One of the questions we get asked a fair amount these days concerns ferries from Venice to Split, or vice versa. We assume that many travellers’ ‘end point’ for travels in Italy is Venice, and they then want to make the leap to Croatia…by going directly to Split!
We can categorically say that there are no ferries from Venice and Split. Ferries used to operate in the past, but nothing resembling this route has operated since 2005. Back then a company sailed from Chioggia (close to Venice) to Split – a journey that took 12 hours. So if you were hoping that you could travel between the two places by ferry, with a quick 3-4 journey time…you’re out of luck! (Also, look at a map! The two cities aren’t that close!)
So if you are looking to travel from Venice to Split, what are your options?
Flights from Venice to Split
By far the quickest way is flying…of course. Volotea operate early morning flights twice a week (Monday and Thursdays until 1st October 2015), with a flight time of just one hour. You can take advantage of some pretty cheap flight deals if you book early enough.
In case this helps some of you (depending on your other travel plans in Croatia), there are also flights from Venice to Dubrovnik in summer. Croatia Airlines fly on Thursdays and Sundays (flights operate in the early evening), with a flight time of 1 hour 20 minutes.
Travel down the Italian side of the Adriatic
The alternative would be to travel down one side of the Adriatic to get to Split. We normally suggest doing so on the Italian side, as you can travel by train from Venice to Ancona and then get one of the overnight ferries from there to Split. Check out train timetables – and ticket booking – on the Trenitalia website; train journey time is around 4 hours, including a change in Bologna, or there are also a couple of direct trains a day between Venice and Ancona that take 3 hours 30 minutes. (So, not much difference!)
There are several companies that run ferry services between Ancona and Split, and the journey time is 10/11 hours. See more details on our Travelling from Ancona to Croatia page.
In peak season (July/August), some of the ferries stop off at Stari Grad on Hvar en route to Split.
Travel down the Croatian side of the Adriatic
There are no direct public transport options from Venice to Split, so the best way is to take a train from Venice to Trieste (journey time approximately 2 hours; many trains per day – again, see timetables at Trenitalia) and then a bus from here to Split.
There’s a daily bus that departs at Trieste at 1.45pm and arrives in Split at 10.30pm. Some days, there’s also an overnight bus that gets into Split just before 4am. Both of these buses are operated by Autotrans – you can look up full details on their website, which also offers online ticket booking.
Driving from Venice to Split
You can of course rent a car in Venice and drive all the way to Split. However, we’d recommend against trying to do this as a one-way rental – one-way car hire across a border in Europe is ridiculously expensive!
If you do fancy driving most of the way, we would recommend taking a bus (or possibly catamaran) into Croatia and then picking up your hire car here. One-way car hire within Croatia is certainly possible and not all that more expensive (if at all).
Take a look at our Travelling from Venice to Croatia page for details of buses. We’d suggest taking a bus to Pula to pick up a car as that’s the nearest large town; however, you can also find car hire offices in Porec and Rovinj.
If you do end up driving from Venice to Split (perhaps you’re returning to Italy after Croatia), the distance is about 650km. Factoring in what may be a busy border crossing (Slovenia – Croatia) in summer we wouldn’t recommend you attempt the journey in one day!
Note: Don’t forget that a vignette is need to drive on motorways in Slovenia.
Pula to Split is around a 5-6 hour drive if you take the inland motorway route; if you drive the scenic coastal route, the journey will be longer.
Trains from Venice to Split
Errr…don’t bother! There are most definitely no direct trains between the two cities; if you did attempt the journey, you’d find yourself having to travel via Zagreb (which, geographically, is quite a detour). There’s also not even any direct trains from Venice to Zagreb, adding to the pointlessness of this option.
Other options for getting from Venice to Croatia
Don’t forget that catamarans from Venice do operate to locations in Istria – Pula, Rovinj and Porec. There are also several bus options from Venice to places in Istria too.
Take a look at our Travelling from Venice to Croatia page for full details of these.