Christmas in Croatia is always special, a fabulous time to visit this beautiful, historical corner of Europe. The whole country takes its festive traditions, both ancient and modern, very seriously here, and it shows! Plus, the relatively mild weather, especially on the coast, makes it easy to enjoy the lights, markets and general air of festive cheer throughout December and into the New Year. But when is Christmas in Croatia? Traditionally, Croatians don’t give their gifts until December 6th, or St. Nicholas’ Day, so there’s no lull in the festivities here at any point during the 12 days of Christmas.
Poreč: A Magical Christmas Corner
When considering a Croatia Christmas, one of the perfect places to enjoy the festivities, along with welcoming locals, fabulous food and a stunning, historical, location, is Poreč. This charming town on the Istrian Peninsula is magical, festive and lots of fun, with tons to see, do, shop, eat and drink!
Croatian Christmas Markets: Shopping and Tradition in Poreč
The Poreč Christmas markets are a huge draw for both locals and visitors. Typically held in the town square and other central locations around the city, the Christmas Croatia atmosphere here is always buzzing and brimming with festive cheer. Visitors can enjoy a delightful range of seasonal goods, stock up on some Christmas presents at the handmade craft stalls and enjoy some of the delicious local food and drinks. As well as the seasonal markets, Poreč is choc-a-block with charming shops and boutiques, which are also great places for searching for one-off gifts and souvenirs. It’s a Christmas shopping paradise!
Gastronomic delights: Christmas Flavours
Along with the famous Croatian flavours enjoyed throughout the year in Poreč and beyond, Christmas is the perfect time to sample some local cuisine, with traditional, festive dishes like sarma (cabbage rolls), or bakalar (salted cod). Many of the restaurants in Poreč also offer special holiday menus, the perfect opportunity to try the Croatian Christmas delicacies. And it almost goes without saying that the seasonal sweet treats here are to die for. Kolači, local biscuits and cakes, fritule, deep-fried doughnut-like pastries, medenjaci honey biscuits, and prhki kolači, shortbread, are the order of the season. So it’s time to forget about the calories and indulge that sweet tooth. It’s Christmas after all! And to wash it all down, how about some Porec-style mulled wine to get you in the spirit? Cheers!
Events during Christmas in Poreč, Croatia
Porečat Christmas is adorned with beautiful Christmas decorations and illuminations, creating a festive atmosphere that’s cosy, fun and welcoming. There are stunningly decorated trees, festive displays, and lovingly crafted, intricate ornaments throughout the town. Croatian nativity scenes, known as “jasele,” are another essential part of the Christmas decorations, found in local churches, homes, and throughout the town.
Special traditions: Croatian Christmas customs in Poreč
If you’re looking for something to burn off some of those calories after browsing the markets and enjoying the seasonal coffee culture, Poreč often sets up an ice-skating rink for the festive season, with plenty of fun for visitors of all ages. Skating under a cold, starry sky with the sweet sound of carols in the air – now what could be more Christmasy than that?
Christmas in Poreč is also the perfect time to enjoy some of the concerts and performances hosted by local churches and cultural centres. The angelic choirs, orchestras and dance groups add the perfect cultural touch to the Christmas delights on offer. Christmas carolling, or “kolendanje,” is also a beloved tradition in Poreč, with Carolers often rewarded with treats or small gifts.
Midnight Mass in Poreč is simply magical, whatever your beliefs. The beautiful historic churches, including the renowned Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage site, hold midnight services on Christmas Eve. The combination of the moving spiritual atmosphere and stunning architecture make this a truly unique Christmas experience.
And of course, what would the festive season be without really letting your hair down and seeing the New Year in with a bang? Party animals visiting Poreč won’t be disappointed, with fireworks, live music, and plenty of parties guaranteeing a fun time for all (not to mention some of the delicious local beer, wine and Christmas delights).
Come to enjoy Christmas in Croatia by the sea
Being on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Poreč enjoys a milder winter climate compared to inland areas – pleasantly cool but not too cold, making it great for outdoor activities. You can enjoy relaxing walks along the lovely Poreč beaches, though only the bravest would get in the water for a December dip! Stunning coastal views and the peaceful lapping of the waves make this a gorgeous winter destination.
Whatever the activities on offer, Christmas Croatia style by the Adriatic Sea in Porec is a wonderful blend of festive traditions, coastal beauty, and historical, Mediterranean charm. This is a truly unique way to enjoy the Christmas season in an unforgettable location.