Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

Ireland to Croatia by car (with report)

Options
  • 09-01-2017 10:38pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭


    Has anybody done this before?
    I am planning on doing this in the summer and doing some research and planning now.
    Has anybody driven to dubrovnik and what was it like.

    On the way over I will be ferrying to france and then driving from cherbourg down.
    Im not in a motorhome or anything, just my trusty A6.
    So will be hoteling it on the way, preferably 1 stop.
    Any tips or advice?

    What standard of roads do they have over there in slovenia, croatia.
    Safe to travel at night?
    Are the roads busy over there?
    Any advice or knowledge from people that have driven is appreciated.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,364 ✭✭✭✭coylemj


    I've been around Slovenia by public bus and the roads are fine, Ljubljana is a very nice compact city, worth a visit. Haven't been around Croatia but was in Dubrovnik off a cruise ship and the place looked pretty good. Both countries rely on tourism, the locals are friendly and I have no reason to suspect that the roads in Croatia are much different from those in Slovenia.

    Both of them exited the old Yugoslavia relatively early so they were not involved in that awful Serbia/Bosnia war. Slovenia uses the Euro.


  • Registered Users Posts: 952 ✭✭✭hytrogen


    The mothership-in-law did this in the back of a 1960's mini cooper with her elder brothers legs hanging out the side, family bags on the roof, to the former Yugoslavia! Plenty of pit stops and stamps in the passport. Routeing via the UK a total of about a week one way with plenty of sightseeing included along the way..


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭msshono


    Two years ago We flew to Dubrovnik, hired a car and drove to Drvnik where we got a Ferry to Hvar...some motorway on the way, some decent country road, some a bit more winding.....hard not to stop at scenic look outs regularly it's so pretty, was a good way to see the country a bit and stop in a few local towns.
    When we got to Hvar we had to drive the length of the island...very very winding and a bit hairy at times with locals having a tendency to stray across the white line at speed coming round corners etc. My husband is a confident driver, but he found the Hvar drive full on and tiring. Road surface was good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 952 ✭✭✭hytrogen


    coylemj wrote:
    Both of them exited the old Yugoslavia relatively early so they were not involved in that awful Serbia/Bosnia war. Slovenia uses the Euro.
    Croatia was at the forefront of that terrible war! My very good late friend from Dubrovnik had footage of the Serbs bombing his father's land on the foot of the hills overlooking Dubrovnik, bombs landing metres away from his family home.
    Now it is the most beautiful city along the Adriatic sea! And the host town for the finals in the national water polo championships (around august bank holiday I believe?)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,178 ✭✭✭killbillvol2


    hytrogen wrote: »
    Croatia was at the forefront of that terrible war! My very good late friend from Dubrovnik had footage of the Serbs bombing his father's land on the foot of the hills overlooking Dubrovnik, bombs landing metres away from his family home.
    Now it is the most beautiful city along the Adriatic sea! And the host town for the finals in the national water polo championships (around august bank holiday I believe?)

    Yeah the Croats had a particularly nasty war with the Serbs.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    Thanks for the info so far,
    Yea I've been reading the drive down south to Dubrovnik is a bit of hard work with a lot of windy roads.
    So that rules out going through Croatia at night I'd say.

    And I won't be stopping to sight see on the way over.
    The ferry docks at 11am in Cherbourg, if I was going through Poland to Slovakia ,a drive I do pretty regular , I would drive through the night as I know where I'm going.
    I'm a bit wary of arriving in Slovenia at 12 midnight , with the plan of driving through.

    What's it like for petrol stations , rest stops over there? Easy find a hotel.
    How would it compare to Germany, France , on that front?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 mulletman


    Only drove in Slovenia which is fine for the most part. Two main motorways run north-south and east west. Was there in late August when the bulk of the traffic is holidaymakers heading back to Central Europe. If coming form Austria there can be delays at the tunnel near Villach (was going to drive into Austria but there was delays for up to 4 hours!). Lots of tolls too but can buy a tag after entering.
    Plenty petrol stations and places to stop.
    Took public transport in Croatia as previous posters said some of the driving can be hairy!


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,790 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    IMO,

    Thats an incredible journey to do on 1 stop, for me its too far planning 1 stop you would be gassed out. what like 15 hours of driving then stopover then another 15 hours of driving.

    Professional drivers arent even legally allowed to drive that far in 1 sitting. So that means what 5 hours and break for 30 5 hours and break ?

    Seems alot tbh,


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    mulletman wrote: »
    Only drove in Slovenia which is fine for the most part. Two main motorways run north-south and east west. Was there in late August when the bulk of the traffic is holidaymakers heading back to Central Europe. If coming form Austria there can be delays at the tunnel near Villach (was going to drive into Austria but there was delays for up to 4 hours!). Lots of tolls too but can buy a tag after entering.
    Plenty petrol stations and places to stop.
    Took public transport in Croatia as previous posters said some of the driving can be hairy!

    Just looking some more, I don't think I will be in Slovenia for long.
    I have decided not to go through austria also, I've drove through before and found it busy.
    Will be going France ,Italy , small hop across Slovenia and in to Croatia.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,624 ✭✭✭✭meeeeh


    XsApollo wrote: »
    Just looking some more, I don't think I will be in Slovenia for long.
    I have decided not to go through austria also, I've drove through before and found it busy.
    Will be going France ,Italy , small hop across Slovenia and in to Croatia.

    When are you going? In the summer that small part of Slovenia is chocker blocked by traffic. Add up being stuck on the border for a while. The motorway accross Slovenia is one of the most congested in Europe in summer, the rest of the year is grand (only applies if you change your mind and go through Austria). Do not spe eed. They are battling speeding with very high fines. Whenever I was driving in Croatia I thought their motorways were ok and less busy (but I could be wrong I drive there a lot less often). Italian motorways can be hard work if you are not used to their style of driving. They are fairly aggressive in changing lanes etc. The motorway can be very busy around Venice. If you are mot planning to stop in different towns, the Italian motorway you will be taking is incredibly dull and foggy half of the time. I drove across France only once and remember very little.

    Dad drove across from Slovenia to Ireland couple of times when visiting me (until mum put a stop to it). It's a lot more expensive and I think the only interesting parts my mum was going on were in UK. It might be because they saw other parts before but motorways can be very dull. It could be very interesting trip if you take the time, stop in different locations and avoid motorways. But otherwise you will be driving through fairly dull parts of those countries with a car that has steering wheel on the wrong side. For that privilege you will probably have to pay more than flying there and renting a car.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    listermint wrote: »
    IMO,

    Thats an incredible journey to do on 1 stop, for me its too far planning 1 stop you would be gassed out. what like 15 hours of driving then stopover then another 15 hours of driving.

    Professional drivers arent even legally allowed to drive that far in 1 sitting. So that means what 5 hours and break for 30 5 hours and break ?

    Seems alot tbh,
    It would be fill up , drive till empty , break , fill up again :-P

    No Seriously..
    Yea it's a long drive, i find if you can drive overnight it makes a massive difference to the distance you can cover.

    I drive from Clare to East Slovakia nearly every year, so I am used to it and know what kind of distance I can do in a night.
    I have done kosice in Slovakia to Brugge in Belgium over night , leaving at 7 in the evening and arriving at 1 or 2 in the afternoon ,pretty comfortably a few times.
    But of course I wouldn't be taking the piss and keep going If I didn't feel right.

    After looking some more I think Cherbourg to Italian-Slovenian border is what I am going to do.
    Off the ferry at 11 am destination at 4am.
    Hotel then for the following day and night. Then up fresh and early 6am for the drive to Dubrovnik, which is about 650km. hopefully arrive sometime late that afternoon.
    Don't want to be arriving late in Croatia with any sort of driving to do after reading reports . :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,459 ✭✭✭Arthur Daley


    Roads not too bad in croatia. Plenty of motorway/good roads. The same can't be said over the border in bosnia but under the circumstances of what bosnia had to contend with that is understandable.

    Some driving around dubrovnik is nuts and dangerous on the coast road. But other than that didn't find them any more offensive than the italian drivers say.

    If you drive down croatia to dubrovnik you must pass through bosnia for a bit. No problems but the border crossing takes a while. We are just not used to it anymore I guess.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    meeeeh wrote: »
    When are you going? In the summer that small part of Slovenia is chocker blocked by traffic. Add up being stuck on the border for a while. The motorway accross Slovenia is one of the most congested in Europe in summer, the rest of the year is grand (only applies if you change your mind and go through Austria). Do not spe eed. They are battling speeding with very high fines. Whenever I was driving in Croatia I thought their motorways were ok and less busy (but I could be wrong I drive there a lot less often). Italian motorways can be hard work if you are not used to their style of driving. They are fairly aggressive in changing lanes etc. The motorway can be very busy around Venice. If you are mot planning to stop in different towns, the Italian motorway you will be taking is incredibly dull and foggy half of the time. I drove across France only once and remember very little.

    Dad drove across from Slovenia to Ireland couple of times when visiting me (until mum put a stop to it). It's a lot more expensive and I think the only interesting parts my mum was going on were in UK. It might be because they saw other parts before but motorways can be very dull. It could be very interesting trip if you take the time, stop in different locations and avoid motorways. But otherwise you will be driving through fairly dull parts of those countries with a car that has steering wheel on the wrong side. For that privilege you will probably have to pay more than flying there and renting a car.

    I'm going last week of July for 3 weeks.
    I've done Barcelona through France before twice, so know what that will be like.
    I should be in Venice late night so traffic mightent be too bad at midnight. :-P
    On the way over I just want to get there.

    On the way back I will be taking my time,
    Plan on spending 9-10 nights there.
    On the way back will be going easy and stopping places for a couple of nights, doing Disneyland also.
    So should be interesting. :-)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,730 ✭✭✭✭Fred Swanson


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    Well d-day is here :-P
    I have decided against going through France, frankly the tolls are ridiculous.
    Close to 50euro to drive through Mont Blanc and seeing as I will be more than 7 days coming back it's going to be another 50 on the return..

    So going over I am going through Germany , Austria instead.

    Just a question on the return leg if anybody has any info.

    I am stopping in Milan on the way back for 3 nights, I booked this before I had finalised my journey, so not wanting to go through Mont Blanc,
    The other way to get to Disneyland is through Switzerland to Basel and then onto Paris.

    Has anybody done Italy to Paris via Switzerland, is it an ok journey with traffic motorways and stuff?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    Forgot about this,
    I'm still alive anyway.
    I'll put my experience up for anybody searching in the future.

    Got the ferry to Cherbourg, off the boat at 12noon and got to Dubrovnik at 1 in the afternoon the next day :-)
    Via France , Germany, Austria,Slovenia,Croatia.

    Motorway pretty much down to the Bosnia border.
    I think it's fairly new motorway down through croatia past split , practically right up to the border.
    Very nice drive also, as a lot of it downhill and nice views
    Wasn't on the sat nav either and shaved a couple of hours off the arrival time.
    About 20 minute wait to get through the boarder and then practically a 3 hour drive for the last 80kms to get to dubrovnik, thought the sat nav couldn't be right when it was saying distance to arrival 80kms and time nearly 3 hours.
    But it wasn't , road is pretty crap.

    Small bit of traffic around Paris and at croatia border too , nothing major tho.
    Stopped twice in Germany,
    Near the border and in a petrol station after midnight sometime by an unmarked BMW with 2 armed officers, guns showing.
    Been in Germany many times and never been looked at or stopped.

    Other than that Plain sailing the whole way pretty much.

    Return leg , went to milan first,
    About 11 ,12 hour drive.
    Bosnia border was empty, no queuing. And a nice drive up to Italy.
    Then onto Italy.
    I have been in along traffic jams in Poland and Paris before.
    But Italy has the most congested roads I've been on.
    Pretty much a line of trucks and cars through the country.
    Also near 1.80euro for a litre of diesel on the motorway network.
    Filled up before I left croatia but had to read that price a couple of times as I thought it couldn't right :-)

    Went through Mont Blanc after talking to some French guy who regularly does the drive in the hotel while having a drink, who assured me Switzerland would be gridlock and I would be waiting for a good while at some tunnels.

    Glad I went the montblanc after, savage views and a nice drive, and the French motorway, expensive but was heaven after Italy :-D

    I think around 8 hours to paris from milan.

    Then landbrigded through the uk to Fishguard from paris.

    I was gonna keep an eye on the diesel and toll spend.
    But I gave up after a while,
    A lot of tolls and 2 vignettes.
    Around 35euro for that motorway in croatia each way.
    Montblanc is 44 I think?
    Italy has a few as well wernt cheap.
    France has the usual 20euro every city you reach.

    Croatia is a nice country, going back again but next time staying up top of the country near Italy, Will shave 6 hours off the drive.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,730 ✭✭✭✭Fred Swanson


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    Audi A6.
    That was a first for for me there anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,811 ✭✭✭Tigerandahalf


    XsApollo wrote: »
    Audi A6.
    That was a first for for me there anyway.

    That is some drive. We are not really accustomed to it in Ireland but people in the States regularly drive down from the North West down to Florida for the sun.

    Not too bad a drive from Milan to Paris - 8 hours.
    I guess without kids it is not so bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    That is some drive. We are not really accustomed to it in Ireland but people in the States regularly drive down from the North West down to Florida for the sun.

    Not too bad a drive from Milan to Paris - 8 hours.
    I guess without kids it is not so bad.

    My car was full to the brim, 2 kids 2 adults a fridge and full boot :-P

    In Europe they drive everywhere too.
    I didn't see an Irish car in dubrovnik but saw a few English.
    a few of the rarer countries I saw on the drive , Swedish ,Finland , Estonian , Lithuanian, Russian, Ukrainian and pretty much every mainland country in Europe on the drive up through croatia.


  • Advertisement
  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,201 ✭✭✭Doltanian


    Great report, did you have to do the driving yourself or did you have another driver to take over for a while? I'd love to something like this but I've always found the ferries to be very expensive so I'd nearly fly and rent a car instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,854 ✭✭✭munchkin_utd


    Doltanian wrote: »
    Great report, did you have to do the driving yourself or did you have another driver to take over for a while? I'd love to something like this but I've always found the ferries to be very expensive so I'd nearly fly and rent a car instead.
    direct ferries are dear at peak times, but for next to nothing for the quieter 10 out of 12 months of the year, including christmas

    but even in summer, the landbridge can be a cheap way of doing it and often the channel + irish sea price is less than the cost of irish sea crossing alone. Theres specific combo fares available from stena and irish ferries.
    With kids you'd likely want an overnight somewhere in England, but with Travellodge or Premier inn, that is often only 30 or 40 pounds when booked in advance .
    Should you have relatives or plans to make a mini break in England/ Wales en route, then it does become a more attractive option.

    Also a thanks for getting back with a report. I'd say you were stopped in Germany simply because an A6 with exotic plates has "stolen car" shouting out from a height to the police, who at night are otherwise on the prowl for vans and lorries from the Balcans up to no good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,410 ✭✭✭XsApollo


    Doltanian wrote: »
    Great report, did you have to do the driving yourself or did you have another driver to take over for a while? I'd love to something like this but I've always found the ferries to be very expensive so I'd nearly fly and rent a car instead.

    I did the driving myself, I don't mind that,
    I worked 3 cycle shift for a good few years so that helps I'd say.
    And I have driven a lot to Slovakia and Barcelona so used to it that as well.
    But this was the longest I have taken on :-D
    The day before I was thinking I might have bit off more than I could chew :-D

    I try not to stop for the night as
    Driving through the night is much better as you can make a lot of ground and it's quieter, but still a lot of people doing the same thing as yourself. Petrol stations and stuff would still have people around.
    So nothing to worry about on the safety side of things.
    If I do plan a stop it's usually after the night drive and in the morning get a hotel for the day and night and then off again in the morning early.

    Prices ,
    The ferry going over to Cherbourg was around 550 with cabin.
    I didn't book coming back because it was expensive around 900.
    And I didn't know if I would stay another day in Paris or not so booked the ferry to England and Ireland a few days before leaving for home.
    Was 70 for the calais dover, and 155 for stena to rosslare with clubclass or premium.( nice seats , free drinks , good tv, and free snacks and stuff) so well worth it.
    And less than a tank of diesel from Paris to shannon :-)

    I've done Costs Brava ( Barcelona) in Spain a few times.
    It's around 12 hours going easy and a tank around 80 quid in diesel.
    Around 80 euros in tolls.
    Book the ferries well in advance or off peak and they can be reasonable.


Advertisement