The climate of the Cres and Losinj archipelago

All climate research of Mali Losinj undoubtedly starts with the work of Ambroz Haracic, professor at the Maritime school in Mali Losinj at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when Mali Losinj was an important research centre on the Adriatic. Professor Haracic defined all the characteristics of Losinj, especially in relation to various localities on the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. Climate research of the island of Losinj was, at that time, of crucial importance, in that in 1892 Veli and Mali Losinj became climatic spas, which opened a new economic realm - tourism.

The main characteristic of the Mediterranean climate are light winters and not too hot summers. The island of Losinj is far enough from the coast, so that the sea has a dominant influence. The sea does not warm up as fast as the coast, but looses warmth much slower, so that during winter times the sea is the reservoir of warmth that heats the air. Consequently, winters are lighter and warmer then on the coastal part of Primorje region.

This specific maritime climate is seen also in its lessening of the summer heat, so that Mali Losinj has noticeably less days with the maximum temperature higher then 25C. Based on the temperature characteristics and the micro-climate Mali Losinj is similar to the places on the Cote d'Azur (Cannes, Nice), while from San Krf and Palermo it has 1 to 20C higher average temperatures.

Sea temperatures throughout fall, winter and first days of spring higher then air temperatures. The cooling effect of the sea is appreciated during the hottest days of the year. If we take that the sea temperature of 20C is pleasant for bathing, then the bathing season in Mali Losinj could last up to 126 days, from the first week in June to the second week in October.


Sunny days are also one of the most important characteristics of the climate of Losinj. Average number of yearly sunny hours is 2532,6. Based on the number of sunny days Mali Losinj is comparable to North African cities and parts of the southern Adriatic. Mali Losinj has on average 106 days of clear sky and 83 cloudy days. Cloudiness acts depressively on people, thus the element of sun exposure is of greatest importance for the tourists, which makes it a determinant element for choosing a vacation destination.

Snow is extremely rare in Losinj, because air temperature rarely falls under 0C. The northeastern wind is the strongest and it hits mostly the east coast of the island. The south wind or the refreshing landward breeze usually hit the west coast of the island. The northeastern wind, the south wind and the landward breeze are typical of the Primorje. The frequency of the northeastern wind is highest during fall, winter and spring. The north wind is strongest in January, while the south wind dominates during the fall.

September, November and December have most rainfalls, while there is least in April and August. Mali Losinj has relatively high average of rainfalls in a year, which is good for the air purification, diminishing of carbohydrate acid and stabilization of air. This is most important for places that function as spas.

Because of the afore mentioned position of Mali Losinj in a closed harbor with south-western orientation, with the background of high vegetation that protects the island from the Velebit range, the influence of the north wind is not felt in the town. The entrance to the harbor, next to the coves of Cikat and Krivica, is completely protected, so that even during the strongest north winds, walking is possible in that part of the island. On average Mali Losinj has 118 days of total calmness without winds.

Even today, in the era of industrial expansion, Losinj is one of the most attractive islands in the Adriatic Sea, with its rich vegetation, mild climate and a lot of sunshine, pleasant beaches, clean and crystal-clear sea, as well as an exceptionally low level of pollution and a favorable structure of aeroplankton.

Average air temperatures in °C

January February March April May June
7.5 7,6 9,8 13,7 17,7 21,8
July August September October November December
24,6 24,3 21,3 16,1 12,1 9,3

Average sea temperatures in °C

January February March April May June
12 12 12 14 17 21
July August September October November December
23 24 21 19 16 14

A healthy island and an ideal place for recovery

The health benefits of the Losinj climate have been recognized as early as the end of 19th century by the renowned Austrian medical experts, who started to scientifically explore the island. In 1885, the first patient arrived in Mali Losinj and the recovery was very successful. After that, a lot of celebrities built villas and winter harbours there. A series of hotels and private sanatoriums were founded, where the patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases were treated. In 1892, Mali and Veli Losinj became health resorts.

More information: Health tourism

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