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  • Writer's pictureCassie Hintz

Lost in Time: Why You Should Visit Croatia During the Off-Season

Get the best deals on tours in and around Dubrovnik here. Traveling isn’t just about location – it’s an exercise in time travel. It’s an amazing way to connect with the past while experiencing a new point-of-view. And it’s a lot easier to see from that new point-of-view if it isn’t blocked by crowds.

Croatia at any time of year is enchanting, but visiting during the off-season was like a fairy tale. Low-season and shoulder-season travel opens you up to some of the most unique experiences and helps reveal the true spirit of a place. While the beach always practical in December, the ancient cities of the Dalmatian Coast glistened in the rain. The blustery weather added an extra layer of drama to the already breathtaking landscape, revealing a side of the country that summer travelers miss.

The glittering frozen waterfalls of Plitvice National Park in winter.

December travels also mean winter decorations and Christmas markets. Small towns light up in every direction, and the Croatian capital of Zagreb is known for having some of the best Christmas lights in Europe.

Drinking kuhano vino (mulled wine) at the winter market at Jelačić Square in Zagreb.

The beauty of the season and lack of crowds enhances the feeling of time travel. This was especially true during our walk around the walls of Dubrovnik.

When you pass through the gate of this walled city on the sea, you’re transported to another century. The old city – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – evokes the past at every corner with winding white cobblestone streets, quaint homes on steep hillsides, and an incredible wall that once protected Dubrovnik from invaders.

The day we did the walk we had the walls to ourselves, crossing paths with only two other couples. The weather was chaotic. Windy, then calm. Sunny, then a dark sky. Dry, then pouring rain. When the rain was too strong we hid in the ancient guard towers posted at various points along the wall, and took the opportunity to do a little making-out. The storm whipped the sea into a frenzy, and the rain saturated every color.

The fort and part of the wall of the old city of Dubrovnik. Taken from on top of the wall during a rain storm.

Between our guard-tower stops and pausing every 20 meters to enjoy the view, the walk took two hours to complete. It felt like we journeyed back 1,000 years.

The fort and part of the wall of the old city of Dubrovnik. Taken from on top of the wall during a rain storm.


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