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Plitvice | © Another Sun Photography/Shutterstock
Plitvice | © Another Sun Photography/Shutterstock

21 Photos of Croatia’s Magical Winter Wonderlands

Picture of Peterjon Cresswell
Updated: 30 November 2017

Relatively few tourists visit Croatia in winter, yet they are missing out on seeing its celebrated landscape at its most beautiful. The famed lakes and waterways of Plitvice and the slopes of Sljeme and Velebit are at their most photogenic at this time of year, not to mention the skating rink and Habsburg edifices of Zagreb. These 21 photos should give you a flavour of what you’re missing out on if you don’t visit in the magical winter!

Zagreb

Zagreb holds a month-long Advent market that occupies the main streets and squares of the city centre, with stalls, stands, open-air music and a large communal skating rink. Mother Nature and Milan Lenuci do the rest, with snow covering the Habsburg-era façades of the urban landscape laid out by the Croatian architect in the 1880s. Further afield, Lake Jarun is equally picturesque, while just outside town, the slope of Sljeme welcomes skiers, sledgers and snowboarders all winter long.

National Theatre, Zagreb | © xbrchx/Shutterstock

National Theatre, Zagreb | © xbrchx/Shutterstock | xbrchx/Shutterstock

Zagreb Cathedral | © xbrchx/Shutterstock

Zagreb Cathedral | © xbrchx/Shutterstock | xbrchx/Shutterstock

Lake Jarun, Zagreb | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Lake Jarun, Zagreb | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock | OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Tomislav trg, Zagreb | © xbrchx/Shutterstock

Tomislav trg, Zagreb | © xbrchx/Shutterstock | xbrchx/Shutterstock

Zagreb Advent | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Zagreb Advent | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock | OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Zagreb Advent | © ibreakstock/Shutterstock

Zagreb Advent | © ibreakstock/Shutterstock | ibreakstock/Shutterstock

Zagreb Advent | © Goran Jakus/Shutterstock

Zagreb Advent | © Goran Jakus/Shutterstock | Goran Jakus/Shutterstock

Lotrščak Tower, Zagreb | © Phant/Shutterstock

Lotrščak Tower, Zagreb | © Phant/Shutterstock | Phant/Shutterstock

Zagreb Cathedral | © iascic/Shutterstock

Zagreb Cathedral | © iascic/Shutterstock | iascic/Shutterstock

Sljeme | © Goran Jakus/Shutterstock

Sljeme | © Goran Jakus/Shutterstock | Goran Jakus/Shutterstock

National Parks & Northern Croatia

While Dalmatia usually escapes the worst of the winter, anywhere north of Zadar normally gets an annual icing–even a blanket–of snow. This makes for particularly stunning scenes around the National Parks of Plitvice and Velebit, and the rural slopes of the Lika. Further north, the Baroque architecture of Varaždin shows off particularly well when offset by snow, as do traditional settlements in Istria, such as Novigrad.

Plitvice | © stjepann/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © stjepann/Shutterstock | stjepann/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © Peeradontax/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © Peeradontax/Shutterstock | Peeradontax/Shutterstock

Velebit | © ninopavisic/Shutterstock

Velebit | © ninopavisic/Shutterstock | ninopavisic/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © ninopavisic/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © ninopavisic/Shutterstock | ninopavisic/Shutterstock

Novigrad | © Xseon/Shutterstock

Novigrad | © Xseon/Shutterstock | Xseon/Shutterstock

Lika | © iascic/Shutterstock

Lika | © iascic/Shutterstock | iascic/Shutterstock

Varaždin | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Varaždin | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock | OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Varaždin | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Varaždin | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock | OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Veliki Tabor | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Veliki Tabor | © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock | OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Velebit | © Zoran Matiq/Shutterstock

Velebit | © Zoran Matiq/Shutterstock | Zoran Matiq/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © Another Sun Photography/Shutterstock

Plitvice | © Another Sun Photography/Shutterstock | Another Sun Photography/Shutterstock