With more than 1,200 islands being part of Croatia, traveling by ferry is one of the best ways to get around. And aside from providing domestic links, ferries also connect Croatia to Italy. Although there were rumors of reestablishing a route to Greece, nothing happened after all.
Ferries are a low-cost alternative to travel between Italy and Croatia, especially where there are no low cost flights available.
Jadrolinija is the main Croatian passenger and car ferry company which offers international and domestic routes. Car ferries between Italy and Croatia run on the following routes:
- Rijeka – Zadar – Split – Hvar – Korčula -Dubrovnik – Bari
- Korčula – Hvar – Split – Ancona
- Split – Ancona – Split
- Zadar – Ancona – Zadar
- Dubrovnik – Bari – Dubrovnik
Blue Line International also operates ferries on the Split – Ancona – Split route, while Venezia Lines offers catamarans between Venice and Piran, Porec, Pula, Rovinj, Rabac and Losinj (Lussino). Ferries are also available between Pescara and Split or Hvar.
Just pay attention that some routes are not available during the winter (typically from late November to late March).
In the District of Zadar, there are connections between Zadar and the following ports: Preko, Brbinj, Molat, Sestrunj, Zverinac, Bršanj, Silba, Olib, Premuda , Mali Lošinj, Ist (Kosirača).
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In the District of Šibenik, catch the ferries between Šibenik and Zlarin or Žirje; while in the District of Split and Dubrovnik, travel from Split to Supetar, Rogač, Stari Grad, Vis, Vela Luka or Lastovo.
Aside from Jadrolinija , some other private companies operate domestic routes. GV Lines runs catamarans from Zadar to the near-by islands and also some routes from Dubrovnik. Krilo runs ferries between Split, Hvar Town and Korcula Town. LNP , Rapska Plovidba and Miatours also operate some routes.
Although you can see the prices online, Jadrolinija doesn’t offer the possibility to book the tickets online. So you are left with either booking through travel agencies in UK, Germany, France or Italy ; or just show up in the port (several hours before the departure) and purchase the ticket.
If you choose Blue Line International for the Split to Ancona route, you can book the ticket online. Venezia Lines also offers the possibility to book the tickets online.
Need to know
Ferry services from one island to other are “spottier” so don’t just assume there “must be” a connection just because you can get from the mainland to the respective island.
On most routes service is year round but on some routes the ferries only run during summer. And , generally, there are more ferries available during summer than during winter.
Many ferries connecting the mainland to the islands are designed to bring the locals to work so they leave the island very early in the morning and return late in the afternoon. So planning a “day trip” to an island actually means you’ll have to stay two nights on the island to be able to visit anything.