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Surface transportation - Dubrovnik to Split/Zagreb

I've started thinking about 2022 travel and possible bike tours in Croatia. These would be 8-9 days, running from Zagreb or Split to Dubrovnik (or reverse, depending on company). Open jaw flights seem a bit more expensive than round trips, so I've just researching what surface transport would look like from the tour end point to the start.

I immediately notice there does not appear to be train service to Dubrovnik, bus only.

Another consideration is, depending on the tour company, taking my own bike. Some company's bike rentals are better thn others. That adds a bike travel case (as much as 47x10x30 inches) to be wrangled around as well as medium suitcase and small backpack. Wrestling the back case onto a train can be a hassle. Airlines frequently charge extra for bike cases.

(Medium suitcase: I could do with a US-sized carry-on if not biking, but biking adds multiple bib shorts & jerseys, bike shoes, helmet, saddle, pedals, rain jacket, etc., etc., etc.)

Posted by
24935 posts

I've taken buses frequently in Croatia and found them comfortable. As someone who always has a suitcase larger than a carry-on, I really appreciate being to roll that baby up to the side of the bus and put it in the hold. I have no idea what the deal would be if you had a bike to transport, however. It seems to be standard in Croatia to pay a small fee for putting luggage in the hold. It cost me the equivalent of about $1 (US) to do that in 2015.

I just Googled bicycle on bus Croatia and found this possibly-useful link, which suggests that avoiding July and August may be necessary:

Bus Croatia sells tickets for many companies' buses but does not itself operate buses.

Google returned a bunch of links; I recommend that you repeat my search and dive in.

Posted by
6104 posts

Dubrovnik to Zagreb would be a long bus ride (I reckon 8-10 hours) but flying will certainly cost more with the bike.
Dubrovnik to Split is about half the time, so more manageable!

Posted by
39 posts

I recently took the ferry from Dubrovnik to Split, and then the bus back due to timing. Ferry is much nicer! Takes longer on paper, but in reality there is no traffic so you get there just as fast, if not faster. Get up, walk around, I'm sure bike storage is possible as there were no luggage limits that I heard.

Posted by
3406 posts

If going up or down the coast a catamaran is the way to go and yes you can take your bike. Go to Croatiaferries.Com for the different lines. To go to Zagreb you need to use the bus or hire a private driver. We have taken the bus, Rijeka to Zagreb, many times.

Posted by
12 posts

We used (Rick Steves team suggestion) both ways (Split to Dubrovnik, then back) and it was great!!! You specify the car (in this case a van I suspect) that you need and they take you. We even added in a few sightseeing tours along the way to break up the trip (it only takes 3.25 hours, depending on the border crossing)--just email from the website and they literally set it all up just the way you want it. The problem with flying is you have to transfer in Zagreb--no direct flights--so it actually would take longer. Ferries can be more seasonal, and the times did not work for us. We felt safer to be just us and a driver/guide with a mask.