Plitvice Lakes Photos - Greenery

Travel question: from Zadar to the Plitvice Lakes National Park by public transport

We want to travel by bus or train from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes. We will arrive on in Zadar by plane – which bus should we have and where is the boarding point? Can we take the train? G.A.

Firstly, the easy answer, there is no train from Zadar to the Plitvice Lakes.

Zadar to Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes National Park

To travel from Zadar Airport to Plitvice, first you need to transfer from the airport to the main bus station in Zadar. You can see a timetable for this journey on the Zadar Airport website.

From Zadar bus station, here is the timetable for buses to Plitvice Lakes (taken from the Zadar Bus Terminal website. (All routes run daily, although may be subject to change – at least, that’s the disclaimer on the bus station website!)

Dep. 8.30 Arr. 10.25
Company: Prijevoz Knezevic
Line: Zadar – Udbina – Plitvice Lakes

Dep. 9.00 Arr. 11.00
Company: Autotransport Sibenik
Line: Split – Zagreb

Dep. 12.00 Arr. 14.15
Company: Croatia Bus
Line: Split – Zagreb

Dep. 14.30 Arr. 16.45
Company: Croatia Bus
Line: Vir – Zagreb

Dep. 15.10 Arr. 17.50
Company: AP Varazdin
Line: Split – Varazdin

Dep. 6pm Arr. 19.55
Company: Prijevoz Knezevic
Line: Zadar – Udbina – Plitvice Lakes

Dep. 23.00 Arr. 01.50
Company: Imotski – Panturist
Line: Imotski – Osijek

You can also look up timetables on the websites of some of the bus companies that are listed on our Travelling Around – By Bus page.

New Split - Brac - Hvar - Korcula - Dubrovnik catamaran line

A bunch of nobodies visit Croatia

Croatia. A country for everyone – big spenders, the budget-conscious, adventure seekers, sun-worshippers, families, party-animals, culture-vultures…the list is endless. But it has now also been discovered that it’s a very suitable holiday destination for those whom the term “celebrity” is coined very, very loosely.

Channel 4’s Celebrity Coach Trip (don’t lie, we know you watch it too!) features a bunch of “celebrities” making their way across Europe on a coach holiday, taking part in a series of tasks in each destination they visit whilst also generally messing around/getting on each others’ nerves/trying to remind people of their glory days and why they were famous in the first place.

In the most recent series, the gang were lucky enough to enjoy four days (well, four episodes worth of filming) in Croatia, taking in the capital city Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes National Park environs, the lovely town of Zadar and bustling Split. From judo to a cookery lesson in Samobor, a survival course to glass blowing and klapa singing, the group had a busy time and Croatia served as a very pretty backdrop (bar some rainy conditions in Zadar) – with some very friendly and well presented teachers and guides – throughout the shows.

Split, Croatia
Hilarity ensued in Split (no, really)

You can watch the episodes via Channel 4 On Demand – here’s the site’s Coach Trip page (viewable in the UK and Ireland only) or on YouTube.

In answer to the question I can hear on the tip of your lips – no, I don’t know what Croatia did to deserve Nikki from Big Brother.

Festivals in Croatia - Tisno

A new venue for Croatia’s festivals (well, some of them)

Anyone thinking about attending one of Croatia’s (many) great festivals may have seen the announcement not so long ago the site used in the village of Petrcane – home to The Garden Festival, Electric Elephant, Soundwave, Suncebeat and Stop Making Sense – was a no go for 2012. Concerns from the owners of the site, the Hotel Pinija, on how the festivals impacted guests staying at the hotel meant a new venue had to be found for these festivals for next year.

These concerns by the site owners were perhaps not entirely justified, but that’s not an issue I’m going to discuss here! I did read a number of articles in the Croatian press, however, about the negative impact (i.e. loss of tourist revenue) that losing these festivals from the Zadar region would have. (So it’s good to see they haven’t moved that far – read on below.)

Festivals in Croatia - Tisno
Tisno – you could be here next year!

Today, many of these festivals announced a new venue for 2012 – in the village of Tisno, which is roughly halfway between the town of Zadar and the city of Split. My immediate thought is that this will mean a significant number of additional travel options for partygoers attending any of these festivals, as there are many, many flights from the UK (and from elsewhere in Europe) to Split. (Of course, attendees in previous years could also have flown to Split too – but this just makes things a little easier!)

This news on the change of venue is “hot off the presses”, so I’d advise taking a close look at the festivals’ websites and Facebook pages (and Twitter too) for additional information as and when they release it.

Check out the latest news from the following sites – more is surely still to come very soon.

  • The Garden Festival (4th – 11th July): The Garden Tisno Facebook group
  • Soundwave (20th – 23rd July): their Facebook group should have news today!
  • SunceBeat (27th – 29th July): updated website
  • Stop Making Sense (2nd – 6th August) updated website

There’s also some news from Electric Elephant (12th – 16th July) via their Twitter feed.

And for some early travel planning check out the following pages from Visit Croatia:

Alternatively, check out what other festivals are taking place in the country in our Festivals in Croatia section – more information being added all the time!

Other than that – start thinking about partying it up in the summer of 2012. It’s going to be a good one!

Photos of Zadar - Greeting to the Sun

Tourist numbers in Croatia up again in September

Sightseeing in Zadar - Greeting to the Sun

At night, the famous Greeting to the Sun becomes an instant disco!

More monthly tourism figures were announced in Croatia and this time round the reported figures are especially interesting as they cover the month of September – traditionally, a “transition” month for tourism as the summer crowds have packed up and gone home and activity in towns and resorts starts to wind down somewhat. Having said that, we’ve long recommended September as one of the best times of year to visit – for the reason that the busy season is over but the good weather remains!

Overall, Croatia welcomed 1.27 million tourists in September, up 15.3% on the same month last year. The month saw tourists stay for 7.26 million nights in total, also up by 11.5%.

Figures for the whole of the year so far have also been released – Croatia received 10.4 million tourists, who stayed for 62.7 million nights; these figures are up 7.6% and 6.7% respectively on the same period in 2010. Of the approximately 750,000 more visitors that Croatia has had so far this year, 500,000 have visited in pre- or post-season, a healthy sign that more tourists are visiting the country outside the traditional holiday months.

It was also revealed that Croatia earned €1.7 billion from tourism in the second quarter of 2011, up 14% on last year. Moreover, 13.6% more people were employed in the tourism industry in the country in the first seven months of the year than last year.

Dubrovnik-Neretva county

Figures were also revealed for individual towns and resorts as well. The county of Dubrovnik-Neretva – home of course to Dubrovnik and Croatia’s southernmost county – recorded 145,316 tourist arrivals during September (9% up on last September), with 695,200 nights stayed (up 11%). For the whole of the year until the end of September, the county received 977,512 arrivals (6% up on 2010) who stayed for 4,810,259 nights (5% up) in total.

German, British and French tourists recored the greatest number of nights stayed, followed by domestic tourists.

Of the total nights stayed in the county, 2,703,739 were in hotels (an increase of 7%), whilst campsites registered 334,150 nights, roughly the same as last year. Registered private accommodation accounted for 1,491,294 nights, a decrease of 1%.


Zadar also had a successful September – the town saw 33,773 tourist arrivals during the month (up 6% on September 2010), which was made up of 29,558 foreign tourists (up 5%) and 4,215 domestic (up 17%). Tourists stayed for 112,558 nights in the area, which is a rise of 9% on the nights stayed in September last year.

The most numerous guests were German visitors (5,202) then Austrians (3,284) and visitors from these two countries – unsurprisingly – were also top of the list for nights stayed.

For the whole year, Zadar’s data (incomplete as it has yet to include figures from nautical tourism) shows that the town welcomed around 270,000 guests who stayed for 1.1 million nights. Zadar’s hotels have also done well this year, with 17% more guests who stayed for 29% more nights.

Sources: Vecernji, Dubrovacki Vjesnik, Slobodna Dalmacija

Zadar Airport

2011 already looks to be a successful year for Zadar Airport

Today’s Slobodna Dalmacija reports that records are already falling for Zadar Airport. Next month, 183 flights are expected at the airport, up from 124 for the same month in 2010. This is a significant jump, and relatively remarkable considering that April is still some months off high season.

Zadar Airport
Zadar Airport

A large part of this increase flights is down to Ryanair. This April, they will operate 83 flights, compared to last April’s 39. Although they operate routes from “only” seven European destinations, they are to increase the frequency of some of these routes this year – such as upping their flights between London Stansted and Zadar to five times a week from last year’s three. (This route begins operating on 27th March 2011.)

Croatia Airlines will also return to operating international flights from Zadar, with two flights per week to both Zurich and Munich, flying from May to September.

The director of Zadar Airport, Katica Pupic Bakrac, suggests that traffic through the airport may be up by between 20 to 28% on last year. In 2010, 275,000 passengers passed through the airport.

See our guides to Flying to Croatia from the UK and Getting to Zadar (which lists flights from European cities) for travel planning information.

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija


New promotion from Zadar Tourist Board

Zadar Tourist Board yesterday unveiled a new promotional direction, revealing a new tourist film entitled “Discover Zadar”, as well as a new website that is soon to be launched.

The film, “Discover Zadar”, was shot during the summer and autumn months of 2010, intends to show the historic town in a modern and dynamic way with all its beauty and attractiveness – and more than just a summer seaside resort.


The new website is to be unveiled on 27th December 2010 and I, for one, eagerly anticipate it! I have often found Zadar Tourist Board’s existing website amongst the most friendly and easy to use tourist board websites – not to mention most imformative, with regular updates – for any Croatian town or destination. I hope they continue in this vein!

At the launch, the tourist board also discussed the results of a survey amongst low-cost airline passengers (as many of Zadar’s holidaymakers arrive on low-cost airlines), and their thoughts for Zadar. Tourists praised Zadar for its “climate, natural beauty, clean beaches and food”.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that last year Zadar received 122% more visitors from Britain, and a whopping 365% more from Ireland – figures helped, no doubt, by low cost airlines.

Sources: Slobodna Dalmacija, Zadar Tourist Board