Posts Tagged ‘Driving in Croatia’
Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor inaugurated a 28km dual carriageway section of the Istrian Pula-Kanfanar motorway which should greatly improve driving times to and around the Istrian peninsula. The Y motorway project is the largest in Istria and represents a strong governmental commitment to improving the Istrian infrastructure.
The project has been a joint venture with France’s Bouygues Telecom which is fitting as Istria is the most accessible part of the Croatian coast for French tourists. The modern motorway should do a lot to increase French travel to Istria. Another 50km section of the Y motorway is due to open in about a year and an additional 18km section will open by the end of 2011.
“Holidaymakers could find car rentals harder to come by this summer, as the economic downturn forces car hire companies to cut their fleets during peak periods.” proclaimed an article in the Telegraph. Note that the article was published February 4 2009!
The prediction proved completely accurate at least as far as Croatia was concerned. When I expressed concern at the number of dealer cancellations of cars booked through my partner, Economycarrentals.com, in the summer of 2009 I received this response:
Due to the current difficult economic situation, almost all car rental companies have decreased their fleet and that is why we get many cancellations. It’s been a tough summer and this is going to continue until the end of August, that is why we warned our clients to book as early as possible to avoid cancellations and inconvenience. (emphasis mine)
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all last-minute bookings will get confirmed, but we push our partners to serve as many of our clients as possible.
Now, the Telegraph is again warning of car rental shortages in this article. I would urge you to take the warning seriously if you are planning a trip to Croatia this summer. The economic situation that led to shortages last summer is, if anything, worse this year. There is no expansion of car-hire fleets on the horizon this summer in Croatia so there is a strong possibility that last-minute bookers will be forced into a much higher category of vehicle, or will pay a premium price or will be shut out completely.
Takeaway: as soon as you get your flights booked, work on your car rental. I recommend economycarrentals.com for the best cars at the cheapest prices but you’ll find a list of Croatia car rental companies and more car rental advice here.
It was one of Croatia’s more grandiose infrastructure plans. The idea was to construct a bridge connecting the Peljesac peninsula with the mainland thereby eliminating the need to drive through Bosnian territory. What? Bosnian territory? Yes, the Dayton Peace Accords signed in 1995 provided that Bosnia-Hercegovina should have an outlet to the sea. Bosnian territory extends down to the port of Neum which means that you must pass through Bosnian territory if you drive the coastal road from Split to Dubrovnik.
Although it worked well, Croatia became uncomfortable with the arrangement and came up with the idea of bypassing Bosnian territory by building the aforesaid bridge. It was to be four lanes wide and the second longest bridge in Europe. The plan came under criticism almost immediately as an expensive boondoggle design to line the pockets of politically-connected contractors.
Now with the Croatian economy sagging, plans for the Biggest Bridge have been put on the back burner. The government has just announced that construction will be slowed and a new bridge is not likely before 2015.
So for now, get your passports out for when you pass the Bosnian checkpoint at Neum. See more about driving the Croatian coast.
On this trip, I drove from Sibenik to Dubrovnik. The good news is that you have a choice between a scenic route and a very scenic route. The bad news is that driving from Split to Dubrovnik still takes about three hours because the new coastal motorway is not yet finished. Also tabled because of the economic situation is the planned Peljesac bridge which was to have eliminated the need to travel through Bosnian territory at Neum.
Even though the motorway that runs southeast from Zadar stops at around Ravca, well short of Dubrovnik, the fact that it exists has relieved pressure on the very scenic coastal road. Not that the motorway is an ugly route! As it winds through the coastal mountains, the motorway offers some stunning scenery. The Dinaric mountain range that is relatively dry and barren on the seaward side is lush and green on the landward side.
I thought I would save time by getting on the motorway at Ravca rather than driving the coastal road to Split but the two-lane road to the motorway chewed up so much time that there was nearly no difference at all.
Driving down the coast to Dubrovnik, I would advise checking your gas gage before leaving Neum as there are no service stations from Neum to Dubrovnik. Come to think of it, fill ‘er up before getting on the motorway as well. Not all of the planned service stations have opened.
See more on driving in Croatia.
See a road map of Croatia.
The long-awaited extension of the motorway from Split to Dubrovnik is . . . not yet completed but a new segment just opened. Just this week, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader opened 40 kilometres of the new road that now extends as far south as Ravca which is just a short drive from the ferry port at Drvenik. This will make it easier to access Hvar Island via the Drvenik-Sucuraj ferry for those coming from Makarska, Baska Voda or Brela.
So when will the next segment be opened? Stay tuned.
Read more about driving in Croatia.