July is Croatia's hottest month of the year, averaging 84 degrees Fahrenheit in Dubrovnik and 88 to 82 Fahrenheit further up the Dalmatian coast in Split and Zadar, respectively. In the evenings, temperatures cool off to a welcoming 64-70 degrees, so you will want to pack light layers with your swimwear and sunscreen.
Temperatures aren't much different in and around Zagreb with daily averages of 81 degrees, though you won't have the breeze off the Adriatic to cool you down. The center of the country, in the Dinara mountains, can expect slightly cooler temperatures and the country as a whole sees little rain this time of the year.
Crowds & Costs
July is certainly the busiest time of the year and for good reason, as the weather is beach-perfect, the party season is in full swing and ferries to the islands are at their most frequent. Croatia's coastline sees the height of the country's tourism, while the inland cities' cultural and social activity tend to lessen as a result. And with the significant pressure on facilities elsewhere, travelers should be aware that hotels and restaurants book up months ahead of time, so advance planning is recommended. For alternate accommodations, consider any of these boutique hotel options in Dubrovnik.
Where to Go
The coast is where all the action is in July. Take advantage of the great weather and head to any number of the literal thousand islands for swimming, sailing, kayaking and any other outdoor activity you can think of. Accessed from a number of locations, the historic cities of Split and Dubrovnik are great options to reach nearby islands. Visit Brač and Hvar and Hvar's nearby Pakleni Islands from Split in central Dalmatia or the Elafiti Islands and Korčula from Dubrovnik in southern Dalmatia. Another great option is to head further north along the coast to the western Kvarner islands, Cres and Lošinj, before cutting inland to beat the heat and tour the Istrian Peninsula and Zagorje and its many castles.
While the coast is buzzing with foreign and local tourists alike, heading further inland to Zagreb for a little cultural quiet is a great alternative. There are plenty of restaurants, museums, and festivals worthy of your attention that aren't over-stuffed with tourists.
For more on where to go, read this article on Top Regions in Croatia.
What to Do
July is all about the beach vacation and the party scene, where Croatia is proving itself to be the festival destination in Europe with numerous cities across the country hosting multi-day festivals of all types, like theater, film, traditional culture, and music (see below for further event options). Without preemptive planning, you will most certainly be able to catch a classical music performance held nightly in towns like Lubenice with alfresco concerts held every Friday or Zadar with concerts held in St. Donatus' Church. Art lovers will appreciate a visit to Split to check out its month-long art festival, Split Summer, beginning in the middle of the month. Tennis fans will enjoy the Croatia Open that takes place annually and is part of the ATP World Tour for 10 days in mid-July in Umag. And all along the coast open-air theaters and venues put on outdoor productions on their beaches.
Kayaking and sailing tours are popular activities to participate in during July. Explore Dubrovnik from the water and go on a half-day guided kayaking tour around the city and Lokrum Island—the closest island to Dubrovnik. Or join a sunset kayaking tour and paddle to the wooded and rocky islets of the Pakleni Islands. Charter a sailboat or catamaran for a week and head up the coast from Dubrovnik to Split visiting the many islands in between. Consider stopping in Mljet to rent a bike and ride through its unspoiled western side of the island or lounge on one of its lush coves.
Events in July
Hideout. An electronic dance music (EDM) festival in Zrće that takes over the beach bars and clubs in late June and early July.
Ultra Europe. Taking over Split's Poljud stadium for three days in July and featuring celebrity DJs, Ultra Europe is one of the world's largest electronic music festivals. Afterward, the parties continue for the rest of Destination Ultra Croatia Music Week, including Ultra Beach, a pool party at Hotel Amfora the following week and Destination Ultra Regatta a heart-thumping beach party on Zlatni Rat beach on the following Monday.
Courtyards. For a solid 10 days, Zagreb's historic Upper Town courtyards, typically off limits the rest of the year, open their doors for a succession of concerts and performances.
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.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Starting on July 10, Dubrovnik accommodates Croatia's most prestigious summer festival, presenting a drool-worthy program of theater, opera, concerts, and dance on open-air stages across the city.
International Folklore Festival. Since 1966, Zagreb hosts an international festival in the middle of July highlighting folk culture and traditions with performances from both Croatian and international folk musicians and dancers.
Fresh Island. Pag Island's Zrće Beach hosts three nights of hip hop and R&B in mid-July.
Pula Film Festival. This seasoned festival screens Croatian and international films across town with some screenings held in the Roman Ampitheater.
Motovun Film Festival. Another film festival held for five days in late July in Motovun sees 40,000 people come to catch both indoor and outdoor screenings, concerts, and parties.
Full Moon Festival. A romantic festival that has Zadar dressed with lit torches and candles and its boats lining the quays turn into floating fish markets.
Rab Fair. A massive fair that has you feeling like you're in the Middle Ages. Begun in 1364 to honor King Louis the Great who freed his people from Venetian rule, today Rab puts on a medieval spectacle: period costumes, processions, medieval dancing, and even crossbow competitions.
Seasplash Festival. Just northwest of Pula, this four-day bass music fest puts on an impressive show the last week of July inside Štinjan's historic Punta Christo Fort.
Traveling to Croatia in July? Check out these great itinerary ideas.
Self-Guided Ciro Trail Bike Tour - 7 Days. A unique itinerary for cycling enthusiasts who want to explore Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from the vantage of a bike. You'll start in Dubrovnik and follow the Ciro trail through the Konavle valley and across the Bosnia and Herzegovina border to Mostar.
Going Off the Beaten Path in Croatia. Dubrovnik is Croatia’s indisputable hotspot, but the rest of the country is rich with wonders waiting to be discovered. Here is a glimpse of Dubrovnik, as well as lesser known but still spectacular spots beyond its medieval walls.