To find the reliable information on traveling from Italy to Croatia will interest not only Italian tourists but also those visiting Italy first and then traveling to Croatia or perhaps combining both countries, in one extraordinary holiday.
Croatia does not have direct flights from USA, Canada or Australia and many oversea travelers (Canadian and American visitors), for reasons of time&money saving will first fly to Italy to Rome, Venice or Milan. From there you can find different solutions to reach Croatia.
I am traveling at least a dozen times a year between these two countries and who better than me can give you useful tips how to reach Croatia from Italy or vice-versa.
It all depends on where you are in Italy and which part of Croatia you intend to reach. Considering this factor, it would be easier to decide which mean of transport is going to be more convenient to choose, considering both the time and costs.
From Italy you can reach Croatia, either by plane, by ferry, by bus or driving. Examining one by one and taking in consideration the period of the year and the length of time you plan to spend in Croatia, here is the list of the best options.
By far the quickest way is flying. Recent years there have been introduced many low cost flight between Italy and Croatia.
Croatia Airline keeps a regular flight (all year round) from Rome - Split - Rome, but prices are rather high as it is a direct flight. Easyjet is flying to Split and Dubrovnik from Rome and Milan. It offers very low airfares and the first scheduled flight will start from June 2016 and this route will be on sale up to August 31 2016. The one way fare starts from € 58.
Spanish low cost company Vueling is also flying to Croatia from Palermo and Catania to Split, from Rome to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Pula. All flights are seasonal from end of May to the end of August. The one way fare starts from € 64,99 ( Rome -Fiumicino to Split).
After Snav ferry company have cancelled (very popular), connections from Pescara to Hvar, Brac and Korcula islands, the good alternative will be to take a seaplane. European Coastal Airlines provides from Ancona a seaplane connection to downtown Split several times weekly. See the timetable and book.
If you’re in central or southern Italy, and traveling by car, I would recommend to consider taking a car ferry either from Ancona to Split and Zadar or from Bari to Dubrovnik.
Are you coming from Italy to Split? Taking a ferry from Italy to Split Croatia is your best option if you are traveling from Italian Adriatic coast. There are several ferry companies on the line from Ancona to Split, or Ancona to Zadar.
Many travelers visiting Venice as a top Italian destination, have a chance to to hop over to Istria peninsula (see the map) to visit for a day or two, some Istria's several highlight spots like Porec, Rovinj, Pula and Umag.
Venezia Lines is a high speed passenger ferry operator linking the North Adriatic coast of Italy with Croatia (Istria region). This company keeps regular connections to the Croatian coast (only passengers) in the period from the end of May to the mid of September with:
Need a hotel in Istria? Let's have a look here!
If you are driving from Italy to Croatia you will need a driver's license (international for oversea travelers) and vehicle insurance documents (Green Card). Before you hit the road, be sure to provide a good road map.
If you are heading to Istria, take direction to Trieste by highway A4 and cross the Italian/Slovenia crossing (NB - there is any passport or custom control). After entering Slovenia take direction either to Porec (Istria coastline) or to Rijeka to get on the road along the Adriatic coast, that will lead you all the way to Zadar, Split and and further on to Dubrovnik.
This route is not recommended in the period of the high season (particularly at the beginning and mid of August (period of Italian festivity Ferragosto), as you'll risk to be trapped in the hellish traffic. In this period it could happen to be involved in traffic queues that will make you lose even 10 hours. (the route between Trieste, Slovenia to enter Croatia).
If you are not visiting Istria, but your destination is Dalmatia, the better way is to proceed from Italy to Slovenia, driving to Ljubljana all the way to Zagreb and taking from there highway A1 to Split, Zadar or Dubrovnik. If you are interested to know more how to drive and how to get around Croatia, this page will be of great help!
Before the official entry of Croatia as a full member of the EU (European Union) in June 2013, there were rare rental companies that were willing to rent a car for a trip to Croatia. Nowadays the the situation has changed.
In spite of these positive changes, it will be wise to double-check before booking that the company you requested does actually allow this. Particularly be careful when asking for one-way car rental from Italy to Croatia. Very few companies will allow to rent a car in Italy and to leave it in Croatia due to the high costs involved with one-way cross-border hire.
I have checked personally many of them and I've found the only one that will allow to hire a car in Italy (for example In Venice or Trieste) and to drop off at the different location (Croatia). My recommendation is AutoEurope.
Taking a train from Italy to Croatia, is the worst option, I wouldn't recommend in any case. It's too slow and not reliable. I do mention this possibility but frankly I don't have intention to go into details because it is not worth mentioning.
Traveling by bus is much more convenient solution. Buses are regular, comfortable and the cheapest way of traveling. The main Italian bus hub is Trieste bus station. From there you can take a bus to any destination in Croatia.
There are many other bus carriers from Italy to Croatia all starting from Trieste. From there you can find bus connections to Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. The most important Italian bus carriers from Trieste are SAF Udine and APT Gorizia. You can also consult all international bus departures from Trieste bus terminal website.
A new night bus from Milan to the Adriatic coast will depart each evening at 23.15 PM from the bus terminal Lampugnano (Milano), is operated by Croatia bus. The bus arrives at its first destination in Croatia, Rijeka, at 05:30 and continues from there to Crikvenica, Novi Vinodolski, Zadar, Sibenik and Split.
On return the bus will leave from Split to Milan each morning at 09:30 AM from the Split main bus station.
Ticket prices: one way ticket costs about € 39 to € 40 (return € 79 to € 80 from Milan to Rijeka. From Milan to Zadar the ticket is € 45 one way and € 92 return drive. Buy and book your seat online here!