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Hungary-Serbia border barrier

Hungary-Serbia border barrier

Although far from the Middle East, Croatia has recently been in the forefront of the refugee crisis engulfing much of western Europe, primarily Germany. Since last September more than 650,000 migrants have passed through Croatia along the “western Balkans route” that leads from Turkey through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia to Croatia where migrants head either north to the Hungarian border or west to the Slovenian border. Prior to September, migrants were able to move up to Hungary through the Serbian border but since Hungary closed that border, migrants detoured westward attempting to reach western Europe through Croatia.

Obviously, the situation is fluid but as of this writing Croatia is only accepting 500 migrants daily, mostly through its eastern border with Serbia at the at the Sid/Tovarnik crossing. Both Slovenia and Hungary are part of the Schengen zone and have taken measures to protect their borders with Croatia by installing wire fences and closing some rail crossings.

So what does this mean for Croatia-bound travellers? Probably not much. It’s important to note that the refugee flow completely bypasses the Croatian coast. Below is a map showing the major migrant crossing points: Tovarid, Beli Manistir and Hamica in Croatia; Veliki Obrez and Gibina in Slovenia.

Travellers intending to travel by land to or from Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia will want to stay abreast of the situation. I recommend checking the Croatian Auto Club which has up-to-date traffic information for roads, trains, ferries and border crossings both on their website (www.hak.hr/en) and on their helpful app.