Summer in Croatia is busy. After all, it’s the tourist season with all sorts of amazing activities – the rivers, the mountains, the camping, and the hiking, not to mention the resort towns of Istria, and the beaches on the beautiful island of Hvar. For those who live outside of Europe, Croatia may not be on their list of vacation “hotspots.” And for those who do live close by, Croatia is a popular summer destination.
But what about autumn? This is often a forgotten season for travel. Yet, autumn in Croatia may just be the best experience a visitor looking for outdoor experiences can have. The crowded tourist season is over, the weather is still amazing, and tourists can enjoy all the same activities without the crowds and the usual “bustle”.
Unpacking Autumn in Croatia
It’s tempting for a first-time visitor to Croatia to venture to the major and well-known destinations, such as Dubrovnik, with its medieval architecture, museums, churches, beaches on the Adriatic Sea, and its nightlife. But once that destination has been experienced, it’s time to look for the “roads less traveled” and enjoy autumn in Croatia in the outdoors. After all, the rivers are higher for great rafting; the temperatures are far less severe, and fall vegetables are plentiful. For those of you who still want the amenities of a nice hotel and restaurants, not to worry. All of these less-traveled destinations have such accommodations within easy reach.
Maybe it’s time to unpack your bags in one or more of these places.
One of the oldest towns in Croatia, Skradin is located on the Krka River at the entrance to Krka National Park. While the waterfalls of the park are perhaps the most popular destination, there is much more to do. Zrmanja river is just one hour away for a fun water activity. Biking, both mountain and roadway, can involve trails from 3 to 95 kilometers.
Just 15 kilometers from Skradin, Sibenik is another of the oldest towns in Croatia. It is the most populous town in the Dalmatian region with about 35,000 residents. Like Skradin, it hosts a variety of activities. The old section of town offers many sights, but outdoor activities are particularly attractive with the more moderate temperatures. If the weather still permits, there is a great beach where the St. Anthony’s Channel greets the Adriatic Sea. There are walking and biking trails along this channel as well, ending at the Fortress of St. Nicholas.
Zadar is another ancient city located on the Adriatic Sea, in the Ravni Kotari region. For the outdoor enthusiast, there is must a multitude of activities – jet skiing, scuba and snorkeling, individual and tour biking, hiking and climbing, and, of course, river kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. With average temperatures in the autumn around 20°C, most of these activities are readily available.
4. Zrmanja river
River lovers must experience the Zrmanja once in their lifetimes, and especially in the autumn when the water is higher and rapids, cascades, and waterfalls are at their finest. The Zrmanja is almost 70 kilometers long and provides an amazing rafting experience and breathtaking beauty with its turquoise waters, and the canyons and cliffs that surround it.
5. Barac Caves
Now a nationally “protected” area, these caves are located just east of the village of Rakovica. This is an amazing caving experience for such aficionados. The caves opened to the public at the end of the 19th century but were then rather abandoned and ignored after World War II. They have become a popular spot since re-opening in 2004. Visitors must join a guided tour because nothing must be disturbed or damaged. September and October are perfect times for visiting – the summer tourist rush is over and entry fees are cheaper. The caves are closed from November through March, so the bat inhabitants may hibernate in peace. Anyone who visits these caves will never forget the experience – amazing stalactites and stalagmites throughout, as well as abundant cave fauna (and bats).
6. Plitvice Region
This is a region in central Croatia, most famous for Plitvice Lakes – 16 in all – divided into upper and lower lakes, connected by waterfalls, rapids, and caves. The lakes sit in a national park and visitors are welcome year-round. This is an area perfect for hikers, with numerous trails and hikes ranging from 3 to 8 hours, depending on whether you want to stay on the commonly traveled paths of the lower lake area or take the more remote paths of both upper and lower lakes. Of course, visitors can also explore the lakes by tour boats or vehicles. There is no swimming in any of the lakes.
The big attraction of the Lakes is the 90+ waterfalls of all sizes. But the scenery is absolutely amazing, no matter what season a visitor chooses. We believe the best choice may be autumn. The summer rush is over, there is still plenty of flora and fauna to see, and the waterfalls are still not hit by any winter ice. Winter can be tough, especially for hikers, as trails can become slippery with ice. Fall temperatures are still within the moderate range and allow hikers to take more rigorous trails at faster paces.
You will never forget the experience of Plitvice Lakes.
Time to Pack
How much do you know about Croatia? It has a rich history that is not often covered, even for students of world history. If at all, they may have been assigned a short essay or paper on Southeastern Europe, and, if too busy, may have connected with online writing service with the request for “Write my paper for me.” As adults, these same students may now be looking for “less traveled” vacation spots, and Croatia should be on their radar.
These six Croatian destinations will offer hikers, climbers, rafters, canoers, and bikers amazing experiences. For a rather small country, the opportunities are large in number and relatively close to one another. Now that summer is coming to a close, it’s time to experience autumn in Croatia.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at EssaySupply, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.