From Ljubljana to Split by Car
We were supposed to leave Ljubljana early but a heavy rain made it impossible to bring the luggage to the car. We already started to think about leaving the next day. But then suddenly it stopped raining for a while, just enough to put everything in the car, and then at 8:00 we left. Though we usually drive to Split by different route this time we wanted to try the one via Zagreb. It's a longer route (approximately 530 km) but there is a motorway all way long to Split which means you can drive faster. We made it in six hours with two coffee & snack brakes. Motorway toll was 162 Kunas (June 2010).
We drove to Novo mesto and then after crossing the Croatian border the road led us close to Zagreb, Senj, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Paklenica National Park, Zadar and Šibenik to Split. We followed the the direction to the port which was very well marked and easy to find. Unfortunately, a 14:00 ferry boat just left so we had almost three hours to kill in Split until the next one at 17:00. But it was fine, the sun was shining and we enjoyed our walk along the sea and a drink in one of the bars along the promenade.
On the return we took the 'standard route' which is the shortest one between Split and Ljubljana (approximately 456 km). Before Rijeka we left the motorway. After crossing the Croatian border we wanted to continue to Metlika and then to Ljubljana, but somehow we missed the sign. Instead we appeared on the road through Novo mesto which is a bit longer. It took us 6,5 hours with two short brakes. Motorway toll was 130 Kunas (June 2010).Related to:
- Road Trip
An alternative route
An alternative to the Split-Stari Grad ferry to Hvar is the little shuttle ferry from Drvenik (on the mainland, south of Split) to Sucuraj (at the eastern tip of Hvar.) It does mean you'll have a 50km drive along a very narrow and winding road from Sucuraj to the other end of Hvar where most of the island's accommodation can be found, but the crossing itself is both shorter and, at 10KN and 70KN this summer for passengers and cars respectively, cheaper.
Check the website here for sailing times.
If you are touring in Croatia, this crossing gives you the alternative of leaving the mainland at one place and returning to another. It wouldn't be a very convenient crossing without your own transport as Sucuraj, your point of arrival on Hvar, is a very small town and getting away from there could be quite difficult.
How Many Men Is Too Many For Pushing One Car?
The road from Pitve towards Zavala is narrow and very curvy. So if any vehicle encounters technical problems, it is a custom here to get out of your car and help. Or you can just sit there for hours. Do pull the hand break before leaving your car.
In this particular situation, the vehicle had one wheel out of order, it could not be replaced immediately, so they loaded that corner of the truck onto heavy weight carrier with wheels, and then they had to push it aside - the nearest spot wide enough to leave broken truck was uphill, so it took quite a few people to push it up there.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
From port to Stari Grad
Nothing sums up better the lack of tourist information that can be so frustrating in this part of the world than my arrival on Hvar... Most people will want to visit Hvar Town. This is simple enough: buses pull up after boats arrive with HVAR TOWN clearly displayed and on you get.
We, however, wanted to go to Stari Grad itself. Our guidebook said it was a short walk, but then failed to specify which way. Other visitors waiting for the bus obviously had no idea of what to do either. And the next bus wasn't scheduled for four hours. What to do then?
There are three options:
1. Taxi. There aren't many so if you want one, grab it quickly. It's less than 5 minutes from the port to Stari Grad, but unfortunately cost around 100 kunas once we'd added a tip. I wouldn't do it again.
2. Bus. Turns out that bus going to Hvar Town stops first in Stari Grad first although the timetable doesn't let on. The same applied on the way back. 15 kunas at most.
3. Walk. The nicest option of all. It turns out you need to turn left as you walk out of the port. Go along the shore and you'll be in Stari Grad in about 10-15 minutes. Why the guide couldn't have been more precise, I can't imagine. Free and very pretty too.
Boat trips from Bol, Brac.
If you are staying in Bol on the nearby island of Brac it's easy enough to go across to Hvar for a few hours using one of the local boat trips. You get to see the lovely coastline and have a leisurely cruise into the bargain.
Taxi Boats around Hvar
WE are experienced travellers and this was not our first trip to Croatia.
Hvar Water Taxi run by Luca, be weary of the name, this guy is a rip off merchant.This is a modern enclosed cabin 6 - 8 seater boat on an inflatable base ( rubber duckie). Get everything in writting prior to your trip, even if the booking is made through the hotel which ours was. The quote was in kuna and when it came to paying for the trip he said he quoted in euro which changed the cost markedly.The police were of no help and neither was the Hotel Podstine that made the booking, infact the receptionist just happened to be a friend of the boat driver/owner.We had to cut our stay short because Luca employed thugs to intimidate us for the rest of our stay.The quoting of kuna and the charging in euro is also relatively common in resturants and we know of others who have been caught out this way.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
Taxi-boats - so you can reach the small islands!
These can be found in several places around the island, they cost about 35 kuna, which costs both to and from the island you choose to go to.
We used to travel with a blue taxi boat, a really nice driver!
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