Five Reasons Autumn in Dalmatia Outshines Summer

Lauren Simmonds

dalmatia in autumn

October the 11th, 2023 – Forget the sweat, exhausting heat and constant crowds of summer. Autumn in Dalmatia is truly when this gorgeous part of Croatia really shines.

Despite its desires and some efforts poured into extending the tourist season, Croatia as a whole is going to have to work far harder and for much longer to alter the global (or at least European) perception of the country only actually existing for three months of the year. For swathes of people, Croatia somehow disappears into some sort of abyss outside of June, July and August. September has had more attention paid to it over recent years than it used to, with some calling it “the new August”, but outside of that, it’s as if the whole nation goes poof into thin air for many. Here’s why Autumn in Dalmatia is far better suited to really seeing what the part of the country famed for its summers has to offer.

You can still enjoy a swim

Unless you’ve got blood like chip shop vinegar as they say in England, you can absolutely still enjoy glorious swims in the soft waters of the Adriatic Sea without being cold. Unless you’re on a sparsely populated island, a tiny fishing village or you’re waking up at ungodly hours, having an entire beach or bay to yourself in the majority of destinations across Dalmatia during the summer months is unheard of. This becomes a reality in autumn, however. As temperatures drop, kids are dragged back to their school desks and real life re-commences for most, Dalmatia’s beaches are far less populated. During the month of October, the sea temperature remains at a very comfortable 19-20 degrees celsius, and a few degrees warmer the further south you go. Swimming in Dubrovnik and the southernmost Croatian municipality of Konavle until even later in the year isn’t that uncommon.

If you’re travelling with your dog, their health is much safer in cooler temperatures

Dogs (and other pets) are members of the family to the vast majority of good people. It’s only natural to want to bring them with you wherever you go, but this can prove tricky during the sometimes horrifically hot summer months during the very height of the typical Croatian tourist season. Autumn in Dalmatia poses no threat to an otherwise healthy pet’s body, and the threat of overheating or dehydration is gone. In summer, paws can burn on scorching tarmac, heat exhaustion can threaten organs, and if you’re sweltering in nothing but swimming shorts, imagine how awful it is with fur you can’t remove? Autumn in Dalmatia will be enjoyable for your pet, and there will generally be less crowds to contend with. There are also multiple pet-friendly hotels to choose from across Dalmatia, not to mention dog beaches!

Things are cheaper (generally speaking, anyway)

Inflationary pressures are affecting us all, and with our wallets feeling a bit thinner and our back pockets significantly lighter, many of us are watching everything we spend. Prices in Croatia in general have unfortunately been markedly higher since Eurozone accession took place back on January the 1st, 2023, and inflation owing to current geopolitical reasons in Europe has certainly not helped the situation. That said, while many mourn Croatia’s old reputation as a cheaper summer holiday destination, it has still remained cheaper in the majority of places in autumn. With hoteliers, restaurant and bar owners and most others hoping to earn some quick money before foreign visitors all go home until next year, autumn in Dalmatia can still be enjoyed for less.

Lovers of more active holidays can enjoy hikes, mountaineering and cycling without dropping dead – hopefully

Alright, you might still drop dead if you’re a real adrenaline junkie, but without the scorching sun, lack of air circulation and suffocating heat summer has become (in)famous for – you can enjoy more physical activities without real concern for your health. I’ll be the first to admit that I do not like Dalmatia in summer. I never have. It’s terrible. The crowds, the heat, the intensity of the sun and the constant sweat gets old quickly. Autumn in Dalmatia, however, is a different ballgame if you’re a lover of hiking, jogging, cycling, or what have you. If you’ve always fancied a trek out into the Dalmatian wilderness and up a mountain or two but haven’t been keen on dying of sunstroke, autumn is the best time to come and do it all.

Dalmatia’s abundant historical sites are more interesting when the temperatures are lower

Have you ever been visiting a beautiful Dalmatian mausoleum or trying to take in something a guide is saying all while wondering if you’re going to faint or not? If you have, you’ll know that it completely takes away from the experience and makes it impossible to actually enjoy it. How can you really take in the history of Europe’s oldest pharmacy when you’re wondering if you’ve got enough water left? You can’t. As for admiring Diocletian’s Palace with your clothes so stuck to you they’re basically a second skin – you might as well forget about it. Autumn in Dalmatia means that you can walk around and pay better attention to all of the impressive historical sites, churches and museums the region has to offer without constantly hunting for shade. The Sokol tower in Konavle makes for an incredible visit, and when the leaves are beginning to turn red, yellow and orange and the air is more crisp, I guarantee you’ll appreciate it more. The same can be said for the likes of the Dubrovnik Walls, the Walls of Ston, attempting to climb up Biokovo…


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