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Share your Croatian trip report with Visit Croatia and other travellers!

If you’re heading to Croatia this summer (or have already been), how would you like to share your Croatian trip report, experiences, tips and recommendations with other travellers?

Share your Croatian trip report!-trip-report

We’re asking you, dear travellers, to share your trip reports on Croatia with us and our readers. However long or short you’d like it to be, however many places you’d like to recommend (or perhaps you want to keep some secret!), we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’ve enjoyed the magic of Dubrovnik, sailed to the beautiful islands such as Hvar or Vis, have partied at at a festival in Croatia, explored one of the national parks, or visited anything and everything in between, we’d certainly enjoy reading your Croatian trip report and are sure others would too.

We know that many of you are also very talented photographers (we certainly see the proof of that on our Instagram feed every day!) so we’d also love to display some of your gorgeous photos along with your trip report.

We’ll of course credit you fully – whether you’d like to see your full name up in lights…well, not literally…or something a bit more discreet!

Drop us a line at webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk if you’d like to submit a piece, or have any questions.

Thank you for reading, and thank you if you’re considering sending in a report!

Note: The only thing that we ask is that your submission please be at least 200 words in length. Of course, we very much welcome reports longer than that! 

Milna, Brac

Travel question: Island day trips from Split and Dubrovnik in May

I am spending three nights Split and three nights in Dubrovnik in late May. I was wondering if you had any suggestions about possible ferry day trips to go on while in either of these two cities?

A.

Island day trips from Split in May

From Split, either Hvar Town or Milna on Brac (but not both on the same day!) would be most suitable locations for ferry day trips. This catamaran (which runs daily in late May) sails to both places, departing from Split quite early in the day and then making the return journey in the evening. This means you would get a full day on either Brac or Hvar.

Island day trips from Split - Milna on Brac

Milna on the island of Brac

Jadrolinija do also have sailings to Hvar Town. However, in late May they don’t yet have any in the morning (with a return in the afternoon/evening) meaning you can’t use their sailings for a day trip to Hvar at this time of year. They do, however, have a slow car ferry to Stari Grad on Hvar but at two hours sailing each way, that’s quite a lot of travel time! 

Vis is also not suitable as an island day trip by public ferry from Split.

For something closer and more ‘off the beaten track’, how about the island of Solta? Definitely possible as a day trip from Split (with Jadrolinija, sailing time 1 hour) you can find out more details about the island on the tourist office website. A tranquil place away from the crowds, it would certainly earn you brownie points as a place that not many people visit or have heard of! Travel expert Simon Calder wrote an article in the Independent on visting this island: Slavic secret Solta is steeped in history and rich in beauty.

Island day trips from Dubrovnik in May

From Dubrovnik, you can visit one (or possibly two, if you time it right!) of the Elafiti islands of Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep with Jadrolinija.

Unfortunately, there are no sailings in late May that make a day trip to the islands of Korcula or Mljet possible.

Of course, visiting the small island of Lokrum *is* possible! There are frequent sailings from Dubrovnik’s Old Town – see the timetable on the official Lokrum website.

Happy day-tripping!

Istria

Visiting Croatia in September

Although the summer holiday crowds have gone home, many travellers come to Croatia to visit this month. That’s no surprise – there’s a lot to be said for visiting the country in late summer/early Autumn. But what’s it like visiting Croatia in September?

Rovinj
Rovinj

Getting to Croatia in September

Travellers shouldn’t have any problems in reaching Croatia in September – most airlines that operate flights from the UK and the rest of Europe continue their summer schedules well into September, if not into October too. (Some even to early November!) Take a look at our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland to see the full operating dates of all routes from these two countries to Croatia.

Getting around Croatia in September

Likewise, most transport options – with buses and ferries being those that travellers will most likely use when visiting Croatia – still continue with high season or special ‘summer’ schedules in this month too. For example, Jadrolinija – the largest ferry operator in Croatia – continues its high season schedule until the end of September. Kapetan Luka – operator of the very popular catamaran service that travels from Split to Brac, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and Dubrovnik (and return too, of course!) still continues to operate this service daily in September. (Note: it changes to being a three-times a week service in October.)

Some seasonal bus routes may have stopped operating at the end of August, although most of these of are of the kind that take (domestic) holidaymakers from inland Croatia to the coast. Check out our Bus Travel in Croatia section for help in planning bus routes.

Visiting Croatia in September - Plitvice Lakes

Accommodation in Croatia in September

Not to sound like a broken record…but since absolute peak season is now over, accommodation should be slightly cheaper in Croatia in September. But seeing as it’s still a busy month, it’s not the time for bargains! Check out our Accommodation in Croatia section if you need some help with planning and booking where to stay.

Weather in September in Croatia

This is a big one – what’s the weather like during the ninth month of the year? Well, traditionally, summer temperatures and conditions normally do stretch out well into September if not beyond. This is one reason that many choose September as the month to visit Croatia – especially as the summer holidaymakers have gone. Sea temperatures will also be warm, given waters have been heating up for a number of months!

Southern and Central Europe was undergoing something of a heatwave in early September, with temperatures reaching into the 30s Celsius. However, mid-20s C is a more normal temperature for this time of year – and it looks like this sort of weather has returned to Croatia and will stay.

The Croatian Meteorological Service website is a great website to check out weather forecasts (although I’m sure you already have your own favourite weather website or app!) – but do be sure to take a look at their current sea temperatures page.

What’s on in Croatia in September

Plenty!

Korcula is the location of the 4th Korkyra Baroque Festival, 5th to 12th September.

The 20th Split Film Festival – an international festival of new film – will be taking place in Croatia’s second city from the 12th to 19th September.

The 9th Gioistra Festival will take place in Porec, 9th to 11th September 2015. Over the three days of the event, around 250 participants celebrate costumes, culture and events from the 18th century.

If you’re in Istria towards the end of the month, look out for the Parenzana Bike Race (25th – 27th September), a World Cycling Federation event. Or if you’re feeling active, join in on the recreational ‘race’ on the Sunday!

The Food Film Festival will be held in Zagreb from 11th to 20th September, combining two wonderful items – food and film! Films with a gastronomic focus will be shown. Also in Zagreb is the 48th International Puppet Festival (14th – 19th September) and music and food event RujanFest (literally, ‘SeptemberFest’) from 11th to 20th of the month.

Nightlife and festivals in September in Croatia

Outlook Festival, held in Fort Punta Christo near Pula from the 2nd to 6th September concludes the festival season for Croatia for the year…so if you planned to attend one of these gatherings, you’ve kind of missed the boat!

Most of the island clubs (such as in Novalja) also normally close for the season at the end of August. But if clubbing’s your kind of thing, we’d advise sticking to one of the larger cities or towns in the country – such as Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.

Enjoy your September visit to Croatia!

Venice to Split

Getting from Venice to Split

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!)

Venice to Split
The Grand Canal in Venice

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.

Split Photos - View from the Belltower

Travelling from Zagreb to Split

Are you planning on travelling from Zagreb to Split (or vice versa) this summer, taking in Croatia’s two largest cities? Read our guide below for how best to travel between the two!

History of Zagreb

Travelling from Zagreb to Split by train

Unusually for Croatia train is one of the methods of transport you can use in travelling between Zagreb and Split. (We say this because many travellers expect to travel around by coast…and then discover the lack of train services along the coast!)

There are several trains per day between Zagreb and Split, and journey time is either 6 hours or 8 hours (the latter being an overnight train).

Daytime trains take around six hours, and a one-way, second-class ticket costs 208 Kunas. There’s a train that departs early in the morning, and another departing mid-afternoon.

The 8-hour train has a couchettes for sleeping – if that’s your kind of thing – and there’s also a special bicycle car…plus space to transport vehicles! The cost of this train is 190 Kunas for a regular, single-ticket journey in second class.

Look up timetables on the Croatian Railways or Die Bahn websites. Look for Zagreb Gl. Kol. or Zagreb Glavni Kol. (Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor meaning Zagreb Main Terminal, the main station in the capital.)

Note: During summer, twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) these trains actually start in Budapest – so if you’re travelling from Hungary, you can make it direct all the way to the Croatian coast (well, as long as it’s Split!). Journey time is 14 hours.

Travelling from Zagreb to Split by Bus

There are many buses per day between Zagreb and Split…as befitting a route connecting Croatia’s two largest cities! It’s best to look up timetables on the Zagreb Bus Terminal website.

The thing to note about bus services is that some are much faster than others – this depends on whether buses take the fast, motorway route to Split or the slower ‘road’. (The latter most likely meaning plenty of stops en route.)

You can work out journey time length on the Zagreb Bus Terminal website; it also shows how many stops (and where) will be made. This will give you an idea of which are the faster buses! Journey times vary between 5 hours and about 7 and a half hours.

The Zagreb Bus Terminal website also offers online booking of tickets, although you will need to physically pick up tickets from the Terminal before departure. (But seeing as you’re leaving from there anyway…that’s no big deal.)

Flights from Zagreb to Split

There are also daily flights, year-round, between these two cities operated by Croatia Airlines. With a flight time of only 45 minutes and with cheap tickets available if you book early enough, this is obviously a very fast way of travelling that can actually be cheaper than expected.

You do, of course, have to factor in travel between each city centre and airport but with regular transfer buses at both ends that’s easy enough. Check out our Zagreb Public Transport and Getting to and from Split Airport pages for help.

Driving from Zagreb to Split

If you’ve hired a car for your stay in Croatia, driving from Zagreb to Split is also very easy these days due to the A1 motorway. The journey time can be as quick as 4 hours, assuming no bad traffic situations. The motorway is of course tolled so do factor this in – you’ll pick up a ticket when entering the start of the motorway just outside Zagreb, and then need to pay when you exit at Dugopolje outside Split. If you’re in a standard car, this will cost 174 Kunas (2015 price) – prices of other vehicles can be seen here: A1 motorway toll prices.

Dubrovnik to Novalja

Travel question: Getting from Dubrovnik to Novalja

Question: Myself and a friend are arriving in Dubrovnik and need to travel to Novalja. Is there any direct transport from Dubrovnik to Novalja? If not, what’s the easiest, shortest and cheapest way to get there? Train? Bus?

Answer: Some of you who are heading to Novalja this summer for one of the many festivals held there may have booked flights to Dubrovnik. It’s not the closest airport to Novalja on the island of Pag (Zadar is; Split is second), but there’s certainly plenty of flights from the UK and Europe to Dubrovnik and you may well have found it cheapest to fly there.

Dubrovnik to Novalja

So, if you’re looking for public transport options from Dubrovnik to Novalja, here’s what we’d recommend…if you’re trying to get between the two as quickly as possible. There is no direct transport from one to the other, so:

Option 1: Dubrovnik to Zadar to Novalja

Travel Dubrovnik to Zadar by bus (8 buses per day, with most in the morning; journey time 6-7 hours) and then Zadar to Novalja by bus (3 buses per day; journey time 2 hours).

Look up timetables on the Zadar Bus Terminal website.

The approximate one-way cost is 280 Kunas (200 Kunas Dubrovnik – Zadar; 80 Kunas Zadar – Novalja).

Option 2: Dubrovnik to Split to Novalja

Travel Dubrovnik to Split by bus (many per day; journey time 4.5 hours) and then Split to Novalja by bus (one per day; journey time 5 hours).

However, the Split – Novalja bus operates in the morning, so you’d most likely have to split this journey up into two days with a night in Split. (No bad thing.)

Look up timetables on the Split Bus Terminal website.

The approximate one-way cost is 340 Kunas (120 Kunas Dubrovnik – Split; 220 Kunas Split – Novalja).

TIP: If you’re keen to secure a seat on the Split – Novalja bus, tickets can be bought online (with a 5% discount!) on the Autotrans website.

Technically you could also do Dubrovnik – Split (4.5 hours); Split – Zadar (lots of buses on this route; 2.5-3 hours; approx. 95 Kunas) and Zadar – Novalja (2 hours) but then that does involve two stops!

Happy festival going!

Croatia Travel Checklist

Croatia Travel Checklist – are you ready?

Are you travelling to Croatia this summer? Here’s our guide to some things you might like to consider before you go!

Croatia Travel Checklist

Do I need a visa for Croatia?

Citizens of EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand DON’T need a visa to visit Croatia. There are also many other countries whose citizens don’t need a visa for Croatia – we won’t list them all here, so please do check against the information on Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

It is also possible to visit Croatia using a double- or multiple-entry Schengen visa – which is useful if you’re doing a fair amount of travelling around Europe this summer. Again, please check the information on the above website.

What if I do need a visa?!

If you need a visa for Croatia, please contact the Croatian Embassy in the country you’re based in – or the Embassy as advised in this list: Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices of Croatia.

If you want to obtain a Schengen visa, you would obviously have to do this at the Embassy of a Schengen area country. Normally this would be the country in which you are spending the majority of your time when on your holiday.

What about money – what’s the currency in Croatia?

The currency is the Kuna. Plural in Croatian is Kune, but it’s fine to says Kunas. On signs, the currency is abbreviated to Kn; in foreign exchange places (outside of Croatia) it will be listed as HRK.

The currency in Croatia is not the Euro. Euros are not accepted. Croatia will not be joining the Euro anytime soon.

(Slight disclaimer: Some private accommodation places might accept payment in Euros…but really, work on the basis of the currency being the Kuna!)

See more on our Money in Croatia section.

Should I obtain Kunas before I go?

We know that travellers have many preferences when it comes to foreign currency. Our preference is to travel with debit (cash) cards and withdraw money from ATMs/cash machines as we travel. These are readily available in Croatia (even at airports) and exchange rates are normally very good. Of course, your home bank will charge fees – but these can often be quite low. (Check before you travel!)

Otherwise, there are many places to exchange money – bureau de change and banks – practically everywhere. Simply take along your home currency (Pounds, Euros, Dollars) to Croatia if you’re planning on changing money in the country. Avoid changing money in hotels as exchange rates are normally pretty bad.

You can also obtain Kunas before you go to Croatia if you like – for example, in the UK many high street banks, Travelex.co.uk, the Post Office and M&S Money all sell Kunas these days. However, the exchange rate that you get will be a bit better in Croatia than in your home country.

How much money should I take to Croatia?

For those that do prefer taking cash on holiday, this is the $64,000 question! (Although, please don’t actually take $64,000 along with you.) It’s difficult to answer because – what are your typical spending habits? Do you like to splurge for every meal and on drinks? Or will you mainly be having low-key meals? Will you be signing up for daily organised excursions? Or relying on local buses and ferries to get you to other places?

Below is an idea of some prices in Croatia during peak season. Do note that some locations (e.g. Dubrovnik and Hvar) can be pretty pricey during summer! These are all approximate prices, only to be used as a guide – please do note

  • Relatively simple meal for two (pizza/pasta) with a drink each (beer/soft drink): 150 Kunas
  • Push-the-boat meal for two with a nice bottle of wine: 500 Kunas (or more!)
  • Local beer: 15-20 Kunas
  • Glass of wine: 15-20 Kunas
  • Soft drink: 15 Kunas
  • Bottle of water (at a restaurant/cafe): 10-12 Kunas
  • Coffee: 10-15 Kunas
  • Ice cream: 9/10 Kunas
  • Buses journey – Split to Dubrovnik: 125 Kunas (Obviously, bus prices vary depending on the journey! See Bus Ticket Prices in Croatia)
  • Catamarans – Split to Hvar: 55-70 Kunas (As above!)
  • National park entrance fees e.g. Krka National Park: 110 Kunas (summer price)
  • Excursion e.g. Split to Plitvice Lakes: 500 – 600 Kunas

You can save money by buying your own food/snacks at markets and supermarkets – which are pretty cheap – ideal for a picnic-style lunch; drugstores/pharmacies usually stock a small range of snacks as well.

What cards are accepted in Croatia?

Visa and Mastercard are readily accepted in Croatia. However, you may find that some places – such as smaller, family-run restaurants – don’t accept cards at all, so do always have some cash to hand!

What electrical travel adapters do I need?

Croatia uses the standard European 2-pin electric plug. It’s best to bring one (or a few!) along with you – don’t rely on buying them in Croatia! (Technically, they’re available, but you don’t want to spend all day hunting around for one.) Or, better still, take one and a 4-way plug adapter – so you can charge a few things at once!

Travel Insurance/EHIC

As with travelling anywhere, you really should arrange travel insurance before your visit to Croatia. Shop around for the best deal.

As Croatia is now in the EU, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is recommended for EU citizens as this will help you get state medical healthcare for free/reduced rates. An EHIC card is free – apply for one (or renew one) online.

Phones/Internet

If you’re travelling from the EU, many mobile phone providers now offer rather cheap data and phone plans if you plan on using your phone abroad. For example, UK-operator o2 let you use your phone in other EU countries for £1.99 a day which includes unlimited data (upper restrictions apply); you can making/receive calls for 50p then no more for the first hour, and send texts for just 5p. Contact your own network to find out how much it’ll cost you to use your phone – it may be cheaper than you think. (But it’s always best to double-check!)

Wifi is readily available in Croatia these days – almost all accommodation places offer it (normally for free), as do many cafes/restaurants. You may also find free hotspots in some towns and cities.

Guidebooks on Croatia

Why do you need a guidebook when you have Visit Croatia?!

We’re just kidding, of course, for we also love travelling abroad with a trusty travel guide! (Although Visit Croatia is now fully mobile-optimised!)

Check out our Books on Croatia section to see what’s available.

Accommodation in Croatia

We’ll assume many of you have already sorted out your accommodation for Croatia. If not, head to our Accommodation section!

If you’re planning on leaving until you get to Croatia – wanting to go the ‘private accommodation’ route – that’s fine too. However, because summer is peak season, availability is low – though you should still be able to find a bed for the night somewhere. If you’re not that bothered about accommodation amenities or how basic a place is (although everywhere should be clean and safe – don’t worry about that kind of thing), that’s fine. If you have specific requirements/wants, or wouldn’t be best pleased to stay somewhere basic and with a 80s-style bathroom, then think about booking ahead!

If you ever get stuck looking for accommodation, head to the local tourist office. They should be able to help you find somewhere.

Should I learn some Croatian before I go?

Pretty much everyone that works in the tourist industry – hotel staff, waiters, tourist office works – speaks English, with the younger generation speaking it excellently. (Older waiters, for example, probably speak better German, but they’ll still understand you!)

It wouldn’t hurt to learn a few basic phrases – see our Croatian for Travellers guide and below – but don’t worry too much about learning Croatian!

Basic phrases in Croatian

  • Good morning – Dobro jutro (doh-broh you-trow)
  • Good day – Dobar dan (doh-bar dan)
  • Good evening – Dobra vecer (doh-bra veh-cher)
  • Hi! – Bok! (bok!) Note: quite informal – use one of the above, normally!
  • Goodbye – Dovidenja (doh-vee-jen-ya)
  • Yes – Da
  • No – Ne
  • Thanks – Hvala (Hva-lah)
  • Please – Molim (Mo-leem)

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!

Rijeka

Travel question: From Zagreb Airport to Rijeka

Good day, we are planning a trip to Croatia & we need to travel from Zagreb to Rijeka to take our cruise. We do not know how to reserve our bus or train & if we need to go to downtown Zagreb or if we could take the bus or the train from the airport. Thanks.

Clock Tower in Rijeka

You are, in fact, in luck. In almost all cases, you’d have to travel to downtown Zagreb to make your way by bus or train to other places in Croatia.

However, it just so happens that there’s a direct bus from Zagreb Airport to Rijeka. This bus departs Zagreb Airport every day at 3.30pm – you can find out a few more details on the Pleso Prijevoz website. You cannot reserve tickets for this bus in advance, and you merely buy them from the driver.

If this bus time isn’t suitable for you, then you would have to travel to downtown Zagreb in order to reach Rijeka. There are transfer buses by the same company (timetable here) and this takes you to the main bus station in Zagreb. Again, buy your tickets for this bus from the driver.

It is better (roughly same price, but definitely faster!) to travel by bus from Zagreb to Rijeka. You can look up timetables on the Zagreb Bus Terminal website. – it won’t yet let you look up times for October, but just look up a date that’s the same day of the week that you wish to travel on. (And then perhaps look it up again nearer the time of your travel.) Almost all – if not all – of these buses operate year-round; journey time is about 2.5-3 hours, depending on which bus you take.

It’s not really possible to buy tickets in advance for bus journeys in Croatia, other than in person by the bus station or sometimes by phone. However, *some* bus companies are starting to offer online booking – Autotrans , one of the main companies in Croatia and who are based in Rijeka – have just started this. They operate a number of the Zagreb – Rijeka services. However, you won’t yet be able to buy tickets for October – again, check back closer to the time of your travels.

In all honesty, especially as you’re travelling out of season, it will be fine for you to simply turn up at Zagreb Bus Terminal and buy tickets for your bus journey to Rijeka there and then!

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.)