Getting there & away
Regular boats from several companies connect Croatia with Italy and Slovenia. Companies and routes arise, change or disappear from season to season; it’s important to check information carefully. Many routes are available only in summer and the schedules are usually not available until late spring. All of the boat-company offices in Split are located inside the ferry terminal.
Jadrolinija (www.jadrolinija.hr); Rijeka (051-211 444; Riva 16); Ancona (071-20 71 465); Bari (080-52 75 439), Croatia’s national boat line, runs car ferries from Ancona to Split (€44, 10 hours) and Zadar (€41, seven hours); a line from Bari to Dubrovnik (€44, eight hours); a year-round ferry from Pescara to Split (€44, 10 hours, twice weekly); and a summer ferry from Pescara to Hvar (€44, nine hours, once weekly). Prices are for deck passage; bringing a car costs an extra €57.50 and a basic couchette is €61.
SNAV (www.snav.com); Ancona (071-20 76 116); Naples (081-76 12 348); Split (021-322 252) has a fast car ferry that links Split with Pescara (€69, 4¾ hours) and Ancona (€63, 4½ hours), and Pescara with Hvar (€80, 3¼ hours). Sanmar (www.sanmar.it) handles the same route for a similar price.
Venezia Lines (041-52 22 568; www.venezialines.com; Santa Croce 518/A, Venice 30135) runs passenger boats from Venice to the following destinations once, twice or three times weekly, depending on the destination and the month: Pula (€54, three hours), Opatija (€57, four hours), Rovinj (€52, 3¾ hours) and Poreč (€52 2½ hours). The company also covers other Istrian destinations and runs some routes from Rimini and Ravenna.
Emilia Romagna Lines (www.emiliaromagnalines.it) is another company that has recently started running summer passenger boats from Italy to the Croatian coast for similar prices. Routes run from Ravenna, Cesenatico, Rimini and Pesaro to Rovinj, Poreč, Pula and Hvar.
In Croatia, contact Jadroagent (052-210 431; email@example.com; Riva 14) in Pula and Istra Line (052-451 067; Partizansko 2) in Poreč for information and tickets on boats between Italy and Croatia.
There are daily connections from Sarajevo (€22, five hours, daily), Međugorje (€10, three hours) and Mostar (€10, three hours, twice daily) to Dubrovnik; from Sarajevo to Split (€14 to €16, seven hours, five daily), which stop at Mostar; and from Sarajevo to Zagreb (€13, eight hours) and Rijeka (€32, 10 hours).
Trieste is well connected with the Istrian coast. There are around three buses a day to Rijeka (€7.50, two to three hours), plus buses to Rovinj (€10.50, 3½ hours, one daily), Poreč (€8.50, 2¼ hours, one daily) and Pula (€14, 3¾ hours, four daily). There are fewer buses on Sunday. To Dalmatia there’s a daily bus that leaves at 5.30pm and stops at Rijeka (€7.50, two to three hours), Zadar (€32, 7½ hours), Split (€35.60, 10½ hours) and Dubrovnik (€64, 15 hours).
There’s also a bus from Padua that passes Venice and Trieste, Monday to Saturday, and then goes on to in Poreč (€19, 2½ hours), Rovinj (€21, three hours) and Pula (€24, 3¼ hours). For schedules, see www.saf.ud.it.
Between Croatia and Montenegro there’s a daily bus from Kotor to Dubrovnik (100KN, 2½ hours) that starts at Bar and stops at Herceg Novi. Visitors can cross at the Croatia–Montenegro border, and Americans, Australians, Canadians and Brits can enter visa-free.
There are six daily bus services from Zagreb to Belgrade (€19, six hours). At Bajakovo on the border, a Serbian bus takes you on to Belgrade. The Croatia–Serbia border is open to visitors, allowing Americans, Australians, Canadians and Brits to enter the country visa-free.
Slovenia is also well connected with the Istrian coast. There is one weekday bus between Rovinj and Koper (80KN, three hours) stopping at Piran, Poreč and Portorož (38KN, 1½ hours), as well as a daily bus from Rovinj to Ljubljana (94KN, 5½ hours).
The main highway entry/exit points between Croatia and Hungary are Goričan (between Nagykanisza and Varaždin), Gola (23km east of Koprivnica), Terezino Polje (opposite Barcs) and Donji Miholjac (7km south of Harkány). There are dozens of crossing points to/from Slovenia: too many to list here. There are 23 border crossings into Bosnia and Hercegovina and 10 into Serbia and Montenegro, including the main Zagreb–Belgrade highway. Major destinations in Bosnia and Hercegovina, like Sarajevo, Mostar and Međugorje, are accessible from Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.
Motorists require vehicle registration papers and the green insurance card to enter Croatia. Bear in mind that if you rent a car in Italy, many insurance companies will not cover your insurance for a trip into Croatia. Border officials know this and may refuse you entry unless permission to drive into Croatia is clearly marked on the insurance documents. Most car-rental companies in Trieste and Venice are familiar with this requirement and will furnish you with the correct stamp. Otherwise, you must make specific inquiries.
The major airports in the country are as follows:
Dubrovnik (020-773 377; www.airport-dubrovnik.hr)
Pula (052-530 105; www.airport-pula.com)
Rijeka (051-842 132; www.rijeka-airport.hr)
Split (021-203 506; www.split-airport.hr)
Zadar (023-313 311; www.zadar-airport.hr)
Zagreb (01-62 65 222; www.zagreb-airport.hr)
British Airways (code BA; www.british-airways.com) Hub London.
Easyjet (code EZY; www.easyjet.com) Hub Luton.
Lufthansa (code LH; www.lufthansa.com; 01-48 73 121) Hub Frankfurt.
Wizzair (code W6; www.wizzair.com) Hub Luton.