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Croatia Road Trip: Travel Guide

croatia-road-trip-travel-guide

There are many ways to visit and explore Croatia. One of the most popular, and my favorite, is by car.

A road trip through Croatia is amazing. Beautiful destinations, scenic drives, and unique experiences throughout the regions are just three reasons why you should take a road trip through Croatia.



By going on a Croatia road trip, you'll get to see parts of Croatia that you would miss if you stayed in one place or one region of Croatia, or traveled by plane, train, bus, or boat.

It's also affordable. Driving in Croatia has been getting cheaper as prices have fallen a lot over the past two years, and most of the cars run on diesel which gives you twice the distance you get with gasoline.

If you have kids, it's even more fun. Kids love road tripping as they get to discover new places and try new things.

See some amazing destinations in Croatia below (see additional pics on ART Instagram).

Croatia-road-trip-destinations

Seriously, can you pick just one destination to visit from places above?

Croatia Road Trip: Airport Arrivals

croatia-airports-arrivals


When flying to Croatia, you have a choice of arriving at numerous airports in Croatia, and could also arrive in Italy or Slovenia, depending on the road trip you have planned.




Croatia airports

Croatia has 8 main airports. They are located at Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula, Osijek and Brac.

Five of them serve international flights: Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Zadar, and Dubronik. The main international airport in Croatia is the Zagreb Airport.

Zagreb Airport
Tel. +385 (0)1 4562 222
www.zagreb-airport.hr

Pula Airport
Tel. +385 (0)52 530 140
www.airport-pula.hr

Rijeka Airport
Tel.+385 (0)51 842 134
www.rijeka-airport.hr

Split Airport
Tel. +385 (0)21 203 555
www.split-airport.hr

Zadar Airport
Tel.+385 (0)23 205 800
www.zadar-airport.hr

Dubrovnik Airport
Tel.+385 (0)20 773 333
www.airport-dubrovnik.hr

Brač Airport
Teł.+385 (0)21 559 701
www.airport-brac.hr

Osijek Airport
Tel.+385 (0)31 514 402
www.osijek-airport.hr

Slovenia airports

Slovenia's main airport is in Brnik, 25 kilometers from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Several foreign carriers fly from the airport but the largest number of flights are operated by Slovenia's only airline, Adria Airways.

Portoroz is Slovenia's second international airport. Maribor airport has only national flights.

Aerodrom Ljubljana/Ljubljana Airport
Zg. Brnik 130a 4210 Brnik
Tel. +386 4 206 19 81
www.lju-airport.si

Aerodrom Portorož/Portorož Airport
Sečovlje 19; 6333 Sečovlje
Tel. ++386 5 617 51 40
www.portoroz-airport.si

Aerodrom Maribor/Maribor Airport
Letališka cesta 10; 2312 Orehova vas
Tel. +386 2 629 11 75
www.maribor-airport.si

Italy airports

You can also fly in to Italy, at the International airports of Venice or Trieste. Trieste is closer to Croatia but Venice has more flights and has arrivals from more destinations.

You can rent a car at either airport.

Venice Marco Polo Airport
Via Galileo Galilei, 30/1, 30173 Tessera, Venezia VE, Italy
Tel. +041 2603610
www.veniceairport.it

Trieste Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport
Via Aquileia, 46, 34077 Ronchi dei Legionari GO, Italy
Tel. +39 0481 773224
www.aeroporto.fvg.it

Best of Croatia Interactive Google Map

As you plan your Croatia road trip, you'll want to pick a few main destinations where you'll spend the nights during your road trip.

The two Google maps below show the best of Croatia and best of Istria (northern part of Croatia) with most popular destinations, attractions, and places to eat and stay. Use them for trip planning ahead of the road trip, but also use them while on the road trip to see what's nearby.

You'll get the best experience from the Croatia road trip if you follow a planned route but stay flexible as you travel.

Croatia Road Trip Map




Istria Road Trip Map




Croatia Road Trip: Index of Destinations

For additional information about all major destinations in Croatia, including personal recommendations of best things to see and do, visit the index of places webpage.

croatia-wine-road-trip


Croatia Road Trip: Route Planner

The road trip route that you choose will vary depending on your arrival point, your interests, your schedule, your budget, and preferences of traveling companions.

To help get you started, here are some popular routes that you can use to plan your journey. All of these routes are also mapped in the ART Google Map below (click on the map to see all routes).



Slovenia & Croatia: 7 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Ljubljana.
- Explore Ljubljana.
- Spend the night in Ljubljana.

2nd Day
- Trip to Portoroz.
- Explore Koper, Izola, Piran, and Portoroz.
- Spend the night in Portoroz.

portoroz-slovenia-road-trip

3rd Day
- Trip to Opatija.
- Explore Rovinj, Pula, Medveja Beach, Lovran, and Opatija.
- Spend the night in Opatija.

4th Day
- Trip to Plitvice Lakes.
- Explore Rijeka and Plitvice Lakes.
- Spend the night in Plitvice Lakes.

plitvice-national-park-Croatia-road-trip

5th Day
- Trip to Zadar.
- Explore Pag Island and Zadar.
- Spend the night in Zadar.

6th Day
- Trip to Split.
- Explore Biograd na Moru, Sibenik, Trogir, and Split.
- Spend the night in Split.

7th Day
- Return to Ljubljana.

Slovenia & Croatia: 10 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Ljubljana.
- Explore Ljubljana.
- Spend the night in Ljubljana.

2nd Day
- Trip to Lake Bled.
- Explore Triglav and Lake Bled.
- Spend the night in Lake Bled.

lake-bled-slovenia-road-trip

3rd Day
- Trip to Portoroz.
- Explore Koper, Izola, Piran, and Portoroz.
- Spend the night in Portoroz.

4th Day
- Trip to Pula.
- Explore Rovinj, Medulin, and Pula.
- Spend the night in Pula.

pula-croatia-road-trip

5th Day
- Trip to Krk Island.
- Explore Opatija, Rijeka, and Krk Island.
- Spend the night in Krk.

6th Day
- Trip to Plitvice Lakes.
- Explore Plitvice Lakes.
- Spend the night in Plitvice Lakes.

7th Day
- Trip to Zadar.
- Explore Pag Island and Zadar.
- Spend the night in Zadar.

zadar-croatia-road-trip

8th Day
- Trip to Split.
- Explore Biograd na Moru, Sibenik, Trogir, Split.
- Spend the night in Split.

9th Day
- Trip to Dubrovnik.
- Explore Makarska and Dubrovnik.
- Spend the night in Dubrovnik.

10th Day
- Return to Ljubljana.

Slovenia & Croatia: 14 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Ljubljana.
- Explore Ljubljana.
- Spend the night in Ljubljana.

ljubljana-slovenia-road-trip

2nd Day 
- Trip to Lake Bled.
- Explore Triglav and Lake Bled.
- Spend the night in Lake Bled.

3rd Day 
- Trip to Portoroz.
- Explore Koper, Izola, Piran, and Portoroz.
- Spend the night in Portoroz.

4th Day 
- Trip to Pula.
- Explore Rovinj, Medulin, and Pula.
- Spend the night in Pula.

5th Day 
- Trip to Mali Losinj.
- Explore Cres Island and Mali Losinj.
- Spend the night in Mali Losinj.

mali-losinj-croatia-road-trip

6th Day 
- Trip to Krk Island.
- Explore Krk Island.
- Spend the night in Krk.

7th Day 
- Trip to Plitvice Lakes. 
- Explore Crikvenica, Senj, and Plitvice Lakes.
- Spend the night in Plitvice Lakes.

8th Day 
- Trip to Zadar.
- Explore Pag Island and Zadar.
- Spend the night in Zadar.

9th-10th Day 
- Trip to Split.
- Explore Biograd na Moru, Sibenik, Trogir, Split.
- Explore Brac Island and Hvar Island.
- Spend the night in Split and one of the islands.

split-croatia-road-trip

11th-13th Day 
- Trip to Dubrovnik.
- Explore Makarska and Dubrovnik.
- Explore Elaphite Islands.
- Explore Kotor Bay.
- Sleep in Dubrovnik and Kotor.

14th Day 
- Return to Ljubljana.

Istria Road Trip: 7 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Zagreb.
- Explore Zagreb.
- Spend the night in Zagreb.

zagreb-croatia-road-trip

2nd Day 
- Trip to Opatija.
- Explore Rijeka and Opatija.
- Spend the night in Opatija.

3rd Day 
- Trip to Umag.
- Explore Buzet, Motovun, Groznjan, Buje, Umag.
- Spend the night in Umag.

4th Day 
- Trip to Rovinj.
- Explore Novigrad, Porec, Funtana, Vrsar, Rovinj.
- Spend the night in Rovinj.

rovinj-croatia-road-trip

5th and 6th Day 
- Trip to Pula.
- Explore Brijuni National Park.
- Explore Kamnik, Medulin, and Pula.
- Spend the night in Pula.

7th Day 
- Return to Zagreb.

Kvarner & Dalmatia Road Trip: 7 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Zagreb.
- Explore Zagreb.
- Spend the night in Zagreb.

2nd Day 
- Trip to Krk Island.
- Explore Rijeka and Krk Island.
- Spend the night in Krk.

krk-island-croatia-road-trip


3rd Day 
- Trip to Plitvice Lakes. 
- Explore Crikvenica, Senj, and Plitvice Lakes.
- Spend the night in Plitvice Lakes.

4th Day 
- Trip to Zadar.
- Explore Pag Island and Zadar.
- Spend the night in Zadar.

5th Day 
- Trip to Split.
- Explore Biograd na Moru, Sibenik, Trogir, Split.
- Explore Brac Island and Hvar Island.
- Spend the night in Split or one of the islands.

trogir-croatia-road-trip

6th Day 
- Trip to Dubrovnik.
- Explore Makarska and Dubrovnik.
- Spend the night in Dubrovnik or Kotor.

7th Day 
- Return to Zagreb.

Dalmatia Road Trip: 7 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Zagreb.
- Explore Zagreb.
- Spend the night in Zagreb.

2nd Day 
- Trip to Zadar.
- Explore Pag Island and Zadar.
- Spend the night in Zadar.

pag-island-croatia-road-trip

3rd Day 
- Trip to Split.
- Explore Biograd na Moru, Sibenik, Trogir, Split.
-  Spend the night in Split.

4th Day 
- Stay in Split.
- Explore Brac Island and Hvar Island.
-  Spend the night on one of the islands.

5th Day 
- Trip to Peljesac Peninsula.
- Explore the Peljesac Peninsula and Korcula Island.
- Spend the night in Orebic or Korcula.

orebic-croatia-road-trip

6th Day 
- Trip to Dubrovnik.
- Explore Makarska and Dubrovnik.
Spend the night in Dubrovnik.

7th Day 
- Return to Zagreb.

Island Hopping Road Trip: 7 days

1st Day
- Arrive in Zagreb.
- Spend the night in Zagreb.

2nd Day 
- Drive to Krk Island.
- Spend the night in Krk.

3rd Day 
- Take the Krk-Rab ferry to Rab Island.
- Spend the night in Rab.

rab-island-croatia-road-trip


4th Day 
- Take ferry to Pag Island.
- Spend the night in Pag.

5th Day 
- Drive to Zadar.
- Explore nearby islands: Ugljan, Dugi Otok, and Kornati.
- Spend the night in Zadar.

kornati-croatia-road-trip

6th Day 
- Drive to Split.
- Explore nearby islands: Brac and Hvar.
- Spend the night in Split or one of the islands.

hvar-island-croatia-road-trip

7th Day 
- Return to Zagreb.


Additional Tips for the Croatia Road Trip

croatia-road-trip-sign


Do you have other questions about planning your Croatia road trip? Visit the Croatia Road Trip FAQs webpage that has additional information about road tripping and traveling in Croatia.

You can also post your comments and questions below or contact me via e-mail.

In addition, you can download the Adriatic Road Trip travel guide that you can use offline on your Kindle or Kindle app.

Happy road tripping, and please don't forget to come back to share your Croatia road trip experiences!

Losinj Island Travel Guide

Mali Losinj, Croatia, road trip

The intricately indented coastline of the island of Losinj, twin to the island of Cres, provides great bays and shores to explore. Two main towns, Mali Losinj, and Veli Losinj, display cheery lines of pastel-hued seafront houses built for 19th century sea captains. Relatively uninhabited until the 1800s, Losinj drew the attention of wealthy Europeans seeking coastal retreats, building elegant homes for visitors from Vienna and Budapest. The nature of the island, including 1100 plant species, 230 of which are medicinal herbs, is inviting and beautiful, with abundant wildlife. The island hosts the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, and is credited with the first dolphin reserve in the Mediterranean.


Where is Losinj Island?

Loinj is part of the Cres-Loinj archipelago which also inlcuded smaller islands of Unije, Ilovik, Susak, Vele Srakane, Male Srakane and a number of uninhabited small islands. Cres is the biggest by area, Lošinj is second. Cres and Lošinj are connected by a small bridge at Osor. It has an area of about 29 square miles and population of around 8,000.



Losinj Tourist Board

Riva Losinjskih Kapetana 29, Losinj
+385 (0)51 231 884
losinj@visitlosinj.hr
www.tz-malilosinj.hr

Attractions and Activities on Losinj Island

1. Ancient Tower: Renaissance round tower built in the mid 15th century by the Venetian rulers
2. Legend of St. Gaudentius: Visit a church erected to his memory and explore this magical legend
3. Unique Bronze Statue Apoxyomenos: Bronze statue Apoxyomenos found in 1996 from 1st century BC
4. Vransko Lake: A natural phenomenon, the lake surface is several meters above sea level
5. Church of St. Anthony: Impressive Baroque parish church with a tall bell tower rising at the seaside
6. Losinj Aromatic Garden: Small, but has lot of different beautiful flowers, butterflies, and donkeys
7. Cikat Forest Park: Man-made ecosystem resulted from efforts to shape the landscape in harmony
8. Blue World: Get informed about 200 bottlenose dolphins in the sea around Losinj
9. Sports: Enjoy sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, parachute jumping and many other sports
10. Festival of Fragrances: Great festival held every first Saturday in month in pre- and post-season

mali-losinj-croatia-road-trip

Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes on Losinj Island

1. Restaurant Mol: Mediterranean cuisine; Rovenska 1, Veli Losinj; www.gastronaut.hr
2. Konoba Ribarska Koliba: Mediterranean cuisine; Obala M. Tita 1, Veli Losinj; www.gastronaut.hr
3. Restaurant Fortuna: Fish specialties, Croatian cuisine; Sestavina 3, Veli Losinj; www.velilosinj.info
4. Gostionica Marina: Mediterranean cuisine; Obala M. Tita 38, Veli Losinj; www.gostionica-marina.hr
5. Bora Bar: Mediterranean cuisine; Rovenska 3, Veli Losinj; www.borabar.net

Hotels and Accommodations on Losinj Island

1. Hotel Bellevue: Beautiful hotel; 5-star; $$; Cikat 9, Mali Losinj; www.losinj-hotels.com
2. Vitality Hotel Punta: Great hotel; 4-star; $; Sestavine bb, Veli Losinj; www.losinj-hotels.com
3. Hotel Manora: Great hotel; 4-star; $; Mandalenska 26b, Mali Losinj; www.manora-losinj.hr
4. Wellness Hotel Aurora: Good hotel; 4-star; $$; Sunacna uvala 4, Mali Losinj; www.losinj-hotels.com
5. Mare Mare Suite: Apartments: 4-star; $$; Riva los. kapetana 36, Mali Losinj; www.mare-mare.com

mali-losinj-croatia-hotel

Camps near Losinj Island

1. Camp Cikat: Great camp; 3-star; Cikat 6A, Mali Losinj; www.camp-cikat.com
2. Camp Poljana: Great camp; 3-star; Poljana, Mali Losinj; www.campingpoljana.com
3. Camp Rapoca: Nice camp; 2-star; Rapoca bb, Nerezine; www.losinia.hr
4. Camp Bijar: Cool location, nice camp; 2-star; Osor bb, Nerezine; www.camp-bijar.com
5. Camping Preko Mosta: Cool location, good camp; 2-star; Osor 8, Nerezine; www.jazon.hr

Google Map of Recommendations for on Losinj Island

See ART Google Map for additional recommendations of places to see and things to do on Losinj Island.

Explore other destinations in Croatia.

Croatia’s National Parks and Nature Reserves [Infographic]

Infographic: Croatia's National Parks and Nature Reserves

Croatia is famous for beaches and islands but Croatia also has 8 national parks and 11 nature reserves that are just as beautiful and captivating.

The infographic by Med Experience features the following national parks:

Brijuni (islands)
Kornati (islands)
Mljet (island)
Krka
Paklenica
Plitvice
Risnjak
Velebit

The Ultimate Guide To National Parks In Croatia


Parkovi Hrvatske: Croatia’s National Park and Nature Reserves Portal

To learn more about all of Croatia’s national parks and nature reserves, visit Parkovi Hrvatske, Croatia’s park and nature reserves portal that features all of Croatia’s 8 National Parks and 11 Nature Parks in 4 languages (Croatian, English, German and Italian).



Croatia's National Parks and Nature Reserves on Google Maps

You can find all 8 national parks and the 11 nature reserves on the ART interactive Google map.



On your next visit, take a break from the beach and explore these remarkable parks - their lush rain forests, incredible hiking trails, rare wildlife, and cascading waterfalls.

Cres Island Travel Guide

cres island croatia travel guide

A lovely, pastoral sweep of land in the Adriatic, Cres is accessible by ferry from the mainland. Getting there, however, is worth the trip, as the island invites exploration of the streets, footpaths, hilltop towns, and waterfront promenades from Greek, Roman, and Renaissance eras, in addition to a wild, rustic landscape. With periods of Slavic, Venetian, Austrian, French, and Italian rule, the landmarks and memoirs are diverse. Sheepherding is an important industry on the island, and products made from wool, sheepskins, and sheep's milk, as well as delicious lamb dishes served in local restaurants, pay homage to the shepherd's work. Take the car/bike/passenger ferry from Brestova or Valbiska; take the fast catamaran from Rijeka; or bring your own boat over and dock at the marina. Bike and car rentals are available for exploring all of the towns on the island.




Where is Cres Island?

Cres is one of the northern islands in the Kvarner Gulf of Croatia. It can be reached via ferry from Rijeka, the island Krk, or from Brestova in the Istrian peninsula. It has an area of about 150 square miles and population of around 3,000.



Cres Island Tourist Board

Cons 10, Cres
+385 (0) 51 571 535
info@visitcres.hr
www.tzg-cres.hr

cres-croatia

Attractions and Activities on Cres Island

1. Frane Petric Square: Scene of public announcements and festivals under Venetian rule
2. Ruta: Fascinating local collective that promotes the cultural tradition of wool weaving and felting
3. Cres Gate: 16th-century gate , topped by a blue-faced clock and coats of arms
4. Hidden Coves: Cres is indented with coves, some large and wide and some small and well hidden
5. St. Mary of the Snow Church: Renaissance portal and the carved wooden pietà from the 15th c.
6. Rovenska Harbor: Very quiet place with nice romantic restaurants
7. Lubenice: Village placed on 380m high rock from where the view ends where sea and sky meet
8. Osor: Small and partially fortified town, a place of music and sculptures
9. Visit Losinj: Take a boat and visit nearby Losinj, beautiful twin island to Cres
10. Beaches: Cres has a lot of small, intimate beaches, as well as large, busy beaches

cres-island-croatia-lubenice

Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes on Cres Island

1. Restaurant Na Moru: Mediterranean cuisine; Via Valun 65, Cres; www.island-cres.com
2. Konoba Bukaleta: Mediterranean cuisine; Loznati 9a, Cres; www.mali-losinj.com/bukaleta.htm
3. Bistro Melin: Mediterranean, Bistro; Melin 2/22, Cres; www.tzg-cres.hr
4. Gostonica Belona: Croatian cuisine; Set. 23. Travnja 24 Cres; www.gastronaut.hr
5. Restaurant MaMaLu: Fish specialties, Local cuisine; Valun 13A, Cres; www.mamalu-valun.com 

Hotels and Accommodations on Cres Island

1. Hotel Kimen: Beautiful green hotel; 3-star; $; Melin I/16, Cres;  www.hotel-kimen.com
2. Villa Lavanda: Nice rooms; 3-star; $; Melin I/13; www.facebook.com/villa.lavanda.cres
3. Apartments Mara Cres: Apartments; 4-star; $; Sklanica 2, Cres; www.info-apartments.com
4. Apartments Pongrac: Apartments; 3-star; $; Sklanica 7, Cres; www.apartments-island-cres.com
5. Villa Mangolija: Apartments; 4-star; $$; Put Brajdi 14, Cres; www.cres-apartmani.com 

cres-island-lubenice

Camps near Cres Island

1. Camp Kovacine: Great beaches, good camp; 3-star; Melin I br. 20, Cres; www.camp-kovacine.com
2. Camping Brajdi: Nice camp; 2-star; Sv. Petar 1a, Beli, Cres; wix.com/perica666/autokamp-brajdi
3. Camping Slatina: Awesome camp; 4-star; Martinscica 92, Martinscica, Cres;  www.camp-slatina.com
4. Naturist Baldarin: Naturist camp; 3-star; P. kriza bb, Punta Kriza, Cres; www.camp-baldarin.com
5. Camping Zdovice: Nice location, fine camp; 1-star; Valun bb, Valun; www.cresanka.hr 

Google Map of Recommendations for Cres Island

See ART Google Map for additional recommendations of places to see and things to do in Cres Island. 

Explore other destinations in Croatia. 

EU Open House: Explore Istria and Croatia at the Croatian Embassy

EU Open House Croatia

EU Open House

The Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of 28 EU Member States to the United States will open their doors to the Washington public during the EU Embassies’ Open House Day. This annual event is the highlight of the Washington spring calendar and will be celebrated on May 14th, 2016.

Each embassy will open their doors to the public from 10 am until 4 pm, offering a rare look inside the buildings. The day will provide a unique opportunity to experience the country’s cultural heritage and national traditions.

More info: http://www.euopenhouse.org

Croatian Embassy




Come visit the Croatian Embassy to take a journey through this unique land of a thousand islands and enjoy sights of magical nature and rich cultural heritage. Savor the wine from the sunny Dalmatian slopes, a place from where Zinfandel traces its roots. Plan your next trip and discover Croatia, the newest star of the European Union!

Address: 2343 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

More info: http://www.euopenhouse.org/embassy/embassy-of-croatia

More info about Croatia: http://www.croatia.hr/en-GB

Explore Istria




At the Croatian Embassy, I will host the Istria station where you can:
  • Pin places you've visited in Istria
  • Get a free travel brochure about Istria
  • Get a free map of Istria
  • Ask questions about Istria
  • Meet and chat with others who've been to Istria

More info about Istria: http://www.istra.hr/en/home

It's going to be a FUN day with great food, wine, and people. Looking forward to seeing you at the Embassy!

Update

Around 3,000 people visited the Croatian Embassy. There was wine tasting and sampling of various Croatian products, lots of pictures, and just a fun all-day event for everyone. Visit Croatian Embassy Facebook page for event highlights.

euopenhouse croatian embassy


Many visitors stopped the Istria and Croatia pinning station, sharing their favorite destinations in Istria and Croatia.

euopenhouse istria station

euopenhouse croatia

euopenhouse istria

Thanks to all who visited - it was a pleasure meeting you all!

Learn Croatian with HR4EU

HR4EU learn croatian


HR4EU is a free of charge e-learning portal that offers you an opportunity to learn Croatian, as well as to learn more about Croatia and Croatian gastronomy, culture and history. The portal also offers you practical information that you may find useful if you come to work or study in Croatia.

HR4EU

HR4EU is developed at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb and funded by European Union, European Social Fund.



HR4EU Courses

There are 3 general courses:

  • Beginner course
  • Intermediate course
  • Advanced course

Also, there are two specialized courses:

  • Croatian for business users
  • Croatian for students


Additional resources from HR4EU 

HR4EU also offers:

  • Interactive maps presenting Croatia: culture, history, nature, foods & drinks, etc.
  • Useful information when staying in Croatia
  • Video tutorials for language resources to improving your language skills