Autumn in Croatia
Updated: Sep 14, 2018
"Jesen" or fall in Croatia is a wonderful time of year for a visit. The season lasts from September through November. Although there is a greater chance of rain in the fall, more comfortable temperatures are definitely an upside to your stay. Tourist locations are less crowded and you can find great deals on rentals and flights.
It might not be the perfect beach weather as October and November nears, but there are several other things to see and do in the fall.
Plitvička Jezera National Park - walk along 16 lakes joined by waterfalls and a limestone canyon. Fall is a beautiful time of year to hike through the park as the foliage changes to colors of red, orange and yellow as well as cooler temperatures and lower humidity.
Outlook Festival - This festival takes place for a long weekend in the beginning of September in the city of Pula. Outlook has been at the forefront of sound system culture, bringing together artists from around the world to celebrate all things bass under the Croatian Sun. Located in one of the most stunning festival sites in Europe, an abandoned fort on the Adriatic coast, Outlook truly has to be experienced firsthand to be understood. Four days and nights of music, beach parties, boat parties, and one spectacular opening concert in Pula’s 2,000 year old amphitheatre. www.outlookfestival.com
Zigante Truffle Days - This event takes place from the mid-September through mid-November in the town of Motovun. The Motovun Forest hides one of the most precious fruits of the land – a truffle. Every autumn a unique 10 weekend event, ‘Days of Zigante Truffles’, is organized in Livade. It gathers numerous guests from Croatia and all parts of the world only to taste this supreme gourmet specialty as well as other exceptional flavors of Istrian delicacies. sajamtartufa.com
Marunda Chestnut Festival - The most famous chestnut festival in Croatia, which takes place every year in October in the small coastal town of Lovran near Opatija, has been listed among the food festivals not to be missed. The first Marunada was held in 1973, and what makes this festival so special is the sweet chestnut species that grows in this area, locally known as "maruni" (hence the name – Marunada). Lovran is entirely dedicated to chestnuts and products made from them including roasted chestnuts, cakes, pancakes, chestnut puree, chestnut goulash, chestnut pie and many more. In addition to chestnuts, you can sample other traditional specialities of the region such as homemade nouveau wine, or medica – a honey brandy. There is also a packed program of cultural and entertainment events and a wide range of local souvenirs for sale. The main event takes place in the town's center square and includes performances by folklore groups, the famous Lovran Brass Band and guests from other parts of Croatia. www.visitopatija.net
Bela Nedeja - The first Sunday and Monday in October in Kastav are traditionally dedicated to sampling new belica white wine, a typical variety of the Kastav region. Apart from being a festival of new wine, the Bela Nedeja is a historical and cultural event with a long tradition in Kastav. It includes a fair of new wine, presentations of traditional crafts, a marketplace, a rich gastronomic offering and interesting cultural events. The Bela Nedeja celebrates the cultural heritage of the local area by presenting local folk tradition, old customs, dances, games, crafts and other traditional elements in a modern context. Every year introduces new attractive programs with the aim of making this unique festival even more appealing to visitors.
All Saint's Day - This Catholic holiday takes place every year on November 1st. All Saint's Day is the belief that all saints are living in Heavenly afterlife and are perfectly aware of earthly events. People visit the final resting place of loved ones and place candles and flowers on their graves. Most places are closed for this national holiday.
Saint Martin's Day (Martinje) - This Catholic holiday takes place every year on November 11th. St. Martin’s feast is a ritual of new wine baptism that has been celebrated since the 17th century in the northern parts of Croatia. Wine lovers gather in vineyards of their hosts in the middle of November. European traditions consider this Catholic saint to be the patron saint of vintners and wine growers. In the ritual of baptizing, actors dress up and take roles of judge, bishop, godmother and godfather of the wine. These celebrations mark the period when work outside of the home, in the fields, would come to an end and preparations for the winter would begin.
With so many festivals, events and holidays to partake in, vacationers are sure to experience some highlights of Croatia's unique culture. There is still time in early fall to get your last layer of a tan and maybe a few more swims in the sea. If you are looking for something more simple and relaxing then autumn is one of the best times of the year to sit at an outdoor cafe, drink your coffee and people watch. No matter how you choose to spend your stay in the fall, you will discover why a Croatian vacation is the perfect choice for this time of year.