March begins to warm up and by the middle of the month, spring is well on its way with average daily temperatures falling between 38-54 degrees Fahrenheit in Dubrovnik and along the coast. The Mediterranean weather is mild here, though you can expect a fair bit of rain (up to 11 days of it out of the month) and the sea is still too chilly for a dip.
If you're visiting the interior of the country around Zagreb you can expect daily temperatures averaging 42 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to melting snow and rushing waterfalls.
Crowds & Costs
The month bridging winter and spring in Croatia is still very much considered offseason, making this a great time to enjoy the country without the hordes of tourists you can expect in the summer months. Ferries have reduced routes, and many hotels and restaurants will still be closed, yet you can expect discounted airline and hotel rates, making this a good time to visit while bargains are still to be had.
Where to Go
Most travelers visiting Croatia in March are escaping colder weather, and so head to southern Dalmatia, likely beginning or ending their holiday in Dubrovnik. Renting a car and driving up the Dalmatian coast to other noteworthy towns worth considering exploration are Korčula Town (on the island of Korčula) and Split. A popular route is to carry on to Zagreb, Croatia's capital, for a little cultural exploration—stellar restaurants, trendy neighborhoods, and plenty of concerts, theater, dance, and opera.
Typically the winter snows are starting to melt and with melting snow and ice come gushing waterfalls. It's worth your time, therefore, to visit two of Croatia's popular national parks, like Plitvice Lakes and Krka for impressive sights of powerful waterfalls and high water levels.
Heading north and further inland, winter sports enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Platak ski resort, 16 miles northeast of Rijeka, typically has snow on their slopes until May.
Here are the top regions to visit in Croatia.
What to Do
Though it isn't warm enough to go swimming or lie out on the beach, toward the middle of the month the warmer, dry weather makes this a good time to go hiking or cycling. Croatia offers plenty of great hiking trails and cycling routes all over the country and a great place to start is along the Dalmatian coast.
For a couple of hiking options, head to the town of Makarska, lying at the foot of the Biokovo mountains, to begin your 5-6 hour trek up the Sveti Jure mountain. Or for a steeper, but shorter climb (3-4 hours) follow the path leading to the top of Vošac for stunning panoramic views over Makarska and its beaches. If cycling is your preferred sport, check out this island cycling itinerary.
Now is a great time for urban sightseeing in historic centers, like Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar, ducking into a café or museum if the weather turns unfavorable. The arts are in full force and you'll easily be able to book tickets for a concert, theater or dance performance, or opera production.
Mardi Gras, too, is full on with carnivals held all across the country celebrating the coming of spring and the end of winter. If you're interested in a deeply rooted historic experience, head to the remote island of Lastovo south of Korčula for the Lastovo Poklad ceremony on Shrove Tuesday.
Events in March
Rijeka Carnival. Beginning in mid-January and leading up to Ash Wednesday (sometimes in early March), a visit to Rijeka is worth your time to partake in the fun festivities, including pageants, street dances, concerts, masked balls, exhibitions, and a street parade.
Samobor Carnival. Held since 1827 and making it one of Croatia's oldest carnivals, Samobor hosts street entertainers and music events throughout the week leading up to Shrove Tuesday.
Days of Asparagus. During this food festival, restaurants across northwestern Istria will incorporate wild Istrian asparagus into their regional dishes offering tasty and creative dishes.
Rally Kumrovec. Kumrovec hosts an international car rally competition on four circuit stages.
Holy Week. Depending on the calendar, you may wish to partake in Korčula's Holy Week when the streets of the Old Town are filled with processions leading up to Easter.