspots, now is the time with fewer crowds and fresher temperatures.

Even a simple walk through cities such as Zagreb or Rijeka is special during the autumn if you never took an opportunity to explore their past.

Delicious autumn food

Croatia has a strong cuisine tradition and with the gifts from the earth that arrive in the autumn, you’ll experience the finest dishes.

Istria, a region in northern Croatia, is known for its high-rated truffles. Visit Istria and enjoy Fuži pasta served with a rich and aromatic truffle sauce, making it a decadent autumn specialty.

Roasted chestnuts are a classic autumn snack in Croatia. You can find vendors roasting chestnuts on the streets in many Croatian cities during the cooler months and there are events such as Marunada in Lovran where specialized chestnut dishes are prepared.

If you visit continental Croatia during the autumn, you’ll enjoy the finest stews with locally and organically grown vegetables.

Peppers, pumpkins, gourds, sweet potatoes, and meat are everywhere and you just can’t stop eating (don’t worry, that extra weight gain is crucial for surviving the incoming winter).

Explore National and Nature parks

National parks such as Northern Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, and Učka, and Nature parks such as Žumberak and Papuk are the epitome of a magical autumn ambiance within the intact nature that leaves visitors in awe.

Žumberak in autumn
Source: , 2023

The ticket prices go significantly down as the autumn begins, and there are no annoying crowds typical for Plitvice Lakes during the summer season.

Moreover, don’t hesitate to take a random walk into the woods following the hiking trails as nature is still beautiful outside of National and Nature parks.

Visit the castles

There’s something special about castles and medieval towns in autumn, they evoke emotions of nostalgia in people as many of us used to dream about riding a horse through the autumn-colored landscapes and forests, passing the bridges, and finding a big medieval fortress as a refuge in the middle of an adventure.

Or it could be the movies and the stories we used to hear when we were young…

In either case, you can embark on a true castle itinerary around Croatia as there are plenty of beautiful castles to explore.

Trakošćan castle in Croatia
Trakošćan castle

You’ll find beautiful castles and fortresses in old cities such as Varaždin, Osijek, and Karlovac, Zagorje is home to Veliki tabor and there are beautiful castles closer to the coastline such as Stara Sušica not that far from Rijeka.

I should create an entire castle itinerary in the future as many more interesting places deserve to be covered in detail.

Until then, I can recommend a tour of the famous Trakošćan Castle and Varaždin, the old medieval town which once was the capital of Croatia.

What to wear in Croatia in the autumn?

In the early days of autumn, especially down the coastline, you can expect the temperature to be between 17°C and 23°C with temperatures dropping to 14-17°C at night, but by the end of October the temperatures drop to 13°C and 16°C during the day and can reach below 10°C at night.

Furthermore, daily temperatures can be around 10°C in the middle of November, and in some continental regions, it might snow. So, if you are coming in early October, you might swim, if you are coming in November, prepare for the mild winter experience.

Layer Up

Autumn weather in Croatia can be unpredictable, so layering is your best friend. Start with a light, breathable base layer like a long-sleeved shirt or blouse. On top of that, add a stylish sweater or cardigan that you can easily take off if the day warms up.

Comfortable Bottoms

Opt for comfortable bottoms like jeans, corduroys, or leggings. These versatile options can be dressed up or down depending on your activities. If you plan to do a lot of walking or hiking, consider packing a pair of comfortable, waterproof boots to keep your feet dry.

Light Outerwear

A light jacket or coat is essential for cooler evenings and occasional rain showers. Choose something that is both functional and fashionable, like a trench coat or a stylish leather jacket.

Versatile Wardrobe

Pack versatile pieces that can transition from day to night. A well-fitting dress or a smart pair of trousers can easily be dressed up with the right accessories for a night out in the charming Croatian cities.


While the temperatures drop, you can still enjoy swimming in Croatia’s crystal-clear waters in the early autumn. So, don’t forget to pack your swimwear if you plan on taking a dip.

Rain Gear

Croatia can experience occasional rain in the autumn, so it’s wise to carry an umbrella and a lightweight, packable rain jacket to stay dry when needed.

Final take

Autumn in Croatia is beautiful and I highly recommend this season for visiting Croatia even if it’s your first time.

Remember that the early weeks of autumn can still be enjoyable for a swim or sunbathing on a beach, but as October ends, Croatia becomes rainy and very fresh, so come prepared.

Sometimes you might experience even warmer temperatures in October just as you might experience a sudden switch when the clouds cover the sky and temperatures quickly drop.

There you go, this autumn can be your time to visit Croatia and experience its beauties without high prices and busy crowds!

In my article about October in Croatia you can find more information for this month in detail.


Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

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