Croatia Driving Guide – SPEND LESS, DO MORE
Croatia, and its island-dotted coastline bordering the Adriatic Sea, makes for an intriguing destination. The variety of regions in a comparatively small country means that you can experience towns and cities, mountains and islands, forests and beaches, all in just a few days.
Driving is the most common way to travel in Croatia, and the roads are of the best in Europe. Croatia’s long coastline is an idyllic place to drive – famed for its pebbly beaches, clear waters, myriad islands and historic cities.
Experience the splendour of Croatia’s coastline
The Dalmatian coastline is arguably the most stunning in Europe. Driving past olive plantations and farmers’ roadside stalls, stunning views await you around every bend. It is 746km from charming Rovinj in the north, to Dubrovnik in the south. You can choose to do it in shorter trips, but the ultimate experience is to drive the entire coastline over a few days.
Although the beautiful Istria region in the north is well-developed, its historic towns feature numerous ruins, such as the amphitheatre in Pula and other Roman architectural artefacts.
Heading south, the scenery gets increasingly dramatic and medieval towns such as Zadar and Sibenik cling to the shore. Along the way you can choose to take a ferry for an island tour or head inland for hiking and biking action. Explore the incredible 4th century Diocletian’s Palace and the historic streets of the buzzing town Split. Afterwards you can drive to the towering gorge at Omis, or sample fine wines in the laid-back Pelješac Peninsula. Exuberant nightlife dominates on the larger islands of Hvar and Brac. Dalmatian cuisine – consisting of superb seafood, along with increasingly renowned wines – is exceptionally affordable.
Dubrovnik, a breathtakingly beautiful city in southern Croatia, is Croatia’s crown jewel. The Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century, is the heart of Dubrovnik where much of the city’s tourist action happens. Stunning sea views, welcoming cafés and restaurants, and cultural activities make it a great destination.
Zagreb and beyond
Like most capital cities, Zagreb is a sprawling urban area that provides the perfect starting point for a road trip. Almost all the motorways in Croatia start or end here.
Zagreb is packed with history, culture and interesting architecture. Start your sightseeing in the historic Upper Town from where you can take the funicular to Gradec to the 13th Century Lotrščak Tower. For the best views over the city, and a real wish-you-were-here moment, climb Medvednica, the mountain which looms over Zagreb.
Zagreb has a buzzing café culture. Take a seat at one of the pavement tables in the roads surrounding Jelacic Square, order a crna kava (strong local coffee), and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the city. This area is also the best place to look for street food and budget eats.
In the summer, the locals head south of the city to Lake Jarun to cool off. Trendy bars line the shores and beaches and offer a great spot to unwind.
Driving from Zagreb you will find that many of the sights and activities are within a 160km radius. Excursions, including the hiking trails at renowned Plitvice Lakes National Park and towns such as Varazdin, Samobor, Divlje Vode or Karlovac, are within easy reach of Zagreb. North of Zagreb with the green, rolling landscapes of Zagorje and Medimurje – the storybook land of Croatia with mystical castles.
A short detour from the road to Rijeka, taking the Jastrebarsko highway exit, brings a surprising array of outdoor activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, biking, hiking, and much more.
Diverse and historical Croatia is ready to be explored. To find the best deals and choices for rental cars and accommodation you need not look further than Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels.
Pack your walking shoes and head for Croatia!
The Cheaperthancars Team