The second coldest month of the year, February continues to see snow in the interior of Croatia and rain on the coast with average daily temperatures running from 34 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Though there's a chill in the air, February is altogether pleasant if you dress appropriately and stay out of the 57-degree sea. Signs of spring are just barely beginning to show, and the days are getting longer with around 10 hours of daylight.
Crowds & Costs
Still considered offseason, February is a great time to visit Croatia. There are few crowds along the popular Dalmatian coast and Istrian Peninsula, granting you an all-access pass to Adriatic views unhindered by tourists and selfie sticks. It's important to note, though, that many hotels, restaurants, and bars are closed in the coastal towns and islands (though something is always open) and ferries operate on a reduced schedule.
Skiing is popular in February with many visitors heading to the slopes outside of Zagreb and to Platak. Their hills are uncrowded and seasonal, weekly, and daily passes are reasonably priced in relation to other popular ski destinations throughout Europe. February kicks off the fast-approaching coming of spring with Mardi Gras celebrations across the country. If you're coming to Croatia during Rijeka Carnival and the Feast of St. Blaise in Dubrovnik, it's best to book reservations for accommodation well in advance.
Where to Go
Croatia is quickly becoming a year-round destination and offers much in the way of culture and nature. Most travelers will either begin or end their stay with a few days in Zagreb—choosing from an array of museums, restaurants, parks, and even a little skiing. Twenty minutes outside of the capital you'll find yourself amid the silvery beech trees and snow-covered pines of Medvednica Mountain. A couple of hours west brings you to Platak for additional skiing options (and a bonus view of the sea).
A stop in the port city of Rijeka along the Kvarner Gulf for a taste of carnival should not be missed. And while Rijeka is considered the best carnival choice, there are other great options to choose from like Samobor (outside of Zagreb), followed by Zadar and Dubrovnik, both further south along the Dalmatian Coast.
What to Do
February marks the beginning of the end of the ski season, making it a great time to take advantage of Sljeme Ski Resort to hit the slopes. If skiing isn't your thing, there are plenty of other options to explore Medvednica Mountain, including hiking and sledding.
Photographers will enjoy discovering Plitvice Lakes National Park's seasonal transformation, snow-covered pines, and frozen lakes and waterfalls. Gourmands will appreciate tasty eats at restaurants typically booked during peak season. And there's no more fitting time than February to duck out of the cold and into the clever Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb or any of the other cultural sightseeing stops.
Events in February
Lent and Carnival. Festivities last to the end of the month, if not into early March (depending on when Ash Wednesday falls). Party with the best of them in the Italianate city of Rijeka, though if you'd prefer a less massive city-wide party, visit Zadar or Dubrovnik.
Rijeka Carnival. Over 20,000 performers take to the streets in Croatia's largest carnival drawing in more than 100,000 visitors to this port city. Running from mid-January and leading up to Ash Wednesday, this massive carnival features street parties, masked balls, concerts, and pageants.
Zagrebdox. With the end of February comes this week-long documentary film festival held at the Kaptol Boutique Cinema and features films made around the region.
Feast of St Blaise. The patron saint of Dubrovnik is honored in this city-wide party that has been ongoing since 972 CE and has remained mostly unchanged since.