The first month that gets booked out in our kayaking and SUP season is September. We are so glad that fellow paddlers have recognised the beauty of travelling off the beaten ‘dates’. Milder temperatures, fewer crowds and more flora and fauna surprises await the curious adventurer on those dates. Well, the crowds are actually seldom an issue in the places we operate – way under and away from the (mass) tourism radar.
Then there is the spring with is undiscovered traits. For some reason it is the period that is most underrated. It is also the period for some of the funkiest adventure moments: at sea, on land and on plate.
Cold but dry
I guess cold weather is what deters an adventurer from visiting Croatia in Spring. Rightfully so. The sea has some of the lowest temperatures at the end of March and beginning of April – after full 4 months of cooling down by cold winters.
The cold weather does have a certain purifying effect. Be it Steve House’s cold baths in the alpine training scheme, or Wim Hof’s proven health benefits of meditation in extreme cold temperatures. We are not suggesting that your spring adventure in Croatia will even remotely resemble any of Hof’s 26 world records. What we are saying is that we speak from our experience. There is something meditative in a kayak paddle in April. Crisp, fresh air and cold sea juxtaposed to your warm body and legs under the comfortable sprey deck. It does set of your mind on a meditational journey.
Even if you don’t share our enthusiasm for the cold weather, there are several other reasons to consider a spring paddling trip to Croatia. Here’s a few snapshots and insights about what you can expect to find on the Adriatic islands in spring.
A breaching tuna or an occassional turtle sunbathing on the sea surface. While former is occassion for all months, the later is something that you are likely to see only when water is cold. Turtles sunbathe to warm up in months when the sea is too cold for these underwater paddlers. Something that just doesn’t happen in summer with warm water.
Adriatic is well known for having some kind of crop getting ripe every month of the year. But the blossom in April and May is really unique. It makes a stroll through the fields an adventure in itself. Then there are some less known recipies. Have you ever tried fried acacia flowers? Delicious.
This little plant, in our view, is a reason enough to come for a long weekend to the Adriatic islands. Wild Asparagus. If you are a foodie – enough said. If you are not – finding them will spark your adventure inspiration. They may be tricky to find.
Green islands at their greenest
Adriatic has a very specific climate. Hot summers but green lands. Spring is the time to see them at their greenest. Be it a short trek along the island ridge, an asparagus hunt or just a stroll along its fields and meadows.
Bees at work
Spring sees accaccia, sage and a number of members of Genistae family keeping the bees busy. It is their peak season. You can observe them in all months but it is the spring when they’re at their busiest. It’s also the time to sample some of the autumn honey just as it is harvested.
Trekking and hiking
Absolutely best part of the year for hikes. No matter if your target is an island hilltop or some of the more serious ascend to peaks of Velebit Mountain range.
If you really have your eye on a spot that is likely to ge touristy and in the middle of the beaten path, then spring will allow you an adventure off the beaten ‘month’. Here a beach on Dugi Otok that is crowded with ‘seals’ in August – absolutely empty in April.
- A hearty welcome
You will always get a hearty welcome in the small picturesque villages on the islands. Especially if you are paddling your way through the archipelago. But the paddling in middle of spring is the extra spark that triggers a spontaneous conversation or two. Here a shot from our paddle couple of days ago – protagonists are chit chatting their way in the local market.
And finally, a little reminder about history of the islands.
People inhabited the islands in Zadar archipelago firstly because of the land they farmed. It was only later that they have discovered the charms and fruits of the sea. Spring brings you back to that historical step – enabling you to fully discover all the secrets that these green islands keep – on the water and in the fields.
For more inspiration about paddling in the summer months, see our thoughts here.
For more thoughts about learning to sea kayak in Croatia, see an overview here.
If you would like to see more about our paddling trips in the Zadar archipelago check out the 3 islands itineraries.