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Help with Croatia, 2016

I'm planning a backpacking trip in Europe next year, April and May. We will be in Croatia for about a week, tentative dates of May 3 to May 11. I want to go to Plitvice Lakes, and we need to be in Rovinj for the morning of May 11, so we can catch a ferry to Venice.

I'm trying to plan the in between section. I don't need it planned to a T, just a general idea of what we will be doing. My issue is I've been looking at a lot of info online and it seems like buses between places in Croatia is pretty spotty. Does anyone have some input or advice that has personally been to Croatia? Any example itineraries? Split is too far south to go, I think, in the amount of time we have. I was looking at maybe going to the island Rab, but couldn't find definitively if there is a ferry that goes to Rovinj from there.

Please help me! I would really appreciate any comments from people who have traveled in Croatia before.
If you need anymore info, please ask. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
334 posts

Where are you looking for bus information? The major cities are all well connected with busses. Certain locations have spottier service, such as Plitvice Lakes, but the primary mode of transportation around the country is by bus.

If you are coming into Zagreb, you could spend 1 - 2 days in Zagreb, day trip to Plitvice, and then head to Istria. Split is about 5 hours by bus from Zagreb. You could include it, and take busses on up the coast, but that would add a bit of travel time to your schedule. Of course, these suggestions assume you're starting in Zagreb. If you're entering the country somewhere else, it's moot.

Regarding the ferry schedule, Rab will probably only have ferries from Rijeka, not Rovinj. The ferry schedule is limited in May, but that is something that you will have to check closer to time.

Posted by
8 posts

I was looking at schedules on Bus Croatia. Although, they probably won't have schedules done up this far in advance.

We are starting in Zagreb, we are coming in from Hungary.

Is Croatia ferries a good company to look for transportation?

Posted by
334 posts

Regarding ferries, I typically just look at Jadrolinija (, and Kapetan Luka ( As with the bus routes, even if the departure times change, the time of the route itself shouldn't vary very much.

One other thing I forgot to mention earlier is that if you wanted to include Split, but save time, you could do a day trip and fly from Zagreb on Croatia Airlines. Right now, a round-trip flight is about $100. You could leave Zagreb around 6:30AM arriving in Splitat 7:20AM, then have an entire day before leaving split at 7:45PM and returning to Zagreb. Another possibility is that you set up a multi-city flight: Zagreb -> Split -> Pula. That would allow you to see Split and then be in Istria the same evening. Doing this increases the price to only about $120. Of course, there's no telling if the airline prices would be the same next year, but I flying is one of the best ways to get around if you're trying to avoid backtracking or spending way too long on the bus.