From Italy to Croatia

Traveling from Italy to Croatia – despite looking so easy – may hold several obstacles. Many of our clients are looking for reliable information on how to travel from Italy to Croatia so we compiled this list of possibilities

Traveling from Italy to Croatia can be quite a challenge unless you are familiar with all of your traveling options. Even though Italy shares a sea border with Croatia, because of its shape and the variety of destinations in both countries, it takes a bit of planning to organize the most convenient route. However, Croatia and Italy are very well connected by diverse modes of transportation and the choice depends entirely on your time available and the level of comfort you wish to travel in.

Italy to Croatia by ferry Taking a ferry to Croatia from Italy is your best option if you are traveling from the eastern coast of Italy. The departure points from Italy are Venice, Ancona, Pescara, and Bari, and each port offers at least a couple of choices as far as destinations in Croatia and ferry lines go. Make sure though to check the frequency of the Italy-Croatia ferries as they vary depending on the season. There are far more crossings during summer than there are during the spring and fall, and not all ferries run year-round. The following are your ferry route options for the Italy-Croatia crossings along with a link to check the current schedule and prices:

Ferry from Venice to Croatia Available Croatian destinations are: Mali Losinj, Pula, Rovinj, Porec, Rabac. Passenger ferries only, no cars allowed.


Ferry from Ancona to Croatia Jadrolinija ferries: Zadar, Split Blue Line Ferries: Split, Vis, Stari Grad/Hvar Island SNAV Ferries: Split

Ferry from Pescara to Croatia: SNAV Ferries: Split, Stari Grad/Hvar Island Jadrolinija Ferries: Split, Stari Grad/Hvar Island

Ferry from Bari to Croatia: Jadrolinija Ferries: Dubrovnik


Italy to Croatia by train The main cities reachable by train from Italy to Croatia are Zagreb, Pula, Rijeka, and Split (but you have to go through Zagreb to get to Split as there is no direct rout from Italy to Split). Here are some estimates of how long it will take you from your destination in Italy to your Croatian destination: Venice to Zagreb  from 7.5-10 hours with 1-2 train changes Venice to Split  from 15-20 hours with up to 3 train changes Rome to Zagreb  from 11.5-15.5 hours with 1-2 train changes Milan to Zagreb  from 10-12 hours with 1-2 train changes

nagibni vlak
nagibni vlak

Flying from Italy to Croatia If you are short on time or do not want to spend 8+ hours on an overnight ferry, flying from Italy to Croatia is your way to travel. In some cases it may actually be as cheap of an option as taking a bus or a ferry since there are more and more budget airlines offering direct flights to Croatia. Here is a list of flights we found, but the list is constantly changing so be sure to check the airline websites closer to your trip: Rome to Croatia Croatia Airlines  Rome to Zagreb (year-round) Croatia Airlines  Rome to Split (year-round) Croatia Airlines  Rome to Dubrovnik (year-round) Easyjet  Rome Fiumicino to Split (July & August) Easyjet  Rome Fiumicino to Dubrovnik (July & August)

From Milan to Croatia Easyjet  Milan Malpensa to Split (July & August) Easyjet  Milan Malpensa to Dubrovnik (July & August)

From Venice to Croatia Croatia Airlines Venice to Dubrovnik in 2014 – Split and Venice are connected via Volotea flights

From Bologna to Croatia Croatia Airlines Bologna to Zagreb (year-round)


Italy to Croatia by bus Traveling by bus within Italy is the best way to get around next to renting a car or buying a train ticket. However, the only cities with direct bus connections to Croatia are Venice and Trieste. From Venice you can only reach Pula and Pazin destinations in Istria via Eurolines bus company. In order to visit the capital of Croatia as well as the coastal cities in the south, you will have to make Trieste your departure point. SAF buses run from Trieste to Rijeka, Rovinj, Pula, Split, Medugorje, Dubrovnik, Zagreb, and other Croatian cities. For additional information visit the Trieste bus station site. Here are some sample travel times: 2.5 hours to Rijeka 3 hours to Pula, 5 hours to Zagreb, 10.5 hours to Split and 15 hours to Dubrovnik

Italy to Croatia by car Driving from Italy to Croatia became a lot easier since the opening of a modern highway connecting the north and the south in 2005. The Croatian highway is said to be the most scenic one in Europe making it a worth while option. Some distance calculations are as follows: driving from Venice to Split takes about 7.5 hours, Venice to Rijeka takes only 3.5 hours, Venice to Zagreb is a little less than 4 hours and Venice to Dubrovnik is a 10.5 hour trip because the highway becomes a regular road once you get close to Metković If you choose to take the old roads you should know that some of them are in a pretty shabby state, however the views on the road along the sea coast are incredible and you will not mind the extra time. A couple of great websites to check for calculating the distance to your destination in Croatia are Via Michelin and Tom Tom. It is also possible to rent a car in Italy and drive it into Croatia, however not all rental companies will allow this because of the higher insurance costs of taking a rental car across the border. Your best option is to rent a car in Trieste at te Trieste Airport, being the nearest large Italian town to the border of Croatia. For most accurate information it is always better to contact the Italian regional offices directly instead of your home country offices. Here is a list of car rental companies in Italy which allow you to take the car into Croatia (please also check with them): Avis Europcar Maggiore Sixt

Italy to Croatia by private boat charter Also one of the possibilities that often goes overlooked as it is not the easiest option due to necessary paperwork. Also, not all companies have permits to cross borders with their boats so please inquiry before making such a booking. It is best to charter a boat with a Croatian company and arrange a pick up in an Italian port of your choice. Extra fees apply.

So, traveling from Italy to Croatia is not as difficult as it may appear at first.  Some of our clients also ordered private transfers from Venice to Split and from Venice to Zagreb which are the most comfortable options of traveling but come at highest cost. You can explore these options or simply contact us to plan your travel to Croatia as we do these combinations quite often.

UPDATE 2016: There is a seaplane service started in late 2015. and you can check the details at

Click here for Flights to Croatia


  1. Dubrovniklady says:

    Excellent and valuable information!

  2. Thnx. I just needed a piece that I can forward to folks asking about the possibilities.

  3. srdjana says:

    I could never recommend Croatian trains to anyone, especially coming from Italy – it’s such a step down in speed and overall quality, not to mention poor connection times and layovers. Arriving by ferry is the most enjoyable, whether it’s the fast katamaran or the slow overnight car ferry.

  4. @ Srdjana – Did you take Ancona – Roma train at any point? That was 1985 Yugoslavia experience right there 🙂 But yes, modern Italian trains are light years ahead of Croatian. However, there is still something quite romantic about old trains and they are best for sleeping. Although I fall asleep on the airplane before they start the engines so I am not objective. 🙂

  5. Seba Silver says:

    Great, thanks for this Alan. We have had a few visitors heading to Korcula via Italy and hopefully there will be some new arrivals this year and I will share your post with them. Cheers, Ruth

  6. Elisa says:

    For those who don’t want to go through Italy at all…When our travel group visited Dubrovnik in late Aug.’10, we flew out of Frankfurt. Hope this something your clients will consider!

  7. Great blog !

  8. @ Elisa – Most of our clients fly through major European airports like Frankfurt, London, Paris… however, many of them want to do two destination holiday and Italy and Croatia are great combination.
    @Seba – Thank you!

  9. Dubrovniklady says:

    Reblogged this on Essence of Dubrovnik.

  10. Seba Silver says:

    Reblogged this on sebasilver and commented:
    Thanks to Alan at Secret Dalmatia for this excellent post on travelling from Italy to Croatia. We hope you will find it useful for booking your visit to us 🙂

  11. Interesting and inviting.

    What advice would you give to someone taking a road trip from north to south and taking in some of the more interesting spots – for culture, architecture, scenery, big towns and small villages, etc.?

  12. @ David – It all depends on how much time you have. Istrian hilltp towns for sure, Rab island, Pag Island, Kornati National Park, Dugi otok … Then Zadar and Šibenik, Skradin, Krka National Park, Trogir and Split, Islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis… outer islands of Croatia, Korcula, Peljesac and Dubrovnik.
    Those would all be must see places. Small villages are prettiest on the islands and those on the coast are pretty much ruined.
    We specialize in custom trips in Croatia so, if you need any services, let us know.

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