Along the southern Dalmatian coast, you can expect daily temperatures to range from the mid to high 80s Fahrenheit during the day, cooling off to the high 60s and low 70s at night. While daylight lasts for 14 hours, there's next to no rain. UV levels are high and the sun sets just after 8 pm at the start of the month giving you ample time to enjoy the outdoors, cooling off in the Adriatic (an inviting 77 degrees).
Temperatures aren't much different in and around Zagreb with daily averages of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Though you won't have the breeze off the Adriatic to cool you down, nightly temperatures drop to a cool 60 degrees.
Crowds & Costs
July blends into August and visitors keep flowing in for the non-stop festivals, beach parties, and hot weather. For the most part, there's no escaping the crowds along the Dalmatian coast and islands, though crowds lessen come the last week of August. Book your reservations and accommodation well in advance as there's major pressure on hotels and restaurants at this time. You can find some respite in the interior of the country, however, like the inner Istrian Peninsula, Zagorje region, and Zagreb. Most locals flock to the coast for their own summer fun and Zagreb nightclubs though closed for the season, re-open on the Adriatic.
Where to Go
With the long, hot summer days, the Adriatic Sea and its coastline beckon visitors. If the crowds don't deter you, head to the coast. Most travelers begin or end their stay in Dubrovnik and travel up the Dalmatian coast to Zadar, stopping along the way to check out an island or two (or five). Explore the Elafiti Islands and Korčula from Dubrovnik and Brač, Hvar, and Vis islands from Split. A classic next stop from here is Šibenik with a detour inland to Krka National Park and then Zadar (for the world's best sunsets according to Alfred Hitchcock).
To beat the heat and avoid some of the crowds, head inland to the Istrian Peninsula and to the medieval hilltop towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, and Motovun. From there, venture east to the capital, Zagreb, to explore the city's trendy neighborhoods, restaurants, and museums, which are less crowded while the locals are away on holiday.
For more ideas, check out Going Off the Beaten Path in Croatia.
What to Do
Take advantage of the hot weather and head to a beach for your choice of water-related activity. Visit iconic Zlatni Rat beach on Brač for great surfing and stunning scenery or Stivna Beach on Vis Island for a little sunning. Join a sea kayak and snorkeling tour of the Pakleni Islands or charter a sailboat and travel the coast stopping from one island to the next as you like. Koločep and Lopud of the Elafiti Islands make great options for sunbathing and swimming in relative quiet as these islands are less frequented by tourists.
Change up the scenery and explore Croatia's most popular national parks, Krka and Plitvice Lakes. Both are home to plenty of fresh water and boardwalks that take you to great viewpoints, though if you want to cool off, swimming is only allowed in Krka.
If you're tired of the water, put on your hiking boots and turn your attention toward the Velebit hiking trail that snakes through Croatia's Dinaric Alps, following the coast from Senj to Zadar. The views are awe-inspiring and the well-marked trail is a balance of gentle and challenging. Trying to stay cool? Rent a car and head to the bucolic hills in the Zagorje region to check out the many renaissance and medieval fortresses and Baroque castles, like the famousTrakošćan Castle.
Events in August
Sinj alka. A lively and drunken festival in Sinj that began in 1715 and celebrates the townsfolk's victory over the Turks. You can see young males compete in a pseudo-medieval joust as they try to thread their lances through a series of rings.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival. From July 10 to August 25, Dubrovnik hosts Croatia's most prestigious summer festival. Open-air stages are set up throughout the city to accommodate opera, theater, and dance performances.
Sali Fiesta. Located on Dugi Otok, an island off the coast of Zadar and features three days of live music, traditional food, a candlelit procession of boats around the harbor, and most uniquely, donkey races.
Sonus Festival. Considered the largest underground festival in Europe, you can enjoy five days and nights of music in open-air clubs and boat parties on Zrće Beach on Pag Island.
Krk Fair. Krk town hosts a three-day Venetian-inspired event with concerts, medieval costumes, and close to 200 stalls selling traditional food and handicrafts.
Supetar Summer. Supetar on Brač Island accommodates a two-month-long festival of folk music, klapa, dance and classical concerts in addition to exhibitions, talks, and outdoor cinema.
Labin Art Republika. Running from June to September, the town comes alive with street performances and studios open their doors. Additionally, every Tuesday at 9:30 pm free guided tours depart from the tourist office in the old town re-counting legends and myths of the area.
Traveling to Croatia in August? Check out these great itinerary ideas.
A Guide to Croatia's Medieval Towns. Stroll around the medieval town centers of Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Zadar (especially after midnight). Travel like a local by hitting the hippest spots in Croatia.
Istria to Dubrovnik: Land and Sea - 12 Days. Explore Croatia's Istrian Peninsula and be mesmerized by medieval fortressed towns, discover the beauty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and look upon stunning coastal views as you make your way from Rovinj to Hvar. Board a private sailboat and make your way across the Adriatic Sea to Dubrovnik.