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A weekend break in Croatia - Pula

Pula – Zadar catamaran re-introduced for 2017

Details of the popular Pula – Zadar catamaran route – which ceased to operate a few years ago – have finally been announced for summer 2017, just a few weeks ahead of the route actually starting!

Now run by Croatia’s main ferry operator Jadrolinija, this catamaran will start running on 3rd June 2017, and will in fact be run as a year-round service. (With a greater frequency of sailings during the peak summer months, and far less – in fact, just once a week – in off season.)

The full route also takes in the islands of Unije, Susak, Mali Losinj, Ilovik and Silba en route.

Pula - Zadar catamaran

In June and September, the catamaran will sail twice-weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The catamaran will depart Pula at 7am, and arrive in Zadar at 1.15pm. For the return journey, the catamaran departs Zadar at 4pm, reaching Pula at 10.15pm.

During the peak months of July and August, the catamaran will operate five times a week (every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays). Again, the catamaran will depart Pula at 7am, reaching Zadar at 1.15pm, or 1.05pm on the days it does not make a stop on Ilovik. For the return journey, the catamaran sets sail from Zadar at 5pm (4pm on Fridays), arriving in Pula at 11.05pm/11.15pm (10.05pm on Fridays).

In off-season (early October onwards), the catamaran will only operate on Fridays.

The full timetable – including the times at which the catamaran calls at the islands – can be found on Jadrolinija’s website.

Tickets for the Pula – Zadar catamaran

Tickets can be booked online on Jadrolinija‘s website. A one-way ticket from Pula to Zadar (or reverse) costs 200 Kunas in high season (June to September inclusive). In low season, a one-way ticket costs 160 Kunas.

Prices for any of the other legs of the journey e.g. Pula – Mali Losinj, Zadar – Ilovik and so on, can be found on the above website.

Getting to Zadar - Ferry

Istria and Dalmatia are connected by sea!

This catamaran is certainly one that has been missing for many travellers in recent years, judging by the feedback we’ve had. We are sure many will welcome its return.

There are hardly any (actually, none!) ferry or catamaran routes from Istria to other parts of Croatia. That means this catamaran will be very handy for those in this part of the country.

In fact, there are currently hardly any sailings from the north Croatian coast to areas further south/Dalmatia. This Pula – Zadar catamaran is therefore a great way of connecting the north and south parts of the Croatian coastline.

Alternatives to the Pula – Zadar catamaran

One route that does exist connecting the north and south (ish!) parts of the coastline is the Rijeka – Rab – Novalja (on the island of Pag) catamaran. Also run by Jadrolinija, this sails daily year-round. Full timetable can be found on the Jadrolinija website.

There are frequent bus connections from Novalja/Pag to Zadar, so you can still reach this town by utilising this route.

There are also daily, year-round flights connecting Pula and Zadar. Operated by Croatia Airlines, this is the most suitable option if you need to travel quickly – flight time is only 40 minutes! (Although you obviously do need to factor in getting to and from each airport.)

Other useful travel information

The following sections may also be helpful to you:

New flights to Croatia in 2017

We’re pleased to say that there have been many, many direct flights from the UK and Ireland to Croatia for years…but that doesn’t stop new routes being announced all the time! Here we check out new flights to Croatia in 2017 to make planning your trip that little bit easier.

New flights to Croatia in 2017

New Easyjet flights to Zadar, Dubrovnik and Pula

Despite already having a very strong presence in the country, Easyjet announced a handful of new routes to Croatia for 2017. For the first time, they will fly to Zadar – flights from London Luton will start on 27th May (to 30th September) and operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

They’ve flown to Dubrovnik for a number of years, but this year they will also operate flights from Manchester and Belfast Airports. From Manchester, they will fly twice weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) from 22nd July, whilst from Belfast it’s also twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) from 14th May.

Bristol Airport – already connected to Dubrovnik and Split – will now also see flights to Pula with Easyjet this year. This route will start on 27th May (to 30th September) and only operate once a week, on Saturdays.

Unfortunately, Easyjet have dropped their Newcastle – Split route

New Ryanair flights from Bristol and Glasgow to Zadar

Zadar is very firmly Ryanair‘s base in Croatia and to their long-established routes from London Stansted, Manchester and Dublin, they will also start flying from Bristol and Glasgow. Bristol – Zadar has already started for the season (to 28th October 2017), flying on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Glasgow – Zadar will also fly twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) but only in peak season – this route starts on 3rd July to 28th August.

Ryanair have dropped their London Stansted to Osijek route in 2017, meaning Osijek is no longer connected to the UK.

Jet2.com new flights from London Stansted to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik

London is of course very well connected to almost all of Croatia’s airports, but a few more flights just adds to the choice available to travellers! Jet2.com will fly from London Stansted to Pula from 24th April (Sunday initially; Wednesdays and Sundays from 1st May); to Split from 26th June (Sunday initially; Wednesdays and Sundays from 3rd July); and to Dubrovnik from 24th April (initially Saturdays only; Tuesdays and Saturdays from 1st May; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 22nd May).

Jet2.com will also start flying from East Midlands Airport to Split from 24th April to 1st October 2017 (once a week, on Sundays) and from Glasgow to Dubrovnik from 24th April to 22nd October 2017 (on Sundays).

New Monarch flights to Zagreb

Croatia’s coastal airports see new routes introduced all the time…so it’s very pleasing to see that capital city Zagreb will also get some new connections this year! From the 28th April, Monarch will fly thrice-weekly from London Gatwick (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and twice weekly from Manchester (on Mondays and Saturdays) to Zagreb. The latter route is certainly very welcome as it is the first non-London connection to Zagreb for quite some time. It was also recently announced that these routes will operate year-round – very pleasing to hear.

British Airways to fly to Pula in 2017

There aren’t many flights from London Heathrow to Croatia, but British Airways is seemingly doing its best to change that! Already flying to both Zagreb and Split from that airport, they will also fly from London Heathrow to Pula in 2017 – twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) from 1st July to 30th September.

Aer Lingus introduce a Dublin to Split route

Already operating flights to Pula and Dubrovnik, Aer Lingus will now fly from Dublin to the central Dalmatian city of Split in 2017. From 27th May to 28th October, they will fly twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Other flight news

Norwegian appear to have dropped their Gatwick – Pula route for 2017, although will still fly to Split and Dubrovnik.

Thomson have dropped their Newcastle – Dubrovnik route.

Croatia Airlines have sold some of their London Heathrow slots; however, they are currently leasing some of these slots back so for the time being, continue to fly to Zagreb eight times a week.

Happy flying!

Visiting Croatia in September

Who would have thought it? We’re over halfway through August, which means we are most definitely hurtling towards the end of summer. (Although, personally, I definitely think summer runs until the seasons change in September. But then, I like to be an optimist about the weather.)

Some of you who are perhaps yet to take your summer hols, or are looking for a late summer trip to ease yourself back into autumn ways, may be thinking of visiting Croatia in September. You may be pleased to learn that September is considered the best month to visit amongst those in the know – the weather is still good (yes, you will – most probably – still be able to swim in the sea!), the high season crowds will have departed for home by the end of August, but everything – tourist-related – is still very much open.

Visiting Croatia in September

The island of Vis

However, you probably have a whole list of questions – what’s there to do? Where shall we go? We’re here to help you with these questions and more if you’re considering visiting Croatia in September!

The weather in Croatia in September

First things first. This is something we always get asked – is the weather in Croatia still good in September? Yes, very much so. It may come as no surprise really – as a Mediterranean country, the summer weather continues long into September. The last few years have seen very hot summers in Croatia, and this glorious weather definitely hung around in the ninth month of the year. (In fact, even into early October too!) This year there’s also been a rather hot summer in Croatia with temperatures in so many places reaching the very high 30s celsius. In fact, during July, temperatures for practically the entire country were classified as being “very warm” or “extremely warm” (poor Vis was the only place in Croatia to simply be “warm”), whilst most of the country was considered to be either “dry” or “very dry”.

All in all, we expect the weather in Croatia to be great this September! The Croatian Meteorological Society has plenty of forecasts in English – at the moment, they obviously don’t show much data for September, but take a look at their seven-day forecasts a little closer to the time.

The sea off the coast of Croatia – having had all summer to warm up – will be great, temperature-wise, in September. Yesterday, for example, temperatures reached around 23/24C for many places, with the sea a few degrees colder in the north of the coast.

Disclaimer: Yes, of course, the weather everywhere is starting to turn a little crazy. So don’t hold it against us if conditions in Croatia inexplicably turn winter-y during September. That’s definitely not supposed to happen. And it’s very, very unlikely to happen. But if anything insanely crazy, weather-wise, happens…don’t blame us! 

What’s on in Croatia in September?

Croatia has established itself as something of a prime festival destination in the last few years, with more and more dance festivals being added all the time to each year’s calendar. September is when the festival season winds down, but there’s still a couple of events taking place, both in Istria. The brand-new-for-2013 Unknown is being held in Rovinj from 10th to 14th September, with names like Jessie Ware, The Horrors, Jamie xx and SBTRKT all on the bill. Now in its second year, the electro festival Dimensions will be on in Pula from 5th to 9th September, making use of Fort Punto Christo that’s close to the town. (Dimensions is the “little sister” of Croatia festival favourite Outlook, which is on itself in Pula from 29th August to 2nd September.)

For the less dance music type events, there’s the Split Film Festival on from the 14th to the 21st September. The historical festival Gioistra – now in its seventh year – will be held in Porec from 13th to 15th September, with assorted costumes, revelry, sports, street entertainers and products on sale, all re-enacting 18th century times. The second Korkrya Baroque Festival is an international music festival on the island of Korcula, being held from 7th to 13th September. Zagreb hosts both the general entertainment festival RujanFest (literally, ‘SeptemberFest’) from the 13th to the 22nd September, as well as the 46th edition of the International Puppet Theatre Festival (9th to 14th September).

For those more keen on sports events, Croatia will host the Davis Cup tie against Great Britain in Umag (which means clay!) on the weekend of 13th to 15th September. And yes, Wimbledon champ Andy Murray is expected to play. Tickets can be bought on the ticket portal Eventim.hr.

Be sure to pop into the tourist office of wherever you are to ask for events taking place locally!

Where should I go in Croatia in September?

As we’ve covered so far, the weather will be great in September, so it’s hard not to pick a location on the coast. Dubrovnik should be as busy it always is, and there’s certainly a large number of cruise ships scheduled to dock during that month, bringing thousands of (day trip) passengers at a time. Split has had a great season so far, so it wouldn’t be any surprise to see this place as bustling as it has been. (Seeing as it’s Croatia’s second largest city, it is relatively lively all year round!) Some of the more popular islands, such as Brac and Hvar, and other popular locations on the coast (the Makarska Riviera) are still likely to receive a good number of visitors, even whilst the season starts to wind down.

If you’re after something a little quieter, perhaps consider the most outlying of all the larger Croatian islands – Vis. As a quieter and slightly mystical destination any time of year, we think this place would be divine in September. Other islands to check out include those in the Kvarner bay  such as Krk, Cres, Losinj or Rab, all of which are perhaps not as well known amongst non-Continental European visitors.

Istria is of course one of the most popular destinations in the whole of Croatia, with delights such as Porec, Rovinj and Pula all located here. The county has suffered a slight fall in visitor numbers this year, but will still see good numbers overall. If you’d like to visit, why not consider something like a foodie or activity-based holiday – two things the region does very well! Check out Istria Tourist Board’s guides to gastronomy and sport.

From a logistical point of view, almost all flights from the UK to Croatia still operate in September – and well into October too. The one exception to this is Ryanair’s flights from London Stansted to Rijeka Airport stopping at the end of August. See our Flights to Croatia page for details of all routes to Croatia from the UK.

Do note that in almost all cases, ferry schedules will still be running to summer timetables until the end of September. Certainly, almost all of Jadrolinija‘s local routes remain the same until the end of September, as does their twice-a-week coastal route that runs Rijeka – Split – Stari Grad (Hvar) – Korcula – Mljet – Dubrovnik and vice versa. The exception lies with some of their international sailings (to Italy) that reduce in frequency in September, and again further in October. Venezia Lines‘ sailings between Istria and Venice will only operate from Porec and Rovinj during September.

Or check out Adriagate – they offer last minute discounts on accommodation for destinations all over Croatia!

All in all, if you’re visiting Croatia next month, we hope you enjoy your stay! Why not drop us a line on email, Twitter or Facebook to let us know how it went – we’d love to hear from you!

History of Pula

Travel question: Travelling from Ljubljana to Pula

Hi there, not sure if you’re able to help us at all but my friend and I are coming to Croatia this August for a festival in Pula. We are landing from London in Ljubljana, Slovenia at 19:00 on 27/08/13 and need to get to Pula to our apartment. We want to know if there is a relatively cheap/safe way of us travelling this distance at this time. The apartment owners are aware that we need a late check in but we want to arrive there at a reasonable time. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. O. H-S

Ljubljana to Pula
The Arena in Pula

Unfortunately, I have to say that you will find it difficult to travel from Ljubljana to Pula at that time of the day (well, evening). There is a direct daily bus from Ljubljana to Pula at that time of year, but it runs at 9.30am. (See the timetable on the FILS website – scroll down for the seasonal, summer line.) I believe a one-way ticket should be about 200 Kunas, or the equivalent in Euros.

The alternatives I would suggest also don’t really work at that time of the day. I would have suggested getting a train from Ljubljana to Rijeka, but the two a day are at 6.35am and 3.10pm. (From Rijeka to Pula there are several buses per day.)

Another possibility would be to take a train to Zagreb (if you did this, it would be best to take a taxi from Ljubljana Airport to Kranj, which is about 15 minutes away, rather than travel to downtown Ljubljana, about 30-45 mins away), and then a bus to Pula.. There are several trains per day from Kranj (or Ljubljana) to Zagreb but again, these all run before your 7pm arrival time.

(If you wanted to look up train timetables, the Die Bahn website is the best place to do this.)

These above options are all relatively cheap and safe (travelling in Croatia/Slovenia is very safe, just use your common sense with personal possessions, of course!) but, obviously, the most important issue is that they don’t get you to Pula the same day! Aside from renting a car (which isn’t an especially cheap option, and not everyone wants to drive) I’m afraid the best thing I would suggest would be to stay in Ljubljana one night and then get the bus direct to Pula the next morning. I’m assuming you’re attending Outlook so the bus will still get you there in time for the opening concert on the 28th. (Not sure if you’ll be able to amend your booking in Pula by a day.)