The Peljesac Bridge is finally complete and open! (It opened in July 2022.) Bypassing the need to drive through that part of Bosnia & Hercegovina (often referred to as the Neum Corridor) when travelling from Split to Dubrovnik or vice versa, the bridge certainly makes travel along the coastline easier for many visitors to Croatia. Here are all the details about this new bridge.
Where is the Peljesac Bridge?
The bridge extends from close to the small village of Komarna (before the Neum corridor, if you’re travelling south along the coast) to Brijesta on the Peljesac Peninsula – roughly about a third of the way up the peninsula. Take a look at the bridge’s location on this map:
If you’re driving south along the coast from the direction of Split to Dubrovnik, you can take either the gorgeous coastal road all the way to the bridge or the (slightly inland) A1 motorway to its end, near the town of Ploce, and then take the coastal road (known as D8) to the bridge.
The bridge will then transport you over to the Peljesac Peninsula, allowing you to take the local D414 down the Peninsula through Ston, once again joining the D8 road near Zaton Doli.
Has the Peljesac Bridge opened?
Yes! The Peljesac Bridge had a grand opening ceremony on the evening of 26th July 2022, when a Rimac electric supercar (a Croatian company, no less) was driven over the bridge amidst fireworks and with an audience of assorted Croatian and EU dignitaries.
Some media on the opening of the new bridge:
- Fanfare as Croatia’s Chinese-built bridge finally opens (BBC News, 27th July 2022)
- New Croatia bridge redraws map of Adriatic coast (CNN, 27th July 2022)
- Croatia’s £444million Chinese-built bridge on the Adriatic coast finally opens: Stunning 1.5-mile-long structure allows easier access to the walled city of Dubrovnik (Daily Mail, 27th July 2022)
- Croatia opens Adriatic coast bridge, linking divided region (AP, 26th July 2022)
- You can rewatch the opening ceremony here: Grand opening ceremony of the Peljesac Bridge in Croatia
- “Experience” crossing the bridge online via Google Streetview
Does the Peljesac Bridge cost anything to use?
No, there is no toll for the bridge.
Why is there a Peljesac Bridge?
Anyone who’s travelled by road from Split to Dubrovnik (or vice versa) ever since Croatia gained independence in 1991 will have experienced the fun that is the Neum Corridor, the tiny sliver of Bosnia and Hercegovina that cuts off the southernmost part of Dalmatia from the rest of the country.
This bit of land meant that anyone travelling along the coast of Croatia to its southernmost part would need to go through two sets of border controls (upon entering this part of Bosnia and again when leaving to come back into Croatia). Although perhaps not the most hassle – actual border checks normally involved just a quick look at passports – the time needed to pass through these borders certainly delayed transport time, especially so in the busy summer months.
In addition, Croatia joined the Schengen Zone in 2023 which meant the country had to enact stricter border controls with its non-Schengen neighbours as “the last” border of the Schengen Zone in this part of southern Europe. Travelling through the Neum Corridor now means more border checks, lengthening transit time. The existence of the Peljesac Bridge avoids this.
Alternatives to the Peljesac Bridge
Drive through Neum
Well, you can certainly still drive through Bosnia & Hercegovina if you fancy! (Perhaps you have a certain nostalgia for the little town of Neum and its ‘duty-free’ shop.)
Of course, border controls are very much still in place so make sure you have your passport to hand. Should you be navigating through this part of Bosnia purely to travel from one part of Croatia to another, you may be pleased to know that this transit corridor allows for travel even if you ordinarily otherwise require a visa for Bosnia. If you are going through the border here to travel to Bosnia proper, you must have a visa for the country (if you require one, that is). You can check whether you need a visa for Bosnia on the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Ploce – Trpanj Ferry
The “old-fashioned” alternative to avoiding the Neum Corridor is to take the Ploce to Trpanj ferry run by Jadrolinija. This car ferry runs seven times a day in the peak summer season and four times a day in off-season. Journey time is one hour.
Catamaran from Split to Dubrovnik
If you’re purely planning to travel from Split to Dubrovnik and aren’t that fussed about going by road, you may like to know that there are summer catamaran services operating on this route. They are run by Kapetan Luka (their service travels from Split to Dubrovnik in the morning, with the return in the late afternoon), TP Line (likewise) and Jadrolinija (Dubrovnik to Split in the morning, return in the afternoon).
Stop in Ston or on the Peljesac Peninsula
If possible (perhaps you have some extra time to play with now that you’ve not had to cross any borders!), consider stopping in the charming town of Ston. A lunchtime stop would be ideal, especially to try a glass of local wine and mussels, for which the town is well known.
The Times wrote a wonderful article on this new “road trip” down the Peninsula, which offers some great travel advice: The ultimate Croatian road trip just got even easier.
Is the Peljesac Bridge popular?
In a word, yes! In September 2023, about a year and a month since the bridge opened, the 3 millionth vehicle was recorded as crossing the bridge. In the peak summer months, over 400,000 vehicles per month use the bridge. And not only is it useful for travellers, but it has also become something of a sight in its own right.